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Wednesday, February 17, 2016


NEPC moves to strengthen the garment sector for exports

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has engaged Style House, a Fashion Creative Consulting Agency in Nigeria with years of experience in the fashion industry, to manage its Human Capital Development Centre (HCDC), Lagos, to develop capacity for the garment sector.  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.

Speaking with journalists during a tour of the facility, the Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Mr Olusegun Awolowo said, “Nigeria is awash with creative talents in the fashion industry, whose designs can compete anywhere globally. However, there is a wide gap in production and finishing, which affects the marketability of garments made in Nigeria at the international market. Nigeria needs to participate more in the global market for garments, which was about $800bn in 2015 and expected to reach $1trillion by 2020. The purpose of this centre is to build capacity of Nigerian garment producers in apparel production for local but particularly the export market.” He listed the objectives of the Centre as follows:
1. To create a pool of skilled personnel for employment in garment manufacturing
2. To inculcate international best practices in apparel production
3. To build capacity for entrepreneurs in apparel production thereby making the sector more competitive; and
4. To strengthen the existing sector for domestic production and export purposes.

In her remarks, Mrs Omoyemi Akerele, Founder of Style House 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.”

NEPC recently relocated the Human Capital Development Centre to its office complex at Apapa Lagos. The Centre was originally set up over 10 years ago in Ikoyi, as the AGOA Human Capital Development Centre, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  The Centre is equipped with machines and facilities to enhance learning for skills development in the sector. NEPC intends to reach out to national and international development partners to support funding requirements for training at the Centre. Already, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) is in talks with NEPC to collaborate on the Centre.

Mr 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.” The organisers of the show described Nigerian products as ‘chic’ and ‘Hollywood’. Some of the participants have seen obtained orders from stockists in the United States. According to Princess Peaceful Owoghiri, the Creative Director of Revamp by Peaceful “The event exposed us to other international designers. I had the privilege of discussing with designers from different part of the world and was able to learn a thing or two about international trade, the dynamics of the trade and intricacies of exporting to America”.
NEPC is Nigeria’s apex agency for the promotion of non-oil exports. It promotes the development and diversification of Nigeria’s export trade; assists in promoting the development of export-oriented industries and plays a leading role in the creation of export incentives.

Style House Files is a Creative Development Agency that is primarily focused on the advancement of the Nigerian and African Fashion industry. Its leading initiative – Lagos Fashion and Design Week (LFDW), is positioned as a cutting edge fashion event on the African fashion calendar.

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