Abia State Commissioner for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development,
Onyema Wachuku, has declared that small and medium scale enterprises (SMSEs) remain the pillars of the state’s economic development, as they are capable of generating over N2b monthly.
He stated this while introducing the state’s SMSE national awards winners, who got N1m prize each in Fashion Designing and Shoemaking Works, Clement Orjinta and Prosper Chidinma Erem, in Abuja.
Wachuku said the Governor Okezie Ikpeazu government remained committed and was doing everything necessary to sustain the growth of SMSEs in the state including provision of infrastructure, among others.
He said it was in this regard that the governor sponsored 30 Abia small-scale entrepreneurs and manufacturers for training in China and followed it up with the setting up of an automated show factory at Aba under the supervision of the managers of the China Shoe Factory that trained them.
“The Aba Shoe Factory has the capacity to produce 7,000 pairs of shoes daily and allows the producers access to the machines,” he added.
Responding, Orjinta and Erem said they were motivated by their national recognition and the opportunity given them by Governor Ikpeazu to advance their skills and expand the scope of their operations, adding that the factory had also improved the quality of the shoes.
Erem said, “Our training in China changed my mind set because of the volume of demand for my products which are solely men’s shoes. I produce on orders, even as a third year Microbiology student at the University of Port Harcourt.”
She disclosed that she decided to go into shoe making because she lacked shoes as a pupil, which her father who had 13 children and other dependents, could not provide for them.
Also, Orjinta, who commended the state government for the initiative and the recognition, said with the prize he won, his capacity and income had naturally increased.