Abia set for jobs, as Enyimba shoe factory begins
Opportunities have been opened for direct and indirect employment of over 10,000 persons in Abia State, beside making the state a global hub for shoes and leather products.
This follows the completion of the Enyimba Automated Shoe Factory, Aba, with capacity for daily and annual production of 5,000 and two million pairs of assorted shoes respectively, plus other leather and allied products, even as there is inbuilt provision for expansion.
Already, thousands of hitherto unemployed youths, including university graduates, who were trained in various skills under the State Education for Employment, have either found direct employment or engaged themselves in productive ventures with support from the government.
The State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, had while inaugurating the seven-member Board for the Factory, headed by Mark Atasie (a Management Consultant) as the Chairman, tasked them to run the factory strictly as a commercial profit-oriented enterprise, and not as a government parastatal.
The Executive Director in charge of Operations of the Shoe Factory, Chinenye Nwaogu, said the factory will soon commence production with about 200 workers, and will increase the number as it grows and the need arises.
He said thousands of shoemakers and leather products makers in the state will be given direct access to use the factory machines to perfect their products’ finishing to conform to global quality standards.
Nwaogu said: “The 30 shoemakers who were sent to China by the State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for training on the use of machines in shoe and leather production will form the initial technical staff of the factory, while there will be huge emphasis on training for more operators.”
He listed other indirect employees of the factory as wholesalers, retailers, transporters, sellers of raw and other production materials and services while the government stands to reap huge revenue in form of taxes.
Nwaogu, who is the State Focal Person in the Federal Government N-Power programme, said the take-off of the factory was a bit delayed because the Governor insisted that a professional must manage it strictly as a commercial venture with clear opportunities for value addition and job creation, and not as a government agency.He added that Kito Dominic has been employed as the Managing Director of the Factory.
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