The Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan has said as the number three citizen of the country, he will do all within his capacity to ensure that the Enyimba Automated Shoe Company (ENASCO) survives and achieve the aims of its establishment.
The Senate President assured that the Senate will henceforth, will begin move to stop Federal Government Agencies from importing boots for their staff, ABN TV reports.
Lawan spoke on Thursday during the official commissioning of ENASCO in Aba.
According to Lawan for Nigeria to become a prosperous country, she must embark on a must import substitution and hailed Abia Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu for taking the issue of unemployment seriously.
The Senate President who was accompanied at the commissioning by the Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Orji Uzor-Kalu, Senator Theodore Orji and other senators vowed to ensure that ENASCO becomes the hub of direct and indirect employment in the country.
ABN TV gathered that ENASCO has capacity to produce 5,000 pairs of shoes daily
At the moment, it has over 120 Abia youths directly employed as staff of the company.
“We cannot continue to import everything into Nigeria. We don’t even have foreign reserves anymore. So, this project in addition to employing Abians directly, it’ll indirectly provide jobs at the leather industries in other states.
“I believe that this project deserves the attention of every Federal agency more especially the ministry of industries itself and indeed the CBN must be looking at this direction so that it can expand.
“While we have 120 youths been employed here, I’m sure that two years after we should quadruple the rate of employment here and that will require improvement in all angles here. I’m sure that as one of you now, we’ll push for more support for this particular industry.
“We have our agencies already making requests for boots and of course some garments by the time the garment industry takes off. I think we should do more than that. We must Nigerianize to create employment for our youths,” he said.
Lawan said that as the Senate commence its budget defence, he will ask all senate committees that whenever they see agencies that require boots, they must make sure they come to Aba.
He said Nigeria cannot spend such monies outside anymore, adding that he believes that by the time the country stops importing what it can produce, the sky will be her limit.
Lawan added that If ENASCO is the only thing Gov Ikpeazu will leave behind, he must have left everything because unemployment is like a disease that must be tackled with seriousness.
He added, “Whatever you need to make this place work better, please call on me, I’ll help whatever you think any Federal agency will do to enhance the capacity of this place, I’m waiting for you, your Excellency.”
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu said that ENASCO will help position Nigeria into the leather industry ecosystem globally and ensure Nigeria derive much revenue from it.
“ENASCO will push out 5000 pairs of shoes every day to launch Nigeria into the fast-growing shoe industry globally. We can become major players in the leather industry ecosystem if we’re intentional about it.
“It is only through the patronizing of our products that we can revitalize our economy and be self-sufficient in all we want.
“We’re a doing a similar factory that will have full automated garment factory. We’re looking for a way to compete with Vietnam and Bangladesh in the supply chain of garments across the world.
“And I’m optimistic that with the success we’ve recorded, between now and the next six months machines would have arrived from Turkey and we’ll return to Commission it.
“I thank Mr President Muhammadu Buhari for coming to Abia to Commission the Ariaria International Power Plant, we’re also doing something to ensure Geometric Power kicks off.”