The Nigerian Fashion Industry- Business opportunity in Textile Industry

Welcome to another issue of NaijaInvest. In our last two issues, we talked about the Nigeria Creative Industry and the opportunities in them. Last week Wednesday, we looked at the Fashion Industry. I will encourage you to look up the last blog post if you missed it.
The Nigerian fashion industry is actually a big deal. There are certain structures and sectors that make-up a fashion industry; the designers and those involved in high fashion that cater to consumers. The fashion industry is divided into the creative and the sales function, that is, design and production on one side then sales and distribution on the other.
The market size of the industry in Nigeria in particular is massive.  Nigerian market is a consumer market. The demography of the Nigerian market is approximately 60% of 170,000,000 populations. This demography leans heavily on youths between the ages of 18 and 45. This spells market. A smart business investor can carve a niche in any of the sectors that make up the industry and one of such is the Nigerian textile.

The Nigeria Textile Industry
The Nigeria textile sector has been downplayed over the years essentially because of the revenue pull from the oil and gas sector. The Nigerian textile industry was notably strong before the 90s. According to a report by Daily Independent, “the number of textile and garment factories have fallen from 175 in the mid 1990’s to about 25 in 2008 while employment dropped from 137,000 in the 1990’s to 60,000 in 2002 and further to 24,000 in 2008”. This happened because attention was shifted from the sector to other sectors like oil and gas, ill management and most importantly because Nigeria opened its borders to the importation of foreign textiles. The textile industry which fueled the design of indigenous fashion in Nigeria experienced its dark ages in the last two decades.

The Story Today
The story is different today. The wave of cultural innovation awakened the need to promote indigenous products. Policies have been put in place to encourage the exportation of finished goods. This development is a major boost to the Nigerian textile. It is about to walk tall again with its high up high and squared shoulder. The trend in fashion among Nigerians today is “Ankara made” apparels. Typical wardrobe of the Nigerian youth has a touch of Ankara. This trend reveals the readiness of the market.
Some of the enabling factors that shines prospect in the industry is the richness of cotton Nigeria is endowed with. Today, cotton is heavily exported in the Northern part of Nigeria. This raw material is a major enabling factor that will boost the textile Industry.  In addition, in 2010, the Federal Government introduced a N100 billion Cotton, Textile and Garment Revival Scheme, (CTG) managed by BOI. This is another pointer to the potential of the industry.

The Business Opportunity
The Nigeria fashion industry market is not just a mass market; it is also a ready market. This readiness gives the textile industry a niche to leverage on. To ensure sustainability of this growing industry that is contributing and has the potential to contribute even more to the Nigerian economy needs the Textile industry to solidify it.
Tapping into the Nigerian textile industry in the 21st century can be like sitting on a gold mine. It is a budding sector that has the capacity of being the foundation upon which the Nigerian fashion industry will fly.
The ground is enabling, the marketing is available and ready. Those that tap into the sector early enough will have the privilege of the becoming one of the market leaders, because without mincing word, the textile industry on which the Nigerian fashion industry will ride on is indeed a big deal.

Wrtten by 
Ryta Moemeke