By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu
Since the inception of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu’s administration in Abia State, it has been his firm desire to root the Aba-made shoe in global footing. This desire has promoted some actions to back it up such as sending some shoe makers overseas to undergo trainings in automated shoe making.
Also, earlier this year, a ground breaking ceremony for the establishment of its Footwear Factory and Leather City Industrial Park was performed in Obuaku, Ukwa West local government area of the state.
The project, powered by NIBRA Designs Limits and a Brazilian Shoe making firm, is expeceted to produce 15,000 pairs of shoes daily at take-off and 100,000 pairs when the project fully comes on board.
According to Chairman of Nibra Designs Ltd, Dr Aura Abiola, the decision to set up the factory in partnership with a Brazilian shoe making company was informed by the need to tap into the existing footwear ecosystem in Aba and support the governor’s industrialization agenda.
Another leg of the project targets to train Aba shoe makers and graduate them from artisans to full entrepreneurs.
The automation of the manufacturing process of made in Aba shoes is at the threshold of actualisation as batches of equipment that will drive the process have arrived.
Gov Ikpeazu has unveiled these equipment at the governor’s lodge in Aba with strong assurances that he will not relent in his efforts to drive the made in Aba campaign which he is the brand ambassador.
The governor reiterated his stand not to compromise the quality the shoe makers will be churning out in the few months ahead.
He also renewed his appeals to the public, especially the federal government to step up their patronage of made in Aba footwears.