Makulu Founders, Amaka and John Oke at the TEFforum 2019.

Who We Are – Makulu Clothing Brand:

We are a fashion brand that creates authentic, comfortable, ready-to-wear and bespoke wearable apparel for work and leisure; we apply design thinking to blend native African themes into colourful, comfortable, stylish tailoring for every day and every occasion. Our corporate objective is to design native wears that are intuitive, brilliant, and stylish yet conservative enough to be worn in the workplace. Our long-term goal is to incrementally build confidence in African fashion as it prepares for global marketplace dominance. 

Given the long involvement and experience of our founders in entrepreneurial skills development and community service, we are committed to promoting business development and trade activities that identify, develop and enhance the value of talent, contribute to better product presentation and service delivery along the garment manufacturing value chain as well as promote gender empowerment. We have set our sights beyond being a clothing brand; we aim to make MAKULU an experience, an identity. 

We utilize fashion to strengthen cultural integration, create awareness and identify industry opportunities, and through product and process innovation, create platforms for proactive engagement and knowledge sharing while creating market access for fashion entrepreneurs throughout the African fashion ecosystem.

The Policy Dialogue:

The Fashion Industry Policy Dialogue ( is a public policy intervention to create a convergence platform for investors and practitioners in the apparel and clothing manufacturing sub-sector of the fashion industry and relevant government institutions to appraise the state of performance and service delivery in Nigeria’s fashion industry, ask critical questions about its below par capacity utilisation and collaboratively find answers to the begging questions of poor infrastructure, access to technology, skills acquisition, mentorship and access to financing. 

The 1st Edition of the Dialogue was jointly hosted by MAKULU CLOTHING BRAND ( and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) ( on November 18, 2018, at SHERATON Hotel and Towers, Abuja and the following critical issues were addressed:

  1. Why is Nigeria, a nation with population estimates of about 200 million and imbued with astonishing tribal and cultural diversity, unable to make the fashion industry a cornerstone of its job creation and economic reconstruction strategy? 
  2. Why can’t Nigeria, given its population, recognize and fully exploit its competitive and comparative advantage in the textile and allied industries?
  3. What new growth potentials can be unleashed if the banking and financial services sectors understand the structure and opportunities that abound in the fashion industry and devise industry-specific financial solutions?  
  4. The revenue benefits will accrue from expanding the tax net to embrace over 2 million practitioners (professionals and artisans) in the fashion industry. 

Critical Lessons from the First Edition:

The interactive session of the inaugural edition of the fashion industry policy dialogue isolated essential facts from the feedback of Dr Friday Opara, Director, SP&L, SMEDAN, who represented Dr Umaru Dikko Radda, Director General of SMEDAN, at the event as follows:

  1. Different types of funding support for the fashion and apparel industry are prevalent. The challenge is to make fashion designers and artisans aware of it and assist them with building capacity to meet the minimum requirements to access such funds.
  2. One of the biggest challenges bedevilling the fashion industry is maintaining consistency in production output and service delivery. This is attributable to unsatisfactory skills acquisition mechanisms, poor mentorship and inadequate infrastructure. 
  3. Fashion is a labour-intensive industry that has the critical mass to trigger massive job creation and growth potential and outperform its current 0.47% contribution to national GDP, which is far below the global average of 6% (estimated value stands at $2.5 Trillion)
  4. The fashion Industry can support more than 2 million jobs directly and 1 million indirectly.
  5. Sub-Saharan Africa’s fashion market is worth $31 billion, with Nigeria accounting for only 15% of that ($4.7 billion)

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