The Federal Government said it would give the needed support to the proposal by the Kano State Government to build a leather industrial development cluster.
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Aisha Abubakar, said this during a meeting with a delegation from the Kano State Government led by the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Rabiu Bako.
The cluster, valued at about N10.88bn, is to be built within a period of 20 months.
Under the arrangement, the state government is making a proposal to the Federal Government that will see both parties contributing financially to the development of the project.
Based on the proposal made to the minister by the Kano State officials, the Federal Government will provide about 60 per cent of the fund or N6.5bn, while the state government will come up with the balance of N4.3bn.
Bako said the project was conceived in line with the agenda of the Federal Government to diversify the economy away from oil.
He said with global leather industry estimated at about $40bn and Nigeria currently accounting for about $200m of that amount, the project would assist in improving the country’s market share to about $500m annually.
The commissioner said when completed, the leather industrial park would create about 5,000 direct jobs and additional one million indirect jobs.
This, according to him, will not only be contributing towards reducing the level of unemployment in the country, but also increase the contribution of the sector to economic development.
Bako said, “The project is in line with the policy of government not only to diversify the economy away from oil, but it will also play a significant role in reducing the level of poverty in the country.
“Apart from this, the job creation potential of this project is enormous. About 5,000 direct jobs are expected to be created when completed, with potential to create additional one million jobs.”
The minister assured the state government of support for the project, adding that the ministry had been working on how to transform the 23 industrial development clusters in line with the vision of the current administration.