We will support Enyimba Automated Shoe Company to reduce unemployment- Lawan

The Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan, has said he would be at the fore front in search of support for Enyimba Automated Shoe Company in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia state.

Lawan, who spoke on Thursday during the commissioning of the company built by the state Government, said the Federal Government was ready to collaborate with any State with such ventures in order to to solve the unemployment problem in the Country.

He lauded Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, for embarking on the project, adding it shows he was prepared to leave a lasting legacy for the State before leaving office.

The Senate president said 
Nigeria must embark on a must import substitution through local production to remain a prosperous country.

He stated that the Senate will end moves by Federal Government Agencies to import boots and shoes into the country and direct them to ENASCO which has the capacity to produce 5,000 pairs of shoes daily.

He said, "We cannot continue to import everything into Nigeria. We don't even have foreign reserves anymore. So, this project in addition to providing employment in Abia directly, will indirectly provide jobs at the leather industries in other states. 

"I believe that this project deserves the attention of every Federal agency more especially the ministry of industries itself and indeed the Central BANK must be looking at this direction so that to expand company.

"While we have 120 youths been employed here, I'm sure that two years after we should quadruple the rate of employment here and that will require improvement in all angles here. I'm sure that as one of you now, we'll push for more support for this particular industry. 

"We have our agencies already making requests for boots and of course some garments by the time the garment industry takes off. I think we should do more than that. We must do whatever we can as a country to create employment for our youths."

Lawan said that as the Senate commence its budget defence, he will ask all senate committees that whenever they see agencies that require boots, they must make sure they come to Aba. 

"We cannot spend such monies outside anymore. I believe that by the time we do that, the sky will be our limit. If this is the only thing this Governor will leave behind, he must have left everything. 

"Whatever you need to make this place work better, please call on me, I'll help whatever you think any Federal agency will do to enhance the capacity of this place, I'm waiting for you, your Excellency."He said.

The Senate President was accompanied at the commissioning by the Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Orji Uzor-Kalu, Senator Theodore Orji and other senators vowed to ensure that ENASCO becomes the hub of direct and indirect employment in the country.

Earlier, Ikpeazu, said that ENASCO will help position Nigeria into the leather industry ecosystem globally and ensure Nigeria derive much revenue from it.

He said, "ENASCO will push out 5000 pairs of shoes every day to launch Nigeria into the fast-growing shoe industry globally. We can become major players in the leather industry ecosystem if we're intentional about it. 

"It is only through the patronizing of our own products that we can revitalize our economy and be self-sufficient in all we want. 

"We're a doing a similar factory that will have full automated garment factory. We're looking for a way to compete with Vietnam and Bangladesh in the supply chain of garments across the world. 

"And I'm optimistic that with the success we've recorded, between now and the next six months machines would have arrived from Turkey and we'll return to Commission it.

"I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for coming to Abia to Commission the Ariaria International Power Plant, we're also doing something to ensure Geometric Power kicks off. 

"I'm optimistic that very soon, Aba will have uninterrupted power supply through Geometric and Ariaria International Power Plant"

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