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FG Should Revitalize Local Shoe Industries As Buhari's Shoe May Have Cost N213k

The shoe President Muhammadu Buhari was spotted wearing to the Senior Executive Course Of NIPSS, Kuru Plateau State was identical to one made by a shoe company known as Bottega Veneta in Italy. If it is, the shoe costs €535 euros, equivalent to N213,744.14 at the current exchange rate of N399.52 = €1 euro.

The purpose of this article is not to criticize anybody. It is aimed at bringing to the consciousness of all Nigerians the need to patronize made-in-Nigeria products which the present government is campaigning, and also for Nigerians to see the gains in patronizing locally-made products.

As, the federal government is currently enforcing a border closure on rice importation, it should make plans to do same in shoe importation.

Recall that the federal government has said that Nigeria loses billions of dollars to rice importation. Like rice, shoe is one of the commonest article used daily by Nigerians, both rich and poor and costs the country huge amount of money to import too.

The federal government should revitalize already established shoe Industries in Nigeria which are really trying but have been hampered in getting raw materials, capital, equipment, man-power and other ammenities needed to be efficient in the art of shoe making.

One of such industries in Nigeria is the Aba Shoe Industry. Aba is already famous for production of foot wears, bags, belts and other leather products by creative artisans working in shops located at Ariaria international marketing and other locations in Abia.

The Aba Shoe Industry has made shoe cheap to Nigerians. If not for Aba shoes, shoes would have been more expensive and would have been an exclusive luxury to the rich. One can get an Aba Shoe as low as N1500. 

However, many Nigerians have continued to patronize foreign made shoes owing to their high quality and durability which the Aba shoes are yet to attain. But the creative designs made by the Aba shoe artisans have shown that Nigeria is losing a potential source of foreign exchange.

Presently, a shoe company in China is collaborating with Abia to set up an automated shoe factory in Abia State.

No fewer than 30 young men and women from Abia were sent to China last year where they were trained in automated production of shoes.

Even though the Abia State government has started doing something in revitalizing the Aba Shoe Industry, the federal government should do more because it will make Nigeria achieve self-sufficiency in the area of shoe production, create employment for its teeming population, make Nigeria able to completely globally and earn the country foreign exchange because Nigeria already have a lot of creative designers.

Also, the dependence on locally made goods in Nigeria will further make the fight against corruption easy, especially among the elite and rich. Because most elite and rich Nigerians engage in corruption in order to be able to acquire high-luxury items which are not within the reach of ordinary Nigerians. This will further close the gap between the rich and poor, stabilize the Nigerian economy, reduce crime, encourage unity and patriotism in Nigeria, as is obtainable in developed Nations like USA and Britain.

Lastly, while President Muhammadu Buhari is commended for the importation ban placed on rice, more should be done to empower the local Industry to meet up with demand and quality. We hope the same will be done to shoe and other essential commodities in Nigeria. This is not to be achieved by the federal government alone. All hands must be on deck to see to its realization.

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