Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, the governor of Abia State, has stated that his administration is willing to work more closely with the Nigeria Export-Import Bank, or NEXIM, in order to expand the state’s shoe industry to meet international standards.
Ikpeazu said this while receiving a delegation from NEXIM Bank, led by its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, at the Governor’s Lodge in Aba. He added that his administration has faced head-on the major issues confronting the leather and garments sector, such as automation, marketing, and power supply.
He stated that his administration’s relentless marketing of Made in Aba items has strengthened the confidence of the average Aba producer because it has begun to yield favorable results.
“Apart from sending 30 Abia youths to China to study automated shoe manufacture and the procurement of machines to ensure consistency and enormous output, my administration attracted the Ariaria Independent Power through dedication and synergy with the federal government, while the Geometric power supply is in its final stage of completion in the process to improve power supply,” he said.
“Abia State has drawn the interest and partnership of major global shoe manufacturers; the State Polytechnic in Aba will collaborate closely with the Enyimba Automated Shoe Company, ENASCO, and the Aba Footwear Academy to design an academic curriculum for the certification of a trained shoemaker, while the State Quality Control Agency will verify that these goods are of excellent quality.”
He commended the Enyimba Automated Shoe Company’s technical assistance and urged everyone to take pride in locally created goods as a method of helping young artisans in the shoe and leather garments industries, which will benefit the economy.
Earlier, the Nigeria Export-Import Bank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, indicated that their mission was to seek strategic cooperation with the Abia State Government in developing capabilities of shoe producers and other leather products, with the goal of making Aba the headquarters of shoe production, not just in Nigeria but in Africa.
He applauded Ikpeazu’s efforts in extensively selling Made in Aba goods, emphasizing that their cooperation will address the difficulties of export limitations and tariffs head-on.