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Ecobank Unveils New Trade Hub to Connect Intra-Africa Traders

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Vibrant financial institution, Ecobank Nigeria has restated its commitment to boost the export potential of locally produced textile, Adire, leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

The Executive Director of Commercial Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, Kola Adeleke, disclosed this at the ongoing third edition of the annual Ecobank ‘Adire Lagos Experience’.

 

AfCTA is the continental trade agreement aimed at eliminating trade barriers and boosting intra-African trade; projected to represent a single market of 1.7 billion people and $6.7tn  in consumer and business spending for the region by 2030, according to the World Economic Forum.

 

The annual exhibition held at the Ecobank Pan African Centre in Lagos saw over 100 exhibitors showcase locally processed Adire attire made by indigenous designers.

 

“After the programme, these 100 merchants, we are going to continue partnering with them. We are going to support them to build capacity. We are even going to use the opportunity to help them improve the quality of whatever they are producing for export purposes. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that Adire becomes an African brand with global acclaim.

 

“This is very unique for us as an organisation because it will help to grow our nation’s economy as we see the export potential there. We are going to profile all these merchants on the Ecobank single market trade hub and then position them so that they will be able to export their products to other countries in Africa and beyond,” he said.

 

Adeleke added that the Adire Lagos’ exhibition is part of the efforts of the bank to support and project the creative industry in the country, adding that as part of a pan-African bank that operates in 33 countries in Africa, Ecobank Nigeria will always look out to support various productive initiatives, and the Adire exhibition fits into this goal.

 

Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Ogun State, Dr Fagbayi Oluwasesan, commended Ecobank for promoting Adire culture to help improve the sector.

 

During his visit to the fair, Fagbayi said, “The fabric is synonymous to Ogun State. We are the custodians of Adire. It is an indigenous textile from Ogun State and we have to protect it. That is why we are happy with Ecobank for what they are doing today, assisting us to showcase what God has given to us, protecting it, and telling the world that this is what is good for us to be using as fabric.”

 

He also said that the Ogun State Government had commenced measures to address the challenge of imported adulterated Adire fabric, which posed a major threat to the Adire industry.

 

“The State House of Assembly has commenced steps, through our ministry, to curb the excesses or inflow of Chinese adulterated fabric. First and foremost, we don’t need to address it as ‘Adire Chinese’. It is never Adire because it is a print on its own that does not pass through the process of how the fabric is made.  The original fabric is made manually, and it passes through nine stages before it is made.

 

“We are working on that and a committee has been set up with the approval of the Governor that they should go to the market, you know, look at what we can do and come up with a law, probably, though we may not have the capacity to ban it outright,” Fagbayi remarked.

 

According to the commissioner, Ogun State is taking it up with the National Assembly.

 

“The Representative Abeokuta South Federal Constituency has also raised a Bill at the National Assembly that has passed its second reading now. By the time that is done, probably we will have the backing of the Federal Government in banning this adulterated fabric outright,” he added.

 

Credit: punchng.com

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