By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA—Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State yesterday said that with the increasing patronage of Made- in- Aba products, the city would rise again and reclaim its lost glory as a centre of trade and manufacturing.
The governor, who spoke at the investiture of the 15th President of the Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, ACCIMA, Mr. Andy Uba Obasi, in Aba, stated that the Made in Aba campaign has rejuvenated the economy of the city through opening business opportunities for artisans and manufacturers in Aba.
He assured that the handwork of artisans in Aba shall no longer go unnoticed as Made-in-Aba label has been returned on shoes and other products manufactured in the city.
He said, “It is on this that I undertook to market all products made in Aba. Since the made in Aba campaign which I’m the chief marketing officer started, 50,000 pairs of shoes have been bought by the Nigerian Prisons from Aba. I can’t tell how many shoes the office of the wife of the President has ordered to supply to the school children in IDP camps in the North East. I cannot remember how many NYSC uniforms that have been ordered from Aba. I cannot remember how many shoes the naval command in Nigeria has ordered from Aba.
“But I know that the total direct order into the Aba economy, which is in the excess of N1.5 billion, was able to change the timidity of the Aba business person from spending 18 hours a day preparing a shoe; only to wake up to acknowledge somebody in Japan who did not do anything but just stamping on that shoe Made in Aba. Advert on Made in Aba products sponsored by Ford Foundation has been running on CNN. The list is endless on what we can achieve through the handwork of our people.
“When I appear in the comity of governors in Nigeria, I’m recognized as the Made in Aba governor, they look at what I wear and admire it.”
Ikpeazu lamented that Aba lacks quality hospitality facilities to host more than 2,000 visitors and appealed to ACCIMA to ensure that Enyimba Hotel which they bought from Abia State Government is completed on time.
He also called on ACCIMA to ensure that they build an international trade fair centre where made in Aba products will be exhibited, stressing that his administration has made giant efforts to promote Made In Aba brands within and outside the country.
On power supply, Ikpeazu stated that geometric power company would soon commence operations in the city, adding that power supply to the Ariaria International market has been improved upon.
In their separate speeches, National President, NACCIMA, Iyalode Alaba Lawson and the newly inaugurated President, ACCIMA, Mr. Andy Uba Obasi commended the governor for promoting Made- in- Aba goods and supporting ACCIMA and called for greater cooperation between the state government and ACCIMA.