FG Pledges Support for Kano’s Proposed N10.88bn Leather Cluster 

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Target over 5,000 direct jobs
James Emejo in Abuja
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Aisha Abubakar, on Thursday expressed the federal government’s willingness to back the Kano State Government in its bid to develop the Industrial Development Centre (IDC) located at Tiga to a world class leather cluster park and training center.

The three-phased project is projected to gulp a total of N10.88 billion with equity funding of 40 per cent and 60 per cent by the state and federal governments respectively.

Speaking in Abuja, shortly after a project presentation by a delegation from the Kano State Government, led by the state Commissioner for Commerce, Mr. Rabiu Bakko, Abubakar, who expressed delight at the initiative, said the current administration had been brainstorming on how to transform all the 23 IDCs across the country in order to boost the economy.

She further expressed confidence in the proposed facility, promising that the federal government would work hand-in-hand with the private sector to ensure that the project was completed within the 20-month target period.
Noting that the best way to drive the project was through effective private sector partnership, the minister said government would provide the enabling environment for private sector involvement in the project.

She said the project is in line with the present administration’s agenda to create millions of jobs for Nigerians.
Under the project proposal, the federal government is expected to provide N6.5 billion funding while the state will commit N4.3 billion.

However, Bakko said when completed, the leather cluster would help to reduce the acute shortage of jobs and also help the state regain its historic leadership in hide and skin business globally.
He said the country must take advantage of the global leather industry which is currently worth $40 billion annually, with 60 percent of the leather sourced from developing countries including Nigeria.

“The project is aimed at giving millions of jobs to the people
Also speaking at the meeting, the Director General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Bature Masari, said if implemented, the project would have mass effect on Nigerians.
He said the project wouldl create 5,000 direct jobs and over one million indirect jobs, adding that the success of the initiative could activate other IDCs across the country.