By Teddy Nwanunobi
Abuja (Sundiata Post) — The ‘Made-in-Aba’ products campaign that was taken to Guangzhou, China by the Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, last week has begun to yield positive fruits, as the State Government, on Sunday, announced that Ikpeazu has brokered a $1.5 billion project for the establishment of a shoe industry in Aba.
The deal, which was sealed from the Huajian Shoe Industry in Dongguan, Guangzhou, China, will have capacity to produce 5,000 shoes per day and employ about 10,000 people directly and indirectly.
Named the Abia-Huajian Shoe Industrial City, according to a press release by Ikpeazu’s Chief Press Secretary, Enyinnaya Appolos, will be located in the commercial nerve centre of Abia State.
Ikpeazu secured the agreement during a meeting with the Group Chairman of the Huajian Group, Zhang Huarong, in the course of Ikpeazu’s official visit to China for the 1st Nigeria-China Governors Investment Forum.
“Abia State Government will provide the land and other investment incentives for the project while the Huajian Group will fund the entire project.
“Mr. Huarong, who noted that Governor Ikpeazu was the 1st Nigerian Leader to visit him, disclosed that the Huajian Group was already employing 6,000 staff and is currently developing a 250 Acre Industrial City in Ethiopia, and expressed his eagerness to come to Nigeria.
Huarong takes Okezie round Huajian Group
“Huajian Group currently employs about 20,000 staff in China, and operates a 10,000 shoes per day Factory in Dongguan valued at $2 billion.
“Mr. Huarong assured that he will visit the Governor in Abia before the end of April 2017 for further discussion on the project,” the statement said.
Ikpeazu, who has embarked on the axiom, ‘get Aba right, and Abia is right’, had, last week, assured investors of a safe and economically vibrant Abia State.
Making his presentation on the investment potentials in Abia State at the 1st Nigeria-China Governors Investment Forum holding in Guangzhou, China, Ikpeazu outlined the comparative investment advantage of Abia State to include location in the middle of seven states with a captive population of more than 20 million people, 17 railway stations, proximity to 4 airports and home to the largest MSME hub in West Africa.
Ikpeazu invited investors to key into opportunities in the automation of leather and garment products manufacturing processes, airport development, mechanised agriculture, new markets development, modern urban mass transport systems, intra-state railways, industrial clusters and export processing zones.
He assured potential investors that the state has set up a One-Stop Shop that guarantees that they can commence business with land and C-of-O availability less than a month, after arriving Abia State.
“While in China, Governor Ikpeazu is also expected to attend the Canton Fair, which is globally the biggest machinery exhibition fair, holding in Guangzhou, as well as visit some leather and garment products manufacturing factories before returning to Abia State,” a statement said.
It will be recalled that during the 2015 campaigns, Ikpeazu promised to promote made-in-Aba products to the world.
“The axiom, “get Aba right, and Abia is right”, shall continue to be the pivotal development philosophy and the nexus upon which to hinge development policy for Aba.
“We shall enhance international marketing opportunities for made in Aba goods and services by ensuring quality control and showcase the made in Aba brand in the economic capitals of the world,” it added.