HOG Lagos Leather Fair 2022

The annual Lagos Leather Fair the most reputed event in the ecosystem of fashion industry in Nigeria and  beyond has come and gone! This event over the years have become rendezvous for many key players, industry experts, and of course the up and coming to chart a new course towards development in the world of leather craft.

This year's fifth edition tagged "LLF5'' was a two days events which started from the 11th-12th of June 2022. This event was held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos, as HOG furniture team made a special entry to the event taking into cognizance the centre of our interests, which is the extensive nature and multi-usage of leather, so leather fair,  it's also our affair!

 

Going forward, the finesse at which this year's edition was drafted can only further express the brilliant mind of Femi Olayebi, founder of Lagos leather fair, who also doubles as the creative Director of Femi Handbags. She has so far over the years maintain the momentum of this yearly fashion fair as sponsors from different sectors such as, Bank of Industry, Leadway Assurance, Alitheia, ProvidusBank, and sysytemSpecs etc.

 

Also, activities were brilliantly partitioned from talk shows to window shopping of beautiful artistic display of African leather works of shoes and bags in sizes by different indigenous manufacturers amidst music sounds that depicts Africanism.

 

Hog furniture team could not wait to grasp some important information in this ecosystem where leather is doing lots of magic. The discussion between vast and rich speakers invited from different regions  in Africa continent, like: Temwa Gondwe, Senior Manager of Afreximbank, Ose Imoukhuede, Executive Chairman of Ancestral House Eastern Africa, Akinyemi Alebiosu, Regional Strategy Coordinator, Leadway Assurance, Legborsi Nwiabu Esq, Advisor to many international organizations on trade policy and regional integration, as Babi Subair of FHG Consulting moderated the session between these speakers and the teeming young owners majorly SME's with her classic and elitist intonation of command of English as time allotted to each speaker was worth it as they shared top-notch ideas and secrets drawing points from their wealth of experience, and intermittently, the audience in a manner of appreciation applauded these speakers amidst paparazzi of camera flashes.

 

Having said this, HOG furniture team then became curious to know further that apart from this Lagos Fair, how are these SME's getting the right attention and  appropriate sales they deemed fit both within and outside the shores of the country?

As it were, ''The journey Ahead for Intra-African Trade'' discuss began in full effect as the African Continental Free Trade Africa{AFCFTA} saddled with the responsibility to ensure unflinching support for easy multi-lateral trade within the continenet which was  created in 2018, and signed by 54 African countries  whose parts of it aims is to accelerate socio-economic development of Africa by creating a single market for easy movement of people and goods became the centre of discussion of how these ever growing industry can benefit having high volume of  talented designers, as they look forward to expanding their horizon getting their goods traverse the length and breath of Africa continent.

According to Legborsi ''AFCFTA is there to support us. As we are told, that our population is 200 million, so a small business with a good capacity of producing 200 million pair of shoes in Aba, AFCFTA is therefore offering us additional 1 billion people, hence providing us with a larger market.''

He went further to explain some protruding reasons that could have hindered such movement in that progression ''We need to begin to be more creative and conscious of the fact what preference we give to the composition of our products. Since every single material made from that shoe we make are imported, and we eventually labelled them with foreign logos, how do we then pass the custom's scrutiny telling them it's ours?''

Leadway Regional coordinator, Adeyemi, further corroborate this point as he said '' I think we need to look at the word ''Intra'' in this context as within this country and not as a whole continent, because last time i checked, Lagos alone is not Nigeria, as we have 36 states with Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, so what name and achievement have you been able to make for yourself?''

However, Ose Imoukhuede of Ancestral House of Eastern Africa, put to fore of how his e-commerce company can actually help reduce the stress off many SME's through his platform to helping them get necessary awareness of their brand and upon receiving orders for such goods all over African countries, such goods are then taken from them to their headquarters in Kenya, with strong  partnership that they have with viable logistics companies, they will surely get them delivered to customers.

 One can begin to wonder how affordable this can be for SME's in this harsh economy

He further stated '' You can possibly form a cluster as you all share the cost among yourselves.''

 This idea was also sampled during the question and answer session as many SME's complained of insufficient machines hindered by lack of funds as they all were advised to come together and purchase the needed equipment.

The representative of Bank of Industry, Hadiza, reeled out what they have been to achieve since their inception in the year 2015. ''Bank of Industry has been able to raise 1.2trillion naira to create jobs for 9 million individuals, supports businesses which larger part of them are SME's, and just only 4 million are large enterprise.

We cannot wait to see how these barriers are overcome in a year, if not months to come.

 

Author: Olatunji Olasehan

Olatunji Olasehan, is an educationist by profession, but currently a Merchant recruiter & Affiliate manager at Hog furniture. He just regained his long time love for writing as he expresses himself in the mood of Art that depicts his nature in a stylish manner towards appreciating his evolving environment.

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