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Ikpeazu urges international footwear company to protect Aba local shoe industry

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia has urged Nibra Footwear and Leather Company to protect and integrate local shoe industry in Aba for socioeconomic development of the state.

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia has urged Nibra Footwear and Leather Company to protect and integrate local shoe industry in Aba for socioeconomic development of the state.
Ikpeazu gave the charge at Obuaku City in Ukwa West where the groundbreaking ceremony of the company was held on Monday.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Nibra Footwear and Leather City Project is a Public-Private Partnership involving Abia Government, Nibra Brazil, an international footwear company and Nibra Designs Ltd owned by the Abiola Family.
He said that the coming of Nibra to Obuaku would enable the Omenka people (Aba Shoe-makers) to scale up their production and “become better shoe-makers, designers, manufacturers and shoe engineers”.
Ikpeazu said: “The time has come when all the states in Nigeria will raise their hands and heads and become known for at least one thing.
“For us in Abia, it is now impossible to ignore us when you speak about leather and garment in Africa.
“We are proud to say that with this development today, we are going to push the frontiers of our recognition beyond Africa to compete with the rest of the world in terms of leather works.
“The reputation of Brazil in terms of making beautiful shoes, bags and belts is no longer in controversy, therefore, this partnership today will rub off on us positively.”
The governor said that the revolution for the industrialization of the entire Aba land, Abia state, even West Africa had begun with the coming of the footwear and leather company in the state.
The Chairman, Nibra Designs limited, Wura Abiola, said that the footwear and leather company was the most important investment the company had been involved in lately.
She said that the company had succeeded so far because of the support of Abia Government and the land owners in Obuaku City in Ukwa West.
Abiola said that Nibra Designs and Nibra Brazil were coming together in this international partnership that would bring Brazilian technology and know-how across the value chain to Nigeria.
She said that the company would transform the neighbouring communities through providing electricity, infrastructure, and capacity development for their young people.
Abiola promised that they would ensure employment for the local community, provision of educational, health and sporting facilities to make the communities self-sufficient.
She also said they would bring Abia economy closer to the world through creating an Export Free Trade Zone in the community to ensure movement of goods in and out of the state.
Abiola said that the company would collaborate and not compete with the Aba shoe and leather manufacturers to grow the made-in-Aba brand with a stamp of quality and would train entrepreneurs.
Abubakar Bello, Managing Director, NEXIM Import and Export Bank, said the company would improve on technology and processing for the stakeholders in Aba.
Bello said that they wanted to create a leather works cluster that would be marked for excellence in Nigeria starting from Aba.
He said that the NEXIM intervention would be in the investment into the company and secondly, would ensure that stakeholders already in the business in Aba would benefit.
Abubakar promised the financing of the importation or local fabrication of machines that would ease local production of Aba shoes.

Ikpeazu urges international footwear company to protect Aba local shoe industry
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