By Abiodun Akande with additional reports from Channels
The Acting Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BOI), Mr Waheed Olagunju, was recently invited to Iwo, Osun State by the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdul Rasheed Akanbi, Ilufemiloye, Telu 1, to come and examine local fabrics like Aso Oke and Adire made in the ancient town and see how the bank can assist the industry.
During the visit, Olagunju said the organisation is ready to assist small and medium-scale enterprises, including the fabric makers, to expand their business and improve the quality to meet export standard.
While inspecting the garments from local fabrics of Aso Oke and Adire, the BoI boss said the over- dependence on foreign goods can only be remedied when Nigerians start patronizing locally-made goods.
The inspection took place at the palace of the Oluwo of Iwo in Iwo Local Government Area of Osun State.
Olagunju gave the assurance that he would sign a Memorandum of Understanding that would ensure that all those involved in the value chain are considered to enhance their capacity.
The MoU would also seek to help them add better value to their fabrics in order to make the product a good source of foreign exchange for the country.
The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Akanbi, said his reason for inviting BOI officials to the town was because he had embarked on a campaign to shift attention to usage of local fabrics for western designs to empower those involved in the business and to export Yoruba culture to the outside world.
He explained that the fabric is good enough to be used as uniforms for security agents, uniform for school children among others.
He also disclosed that through his efforts, a bill at the Osun State House of Assembly that makes locally-produced adire the uniform for pilgrims from the state to Hajj has been passed.
The monarch urged President Buhari to support the initiative as part of efforts to revive Nigeria’s ailing economy.