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$1.5 billion Chinese Shoe deal: What Ikpeazu told me from China - Aide

Abia State
A media aide to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Onyebuchi Ememanka has thrown more light on the ongoing debate on Ikpeazu's shoe making deal with a Chinese company.

It will be recalled that media aides to Governor Ikpeazu had on April 16 released a statement that the governor sealed a business deal worth $1.5 billion (USD) with a Chinese shoe making company, which they alleged that the company will be situated in Aba and will be making not less than 5,000 pairs of shoes daily, also it will employ about 10,000 unemployed Abians.

The news of the deal was faulted by many Abians, while making their points that the Chinese company if erected in Aba will surfer other locally made in Aba products - following on what they said the Chinese company will use technology, while the locals are struggling with manuals.

Contrary to that, one of Ikpeazu's aides, Onyebuchi Ememanka in a post he shared on social media, revealed that Governor Ikpeazu called him yesterday, told him the real reason why he struck a deal with China, and the benefit it will impact on our local made products.

In a post he captioned: NEWS FROM CHINA...

He said; I just finished a phone call with Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. He called from China.

He gave me more details of the deal struck between the Abia State Government and the Chinese Company on the planned shoe factory in Aba.

In the words of the Governor,

"We entered this deal with a lot of attention to details. In addition to seeking fresh foreign direct investments, we are passionate about strengthening local capacity. So we insisted that a key part of the deal is that the investor will train 100 Aba Shoemakers in China. We will select 100 shoe makers who will be taken to China for full training on the use of the latest technology in shoe making. These 100 persons will form a bulk of the staff strength of the factory when they complete their factory in Aba".

Continuing, the Governor said...

"The major constraint our shoe makers have is that most of their work is done manually. This has gone on for several decades. We must change that. So we plan to introduce them to automated shoe production and China is key here. The goal is to achieve 75% automation locally between now and the next 24 months".

"This factory will create 10,000 direct jobs and 50,000 indirect jobs from the secondary markets that will be created".

"The opposition against this deal is academic. If we don't open up our economy, how can we industrialize? For how long are we going to allow our shoe industry wallow in manual operations? The world is moving fast and if we don't move with it, we would be left behind".

"We must raise the bar in the standard of our products if we must compete in the global market. Our shoe makers must be ready to compete on a global scale.

The major challenge we face is access to funding but the world will not wait for us because we don't have money. We must engage! We have signed papers to set up the Aba Enyimba Export Processing Zone. Our target is to bring in at least 20 companies into the Zone. This Chinese company is the first. We will chase many more. We don't have a choice".
Ururuaja, are you still there? Hello...

I am here Sir.

Why are you quiet? I thought the line was dead.

Sir, I must go and get a Phd. I have not heard these kind of things before...at least around here. These are the things I heard when I was in Lagos and their Governors talk about investments.

Ururuaja, gbalia da akota sign.

Yes Sir!

Above is what Mr Onyebuchi wrote on his social media page alleging that it's what he discussed with the Governor on the phone, but do you think the governor is getting it right? Or is he drifting to a wrong way?

Share your thought with us via comment box.


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