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NEPC initiates capacity devt scheme for garment industry

Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo
Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo

To address challenges hindering the growth of the textile and garments industry, especially in the export market, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has initiated a capacity development scheme for stakeholders in the sector.

According to the NEPC, the initiative is expected to address capacity development challenges in production and finishing of garments such that Nigeria can improve its earnings from the $1 trillion global garments market.

According to the NEPC, Nigeria needs to participate more in the global market for garments, which was about $800bn in 2015 and expected to reach $1trillion by 2020.

Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of NEPC, Olusegun Awolowo in a statement, said Nigeria is awash with creative talents in the fashion industry, whose designs can compete anywhere globally, noting that there is a wide gap in production and finishing, which affects the marketability of garments made in Nigeria at the international market.

To address the challenge, NEPC has engaged Style House, a Fashion Creative Consulting Agency in Nigeria, to manage its Human Capital Development Centre (HCDC), Lagos, to develop capacity of stakeholders in the sector with focus on apparel production for local consumption and the export market.”

Under the arrangement, Style House will manage the HCDC and run training programmes that meet international standards for developing the skills of practitioners in the garment-making sector to meet the requirements of the fashion industry for exports.

Awolowo listed the objectives of the Centre to include the creation of a pool of skilled personnel for employment in garment manufacturing, inculcate international best practices in apparel production, to build capacity for entrepreneurs in apparel production thereby making the sector more competitive; and to strengthen the existing sector for domestic production and export purposes.

Founder of Style House, , Mrs Omoyemi Akerele, said: “We are excited about this opportunity to partner with NEPC on developing capacity for the garment sector. We will bring our experience and knowledge of the industry to bear in the management of the Centre. Our testimonial speaks of successfully creating a revolution in the Nigerian Fashion Industry by using our powerful knowledge to brainstorm truly innovative concepts and execute them professionally with enthusiasm that is yet to be surpassed.”

Awolowo also disclosed that NEPC in the last two years has showcased Nigerian talents at Magic Lag Vegas, the world’s largest sourcing show for apparels and footwear.

He said “We have participated consistently since our initial exploratory outing at Sourcing at Magic 2014, where interests in our products contributed to the creation of Global Artisans at Sourcing MAGIC Show February 2015.”