The German Corporation Agency has announced plans to develop about 5,000 businesses in the leather and garment industries in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State.
Mr Yakubu Paiko, Access to Finance Advisor for GIZ, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Aba on Tuesday.
Paiko explained that the company was responsible for the implementation of a four-year European Union funded programme called Nigerian Competitiveness Project.
The finance advisor said the project was aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of some selected product value-chains across seven states in Nigeria.
“A value chain is a series of activities that a company which specialized in a specific industry performs in order to deliver a valuable product or service for the market.
“The value chains we are to improve within Nigeria are tomato, chilli pepper, ginger, leather and garment.
“In Aba, we are just going to be dealing with just the leather and garment sectors.
“Our job with the garment and leather industry in Aba will be to support them in building their entrepreneurship capacity and skills to be able to produce qualitative products and in the right quantities.
“We are going to introduce them to some technology that will improve their productivity and production capacity as well.
“We are going to also be supporting them by linking them to markets because one of the problems they have here is marketing, when you produce, where do you take them to?
“So, one of our programmes is to link them to some of these global names in the industry so that they can sell to them.
“At the end of it all, we would have improved and touched 5,000 businesses in Leather and Garment sectors,” he said.
He said although they had no money to lend the businesses, they were bringing together key stakeholders like the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Industry and commercial banks to give loans to the businesses.
Paiko said the GIZ/NACOP launch which would include a policy round table discussion would hold in Aba by the end of the August.
He said the agency would be inviting the Abia State governor and commissioners, the leather and garment manufacturing communities, the CBN, commercial banks and the media to the event.