By Steve Oko
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s passion for locally-produced goods came to the fore Wednesday as he enrolled as a student at the Footwear Academy, Aba.
Fielding questions from newsmen after his enrollment, Gov. Ikpeazu urged Nigerians to take pride in patronizing made in Nigeria products as a way of boosting the economy
He said that except Nigerians endorse their own products and take pride in them they will be merely supporting the economic growth of other nations.
Gov. Ikpeazu who has only won locally made footwears and clothes since he came to power in 2015, stressed the need for the country to leverage on the strength of its population for ready market for Nigerian products.
He added that there was need for Nigerians to take the lead in consuming their products to enable others follow.
According to him, Aba can compete with the Chinese and other world leaders in the Shoe Industry and expressed the hope that soon, no one will ignore the shoes produced from Aba.
He said that he was excited with what he saw at the Academy and promised to give government impetus to the Academy for its growth.
He stated that land will be provided to enable the Academy embark on major expansion to ensure that more students are given the opportunity to enrol and get trained.
The Governor applauded the intellectual dimension the Academy is bringing into shoe making and stressed the need for stronger collaboration between it and the Enyimba Automated Shoe Factory.
Speaking earlier while receiving the Governor the founder of the Academy, Mr Bentley Chukwuemeka assured the Governor of their commitment to producing quality footwears as well as producing well trained hands with a view to sustain the plac of Aba as a destination of choice in the shoe making business.
The Governor was accompanied by the Director General of the Abia State Marketing and Quality Control Agency, Mr. Sam Hart.