COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE EDO LEATHER BUSINESS TO BUSINESS SUMMIT AND FAIR HELD IN BENIN CITY FROM 11th – 14th September, 2023
The Edo Leather Business to Business Summit was held from the 11th – 14th September, 2023 at the Victor Uwaifor Creative Hub in the ancient city of Benin the capital of Edo state with the theme ”Innovative Leather Brands to Enhance Made in Nigeria Products”. The Summit started with a road show and was attended by dignitaries including His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Edo state who was ably represented by the Honorable Commissioner for Digital Economy Science and Technology, Engr. Ogbeide Ifaluyi Isibor, the Honorable Commissioner of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, represented by Mrs. Ifeoma Inuoma, the Director General/CEO of NILEST, and representatives of various government agencies.
Participants were drawn from the public, private, academia, Associations, individuals and other stake holders numbering over two hundred (200) across the Federation.
Speakers and resource persons invited for the Summit focused on the theme: ‘Innovative Leather Brands To Enhance Made In Nigeria Products’ with special references to the following:
- Issues, Challenges and Way out of Insatiable/Uncontrolled Taste for Foreign Leather Products- Psychological Perspectives.
- Leather Business Financing and Standardization for Competitive Marketing and Export Redistribution.
- Development of a Workable Marketing Mix with the 8ps (products, price, place, people, promotion, patent, policy, and packaging) for Sustainable Sales.
- Publicity and Brand Management for Enhanced Patronage of Made in Nigeria Leather Products.
- Building a Leather Database Eco-system for Productive Leather Business M&E.
OBSERVATIONS, RESOLUTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The Summit recognized and acknowledged the progress so far made by the steering committee on the implementation of the leather and leather products policy, and contributions from all stakeholders.
The Summit observed the efforts made by the Federal government and its various agencies in encouraging local content and patronage of made in Nigeria products. The position of the Federal Government in supporting the growth of the leather and leather products industry and it’s contributions to national economic growth was also observed.
The Summit however resolved to tackle several challenges perverting optimum performance of the leather and leather products sector of the economy which include the following:
- Government should raise Tariff on imported leather products to make local industries thrive.
- Enforcement of the ban on second hand imported leather products.
- Leather practitioners should develop quality products and be proud of their brands.
- Nigerian leather products can access markets through Export Trade Houses in foreign markets.
- There should be training/capacity building of artisans and cobblers in the area of quality finished leather and leather products.
- There should be more investment in the leather and leather product industries.
- Partnership/Synergy is required amongst leather actors for better products.
- Create more awareness and advocacy.
- Building Trust between the cobblers and consumers of products.
- Create awareness about product certification with relevant government regulatory agencies.
- There should be a deliberate policy implementation by government in the leather sector.
- There should be deliberate attempt to revive the moribund leather Industries along the leather value chain.
- There should be a deliberate attempt to attract investments from both local and foreign to the leather Industries.
- Reverse engineering should be encouraged in the leather industries for product design.
- Replication of Aba Common Facility Centre should be encouraged in other geopolitical zones of the country.
- Collaborations with various government agencies to support growth and sustainability of the Industry should be encouraged.
- Synergy with electronics and print media for adequate publicity should be encouraged.
- Practitioners in the leather value chain should be encouraged for proper branding of their products.
- There should be a comprehensive data-base for a leather eco-system.
- There should be effective leather waste management control system.
- There should be a deliberate action by the leather Industry to leverage on foreign markets through African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)
- African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the ECOWAS Trade liberalization scheme (ETLS).
Adopted by Dr. E.N Oparah seconded by Mr. David