The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelama has stated the readiness of the federal government to collaborate with Abia state in boosting trade and investment.
Speaking at the Government House, Umuahia when he paid the state Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu a courtesy visit, Dr Enelama said a lot of areas abound where Abia state and the federal government could cooperate.
According to him, the federal government as part of its industrial policy is interested in partnering with states especially in boosting the private sector in areas where the states have comparative advantage over others.
He stated that the industrial policies of Abia state were consistent with those of the federal government and expressed happiness that the state was taking the initiative of assisting the small and medium enterprises grow.
Dr Enelama who said he was aware of the importance of industrial parks in the enhancement and development of industrial clusters appreciated Governor Ikpeazu whom he described as highly credible for the way he is leading the state and expressed his keenness to work together with the state.
The minister who later inspected made in Aba shoes and belts on display commended the ingenuity of Aba manufacturers and stated that the quality of the products was standard.
In his remark, the Governor, Dr Ikpeazu said that the state has comparative advantage in leather and garment cluster in Aba and was targeting to supply the Nigerian military all her shoe and belt needs in 2016 and 2017.
According to him, he took some shoe makers and garment makers to Turkey some months ago to see how to adopt their technology, adding that his government has developed a module where the machines will be acquired for the shoe makers while they pay back later.
The Governor disclosed that the state has established a quality control center to ensure that made in Aba shoes get the minimum standard and requested the federal government to make a pronouncement for the military to procure its foot wears from Aba since there is ready market for the products.
The Governor highlighted some of his achievements in office in the last six months especially as it affects road construction as well as his plans to boost agriculture in the state.