WHY ABA CITY IS THE EASIEST AND BETTER PLACE TO SET UP A SMALL LOCAL INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA
The city of Aba located in the south-east zone of Nigeria, a major city in Abia state besides its state capital city Umuahia, had been known for their technicality in terms of creation of local domestic products like shoes, bags, belts, clothes, vehicle parts fabrications, and production of cosmetics like, creams, soaps, detergents, chemicals, etc.
The city had been applauded by different prominent figures in Nigeria including the former president Olusegun Obasanjo for their industrious activities and creation of locally made products that have helped the country in reducing the importation of such products. So many emphases had been laid to the shoe manufacturing companies in Aba city and how it has impacted positively on the economy of the state and the country in general.
As the promotion of made in Nigeria products campaigns had been on the increase Aba city is still the only city that would have a higher percentage of benefits on that campaign when compared to other cities if Nigerians finally resolve to start using locally made products. The city is not just a place for shoe manufacturing but also a center for many industries that has branches in other places.
I took a visit to the city of Aba a few days ago, and I decided to use to opportunity to study the advantage that this city has to other cities, such that industries of various categories queue up in this city for different activities ranging from commerce to production and distribution, and below are what I discovered the could have made it have such edge over others;
THE CLOSENESS TO PORT HARCOURT
The city happens to be very close to Port Harcourt, another city which is the capital of Rivers states where major oil and gas offices are located and many industries can also be found in Port Harcourt because of the sea ports located in this city, so many companies see it as a good alternative to Lagos for their industrial activities. But due to the fact that Aba city is very close to Port Harcourt about 20 minutes’ drive of average speed a lot of industries preferred operating in Aba owing to the low cost of operating an industry there when compared to Portharcourt. Aba city had been known for its cheap lifestyle which applies to all sector of the economy of the city including food items, accommodations, land cost, etc. hence; many companies put that as an advantage to settle in Aba and have their manufactured products send to Port Harcourt City, Umuahia and other nearby cities for distribution and marketing.
THE LOW COST OF LIVING
As mentioned earlier the cost of living in Aba is very low and can be said to be the cheapest city to live in Nigeria, due to the fact that house rent, transportations, clothes, schooling, and general products like soaps and detergent all cost lower in the city than any other city. This factor has pushed so many people to relocate to the city while carrying out their businesses in other cities with many technics such as courier services.
The major reason for the low cost of living can be attributed to the fact that 70 percent of domestic products were made in that city, and in most cases the manufacturers sell directly in the market to the end users at lower price than the retailers of such product, this has helped tremendously in reducing other areas of the economy.
THE LOCATION OF THE CITY AT EAST-SOUTH ROAD
The geographical location of the city gave it another advantage due to the fact that transportations can be carried out from there to any part of the country without having to pass through any interior villages that have no good roads, the city finds itself at the center of south-east / south-south road connecting Abia state and Rivers state together. The road made it easy for industries to have their products distributed with ease to various axis of the country, it also serves as a major place for advert by those companies as many travelers passing through the road could see the signpost of the companies in Aba city, example is the popular TONIMAS filling stations located at different distance within the city.
THE TECHNICALITY OF THE INHABITANTS
Another major factor is that the city comprises of people with high level of technicalities, besides the industries most people living in this city are entrepreneurs with one handwork or the other ranging from tailors, welders, block molders, to engine parts fabricators, foundry specialists, blacksmiths, etc. the activities of these categories of people have helped the existing industries in the city to survive due to the ability to render technical services to the industries.
The attitude of the people and communities that make up the city are not the type that would discourage investors since everyone in these communities concentrates their energy in daily pursuit for food and money through reliable enterprises by the various individuals, communal inference on industries is very low when compared to other places.
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