Platform Capital has announced the ground-breaking ceremony of its Leather City Park (Leather City) and NIBRA Designs Limited (NIBRA) – a shoe production initiative in Ariara market, Aba, Abia state.
The shoe factory would be the largest in sub-Saharan Africa, leveraging world class Brazilian technology.
The NIBRA facility is expected to be launched with an initial capacity of 10,000 pairs a day, growing to 100,000 in five years.
A statement from the firm stated that the project was scheduled to be inaugurated by the fourth quarter of 2019, adding that NIBRA would employ 1,000 people for a start, growing to over 5,000 in the medium term.
“Under secured offtake arrangements for 100 per cent of our initial installed capacity, we will serve domestic and international markets. Leather City on the other hand, will provide opportunities to increase productivity and product quality for a significant number of the 120,000 individuals currently in Ariara market.
“For private enterprises and SMEs, Leather City will offer infrastructure as a shared service and skills development training to the growing population of Nigerian entrepreneurs in the leather and related goods space.
“This will form part of a broader strategy to leverage the National Leather Policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria and develop the local supply chain to reduce dependence on imports as we improve the perception of made in Nigeria products.
“We at Platform view this as a transformational initiative for the state of Abia, the entire South-East region and is a testament to Nigeria’s tested entrepreneurial spirit. Our sincere appreciation goes to our partners who have made this possible – Governor Okezie Ikpeazu; NIBRA’s chairperson, Dr. Wura Abiola, the MD of Abia state PPP – Mr Austin Ufomba; and the Nigeria Export Import Bank as a key stakeholder,” the statement added.
Furthermore, it pointed out that the city would operate as a free trade zone on sustainable principles and world class infrastructure.
“This project represents further validation of Platform Capital’s growth opportunities strategy, where we take a long-term view with a bottom-up approach to value creation,” it added.