Footwear company to build 15,000 daily-capacity factory in Abia

“We want to manufacture high quality, durable and affordable footwear through automation to meet the needs of our valuable customers.

Footwear company to build 15,000 daily-capacity factory in Abia

Footwear company to build 15,000 daily-capacity factory in abiaA footwear manufacturing outfit, the Comfort Stevens Industries, says it is ready to establish a 15,000-per-day capacity footwear company in Abia.

The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Dr John Nwankwo, said this on Wednesday in a meeting with Gov. Alex Otti of Abia in Nvosi, Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area.

He said that the factory had the potentials to boost local footwear production, tackle unemployment and eradicate poverty.

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According to him, the factory, situated in Owerrinta area of the state, would be executed in collaboration with partners from the U.S., Brazil and China to enhance the Made-In-Aba brand.

He  said that his company’s objective focused on producing footwear and footwear components that Nigerians import from overseas’ market every year.

“Our vision is to own and run the best indigenous footwear company in Africa.

“We want to manufacture high quality, durable and affordable footwear through automation to meet the needs of our valuable customers.

“We will strengthen the naira as we produce locally and bring in foreign exchange through export.

“We are here to discourage the xenocentric behaviour of Africans through the production of high quality footwears and footwear components,” Nwankwo said.

He commended the governor for his visionary and impactful leadership style which, he said, had produced remarkable progress in the socioeconomic growth of the state.

He further expressed the willingness of his company to work in alignment with the industrialisation agenda of the State Government to strengthen the footwear manufacturing industry in the state.

He also said that the outfit had interest in partnering with the Federal Government to become its supplier of boots for military and paramilitary agencies in the country.

Nwankwo said that serious plans were underway to ensure that the factory would be completely set up by the end of the year.

In a speech, one of the foreign partners on the project, Mr Levi Sotomaior, said that a partnership between the government and the company was essential for the execution of the project and establishment of an academy for artisans alongside the footwear company in Abia.

Sotomaior further said that it would facilitate knowledge and technology transfer, support local manufacturing and production of goods and boost large scale export of finished leather products.

Another foreign partner on the project, Mr Hon Chik, opined that the project would open up the state to the global footwear industry, which holds a lot of promise for Abia.

Chik expressed the confidence that the project would be a huge success.

Responding, Otti gave assurance that the government would partner with the company to establish an academy for artisans and boost footwear production in the state.

“We are also very encouraged to learn that part of your plans is to also train and upscale our several shoemakers.

“The major problem a lot of them have is finishing, alot of them are impatient and don’t have the right tools and skills.

“So, it would be interesting you hang Comfort Steve double as not just products but also training school for our young ones because there are a lot of them.

“Go to shoe plaza and see what the young men and women are doing there with bare hands you’ll understand that if you introduce them to technology, they will give much more,” he said.

The governor also said that the government had remained committed to creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive and boost job creation.

He said that the government would ensure that the shoe factory would have access to steady power supply.

He said: “Interestingly, we have awarded the contract to reconstruct the road from Imo River to Umuikaa Junction and then going beyond Umuikaa to Umuene Junction to a dual carriageway to the same contractor for seamless transportation.”