Kano, the leather power house in Nigeria
Nigeria’s widely acclaimed commercial hub, Kano plays host to a large leather industry. The tannery factories in Kano are always scurrying with activities as men act on hides and an array of skins for brands from around the world. These tannery factories are the oldest in Nigeria and also the biggest suppliers of local leather. These modest looking spaces are for a fact the heart of an industry worth at the least ₦25 billion. Together with the leather cobblers and outlets around Nigeria, they engage people in their hundreds of thousands. Also, they provide bags and footwears’ for endless number of people.
Kano leather factories, like any other, are the starting point in the leather producing value chain. The tanneries collect hides and skins that has been peeled away from killed animals and pass them through the tanning process until they become leather. Apart from the common cow and goat skin used, they also have expertise in the field of exotic skins like snake and crocodile. Leather derived from these factories are then designed into belts, footwear, bags and housewares by local artisans, either in Kano or in other towns and cities where they are taken to.
The leather produced from these tanning factories in Kano has great appeal in the eyes of fellow African countries and even Europe. It is no secret now that some of the world’s biggest fashion brands source their leather from Kano’s tanneries. In 2016, it became public knowledge that Louis Vuitton, a French luxury powerhouse were making use of leather imported from parts of Northern Nigeria. This is proof of the outright quality of leather goods manufactured in Nigeria and also an indicator to the fact that our artisans are the best in the leather industry.
In a condition the leather stays in Nigeria, it goes on to local manufacturers who turn it into finished products. These may be small or large scale industrial producers or artisans. The bigger players in the leather manufacturing industries depend on automated production and do not need a lot of manual labour to produce their belts, bags and shoes in large quantities. Aba is one of the regions in Nigeria that has a strong leather fashioning sector, depicted by a number of leatherworking and trading clusters. These areas are found in various parts of the city, each one playing host to a large number of producers operating in them. Footwear acts as the largest part of items made in these areas, ladies’ bags, upholstery, purses and belts are also made.
Nigeria exports a large number of leather goods. A fair estimate sets the annual revenue from the leather trade at a massive $100 million. Sadly, it imports around five times this value.
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It is for sure a market that is drastically growing and has a lot of promise for the economy. If only the government could provide the local producers with the much needed machines and constant power supply, it would go a long way in reducing production cost and increase productivity. With all this in place, the leather industry can become a very lucrative business for Nigeria as a whole.
Things to Know About Kano
- A City of Many Festivals
- Home of Ancient Relics and Culture
- Shopping in Kano: There are a few supermarkets and stalls where you can purchase food and other items. However, some places, in particular, offer good of premium quality.
- Beautiful place to visit: The Kofar Matar Dyeing Pits, Falgore Game Reserve, Minjibir Weaving Centre, Dawakin Tofa Pottery etc
Do you Know?
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