A start-up venture that aims to build a world-class leather and finished product operation in north-west Nigeria launched on January 8. The initiative, called the Pan African Leather project, will involve setting up a new tannery, a shoe factory and other artisan workshops for finished products in Sokoto.
A publicly-owned investment facilitator in Sokoto state, the Sokoto Investment Company Limited (SICL), has contributed an initial round of seed funding for Pan African Leather. SICL’s chairman and managing director, Tukur Umar and Muhammadu Dasuki, hosted a press event in London on January 8 to launch the project. SICL has said its aim is to revitalise the region’s traditional leather sector.
Next steps will be to establish the new tannery and the footwear factory; SICL told World Leather that both these elements are at “the final approval stage” and will be called Sokoto Tan and Sokoto Shoes respectively. “Suitable land has been provided and all financing arrangements, technical and environmental strategy are due to be completed within the next few weeks,” the investment body said.
“Nothing is more important in Nigeria than creating jobs and addressing youth unemployment,” Mr Umar said. “Our commitment to enhancing livelihoods and creating sustainable, skilled employment is crystal clear from the state’s financial input to this endeavour.”
The project is being coordinated by London-based Pan African Enterprises (PAE), a social partnership platform that seeks to contribute to economic development, industry and innovation in Nigeria. Dawn Spetale, chief executive of PAE, has assembled an international team of experts, including diplomats, investment advisers and business figures, to help direct the project towards its goal of creating an integrated leather cluster in Sokoto that can compete internationally in terms of quality, cost and environmental protection.
“Sokoto is taking the lead in building this cluster for the future of its economy, and PAE is providing support by plugging Sokoto into global networks of financial support, knowledge and marketing,” said Ms Spetale at the London event.
Information courtesy of Leatherbiz