Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged the Federal Government(FG) to ban importation of Chinese adire into the country, to save the local market of adire fabrics from imminent “bastardization” by the Chinese.
Obasanjo begged the government to do all her possible best to protect local production of adire from the imported Chinese adire and all other things that could be produced locally in the country.
The elder statesman who made the appeal in his opening speech on Monday in Abeokuta, the state capital at the ‘Canada Trade Mission ’24’ pre conference session, lamented that the materials – clothes, for producing Adire that were hitherto sourced in Kano, Kaduna and Ado-Ekiti are not available anymore.
The programme was organised by Solteque Nigeria Ltd where Realtor Babatunde Adeyemo of the Pelican Valley and Mrs Oluwatosin Oloko, Permanent Secretary Ogun State Ministry of Culture & Tourism among others were also guest speakers.
Obasanjo therefore appealed to the FG to revive the nation’s textile industries in order to make the raw materials for Adire production available for local manufacturers.
He also made case for the establishment of formal training institution where people would learn how to produce Adire and be certified at the end of their learning period.
He said, “I want to appreciate the Traditional rulers who attend this event, you have shown that you are real custodians of Culture. People are saying China want to bastardise our Adire product, if not that we don’t value what we have. I want to commend Ogun State government for the initiative of Oja Itoku for Adire market. It is good but not good enough if we don’t have Adire sellers in the market.
“The clothes for the production of Adire is in Nigeria where they used to buy it in Kano, Kaduna and Ado-Ekiti but there is nothing like that anymore. If we want to produce Adire, where would we get the clothes to produce it? What we have to do is that, the Adire sellers, manufacturers and those who promote it, let us join our hands together. What government needs to do for us is not much. The first thing the government need to do for us is the revival of Textile industry, let us beg them to do that for us.
“Second one is the formal training institution where people will be learning how to produce Adire and get certified at the end of the period of their learning. Let us beg government to do all their possible best to protect our local production of Adire so that Chinese will not have access to bastardise it for us.
Government should ban the importation of Chinese Adire and not only for Adire alone but all other things we produce in Nigeria.
“Government just lifted ban on the importation of Rice with Dollars, so those of you the Rice farmers should be ready for challenges because the cheapest Rice will soon be imported from Thailand. Thailand government has invested a lot of funds in to Rice Farming for massive exportation to bastardise Nigeria Rice.
“I want to urge you not to only rely on the Adire sellers Association alone, let join hand with those who promote Adire and other stakeholders to have an Association that will be named as ‘Adire Association’ with chapters where Abeokuta will be the Headquarters and I’m ready to devote myself as the patron of the Association.”
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pelican Valley Nigeria Limited, Dr. Babatunde Adeyemo, emphasised the potentials of real estate business as a vehicle to attract Nigerian investors living abroad, improve nation’s foreign exchange and also the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base of Ogun State through direct assessment taxes of investors, and jobs and wealth creation for present and future generations.
Adeyemo said, “I want to show you the opportunity in the real estate investment. This is an avenue for you to see someone who have successfully invested in Real estate and want to exhibit it to enlighten and motivate others. God gave me the privilege to start real estate business with modest amount of money and also gave us opportunity to be known in Ogun, Nigeria and globally.
“One of our clients is the convener of this event. Our relationship with him is what brought him back to Nigeria, after he had bought the land and built his home in our Estate, he was convinced to come back home. He established company and also brought the initiative of this event in order to help his people, and not only him. In Pelican Valley, We have been able to dragged over 400 Nigerians in Diaspora back home. From his own camp, (Manitoba) they are close to 100 people that have bought land from us.
“Let me first of all link this Programme to real estate. As we want to export Adire, we don’t really know that real estate is one of the areas that is really explorable, Real estate is something that people can also take advantage of and export to bring more development to Ogun State and Nigeria in general. For example in Pelican Valley Nigeria Limited, we have been able to attract about 1000 Nigerians in diaspora directly, one of them is the convener of this event who is bringing the marvelous development.
“Imagine what other Nigerians in diaspora could do to add value to Ogun State and Nigeria in general. It is very important that as we are taking advantage of Adire, we should also take advantage of the real estate sector because the people we are bringing in, would eventually become tax payers in Ogun State. They will come home to settle down with dollars and other foreign exchange.
“I started this business with barely N2million Naira about 13 years ago but to the glory of God our investment is fast becoming an household name today. If you want to start real estate investment you must do it with integrity. Integrity is what builds name for Pelican Valley. We always get government approval and put all the necessary amenities on our land/estate before pushing products.
“Nigerians in Diaspora got to know me through the Internet and when they bought land from us they saw integrity in us. We have sold land to many Nigerians in diaspora without been there before. Due to my integrity, Nigerians in diaspora have prepared 10 years Canadian Visa for me, likewise a visiting visa to the united Kingdom and they have invited me to other countries as well. We have been honest, transparent and diligent in our real estate business.”
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