The effect of the Lagos-Kano summit organized in April is beginning to gain traction. Lagos State government has announced that a partnership with Kano State government to set up a leather hub in Nigeria is currently being considered seriously.
Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye, disclosed this on Monday at the annual Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the third anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration. This comes after the 2nd edition of the recently concluded Lagos Leather Fair.
She said that one of the decisions made during the summit last month was to leverage on opportunities embedded in Kano’s tanneries.
“Recently I was at the Leather Fair and I saw the extent of the value chain of leather and was really impressed. Part of the fall out of the Lagos-Kano Summit is for us to leverage our strengths and comparative advantage. Kano is the hub for Leather and our plan is to have a leather hub, a shoe factory here in Lagos,”
Nigeria is home to a large population of livestock, one of the largest in Africa. Even with the millions of goats and cows slaughtered daily and the hide extracted from them, there is still a gap in production, forcing Nigeria to turn to foreign import.
Nigeria imports leather products of over $500 million just to meet local demands. But it is believed that if Lagos and Kano can finalise agreement, both states would be able to grab a global market share an still meet local demands. They could even introduce major cities like An into the fray. Aba in Abia state is already well established in the leather craft and would be a great partner. The main problem here could be transporting the hide to Aba, but with concise plans that is an easy challenge.
The Lagos-Kano Economic and Investment Summit took place earlier this year. The event was to mark the beginning of a better economic relationship between the two major commercial cities for sustainable economic development. And it followed the successful agro-economic Lagos-Kebbi partnership that produced “Lake Rice.”
The leather industry has been identified by the Bank of Industry to generate an annual income of N24.5 billion with limited support and also have the capacity to create over 700,000 direct and indirect jobs, therefore implying that the industry has not been maximized to its full potential.
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