The chairman of the Indigenous Manufacturers and Dealers of Footwear Association of Nigeria (IMADEFA), Mr. Chijioke Obiorah, during the 15th anniversary of the association held in Lagos, urged the Federal Government to provide basic amenities that would help local manufacturers, especially shoe factories, to promote employment and boost economic development.
He lamented that many Nigerian shoe factories have closed down because of challenges from foreign competitors, who have received huge support from their governments, insisting many closed down due to frustration from foreigners flooding the market with finished imported goods.
“The truth is, more harm has been done to this industry. Despite the challenges, we have five shoe manufacturing factories that can employ about 5,000 people.
“Our vision is to build more clusters of shoe factories in Lagos, Ogun, Anambra and Abia states by the year 2021,” he explained.
In like vein, the special guest of honour, Senator Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah, represented by Jeff Akajuba, said Nigeria was blessed with skills but is technically lacked infrastructure such as electricity as well as the basic amenities to grow businesses.
“Nigerians lack patriotism and that is why most of us are patronizing Chinese goods. If the Nigerian government can equip us to do business in Nigeria, we will outsmart China,” he said.