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Enyimba Automated Shoe Company (ENASCO): There Was Never A Time We Were Shutdown – Management

The management of Enyimba Automated Shoe Company, ENASCO, has reacted to the rumour that the Company was shutdown, stating that the Company was fully preoccupied with issues of operating an industrial concern in Nigeria’s turbulent economy when the company began to trend on the social media.

Being an ongoing concern with several shareholders and a 5-Man Management Board, the company had to respond to the unwelcomed intrusion tactically and diplomatically without being drawn into the fray.

In its response, Barrister Chisom C. Atasie, the Company Secretary stated thus;

“The Company categorically states that; at no given time was the Company shut down. “The Company is fully operational as it stands and thriving”

ENASCO is a legacy project of Abia state former governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, and it was borne out of his vision to make Aba the MSME (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) capital of Nigeria. Again, the Company never had any issues or challenges with the new Abia administration, led by Dr. Alex Otti. The current administration has, through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry worked with ENASCO by having trainings and other strategic interactions to develop the enterprise.

Aba’s artisanship prowess especially in garment and leather works was already established across the length and breadth of the Country and even beyond Nigeria’s shores. Thus banking on Aba’s comparative advantage in leather and garment works, ENASCO was established to sought and enhance what already exists.

ENASCO picture of Aba’s comparative advantage was in its human resources and a vibrant population with enterprising spirit and diligence in labour.

The emergence of ENASCO was a promise to compliment the human resource base of Aba, with competent leadership team of skilled and proven executors to transform the businesses of the city, to achieve commercial scale and world class appeal. That way, the ‘Made in Aba’ products will become something to be proud of and Aba made products in shoe/ leather, garments and other sub-sectors could be displayed in global retail chains and markets.

To fulfill that need, ENASCO was born with brand new automated machines targeting an annual production capacity of 2 million pair of shoes.

ENASCO’s take – off products includes; work boots, school shoes, military desert boots, police shoes, dress shoes for men among others and currently the company has distributors in Lagos, Abuja and towns in Abia state, in addition to online sale platforms.

During his tenure, Dr Ikpeazu was ENASCO’s Chief Marketing Officer, as he relentlessly lobbied the Federal Government to issue a directive to military and para-military outfits in the country to procure their foot wears from Aba. He severally argued that garment makers and shoemakers in Aba have been equipped and are ready to kit the Nigerian military.

“We have no business importing military boots when what is produced here locally is more superior to that which is brought into the country”, he preached

Nonetheless, the Ikpeazu administration recognised that Governments in Nigeria have never successfully operated any enterprise, thus ENASCO’s share holding structure was shared between the Abia government which owns 27% of the stocks and other investors, numbering five in number sharing 73% amongst them.

At its commissioning in 2022, the Company had significant private partners’ participation and on the Management Board are very respectable persons, including Mr. John Udeagbala (immediate past NACCIMA President); Mazi Williams Okechukwu, (Current President LEPMASS); Mr. Chidi J. Nwakile, (Core Investor and a Diaspora Nigerian); Dr. Chimezie Isaac Ukaegbu, Hon. Commissioner for Trade, Commerce and Industry (representing Abia State Government) and Sir Mac Atasie, (Pioneer President of EPPAN and Serial Investor in the Shoe Sector).

The board was charged to run the factory like a proper business and consolidate the position of Aba and Abia State as a global hub for shoe and other leather products, and to bring their wealth of experience in developing a brand that will compete favourably in the competitive global market.

The General Manager of ENASCO, Mr Hogan Nkute said the company is priming itself to enter the international market and is scaling its operations funded by the private sector investors.

” Despite the challenging economic condition in the country, the Company is thriving and positioned to be one of the strongest (biggest) indigenous shoe companies in the whole of Africa. The Company is operational, functioning and has the capacity of producing 5, 000 (Five Thousand) pairs of shoes per day

“The shareholders of ENASCO are responsible Nigerians, committed to its corporate vision which is to be a leading shoe manufacturing Company in West Africa and indeed Africa, leveraging the experprise of Aba shoe making prowess. And the job of the management is to make profit for shareholders and support Abia State Government to reduce unemployment and create a pool of skilled labour”, he submitted.

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