Ooni of Ife advocates for local fabric industry, empowers women tricycle Riders

Ooni of Ife advocates for local fabric industry, empowers women tricycle Riders

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By Akinsuroju Olubunmi

Ooni of Ife Oba Ogunwusi advocates for local fabric industry, empowers women tricycle RidersOoni of Ife advocates for local fabric industry, empowers women tricycle Riders

In a resounding call for the promotion of Nigeria’s indigenous fabric industry, Oba Ogunwusi, the revered monarch of Ife, has emphasized the need to support local producers. This proclamation was made during a significant event held in his palace, marking the graduation of 150 women tricycle riders trained under the Moremi Ajasoro Queen Tricycle Riders program. This event coincided with an Adire exhibition, showcasing the exquisite craftsmanship of South West Adire makers.


The women, hailing from the four local government areas in Ifeland, dedicated three weeks to intensive tricycle riding training. Oba Ogunwusi underscored the importance of curbing the nation’s penchant for imported goods to safeguard the value of the naira. Additionally, he urged the government to take measures against those hoarding dollars, advocating for strict enforcement.


“The exhibition of our local fabrics, we are very happy about it. We implore the government to be involved in this kind of initiative from time to time. If we patronise our own products in this country, there won’t be pressure on the dollar,” asserted the monarch. He continued, “Honestly, we are the problem of ourselves in this country. Why do we need dollars? Our legal tender is naira. We buy things with naira, why pressure on the dollar?”


Oba Ogunwusi called for a proactive approach from the government, urging them to track down individuals retaining dollars, even within local banks. He emphasized that this currency is not the legal tender of the nation and should not be given undue precedence. Furthermore, he urged leaders to champion Nigerian-made products, embodying and advocating for national identity.


The Queen Riders Initiative, a brainchild of the monarch’s wife, Mrs. Ronke Ogunwusi, marked a significant milestone as the trained women completed their program. Mrs. Ogunwusi disclosed that participants would receive support in acquiring their own tricycles, with a structured repayment plan. She revealed, “We have done our research and we are aware that, after making their hire purchase payment, on a daily basis, they can still take home up to N7,000. If we are to quantify it, the empowerment will run to millions of naira, but we offered the training for free with the help of TVS Simba Group in collaboration with Ooni of Ife’s Queen Moremi Ajasoro initiative which is at the forefront of promoting everything that has to do with women empowerment.”


This initiative not only empowers women but also aligns with the Ooni’s vision for a self-reliant and economically vibrant Nigeria, where local industries thrive, and individuals are uplifted through skill-building and entrepreneurship. The event serves as a powerful reminder of the potential within Nigeria’s indigenous industries, highlighting the collective responsibility to support and promote these vital sectors of the economy.

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