Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has appealed to the Federal Government to impose a ban on the importation of Chinese adire fabrics to protect the indigenous market from potential “bastardization” by foreign products. Speaking at the ‘Canada Trade Mission ’24’ pre-conference session in Abeokuta, Obasanjo emphasized the need for the government to safeguard local production of adire and encourage the revival of the nation’s textile industry.
In his opening speech, Obasanjo expressed concern over the dwindling availability of materials, particularly clothes sourced for direct production, which were traditionally obtained from Kano, Kaduna, and Ado-Ekiti. He underscored the importance of preserving the cultural significance of adire, a traditional Yoruba tie-and-dye fabric, and called on the government to take decisive action.
The ‘Canada Trade Mission ’24’ pre-conference session, organized by Solteque Nigeria Ltd., brought together key figures, including Realtor Babatunde Adeyemo of Pelican Valley and Mrs. Oluwatosin Oloko, Permanent Secretary of the Ogun State Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Obasanjo urged the government to revitalize the nation’s textile industries to ensure a steady supply of raw materials for direct production within the country. He also advocated for the establishment of formal training institutions dedicated to teaching the art of direct production, where individuals could receive certification upon completion of their training.
He stated, “I want to appreciate the traditional rulers who attend this event; you have shown that you are real custodians of culture. People are saying China wants to bastardize our awful product. If not, we don’t value what we have. I want to commend the Ogun State government for the initiative of Oja Itoku for a direct market. It is good, but not good enough if we don’t have direct sellers in the market.”
“The clothes for the production of adire are in Nigeria, where they used to buy them in Kano, Kaduna, and Ado-Ekiti, but there is nothing like that anymore. If we want to produce adire, where would we get the clothes to produce it? What we have to do is let the direct sellers, manufacturers, and those who promote it join hands together. What the government needs to do for us is not much. The first thing the government needs to do for us is the revival of the textile industry; let us beg them to do that for us.”
Babatunde Adeyemo, the CEO of Pelican Valley Nigeria Limited, used the platform to emphasize the potential of real estate investment as a means to attract Nigerian investors living abroad. Adeyemo highlighted the impact of real estate business on improving the nation’s foreign exchange, internally generated revenue, and job creation. He shared success stories of Nigerians in the diaspora who have invested in real estate and contributed to the development of Ogun State.
Adeyemo stated, “I want to show you the opportunity in real estate investment. This is an avenue for you to see someone who has successfully invested in real estate and wants to exhibit it to enlighten and motivate others.”
As Obasanjo advocates for the protection of cultural heritage and the promotion of local industries, Adeyemo positions real estate as a viable sector for both investment and economic development in Ogun State and Nigeria at large.