Okezie Ikpeazu, governor of Abia state, has reportedly sent 30 cobblers, commonly known as shoemakers in Aba, commercial city of the state, to China to master the art of shoemaking.
In a documentary by The Osasu Show, hosted by Osasu Igbinedion, some of the beneficiaries expressed their joy for the opportunity granted them by the governor.
The project, titled ‘Made in Aba SMEs empowerment’, seeks to empower small and medium-sized enterprises.
Kelech Nwaogugu, whose husband is a beneficiary of the project, said since the governor assumed power, the state has recorded much infrastructural development, especially the building of roads.
“What this man, Okezie Ikeazu is doing is too much,” Nwaogugu said.
“Since he came into power, he has constructed so many roads. Faulks road, he constructed it.
“The best of it is what our family has benefited from it.”
Chinatulu Nwabgala, another cobbler, on his part, said: “We thank our governor for what he has done since he came into power. He recognises artisans, both shoemakers, tailors, belt.”
“He realised that we are not perfect, so he sponsored over 30 artisans to China, to learn how to use industrial machines and other things., to help us make our shoes neater than before. During the past administration, we were forgotten,” Nwagbala said.
“2019 is at hand. Artisans, shoemakers mostly, LEPMAS, are behind him. 2019 belongs to him. Nobody is contending with him.”
Hamza Lasisi, a non-indigene of the state, says the government should look inward and believe that the people are capable of producing quality shoes.
“I came all the way from Abuja to Ana, Abia state, to have a project I’m working on. It is about the NYSC jungle boots, white canvas and other paramilitary bodies shoes,” Lasisi said.
“What we want to do is to make sure that everything is done completely here in Nigeria. What is happening here is enough to give turning point to economic liberation in Nigeria.
“What it takes is for the government to look inward and first believe in the people, that they can do it.”
The documentary also showed a power generation project for a market in the state.
Ihebuzo Kelechi, a staff at Total Support Energy, said the project aims to provide uninterrupted power supply to a minimum of 12,000 shops when completed.
“This project is made to provide power solutions to Ariaria market. Currently, we are powering 24 shops as a test run. But when the project comes in the first phase, we hope to power 12,000 shops. The pilot has power for 12 hours now,” Kelechi said.
Another project underway by the Ikpeazu-led government is the Ukwu-Mango erosion control gully. Until the birth of the project, Odile Ani, a resident of the area, said the rains were a nightmare for him.
“I have been living in this area for the past 15 years and we have been having this water problem. During rainy season, we don’t sleep at home each time there is rainfall,” Ani said.
“The water always destroys everybody’s property and they run away. Last year, I lost all my property except my foam. It was the only thing I brought out from the house. Ever since I have not been happy until the governor started this project.”