Security agencies in the country may no longer rely on importation of wears for their personnel as Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has said that plans were underway by Aba shoe and leather workers to produce shoes and belts for the Nigerian Army, Navy and other security personnel in the country.
Gov. Ikpeazu disclosed this at the Government House, Umuahia when he met with shoe, bag, belt and trunk bus manufacturers association of Abia state who paid him a courtesy visit.
He stated his administration’s willingness to encourage and empower Aba shoe makers, bag and leather manufacturers to excel in their trade.
According to him,Abia is blessed in commerce with a lot of craftsmen and promised to give the association priority in his government’s scheme of things.
He said that the government was working on plans to ensure that there exists an industrial cluster for shoe and allied products manufacturers in Aba.
Governor Ikpeazu was of the view that it was only when the association was in a cluster that the members could enjoy economy of scale and directed the permanent secretary, ministry of commerce to ascertain why the Umukalika industrial cluster has not taken off.
He promised that the government would take some of the local shoe and leather manufactures on a foreign trip to see how things are done over there and urged members of the association to support and cooperate with his administration.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Mr. Rowland Anyanwu appreciated the governor for having their interest at heart and for undertaking the repair of some roads in Aba especially the Old Express where their members do business.
In his remark, the secretary of the association, Mr. Nnabugwu Osondu who regretted that the leather industry had been neglected said that the industry could help drive the nation’s diversification quest and called on government to help them with an industrial park as well as machinery and tools as their members were scattered in Aba.
He called on the state government to provide them with the enabling environment as the leather industry is the highest employer of labour in the state as well as to sponsor them to international trade fairs.

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