CANADIAN footwear giant Bata has announced plans to expand its presence in Nigeria with the opening of several multi-million naira factories across the country that will manufacture shoes and fashion accessories.
Once a company synonymous with local production, Bata began manufacturing shoes in Nigeria as far back as 1932 but left the country in the 1980s during an economic downturn. Last year, Bata made a return to Nigeria opening a shop and then in April this year it invested N350m in a manufacturing plant in Abuja, with plans to expand to other states in the country soon.
According to Bata, these factories which will directly employ Nigerians in the production of shoes and accessories, will also require a huge supply of raw materials which will boost sales for Nigerian livestock farmers. It is expected that the company will source leather from the local cattle industry.
A company spokesman said: “The return of Bata after almost 40 years is facilitated by the new presidential initiative to enhance the local economy by initiating policies and creating the right enabling environment to increase local industrialisation, saving foreign exchange, while creating jobs and reducing poverty. Buying a made in Nigeria product helps your country to grow.”