By Ijendu Iheaka
Golden Giants Industries Limited, a Calabar-based textile firm, on Tuesday solicited collaboration with shoe, leather and fabric makers in Aba, to enhance the quality of their products.
Mr David Ajayi, the Deputy General Manager of the company, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at a Made in Aba fair hosted by the Pride of Aba, a group of leather manufacturers.
Ajayi said that partnering with company would help the Aba shoe, leather and garment industry in the commercial nerve centre of Abia, to access raw materials needed for shoe production at a cheap rate.
“Textile is embedded in the production of shoes; so, we want to partner with these our friends who are making us proud as shoemakers so that from us, they can source some of their raw materials.
“And we want to give them the opportunity to benefit from us, so that we can also benefit from them.
“We want to make them take advantage of where we are and even what we do not have, we can import it for them; that is why we are here.
“They need raw materials for their production and what we produce is useful to them as raw material which they are currently sourcing from overseas.
”It is better for them to source from within Nigeria than overseas.”
He said that beyond sourcing their raw materials from his company, the Aba manufacturers could use the facilities of the company to import other raw materials and export their products.
He said that the manufacturers could save cost using the Export Processing Zone facility which is duty free, to import or export their products, especially when they produce within the Calabar Free Trade Zone.
“What I am telling them today is that we should cooperate with each other so that we can work together to raise the glory of this nation to a first world nation.
“The Chinese are dominating now. We want these people to reclaim what the Chinese are taking away and to move to dominate them as well,” he said.
Dr Obinna Nwaogwugwu, South-East Director, Nigerian Youth Chamber of Commerce, said that they were at the fair to enlighten the entrepreneurs on how to export their products and raise business funds.
According to him, would-be Nigerian entrepreneurs have problems with raising business funds because of ignorance on how to go about it.
“One of their major challenges is having a good business idea. The issue is that once you have a good business idea, there are people even within Aba here who are willing to support your business.
“But the key issue with some of these business people is that they go to people beggarly.
”They don’t present real proposals that would enable them to get the funding they want from would-be sponsors,” Nwaogwugwu said.
He urged prospective entrepreneurs to register their businesses with relevant agencies to enable them to access funding and help to develop their businesses.
Nwaogwugwu said that the chamber’s entrepreneurship clinic had been ongoing from January 2017 and urged residents to use the opportunity to advance their business plans.
In a remark, Mr Amaobi Nwanaago, the President, Stand Up Africa Multi-purpose Cooperative Society, Aba North, said that the fair was organised to encourage footwear and garment makers.
He said that by coming together and showcasing their latest products, the fair would foster a healthy competition among its members.