Posted by News Express | 19 October 2015 | 3,353 times
The artisans in Aba, the commercial city of Abia State, have appealed to the State Government to provide infrastructure and create an enabling environment for accessing credit facilities amongst others.
The Southeast Region Artisans, made the call on Sunday.
The shoe making, leather and belt enterprise at Aba, particularly, have employed over 100,000 people including men, women and youths.
However, the business has faced unfavorable conditions that make it unable to produce large quantity of shoes as expected.
At the shoe making clusters at Powerline, Ariaria Market, the artisans design shoes of all types, belts and trunk boxes manually with their hands without any sophisticated machines or equipment.
This method of manufacturing foot wears and other leather artwork has been adjudged to be slow, time consuming and sometimes bring about low productivity.
In the other shoe making sections, the constant noise from the generating set due to inadequate electricity supply, abandoned infrastructures due to flood amongst others have been some of the major impediments to the business.
A recent trip to Turkey to understudy shoe making, according to the artisans, was yet to make an impact as they still worked manually.
Also, at the leather purchasing stores and places where the industrial gum and shoe soles are sold, the high cost of importation, poor road infrastructures are some of the challenges identified.
However, the State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has promised that the government would not relent on its commitment, as it was laying the foundation and putting infrastructure in place to accommodate the new technologies to enhance production.
Governor Ikpeazu said that the administration’s plan was designed to create wealth and enhance the lives of the citizens.
In spite of their challenges, it is estimated that over a million pairs of shoes, packed in sack bags are way billed to other neighboring West African countries, while others are taken to the FCT and other states every month. (Channels TV)
•Photo shows Ariaria Market.
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