Abia Chinese shoe factory to generate 30,000 jobs
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who urged the Abia shoe and allied product manufacturers to gear up to compete with the Chinese shoe makers, said the factory would improve and advance the expertise of Aba Shoe Manufacturers.
He told The Guardian in Umuahia on his return from China where he attended the Governors Investment Forum (GIF) that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the planned Shoe factory would be signed soon.
Ikpeazu pointed out that the emphasis on the made-in-Aba products campaign has now shifted from the slogan ‘Made-in-Aba’ to ‘Make-it-in-Aba’ and that between 65 to 70 per cent of the products of the proposed shoe factory would be exported to already established markets.
“Our target is for Abia State to become a forerunner in manufacturing and commerce and so the hub of manufacturing in Africa, especially in the making of shoes and garments. The coming of the Chinese Shoe factory is one of our achievements for attending the China investment forum,” he said.
Besides, attracting the Chinese Shoe Manufacturer, the governor said he also visited a company that produces the machines for automated shoe production processes, adding that this would motivate Abia manufacturers to acquire their own automated shoe production lines that would support improved output and global standardization.
“The Chinese investment forum was to offer manufacturers access to the state, move the campaign of “Made-in-Aba” to “Make-it-in-Aba” such that the investors would reside in and make their products in the state. This will create more employment opportunities for our people, scale up the standard of shoe making and bring in new machines that will be manned by citizens of the state.
“We are opening up to investors to come into our state and make their products here. It is in this regard that the government is opening its doors to innovators, business owners and manufacturers to come and invest under a business friendly environment in the state,” he added.