AfricaFashion & StyleNigeria

Fashion Industry generate N3.5trn annually, says Lai Mohammed

By Oluwaseun Sonde

The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that the report of Post-COVID-19 initiative Committee showed that Fashion Industry’s annual revenue is around 2 trillion Naira, as the industry comprises about 1,000 businesses that employ over 30,000 practitioners, while adding the Hair and Beauty with 1.52trillion makes it 3.5 trillion Naira annually.

The Minister disclosed this while declaring open the Cycles Fashion Exhibition Celebrating Nigeria’s Diamond Jubilee at Terra Kulture in Lagos on Sunday, Lai Mohammed said Fashion has always been a valuable part of Nigeria culture, and its importance in Nigeria history cannot be ignored.

He said “this exhibition, entitled ‘Cycles of Fashion’, is one of the events we are using to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of our dear nation. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, where I work, and the preeminent art, culture and lifestyle Centre, Terra Kulture.

“Terra Kulture, with which we are partnering, has assured me that this incredibly-immersive and colorful exhibition will take us on a historic, educative and informative journey of the people and tribes that make up Nigeria and their unique dress styles.

“They said the exhibition is a departure from the typical static exhibition template, because it will bring to life some of the
mannequins through 3D Mapping technology that animates the costumes on the mannequins, running different fabrics and outfits real-time on the mannequins”, he said.

He noted that Fashion industry is seriously underrated, especially in its capacity and ability to help advance the government’s economic diversification policy, as well as wealth and job creation. “While we continue to focus on Music and Film, we tend to ignore or underrate the fashion industry.

“I guess this is because of the lack of adequate information about the industry, while it’s about to change. As you are very much aware, we recently set up a Post-Covid-19 Initiative Committee on the Creative Industry. This Committee, headed by Alli Baba, did a great job that has brought to the fore the huge potentials of the Creative Industry”.

Alhaji Lai emphasized that At 3.5 trillion Naira, Fashion industry is almost equal or bigger than all the other industries put together. “I am talking of Hospitality, Events and Tourism; Advertising, Radio and Television; Writing, Printing and Publishing; Comedy, Dance and Performing Arts as well as Arts, Design and Photography.

“The Federal Government is keenly aware of the negative impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Creative Industry in general. For the Fashion Industry, which is our main concern today, such negative impact includes little or no events or triggers to sell products, extensive skill gaps at all levels of the value chain, lack of access to raw materials, poor supply chain, poor funding and poor intellectual property protection.

“That is why we have followed up the work of the Alli Baba Committee by setting up an Implementation Committee, headed by Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, to among other things design an implementation plan on immediate and short-term relief for the Creative Industry in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Design a Policy Framework for Tax Relief for the various sectors in the Creative Industry, if it is identified as one of the measures aimed at achieving immediate and short-term relief for the Industry, and to work out a detailed implementation plan for a long-term intervention for the overall development of the Creative industry in Nigeria”.

He further said that Federal Government cannot afford to neglect the Creative Industry in general and the Fashion Industry in particular when seeking to diversify the economy away from oil, create jobs for the people, especially the youth, and also create wealth. “This realization drives all that we have done and will continue to do to support the industry”.

He thanked the National Council for Arts and Culture, the National Archives, the National Gallery of Arts and the National Commission for Museums and Monuments. “All of them under the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, for their immense contributions to this exhibition”.

He commended the Curators, Oludamola Adebowale and Yakubu Yahaya, who are responsible for the direction of this exhibition, focusing it on Nigerian Fashion from 1900 to 1960, as well as Mr. Timi Onibon of The History Studios. “I wish to commend the hardworking and creative minds at Terra Kulture, led by Mrs Bolanle Austen-Peters. Here is wishing all of us a successful exhibition.

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