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FG will subsidize adire production—Minister

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By Abraham Adekunle

Betta Edu says the government will establish industrial hubs in Nigeria.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, has announced that the Federal Government will subsidize the production of adire, a local fabric, and establish industrial hubs in Nigeria. The minister spoke on November 4, 2023, during her visit to the Adire Mall at Itoku in Abeokuta. She also visited the fabrics production grounds in Asero, Ogun, where she said that the government would create an industrial hub across the country to further boost revenue for market women.

She also assured the market women of the government’s intention to ensure that the fabric becomes known around the world. According to her, this is why there is a need for the government to ban the importation of foreign adire products. She said that the country must be able to push local production to meet the demand. “When local products are enhanced, subsidized, and supported by the government, it will automatically eliminate whatever infiltration that comes into the market,” she said.

Government will subsidize adire making since fuel subsidy is gone.

Furthermore, the minister remarked that selling fake, made-in-China adire smuggled into Nigeria is a no-no. “What we want is the local one made by our people,” she noted. With this, Edu said that jobs will be created and as well the micro and macro economy will be built, helping Nigeria to become a manufacturing country rather than an importing nation. These things affect the exchange rates, but the government will provide that subsidy for the people.

Since the government took the subsidy off fuel, it will provide it for the adire makers so that they can provide local adire that will be used and exported out of the country. Edu appreciated Dapo Abiodun, the governor of Ogun State, whom she said had promised that the state would create hubs in Abuja where the original adire would be sold. She said that it is another opportunity to showcase the fabric to the world. She also said investment in the sector would help to build local production and ensure that more people make money for themselves and their families.

Alake had approved strategies against Chinese adire in the country.

Meanwhile, during the 16th anniversary of Oba Adedotun Gbadebo III, the Alake of Egbaland, the ruler was excited about the adire industry in Ogun State. However, he had said that there were cheaper options from China threatening the industry. According to the traditional ruler, two days before the interview, the traders and the designers had come to his palace in large numbers to complain and he had asked them to go back and do their homework on where the Chinese adire came from. He said that somebody had said that a company in Lagos was producing them. Others said that they were smuggled in from Cotonou.

The Alake had mentioned that they would get the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to come and raid all the markets, take all the Chinese-made adire, and discourage people from buying the cheap and colourful adire if they were smuggled in. Commenting on the quality of the cheaper Adire, he had said that there is not much cotton in it, so it makes people uncomfortable when they wear them. He had said that the company got the colour right, but people must find out where it was made.

Local adire makers must be employed by companies.

Most importantly, the king had said that if the materials were manufactured in Nigeria, then the company had to employ Nigerians and local adire makers would have to go and improve their designs so that they can keep on outshining the Chinese adire. Now that the government has promised to subsidize local production, local adire makers can get required funding to start producing these products en masse. However, if the materials were smuggled into Nigeria, he had said that the law had to deal with them appropriately.

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