It is just a matter of time before another Guinness World Book of Records plaque rests in Nigeria. The entity that would be joining the prestigious list that has names like Kaffy and more recently, AY, the comedian is the Cross River Garment Factory.
It is regarded to date as the largest garment factory in the world by floor size and very soon the plaque that certifies it will be resting in Cross River State. However, like all things Nigerian, this achievement has come under scrutiny, with rumors flying left and right as to the factory and its construction.
However, to demystify the air around this factory, Emmanuel Etim contributed a research piece in the Premium Times and gives these facts on the Cross River Garment Factory.
- The factory is located on 2000 square meters of land in Calabar, the state capital
- It contains more than 2000 electric powered garment production machines.
- Work is practically complete with skeletal cleanup taking place.
- Applicants are already being interviewed in the hopes of the factory starting operations very soon.
- The factory is a property of the Cross River State Government, not any sole individual, company or group of companies.
- To ensure that the project achieves credibility, minority shares belong to Edward Obi Akatcha (15%) and Barr. Emmanuel Ubua (15%) with another 40% up for grabs for foreign or local direct investment.
- Edward Obi Akatcha (15%) and Barr. Emmanuel Ubua (15%) will upon the full setup of the company relinquish their shares to the State Government, meaning that the State Government remains the majority shareholder.
- The factory will be run by private management while the government continues ownership of the company. The Special Project Vehicle registered by the State Government to drive the project allows for this to take place.
- The State government appropriated N2.7 billion for the factory but was however unable to generate the sum, thereby releasing only 30% or N770 million. The contractors were however pleaded with to source funds elsewhere for subsequent repayment.
- Dr Frank Ayade, the governor’s brother, is not one of the 8 major contractors who handled different aspects of the project. As such, he has no official role in the factory construction.
Parts of this article originally appeared in Premium Times.