Aba, Nigeria's most productive commercial city, is synonymous with manufacturing of clothes and shoes.

The Abia state government is taking its potential of being a global player a notch higher.

State authorities are concluding a deal with a shoe manufacturing company to establish a factory in Aba.

Officials of China’s, Huajian shoe factory, are visiting to ascertain the level of preparedness of Abia State to host the $1.5 billion investment.

The Governor of the State, Okezie Ikpeazu, received the company’s representatives led by its Chairman, Zhang Huarong.

Huajian shoe factory's target in Nigeria is 5,000 shoes per day and the company will offer at least 10,000 jobs.

While showing Huajian officials locations around Aba where they could site the factory, Governor Ikpeazu said that the entry of the Chinese into Aba shoe and garment production process would engender healthy competition among producers.

“The coming of Zhang Huarong and his team will boost the Aba leather and garment industry. We welcome them with our hearts to come and invest in Aba.

“We also encourage our people to see their coming as a healthy competition. I have no doubt that our people in Aba will take advantage of their coming and competition it will provide to improve on what we are already doing.

“Our target is to conquer the African leather and garment market. I am happy that the Chinese investors are responding to our request for them to come and invest in our state and make their products in Aba,” he told the officials of the company on Tuesday.

Beautiful And Calm Environment

The governor also showed the team a Chinese-owned Steel factory, Inner Galaxy, already operating in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia, to encourage the new investor.

He said the venue was chosen to show the Chinese team that some Chinese companies had already set up factories in Abia and applauded the level of infrastructure in Inner Galaxy and its employment of many Abia people.

The Chairman of the company, Zhang Huarong, said the essence of their visit was to seal the deal which started during the Governor’s visit to his Shoe factory in China in the third week of April.

He expressed the readiness of his company to partner with Abia State to deliver the project quickly.

He described Abia as a beautiful and calm environment where business could thrive, adding that China has enjoyed a robust relationship with Nigeria.

“China has enjoyed a robust relationship with Nigeria and having a factory in Abia would build on the relationship as well as help accelerate the industrialisation drive of the Governor,” he said.

Huarong desires to be part of the technological development of Abia and Nigeria and also has interest in sharing in its mining industry and commerce.

He described Nigeria as an open market and that the planned investment would project Abia to the world.

He noted that Nigeria would be a major trade centre in the next 20 years as he had seen a good future for the proposed shoe company.