The Nigerian economy is extremely vulnerable to fluctuations in the global oil price. This was recently demonstrated when a decline in global oil prices and in local oil production contributed to a recession in 2016. Although oil currently accounts for only about 10% of Nigerian GDP, it exerts a disproportionate pull on the Nigerian economy through its impact on exports and government spending. Oil currently accounts for 83% of Nigeria’s exports and nearly 60% of government revenue. Despite the generally poor performance of Nigeria’s non-oil sector in terms of exports, the garment and leather goods cluster in Aba, Abia State has high productivity levels compared to the rest of the country and is therefore able to export, at least within the West African region.
The aim of this study is to document the factors and unique characteristics that led to the formation, growth, and relative success of the Aba cluster; understand the constraints businesses in the cluster face; and develop recommendations for increasing productivity in the cluster and in Nigeria in general using Aba as a case study. The information contained in this report will be of use to both private and public sector organizations seeking to contribute to the growth of the Aba garment and leather goods clusters.