Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has demanded that the Federal Government should prohibit the importation of Chinese adire.
He also urged the FG to revive the textile industry while protecting the local production of adire given that recently the raw materials used in the production of adire, such as clothes, can no longer be locally sourced.
Obasanjo expressed these concerns while declaring open the 2024 Canada Trade Mission pre-conference session held in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Monday, where he lamented that there’s an imminent ‘bastardization’ of the Adire market by the Chinese.
He said: “I want to appreciate the traditional rulers who attended this event; you have shown that you are real custodians of culture. People are saying China wants to bastardise 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.
“We used to buy clothes for the production of adire 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 for direct sellers, manufacturers, and those who promote it to 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 revive the textile industry. Let us beg them to do that for us. The second one is the formal training institution where people will learn how to produce adire and get certified at the end of the period of their learning.
“Let us beg the government to do all they can to protect our local production of adire so that the Chinese will not have access to bastardizeit for us. The government should ban the importation of Chinese adire, not only for adire alone but for all other things we produce in Nigeria.
“I want to urge you not to only rely on the Adire Sellers Association alone; let’s join hands with those who promote Adire and other stakeholders to have an association that will be named ‘Adire Association’ with chapters where Abeokuta will be the headquarters, and I’m ready to devote myself as the patron of the association,” he concluded.