Fashion designer, Uche Nnaji on Friday made his voice heard as he got the attention of Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
Nnaji uploaded a video on his Instagram page complaining about the lack of quality Made-In-Nigeria materials for the fashion sector.
Watch video below:
He followed up the video with a post entitled, “Letter to the Senate President” where he complained about the lack of patronage from government officials.
He wrote, “Dear Sir, as a Nigerian who started making clothes as an undergraduate 14years ago for fellow students and officially launched his brand Fashion Brand 10yrs ago and today to the glory of God has almost 10 RETAIL stores in Nigeria employing NIGERIAN Graduates and Tailors, I believe I speak for the legion of NIGERIANS in the FASHION industry who I MENTOR directly and indirectly.
“Sir, do you know that just last quarter of 2016 a serving minister of d Federal Republic of Nigeria in which you are the number 3 man looked at me in the FACE and told me that Nigerian designers can’t make what he would wear??.
“He would rather have INDIANs make his traditional outfits or like some others prefer to have them made in DUBAI.
“Sir, it makes me wonder, how many members of the National Assembly, MINISTERS, DGs and FG Executive council members are really ready to use the money they earn from TAX PAYERS to buy Made in Nigeria CLOTHES.??.
“Dear Mr Senate president Sir, did anyone tell you that 2nd RICHEST man in the world MAKES and sells CLOTHES???
“The fashion industry in Nigeria has the potential of becoming a new BLACK GOLD if well harnessed, The VALUE CHAIN is in the Billions of Dollars.
“Sir, if really you desire for MADE IN NIGERIA to be a reality and thrive you should call a STAKEHOLDERS in the Fashion Industry and in saying Stakeholders I mean people that have PHYSICAL factories and RETAIL stores in Nigeria with the potential of assisting the FG to ease the UNEMPLOYMENT epidemic in the Nigeria.
“Sir, It would be unfair if some of us are willing to stop our existing production in EUROPE and even ASIA all in the PATRIOTIC mantra of building MADE IN NIGERIA, but then we cannot even get Import WAIVERS to bring in essentials that we don’t PRODUCE here like quality THREADs, GUM STAY or other basic TAILORING Accessories.
“Sir, To BUILD and GROW factories that will employ the unemployed Nigerian YOUTHS we cannot meet the commercial banks for support, Also BOI and other related financial institutions need to take it easy with the RED TAPEs and give SUPPORT to the real people building Fashion business and BRANDS in Nigeria. God bless Nigeria.”
In his response on the comments section of the post, Saraki wrote, “Thank you Uche Nnaji, uou and others in the fashion industry should please join us in the National Assembly Business (Made-in-Nigeria) Roundtable coming up at the end of first quarter. We will also have stakeholders from government agencies such as BOI, NAFDAC, SON, SMEDAN and much more present. We will all share ideas on how we can grow our economy by improving ease of doing business and accessibility to funding.”
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.