Opportunities for Aba Youth, as Abia partners Turkish Investors
In a bid to support young and creative entrepreneurs in Abia State, particularly in Aba, the Turkish business community has pledged to invest over $100 million into the state’s economy. The development is coming on the heels of the recently held Abia-Turkish Investment Forum, where Abia State showcased its investment opportunities to foreign investors.
Collaboration between Abia State and Turkish business community, the proposed investment, which will focus mainly in the area of cloth and shoemaking, will definitely open a new business orientation amongst local manufacturers in the area, as well as create new jobs.
Speaking on the development, the state governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu informed that the move was necessitated by the similarities both countries share in the manufacturing industry.
“In September last year, I embarked on my first journey to Turkey; we feel the best thing was to begin to learn from Turkey. Abia and Turkey have so many things in common; we have over 50,000 shoemakers. We believe that our people can learn from the Turkish experience in making beautiful shoes and dresses.
“So, in our decision to drive 5 pillars of development especially Small and Medium scale enterprise, we find out that Turkey had a similar trajectory in terms of their machine and tools because, they were able to produce machines that could service the equipment they were using in their factories. Their economy is also built strong on the small and medium scale enterprise as a catalyst for rapid economic development,” he said.
To Ikpeazu, Turkey has a growing experience taken a bit from Russia and Germany, adding “the country has solid equipment, solid infrastructure base and then flourishing output in terms of beautiful and wonderful products especially as it concerns garments and leather works. Our emphasis in Abia is also on garment and leather works; that naturally took us to Turkey and we believe strongly that there’s so much learn as a growing economy in Abia from Turkey,” he said.
On his part, the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Hakan Cakil commended the Nigerian business climate, saying, “we are doing our best to encourage Turkish business investment in Nigeria; this is a very important country and we are making excellent cooperation. Abia state has rich natural resources and we have a very dynamic private sector in Turkey and the Turkish private sector has a growing interest in Nigeria. So, we hope that in the coming months or years, the Turkish private companies will invest in different areas in Abia.”
Mr. Emeka Chinagorom, a shoe manufacturer in Abia state commended the state government’s drive to bring about investment opportunities by inviting investors to meet with businessmen in Abia State.
“I believe this is a good move by the state government, one that is capable of changing the fortunes of many local shoemakers like myself. However, the problem with this kind of scheme is that, those close to government often hijack it. In the end, you really don’t know how those people were chosen. It is a good move I must confess, my prayer is that it benefits everyone,” he said.
For fashion designer, Mercy Okonkwo, this is what a lot of small and medium scale businessmen and women have been waiting for.
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