By Ikechukwu Iroha
Major drivers of global unemployment are lack of job creation and skills shortage or mismatch.
A former United State’s Senator, Mr Luther Strange, presented several papers on Job creation. When he was eventually asked why his bills and presentations focus more on job creation and economic development, he simply said that “Job is the best cure for poverty”.
It could be easily concluded that the Governor of Abia State Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has cured several sicknesses of poverty by carefully selecting the basic pills of skills acquisition, proper matching and job creation.
The need to create job is a process. Chains of events are accomplished for jobs to be brought into existence.
Sequentially, Abia youths were sent to China to understudy automated shoe making that will scale up production with high quality assurance.
The machines they were exposed to in China were eventually procured by Abia State Government and that started the great journey to Enyimba Shoe factory that has secured employment for over 120 youths in Abia with a promise to further remove from the unemployment market, equal number of youths, once a production line is added in earnest in respond to a demand by the Nigerian Police to channel production of officers booths to Enyimba Shoe Factory.
It is therefore a careful study of events. The vision was clear and it was followed accordingly.
Enyimba shoe factory is an automated shoe factory newly built in Abia State to eliminate the challenges of manual production of shoes. According to Governor Ikpeazu , the inspiration came when Federal Government asked Abia Shoe makers to produce 50,000 pairs of military booths. He was asked in specifics, how long it will take and the answer could not be easily provided because of the manual processes it will take including the human elements. It was a major challenge at the time and to keep the production order flowing, automation became the only solution. To move into automation proper , shoe makers needed to undertake series of training overseas and thereafter get them to train others with the knowledge of machine operations acquired in China. The long road of skills matching and job creation in shoe production has been completed.
The prospect is huge. Dr.Ikpeazu is leveraging on his exposures and strong academic background to bring good strategies and plans to tackle unemployment in Abia. He does this effortlessly by leveraging on Abia areas of comparative advantage which is in Shoe and garment production, fabrications and trade & commerce.
Ikpeazu’s model of job creation is a standard for further analysis and studies by those who wish to leave meaningful legacies in curing poverty with reliable pills of skills acquisition and job creation.
He has many national and international awards in recognition of this vision to impact positively on the young people through Small and Medium enterprises development in Abia State and his honest mission to leave a better Abia for her citizens..
Watch out for part 2