• Monday, June 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Abia begins enumeration of artisans, service providers

shoemaker

Abia State Government has started the enumeration of manufacturers, especially the garment and finished leather manufacturers in Aba and other service providers in the State, to have a data base of operators in the sectors.

The ongoing registration exercise according to Uwaoma Olewengwa, general manager of Abia State Marketing Agency and Quality Management, whose agency is overseeing the exercise, would assist the state government in policy formulation.

She stated that a good database of operators would help government to know the number of people at the various clusters in the State, especially those in Aba, the state’s commercial hub, and attend to their needs.

 Olewengwa appealed to artisans and other manufacturers to cooperate with the enumerators, saying that a good database would enable government to plan effectively.

 The Abia State Marketing Agency and Quality Management general manager observed that Abia State was lucky because it is one of the states in the country that have capacity to exist without oil; stressing that the State Government was working hard to ensure it harnesses these capacities for the good of the state.

    She also announced that the State Government was working hard to ensure that the proposed shoe factory in Aba, commences production soon; revealing that the factory at full strength, would be capable of producing about 10,000 pairs of shoes daily.

She revealed also that the agency would train the artisans in product standardisation, to ensure that Aba-made shoes, belt and bags compete favourably with foreign brands.

 Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, has one of the largest concentrations of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria, and a bulk of this number are engaged in finished leather works.

 The ingenuity of Aba artisans, especially the finished leather cluster, attracted the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in partnership with the Federal Government, to set up a Common Facility Centre (CFC) in the city, to support the artisans to further develop their skills.

Consequently, it is the desire of the present administration in the State led by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to provide a conducive environment for artisans and other business operators in Aba, to operate.

According to the Governor, regeneration of Aba will create modern neighbourhood markets and parks, including crucial developments of business and leisure along the Aba River and new residential and business locations.

According to him, “Our story as a people is one of entrepreneurship, resourcefulness and diligence. This is our pride. We have astounded the world with our homegrown technical skills, especially during a period of pervasive adversity, and followed it up with our trade and commercial prowess elevating one of our cities, Aba, into a prominent commercial hub within the West African region.

“This historic renown is to become our future narrative. The time is ripe to use the over 110,000 shoemakers and 50,000 garment makers as a launching pad to enable Abia to truly become the undisputed SME capital of Nigeria”.

He stated that his administration was committed to providing the enabling environment and infrastructure to facilitate the growth and development of Abia and its people; positioning it as a premier residential, business and tourism destination, with the ultimate objective of uplifting the lives of the people.