Ikpeazu craves Chinese expertise on garments, leatherworks
THE Abia State Government is seeking collaboration with the Chinese Government to increase mass production capacity and trade volume in such market segments as shoes, bags and garment production, among others.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, who made the call during his courtesy visit to the Chinese Embassy in Abuja, said the state wants to produce such goods in large quantity.
He noted that in spite of the abundant human resources, with 110,000 people doing shoe and garment businesses, the state lacks the modern technology to mass-produce the goods.
Ikpeazu, who commiserated with the Chinese Government over the recent explosion that killed dozens and destroyed many goods, told his hosts that Abia has oil and gas and is also very good in agriculture, with huge investment in cassava and oil palm, as well as cocoa production.
The state’s other investments in agriculture, he disclosed, include cashew and maize, adding: “We also have big market for leatherwork and produce shoes and bags but unfortunately, our shoemakers are trying to manage themselves, we don’t have the equipment to produce in a large scale consistently. “There are 15 marginal markets in Aba alone, we are also very good in trade and commerce. The only thing we want the Chinese Government to help us do is to provide equipment and build capacity.
Also, I have come to seek your collaboration. We have done so much in terms of security, and in terms of doing business. In Abia, we facilitate new businesses and partnerships.”
Responding, the Chinese Ambassador, Gu Xiaojie, promised that his country would partner the state in capacity building, adding: “We have a very fruitful cooperation with Nigeria. “The Chinese people are working all over Nigeria, almost in all the companies as investors, teachers and professionals.
I understand that Abia is a very important state in Nigeria. I think your call for mechanised production is very important because things are changing.”