-The facility is a collaborative venture between the federal and Imo State Governments, and some private sector partners.
By Rose Onda
The federal government on Tuesday unveiled a modern multi-million naira facility in Owerri to assist tailors and fashion designers in the production of garment and clothing items.
Unveiling the facility at the 29th edition of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Clinic in Owerri, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said it would improve the quality of locally made clothing.
“The facility that was commissioned today is the fourth to be commissioned in the country.
“It will service about 350 small businesses daily and over 110,000 each year. It comprises 200 world class, both manual and fully automated fashion equipment.
“It has a special facility that enables it to become a one stop garment centre for end to end production of various types of clothing items,” he said.
Mr Osinbajo said the facility would improve household income for tailors and create jobs.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari gives priority to MSME “because they are the engine of growth for the economy and because they account for almost half of the national income and great quarters of the jobs created in the country”.
The vice president explained that MSME clinic was an opportunity for small businesses to meet regulatory agencies such as NAFDAC, SON, CAC, SMEDAN and BOI, among others.
He said it enabled the regulatory bodies to understand the problems small businesses face.
“In the course of running the clinic, we noticed that in addition to their request for a friendly environment, MSME also wanted to be supported in terms of production facilities which were lacking or expensive.
“This is how the president supported the idea of providing at least one shared facility in every state,” he explained.
The vice president said 10 of such facilities had been established this year across the states to complement those previously inaugurated in Anambra, Benue and Lagos.
He disclosed that Edo, Kaduna, Kebbi, Ogun, Ebonyi, Katsina, Ekiti, Bauchi and Kano equally had shared facilities which would be inaugurated in 2022.
Earlier, the state governor, Hope Uzodinma, said the project was a fulfillment of the three components of the shared prosperity agenda of his administration.
“This is why I can never thank President Muhammadu Buhari and his team enough for the creative enterprise expressed in the MSME scheme,” he said.
The governor explained that the facility was a collaborative venture between the federal and Imo Governments, and some private sector partners.
He said the cardinal objective of the project was to empower young men and women, as well as help to eradicate poverty in the state.
“The state is slowly and steadily restoring its lost glory of being the industrial hub of the South-east.
“The state government has commenced the revival and recovery of all the moribund industries built by the late Sam Mbakwe,” he said.
He urged investors to take advantage of the tax holidays, provision of power using gas, ease of doing business and other incentives to invest in the state.