When all hope seems lost, I find it refreshing to know that some state governments are really trying hard to help their economy by promoting Nigerian made products.
Yesterday, Sam Hart (Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Abia State, Nigeria)announced MadeInAba.com.ng on Twitter. On October 1, the Alibaba-Jumia Hybrid (as he described it) will officially launch, and give the rest of the country access to the products made in Aba.
You know why I am not surprised that the first of something like this in Nigeria is being launched in Aba? Take a look at the facts below…
Aba is a city in the southeast of Nigeria and the MAIN TRADING CENTRE in Abia State. Upon the creation of Abia state in 1991, Aba was divided into two local governments areas namely; Aba south and Aba North. Aba south is the main city centre and the heart beat of Abia State, south-east Nigeria. It is located on the Aba River. Aba is made up many villages such as; Umuokpoji Aba, Eziukwu-Aba, Obuda-Aba, Aba Ukwu and other villages from Ohazu merged due to administrative convenience. Aba was established by the Ngwa clan of Igbo People of Nigeria as a market town and then later a military post was placed there by the British colonial administration in 1901. It lies along the west bank of the Aba River, and is at the intersection of roads leading to Port Harcourt, Owerri,Umuahia,Ikot Ekpene, and Ikot Abasi. The city became a collecting point for agricultural products following the British made railway running through it to Port Harcourt. Aba is a major urban settlement and COMMERCIAL CENTRE in a region that is surrounded by small villages and towns. The indigenous people of Aba are the Ngwa. Aba is well known for its craftsmen. As of 2006 census, Aba had a population of 534,265.
WELL, where else would something like this have been launched in Nigeria as presently, it is also well known that Aba is home to lots of artisans who make shoes, bags, belts, clothes, etc. The “Made In Aba” trope is one that’s typically used to look down on these products as inferior (it’s not helped by the fact that some of them are imitations of Western brands), but the Abia State government is turning that narrative on its head. If MadeInAba.com.ng is properly executed, it will give these traders/producers a much larger market to sell to, than the people (mostly resellers) who are brave enough to take a trip that far.
I for one, am patiently waiting for the launch date so I can order some ‘made in aba’ products for myself. What do you think about this guys?