Away from the glitz and glamour, the Nigerian fashion industry remains largely fragmented and in-spite of the huge efforts and commitment of the Federal Government to promote made in Nigeria goods, it still suffers from largely inadequate internal and external patronage, including a myriad of structural difficulties. The industry has struggled to build a sustainable local market and to keep up with the international fashion industry.
A lack of central support structure creates weaknesses across the entire value chain; from skills acquisition to mentorship, from access to raw materials to production management, marketing and public relations. No official government body exists to provide funding or technical support for apparel manufacturers, while poor infrastructure slows down production and raises costs. Nigeria’s textiles market, once the third largest in Africa, is practically redundant and dependent on imports.
Current data from Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) indicates that Nigeria spent $4 billion dollars on importation of textiles in 2017; this haemorrhaging must stop if we ever hope to get the national economy breathing again. Africa’s 1.3 billion population must be strategically positioned as a viable and self sustaining fashion market.