Manufacturing, Petrochemical and Gas Hub
Although Abia State through her border communities are oil bearing, Abia is more synonymous with crafts, manufacturing and Trade.
Most of these activities happen in Aba and it’s only ﬁtting to say that where Aba goes, Abia goes. It’s sad that Aba has been left to decay by successive administrations but the private sector can step-in as there’s clearly money on the table to be made.
Aba is the fashion capital of the East if not the whole of West Africa (in terms of production). Over 800,000 pairs of shoes, 300,000 Leather Products are made daily while about 1,500,000 clothing items are produced weekly in Aba. This clearly can get better, but, it can also leverage on a wider distribution network to boost production.
What to do?
Show commitment to improving security.
Streamline the kind of industries that will attract investors to Aba. Beyond Aba’s reputation for shoes and clothing, Abia has oil and gas. And oil and gas based manufacturing that could see to the development of petrochemical industries will ﬁt the state.
It was easy for Aba to become the second city that had gas facilities piped to industrial manufacturers after Lagos because of its access to gas.
The Abia elite must return to take ownership and drive the progress of the State.
The state can learn a thing or two in selling itself to investors. And here I mean investors ﬁrst from the state and then South East, and Nigeria. Its citizens hold the key to reviving Aba.
A lot of them moved away from the town when it become dangerous to operate a business there. The state has to show in real terms that these people can come back. And provide guarantees and incentives.