By Ebun Babalola
The declining fortuneÂ of the footwear industry has been attributed to lack of patronage by the government.
Chief Executive Officer, Fut Wear Conceptus, Nigeria, Mr. Wole Madariola Olumide, said, â€œIt is sad to know that government is not encouraging companies whose aim and objective is to ensure that sanity comes back to the economy of Nigeria. It will interest you to know that, the shoes used by the US Army Forces, are manufactured in the United State, the same goes for the United Kingdom. But it is very sad that Nigeria like such facility. NigeriaÂ government doesnâ€™t knowÂ the important of having such facility, rather than it keeps flirting muscles on petroleum.
Imagine a factory that is having the capacity of producing more than 12million foot wear in a year with European technology and supervisionâ€. â€œIt is a sad thing, if we have officersâ€™ foot wear being imported into this country. There is no uniformity in the Police Force, there are different kinds of foot wear produced with different quality.
Addressing Journalists at the companyâ€™s office in Lagos, he said Fut Wear Conceptus produces high quality foot wear. â€œWe produce for both the high end and the low end of the market. However, we concentrate more on making above the average products at the below the average prices. We are doing this because of the state of the economy. A lot of peopleÂ are still living below the poverty level. Yet they need to wear shoes. We shouldnâ€™t leave them at the vagary of Tokunbo shoes. Thatâ€™s why we are catering for their needs.â€
He noted that another factor militating against the indsutry is lack of funds. â€œIt is very expensive to set up and maintain a standardised shoe factory. The machinery and equipment are very expensive. Also, lack of patronage by the government is killing footwear industry.
â€œWhen the government is not patronising made in Nigeria goods, what do you want the citizenry to do? Government needs to do a lot more to encourage indigenous manufacturers. For example at Fut Conceptus, we have capacity to produce 12million foot-wears annually. By patronizing us the economy of the country will be vast and development is at the door.
Reiterating that, â€œAll our military men, paramilitary and the police use imported shoes. Yet Fut Conceptus with our capacity can take care of their foot-wear needs. If they patronize us, there will also be uniformity in the quality of foot wears our military men and officers wear.â€
With equipment for footwear production right from design to finishing, Fut Conceptus with quality of its product is set to redefine the shoemaking sector in this part of the world.
We donâ€™t compromise quality and thatâ€™s why before we started production here last year, we made sure that all our workers were trained by experts on the rudiments of foot-wear production from concept to finish. The experts are our business partners who came in from Spain. Besides, as the CEO of this company there is no machine or equipment I cannot operate in this factory. Before I dabble into this venture, 1 made sure I was trained on the nitty-gritty of the venture. From my experience, I can conveniently say that making shoes is more complex than building cars because unknown to most people there are more components that made up the shoe than the car.â€