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Abia Plans Production Of Military Uniforms, Gears

Abia State has sought the assistance of the Peoples Republic of China to build the capacity of entrepreneurs and other citizens engaged in production of garments and leather works in the state.

The government said it planned to support its citizens involved in the production of security uniforms, boots, caps and other gears for use by the armed forces and the para-military agencies in Nigeria and other African countries.

Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, who said this when he visited the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Gu Xiaoje, on Wednesday in Abuja, stated that about 100,000 Abia citizens were involved in production of leather shoes, belts, suits and jackets, noting that the small scale manufacturers would be empowered to ensure product consistency and quality.

He said the entrepreneurs need capacity building to ensure consistency and product quality hence his visit to the Chinese envoy to solicit his support.

The governor hinted that his administration is emphasising on technical education for the youths to enable them to be self-reliant.

Ikpeazu encouraged Chinese investors to invest in various sectors of the state economy including the leather and garment industry and agriculture, noting that his state is the highest cocoa producer in the country.

The governor said Abia was the ‘confluence’ of the states in the South-East and South-South regions, stressing that it was also the hub of small scale and medium enterprises in Nigeria.

He said, “Apart from being the hub of small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria, Abia has a huge market and we make the best dresses, jackets and suits as well as leather shoes and belts. The only thing we want from the Chinese government is capacity building.

“Our aim is to supply military uniforms and gears to all the armed forces and para-military agencies in Nigeria and beyond, but we need capacity to ensure consistency and quality of products; the state government would set up quality control.”

Xiaoje, in his response, promised to encourage Chinese businessmen and investors to support projects and programmes that would benefit them and their host communities.

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