A new footwear manufacturing company has indicated an interest to open a branch in Abia State this year.
This was disclosed during a courtesy visit to the Governor by management of Nibra designs, Managing director of NEXIM bank and the representative of a Brazilian shoe company.
The project which is expected to produce 100,000 pairs of shoes daily will be launched today at Obuaku. According to Dr Wura Abiola, Chairman of Nibra Designs Ltd, the decision to set up the factory in partnership with a Brazilian shoe making company was informed by the need to tap into the existing footwear ecosystem in Aba and support the Governor’s industrialization agenda.
According to her, the NEXIM Bank-supported project will train and employ an initial 3,000 persons to work at the facility which is expected to be completed in nine months.
Following the dogged efforts of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in promoting and developing Small Medium Enterprises and manufacturing in the state, the NIBRA DESIGNS LIMITED and NIBRA BRAZIL, an International Leather firm, are to perform the groundbreaking ceremony for the establishment of its footwear factory and Leather City Industrial Park in Obuaku, Ukwa West LGA on Monday, January 28, 2019.
The chairman of NIBRA DESIGNS LIMITED, Dr Wura Abiola, who stated this when she led a delegation of the company, its development partner from Brazil and representatives of NEXIM BANK, on a courtesy visit to government House, Umuahia, said the company is in partnership with NIBRA BRAZIL to bring technology to Nigeria’s footwear sector working with the Aba ecosystem.
Dr Abiola noted that when fully established, the company has the capacity to produce fifteen thousand pairs of shoes daily at take off and one hundred thousand pairs at full capacity, adding that the company will also train Aba shoe makers and graduate them from artisans to full entrepreneurs.
On his part, the Managing Director of NEXIM BANK, Mr Abubakar Bello, said as an Import/Export Bank, the bank is providing the company with facilities worth $10,000,000 (Ten Million US Dollars), adding that its financial assistance to the company will be in phases.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of Abia Public Private Partnership and Investment Promotion Board, Dr Austin Ufomba, regretted that China produces over ninety percent of over four hundred million pairs of shoes worn in Nigeria annually, pointing out that the NIBRA DESIGNS has come to revolutionize the Shoe and Leather markets in partnership with Aba artisans.
He further said that the development will create more business opportunities for Aba artisans in addition to job opportunities for teeming Abia Youths.
Addressing the delegation, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu expressed satisfaction that his efforts in promoting indigenous goods is beginning to yield fruits, adding that the development will make Abia entrepreneurs to remain afloat in the twenty first century Leather and shoe business.
Governor Ikpeazu said that his administration has no other option but to keep supporting the growth of SMEs and manufacturing in the state and promised to provide the company the right business atmosphere for its smooth operation.
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