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The Government of Ekiti State is set to inaugurate an Aso Oke Weaving and Market Centre in Ado Ekiti, aiming to foster job creation for youths and revive the region’s traditional cloth weaving heritage.

Approved by the Ekiti State Executive Council in March this year, a budget of N100 million has been allocated for the establishment and construction of the Aso-Oke weaving and market centre in the state capital, as part of broader initiatives to bolster socioeconomic progress within the state.

Ekiti News reports that during a live radio programme, Mrs. Omotayo Adeola, the State Commissioner for Trade, Industry, Investment, and Cooperatives, reaffirmed the dedication of the Biodun Oyebanji administration towards the industrialization of the state and youth empowerment, aligning with the administration’s six-point agenda.

The Commissioner lamented the downturn and stagnation of the once thriving commercial sector, highlighting the capital flight resulting from residents having to seek Aso Oke purchases outside the state for various ceremonies.

Emphasizing the Aso Oke centre’s role in fostering sustained employment opportunities, Mrs. Adeola elucidated that the centre would provide year-round work for weavers without fixed end dates. Initially accommodating 30 weavers, the centre is poised to serve as a prominent souvenir destination for both domestic and international tourists.

Mrs. Adeola encouraged artisans in bag and shoe making to integrate Aso Oke into their craft, assuring them of modernized traditional weaving techniques to enhance production efficiency, minimize waste, and boost profitability.

She emphasized the State Government’s commitment to attracting youths and men to the trade, aiming to make it more appealing and lucrative.

The Commissioner, discussing the Federal Government’s approval to establish an additional Information Communication Technology (ICT) hub in the State, emphasized its significant benefits for the people.

Mrs. Adeola elaborated on the State Government’s partnership with Cavista Holdings and Alt School Africa to train Ekiti youths in ICT for immediate employment, highlighting how the newly approved ICT hub would bolster this initiative by providing essential infrastructure such as internet access and stable electricity.

She underscored the Government’s commitment to collaborating with other organizations capable of employing trained youths, aligning with the vision of the Oyebanji administration to enhance the capacity of Ekiti residents for remote work opportunities globally.

Mrs. Adeola mentioned the State Government’s facilitation of the ‘Ekiti Access Bank Women Loan initiative,’ designed to support women in trading ventures. She noted that over 3,000 individuals have applied for this loan scheme, set to be launched by the end of July this year, with the Government subsidizing it to ensure accessibility.

The Commissioner also highlighted the Government’s collaboration with banks and stakeholders to review existing Cooperative Laws, aimed at bolstering socioeconomic activities in the state.

Assuring extensive sensitization efforts, Mrs. Adeola reiterated the Government’s commitment to raising awareness about the numerous opportunities facilitated by the State, aimed at improving the quality of life for its residents.

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