ABA Gets a Massive Break!
A venture capitalist firm, Platform Capital, has announced it would be commencing work on the record-breaking Leather City Park (“Leather City”) and a state-of-the-art foot-wear design facility, the NIBRA Designs Limited (“NIBRA”) in Ariara market, Aba, Abia. The shoe factory is said to become the largest in sub-Saharan Africa so far. Its will be leveraging world-class Brazilian technology, a member of the private equity firm announced on LinkedIn.
The NIBRA facility will start operations with an initial capacity of 10,000 pairs per day, and it’s expected to grow to 100,000 in 5 years. Fourth Quarter 2019 is the lasted time for the commissioning of the project. About 1,000 persons will be employed directly in the first year by NIBRA after which this will grow to 5,000 in the medium term. If things go as planned, the project will serve both domestic and the international markets. The Leather City is expected to provide wide-ranging opportunities that improve not only productivity but the quality of products for the good part of the over 120,000 individuals currently operating in Ariaria market.
The team at the Platform Venture Capital consider the project a huge transformational initiative for the Abia State, the entire South-East geopolitical zone, and a testament to Nigeria’s tested entrepreneurial spirit. The team considers Aba as having the potentials to compete with similar foot-wear industries in Brazil China and Italy that have evolved in its production technologies and the reach of its market in the past few decades. While the Aba foot-wear industry has been praised for the resilience of its operators, much was still missing in terms of quality and capacity.
The project is to be delivered in partnership with the Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM) and Abia State Government.
It is important to note that the a number of attempts have been made in the past on revitalizing the Aba industrial area with effort from both public and private sector players. This current effort is, however, the most ambitious and largest amongst them all. It is hoped that this will break the jinx of constraints that has held that industrial giant in the past at least two decades.
Watch documentary video below: