HomeAbiaAbia To Join Global Quality Shoe Making List As Comfort Stevens Prepares...

Abia To Join Global Quality Shoe Making List As Comfort Stevens Prepares To Open Factory

Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, says his administration is working very hard to clean up the business environment and make it conducive for new investments as well as bring back old ones that had left the state in the past due to unhealthy government policies.

Governor Otti said that capital, by way of investment, is devoid of emotion and sentiment and only goes to places where the environment is conducive for it to thrive and flourish.”You may choose to relocate abroad in search of capital, but foreign capital will not come until you have created the conditions to attract it.

No matter how much of preaching you do, no matter how much of platitudes, capital has its own sense, it doesn’t have emotion, it’s not sentimental, it just moves to where the environment has been prepared because the reward for capital is profit,” Governor Otti said, while recalling an article he had written as a newspaper columnist.

The Governor spoke on Wednesday when he received a group of investors, led by Dr. John Nwankwo, Chief Executive Officer of Comfort Stevens, who are promising to rewrite the story of Abia State, indeed Nigeria, in the footwear business.

The Governor, who assured the investors that his government would support them in realising their dream of completing their factory located in Owerrinta, Isialangwa South Local Government Area of Abia, said he would always allign with projects geared towards meeting his agenda of providing job opportunities for the teeming unemployed Abia youth.

“I want to congratulate you for not giving up and I’m happy that you have gotten to this level that you are hopeful of commissioning by December.”If there’s anything that we can do to support you to make that December a reality, please don’t hesitate to ask,” Governor Otti assured.

The Governor, while underscoring the importance of local manufacturing, noted that no country has ever developed on the back of consumption of imported products without production.He disclosed that his government is working very hard to support existing businesses and also attract new investors through favourable policies, adding that supporting the Geometric Power company to come on stream and the various infrastructural upgrades going on in the State, including the dualisation of the Imo River-Umuikaa-Umuene road in Isialangwa South, are all geared towards industrialisation of Abia.

The Governor expressed joy that one of the company’s plans is to train and upskill existing local shoe manufacturers in Aba and promised that his Government would partner the company in that regard.”The major problem a lot of them have is finishing.

A lot of them are impatient, a lot of them don’t have the right tools, a lot of them don’t have the right skills; so it would be interesting to have Comfort Stevens double as not just producers but also as a training and finishing school for our young ones.

“Go to shoe plaza and see what the young men and women are doing there with bare hands, then you’ll understand that if you introduce them to technology, they will give you much more,” Governor Otti said.Dr. Nwankwo, who led the team of investors from the United States, China, and Brazil recounted the ugly experience he and his team had gone through under the previous administration in trying to realise their dream of establishing a world class shoe factory in Abia.

He told the Governor that their company, Comfort Stevens, in the last one year of the new government has made tremendous progress that they decided on the visit to formally introduce to the Governor their large scale industrial footwear project, which will be commissioned by December 2024, and thereafter start production.Nwankwo, who presented different samples of high quality shoes to the Governor, said that the fifteen thousand daily footwear production capacity factory will not only produce complete shoes but also shoe components such as gum, soles, insoles, strings, among others.

He said that the mission of the company with its partners from US, China and Brazil is to produce quality footwears that can compete favourably in the global market, adding that machines for the production of high quality footwears and its components have arrived its facility in Owerrinta for installation before the end of June.Dr. Nwankwo congratulated Governor Otti for his impactful one year in office and the unimaginable progress that has taken place in Abia under his watch, which, according to him, is an eloquent testimony of the Governor’s sincerity of purpose and passion towards the industrialisation of the state.

Governor Otti was joined by the Commissioner for Trade, Commerce and Industry, Dr. Chimezie Ukaegbu; Special Adviser to the Governor on Trade, Commerce and Industry, Chief Nwaka Inem; among other government functionaries in the meeting, which was facilitated by the Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Emeruwa.



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