Mrs Uwaoma Olewengwa, the Director-General, Abia State Marketing Agency and Quality Management, on Monday said the agency had concluded plans to showcase Abia manufacturers’ products to European markets.
Olewengwa disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Aba after a meeting with artisans and product marketers in Aba.
She said that the project was the brainchild of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu who felt that Abia artisans deserved better rewards for their quality efforts in spite of working with bare hands.
“The thing is a process. We want to see how we can introduce Abia-made products to the European retail lines.
“We have discovered that our artisans in Abia are doing very well but they are not getting the reward for their labour. So Abia State government is trying to see what we can do to make our manufacturers break into foreign markets.
“So we want to start with being part of an overseas trade mission with fashion fair featuring specifically shoes, wears, belts, caps and all the rest of them,” she said.
Olewengwa said that initially the people were not responding but had begun to show interest in the arrangement which would give them the opportunity to market their goods in Europe.
She said the agency intended to take eligible persons to the fairs in Europe in September, stressing that August to September was enough time to produce what to showcase.
The business consultant to the agency, Mr Ademola Lasisi, said that the programme was designed to ensure that Abia shipped quality goods to Europe as China was doing daily to Nigeria.
He said that unique identification tags would be given products of different manufacturers who would be at the fair to ensure that buyers would find it easy to re-order them through the agency.
He also noted that in case some products were not sold at the fair, they would ensure that the they were put in a warehouse and later auctioned for the owners benefit.
The consultant said that if Abia could get its garment and shoe/leather industry running, it would not scramble for oil money to meet its immediate needs.