Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has secured a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) deal for the establishment of a shoe industrial city in Aba the commercial nerve centre of the state, with China’s Huajian Shoe Industry in Dongguan, Guangzhou.
Governor Ikpeazu will freely provide the land as well as other investment incentives for the building of the $1.5billion factory while the Huajian Group will fund the entire project.
Governor Ikpeazu, according to a press release by his Chief Press Secretary, Enyinnaya Appolos, secured the agreement during a meeting with Mr. Zhang Huarong, Group Chairman of the Huajian Group in the course of his official visit to China for the 1st Nigeria-China Governors Investment Forum.
The Abia-Huajian Shoe Industrial City, which will be located in Aba will have capacity to produce 5,000 shoes per day and employ about 10,000 people directly and indirectly.
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.
Huajian Group currently employs about 20,000 staff in China and operates a 10,000 shoes per day Factory in Dongguan valued at $2billion.
Mr. Huarong assured that he will visit the Governor in Abia before the end of April 2017 for further discussion on the project.
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 pitch 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.