In a resounding call to protect Nigeria’s heritage and promote local industries, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has implored the Federal Government (FG) to ban the importation of Chinese adire fabrics into the country.
This plea came during his opening speech at the ‘Canada Trade Mission ’24’ pre-conference session held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Obasanjo’s concern stems from the potential “bastardization” of the local adire market by Chinese imports.
He emphasized the need for measures to preserve the rich tradition of adire fabric production in Nigeria and advocated for the revival of the nation’s textile industry to ensure a steady supply of raw materials for adire production.
The former president also called for the establishment of formal training institutions to educate individuals in the art of adire production and certification.
Speaking at the event, Obasanjo lauded the Ogun State government’s initiative, the ‘Oja Itoku for Adire Market,’ which aims to bolster the adire industry locally.
However, he stressed that the availability of materials for adire production, previously sourced from locations such as Kano, Kaduna, and Ado-Ekiti, has become scarce.
The ‘Canada Trade Mission ’24’ event, organized by Solteque Nigeria Ltd, featured prominent speakers, including Realtor Babatunde Adeyemo of Pelican Valley and Mrs. Oluwatosin Oloko, Permanent Secretary of the Ogun State Ministry of Culture & Tourism.
Obasanjo didn’t limit his concerns to adire alone. He extended his appeal to the FG to halt the importation of various Chinese products, emphasizing the importance of protecting local industries.
He also took the opportunity to address the recent lifting of the ban on rice importation with dollars, warning rice farmers about the impending challenges and potential competition from foreign rice imports, particularly from Thailand.
In addition to Obasanjo’s fervent call for preserving Nigeria’s cultural heritage, Dr. Babatunde Adeyemo, the Chief Executive Officer of Pelican Valley Nigeria Limited, focused on the wealth-creating potential of the real estate sector.
Adeyemo highlighted the real estate business as a vehicle to attract Nigerian investors from abroad, improve foreign exchange reserves, increase internally generated revenue (IGR) for Ogun State, and generate jobs and wealth for both current and future generations.
Adeyemo shared his personal journey in the real estate industry, explaining how he successfully started the business with a modest investment over a decade ago.
He emphasized the need for integrity in the real estate sector, stressing the importance of transparency, government approvals, and essential amenities in real estate development.
His success in attracting Nigerian diaspora investors demonstrated the potential of the sector to contribute significantly to the development of Ogun State and Nigeria as a whole.
As the ‘Canada Trade Mission ’24’ event brought together voices advocating for the preservation of local industries and the exploration of opportunities in real estate, it underscored the importance of nurturing both tradition and innovation in Nigeria’s economic landscape.
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