Lagos State Government has organised a three-day upscaling of fashion designing skills programme for youth and women in Lekki Free Zone resettlement communities themed: “Sewing For Export and International Standard”.
The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs. (Dr.) Lola Akande declared the training held at Eko MSME Fashion Hub I, Ikeja from Thursday, 16th to Saturday, 18th February 2023 closed.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Adetutu Ososanya, Akande, stated that the programme was to help the trainees upscale and acquire appropriate skills and practical knowledge that will make them more suitable for the modern fashion business.
Her words: “It will help to build essential creative and practical design skills, professional network and explore unique identity as they prepare to make their mark in the global fashion industry. The proximity to the Lekki Free Zone and the Lekki Deep Sea Port is already an advantage to them as they get set to produce for export using the window of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA”.
The Commissioner stressed that the choice of upscaling of fashion skills is because, Lagos has historically been, and will continue to be a major fashion centre in Nigeria.
“There are many fashion designers in Lagos State but only very few are professionals that can compete in the global space. Some other fashion designers, especially at the grassroots, do not know how to use modern fashion designing equipment such as industrial straight sewing machines, weaving machines, monogram machines, designing machines and pattern-making machines, among others. There is no gainsaying that this programme would ignite the light of the fashion sector, and certainly encourage and challenge our teeming youth and women in the Lekki Free Zone”, she said.
In her remarks, the Manager, of Eko MSME Fashion Hub I, Mrs Ibitola Ogunmefun noted the trainees’ excitement, as they were exposed to modern fashion design machines for the first time.
“The trainees displayed so much enthusiasm and excitement, as they were very cooperative during the training. If they can sustain and build on the skills already acquired, they will enlarge their businesses and become employers of labour. And when they get jobs requiring the use of advanced machines, they can always bring them to the Hub as it was set up for Fashion designers who cannot afford such tailoring machines”, she explained.
The Class Governor of the trainees, Zainab Olundegun described the three-day upskilling programme as impactful, fun-filled and amazing.
“We have learned, unlearn and relearn. The training is of standard and it has opened our eyes to new opportunities to be explored in the fashion sector. On behalf of myself and my mates, we thank Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his fatherly love and care and appreciate him greatly for the surprise gift of brand-new sewing machines for each of us. God bless him very much”, she stated.