Recently, Okezie Ikpeazu, the governor of Abia state, revealed his intentions to boost garment and leather production in the state. This happened during the groundbreaking ceremony of Aba Leather And Garment Industrial Cluster in Umunnato and Enyimba City Garment Industry in Umukalika.
The governor stated that he will provide everything needed to ensure that artisans in the state occupy their rightful place in the scheme of things. He also mentioned that the construction of the two local industries will provide a platform for artisans to scale up their manufacturing skills and output and also encourage the production of leather and garment in large quantities in Abia.
He added that Enyimba City Garment Industry, which is solely sponsored by the state government, would be completed before the end of the year. Also, the Aba Leather and Garment Industrial Cluster which is a public-private partnership project will be completed before the end of his administration.
Recognising Aba and Abia state as major contributions to the economic growth of Nigeria, he stated that the government must provide an enabling environment for artisans.
“Finally, we have come to a point where we can count ourselves and be sure that we have a place, a befitting place for our artisans, especially in the leather and garment subsector. Aba and Abia State is a major contributor toward what Nigeria can showcase even in the continental free trade agreement that the Federal Government had just signed and the whole country is looking up to Aba to make a strong statement in that regard.
“The state government must provide the ambience that is required for our artisans to innovate ideas and flourish and that is the essence of this leather and garment cluster.”
The governor, therefore, urged members of the public to continue to support the project.
Implications of This Development
This development is a welcome one. For so long, fashion entrepreneurs have had to source for many items abroad, but, with this move, this will not be needed.
The production of leather and garments locally will make these items more readily available and easily accessible to fashion entrepreneurs in the nation. It will also keep prices at a more affordable rate for designers locally.
This development will also help promote “Made in Nigeria” products. With great quality, this can also serve as an avenue for trade with other countries. This will, in turn, contribute to the overall development of the economy of Nigeria.