Over 100 women-owned Adire businesses will benefit from direct cash grants courtesy of the Ajose Foundation, a brain child of the Wife of the Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun.
Mrs. Abiodun made this known while speaking during the opening ceremony of the Adire Market Week held at the June 12, Cultural Market, Kuto, Abeokuta stating that grant was part of efforts to economically empower women and boost the trading of authentic Adire in the State.
She added that her Office in partnership with the Foundation organised the three day program which ends on Saturday, April 9th, 2022 to address the challenges hindering Adire businesses and build a sustainable fashion industry.
Mrs. Abiodun stated that the Market Week would economically empower women as well as open new doors of opportunities for many Adire creators, give more access to Adire Market and strengthen the link within the product’s value chain.
Beyond the week, the wife of the Governor stated that there would be trainings for youths on Adire as well as stakeholders engagement to provide regulatory framework to protect Adire creators from different sharp practices including theft of Adire designs and copyright.
” We are also rolling out economic empowerment initiatives to support our women with financial literacy, financial grants. Over the next one year, at least 100 women-owned Adire businesses will benefit from direct cash grants given by Ajose Foundation”, Mrs. Abiodun disclosed.
She stated that the Foundation in line with its drive towards the actualisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was focused on economic empowerment of women-owned enterprises in the State, provision of support for safer textile practices as well as the facilitation of different work for youths through Adire.
Delivering his address, Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun stated his administration’s commitment to work with the National Assembly and the Nigeria Customs Service to address the challenge of stealing of Adire designs so as to ensure the product’s value chain was well harnessed for more job opportunities as well as security of lives and property.
” On the issue of the copy cats which my wife talked about.We are deeply committed to work with the National Assembly and the Nigeria Customs Service to stop this steal. We must begin to promote the #stoptheadiresteal “, the Governor said.
Abiodun called on the Federal Government to also assist in the development of Adire by adopting the product for national events and as a cultural symbol in foreign missions.
He stated that his administration views Adire as a cultural tool which promotes economic empowerment and diversification of the economy as well as a means of creating job opportunities for the youths urging youths to embrace Adire business instead of the “get-rich quick syndrome”.
Speaking on the efforts of the State government to aid the development of the business, Abiodun stated that the government launched adireOgun, a digital marketing platform for the product with over 200 participants to further enable the purchase of Adire from anywhere across the world adding that participants on the platform are expected to increase to about 2,000.
He stated that the government also directed no fewer than 60,000 civil and public servants as well as political appointees to wear Adire at least once in a week stating that the State would soon introduce the product in its school curricular.
The Governor lauded the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for choosing to support Adire traders in Ogun State as beneficiaries of its Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Support adding that the effort of the government has led to the provision of facilities and the enabling environment for Adire entrepreneurs.
Speaking earlier, Executive Director, Ajose Foundation, Dr. Mojisola Akinsanya said the Foundation promotes education, equality and democratic values lauding Governor Abiodun for signing an executive order to provide 35 percent representation for women in government and politics.
An exhibitor at the event, Opeyemi Adeyinka described the Adire Market Week as a veritable platform which helps Adire traders to showcase their platform to a wide audience calling on the government to continue to implement various policies and programs to support stakeholders in the Adire industry.
Top dignitaries at the event include: former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Ogun State Governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, wife of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mrs. Salamatu Gbajabiamila as well as the first lady of Edo State and Lagos, Mrs. Betty Obaseki and Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, top Adire trader, Chief Mrs. Nike Okundaye and Spouses of Ogun State Government Functionaries Association (SOSGFA),among others.