The German Corporation Agency (GIZ) has announced plans to develop about 5,000 businesses in the leather and garment industries in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia.
Mr Yakubu Paiko, Access to Finance Advisor for the agency, disclosed this in an interview with Journalists on Tuesday in Aba.
Paiko recalled that the agency was responsible for the implementation of four-year European Union (EU) funded programme called Nigerian Competitiveness Project (NACOP).
The finance advisor said the project was aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of some selected products value-chains across seven states in Nigeria.
“A value chain is a series of activities that a company which specialises in a specific industry performs in order to deliver a valuable product or service to the market.
“The value chains we are to improve within Nigeria are tomato, chili pepper, ginger, leather and garment.
“In Aba, we are 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,’’ he said.
Paiko said the agency would introduce the beneficiaries to some technology that would improve their productivity.
“We are going to support them by linking them to markets because one of the problems they have here is marketing. When you produce, where do you take your products for sale?
“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.
Paiko said although they will not lend money to the businesses directly, but will introduce them to key players like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Industry and other commercial banks to access fund.
He said the GIZ/NACOP launch which would include a policy roundtable discussion would hold in Aba by the end of August adding the agency would be inviting the Abia governor and commissioners, the leather and garment manufacturing communities, the CBN, commercial banks and the media to the event.