The Ecobank Adire Lagos Experience which took place at the weekend at the sprawling Ecobank Pan African Center (EPAC), Lagos, experienced a beehive of activities and funfair.
The 3-days Adire exhibition which is the second edition according to the bank is to promote culture, tourism, Micro, Small and medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Originating from Abeokuta in Southwestern Nigeria, Adire textile is an indigenous indigo-dyed cloth made by using different wax resist methods to create dazzling designs.
The exhibitions witnessed the influx of topflight exhibitors, government functionaries, culture enthusiasts, social media influencers, artistes, local and foreign tourists, traditional rulers, diplomats, and members of the National Union Textile Garment Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (adire sector).
Bolaji Lawal, Managing Director/Regional Executive, Ecobank Nigeria, speaking at the event, said the support for Adire textile was a demonstration of the bank’s commitment to supporting MSME growth in Nigeria, stressing that the bank was impressed and motivated by the phenomenal success of the maiden edition held last year.
“We believe that through this event we are showcasing the enormous potentials in adire clothes. If you look at what Ghana has done with kente and America with jeans, we want to promote adire as a Nigerian clothing brand to the world,” he stated.
Kola Adeleke, Executive Director, Commercial Banking, while speaking in the same light, observed that the bank’s support was to connect the SMEs to the world and play in the AfCFTA landscape, stating that with the bank’s footprint in Africa and unified payment system, it was capable of taking Adire to the world stage.
According to him, “Ecobank has the largest presence in Africa. We have presence in 33 countries in Africa. That gives us the opportunity and advantage to connect African businesses across the continent. When you look at the impact we are making in the SME sector in the country, there is a need to deepen the opportunities in the market. Producing quality products will give our Nigerian producers the opportunity to sell their products to other Africans across the continent.”