From Business Day
With a population of over 160 million, Nigeria is no doubt a choice market for a shoe manufacturer. However, fierce competition from foreign-made shoes and several other challenges make the market a challenging terrain. But in spite of these, Edet Iniobong, after 25 years of manufacturing shoes and other leather works in Nigeria, says the shoemaking industry has even greater potential in this interview with Oluyinka Alawode.
Dusco Designers engages in manufacturing of shoes, bags, belts, hats, caps, artworks, and so on. We are also into training, mostly of youths and women. I started about 25 years ago with 35 kobo. We sell the shoes in major markets in Nigerian cities and take some outside the country. Quite a number of our productions are custom-made, some people want their names or the names of their organizations in scripted on the shoes, or they may want a design that no one has worn yet, so they would be the first to ever wear the designs.
There are several challenges, apart from infrastructure, that is common to all businesses; the machinery needed for production are not easily available.
Shoemaking is a strong employment generation business. It is a business that even the physically challenged can do. So, we are planning an exhibition for the physically challenged nation wide to exhibit their products here in Lagos. I am the chairman of the local organizing committee for the exhibition and it will come up in a few months’ time. Apart from helping the physically challenged, it will also boost our economy and reduce or eliminate street begging. Begging is demeaning, but they feel it is only the means of fending for themselves. But we are going to get them to see there are more honorable ways for a physically challenged to earn a living.
Read more at Business Day.