An international start-up that aims to build a leather value chain in the North-West Nigeria, from tannery to marketing artisanal products, Sokoto Investment Company Limited, has said it opened in London on Wednesday.
The firm, which is a publicly-owned investment, said it had collaborated with Pan African Leather to revitalise the region’s traditional leather sector by creating a leather tannery and a shoe factory in Sokoto State, over the coming two years.
The Chairman, Managing Director, SICL , Tukur Umar, was quoted as saying, “Nothing is more important in Nigeria than creating jobs and addressing youth unemployment .
“Our commitment to enhancing livelihoods and creating sustainable, skilled employment is crystal clear from the state’s financial input to this endeavour.
“We’ve built the right partnerships to help deliver this vision, which is based on Sokoto’s long tradition of leather processing and leather goods manufacturing.”
The firm noted that the project was being coordinated by London-based Pan African Enterprises, a social partnership platform that seeks to contribute to economic development, industry and innovation in Nigeria through capacity building.
It said that the Chief Executive of PAE, Dawn Spetale, had assembled an international team of experts, including retired diplomats, investment advisers and business figures, to help direct the project towards its goal of creating an integrated leather cluster in Sokoto State that could compete internationally in terms of quality, cost and environmental protection.
A statement from the SICL read in part, “In line with its commitment to social responsibility, PAE is working with partners including the Britain-Nigeria Education Trust, which provides financial support for education throughout Nigeria.
“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.
“We want the long-term impact of this project to be profound, by helping to address the unemployment, underemployment and insufficient opportunities for young people.”