Cobblers in the Tema Metropolis have called on the government to establish a shoe factory in their enclave for the teeming youth to venture into shoemaking as a means of employment.
They told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Tema that scores of shoemakers had acquired the necessary skills to produce quality shoes on a large scale to feed both the local and international market.
Mr Kwabena Adu, a cobbler on behalf the Tema Cobblers Group said they needed the necessary governmental support to transform their trade into a fully established factory which would be in the interest of the state.
“We have the skills, just that we don’t have the resources available to make shoes for local consumption and export, so we are pleading with the government to establish a shoe factory here and invest in our personal businesses and tax us,” he added.
Mr Kofi Appiah, a cobbler at Tema Community One also told the GNA that he had been in the business since 1992 adding that previously, the business was good, as it generated enough money to cater for his eight children and their mother.
“However, things have been difficult in recent times; stressing that there were times they made less than GHC50 a day and that was affecting the ability to provide family needs making it also difficult to save for the future and called on the government to come to their aid.
Mr Appiah explained that through years of practice and repairing shoes they had acquired skills and needed government support to expand the business therefore the need to establish a shoe factory in Tema.
Other cobblers said the establishment and investment in the shoe industry would reduce the number of shoes that were imported into the country, promote local consumption of products, and create direct jobs for the youth.
They expressed concern about the decrease in the patronage of their services in recent times and feared that in the next five to 10 years, their services might not be needed, and the establishment of a factory could save them.