A Look Into The Century-Old Nigerian Tannery Supplying Some Of The World’s Most Popular Brands

by Duke Magazine

GB Tannery is a leather processing company in Kano State, Nigeria. Mustapha Tijjani Sule Garo is the CEO of the company, which has been in operation for over 100 years as a third-generation family business. The company makes finished and crust leather from goat and sheepskins for export.

The company’s main buyers are in Europe, North America, the United States, and Asia, and the medium-sized tannery plant can process about 1.5 million pieces of leather per year. Furthermore, the company has supplied some of the world’s most recognizable brands.

The Kering Group manages the development of several well-known Houses in Fashion, Leather Goods, and Jewelry, including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin, and Kering Eyewear. The Nigerian tannery also supplies Inditex, which owns Zara and other brands in Spain.


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According to CEO Garo, GB Tannery was founded by his grandfather at a time when northern Nigeria lacked a tannery. He claimed that at the time, people were dealing in unprocessed goats and sheepskins. Merchants purchased the raw skins and sold them to Europeans, who also exported them to English tanneries.

Garo claims that since taking over the company, he has kept it competitive despite the operation of tanneries in Europe and Asia. “Because we’ve been in business for so long, our consumers and customers have faith in us, and we’re investing in technology.” In terms of quality, we are always ahead of our competitors,” he told CNN’s Market Place Africa.

Garo stated that he is currently working around the clock to increase the factory’s capacity to meet rising market demand. According to him, the company’s current output is insufficient to meet market demands.

“We’re thinking about expanding.” “The more we grow, the more jobs we will create in Nigeria,” he said. Aside from expanding to increase capacity, Garo stated that the company is also digitizing its operations.

“Digitalization has aided us in that we can now communicate with our buyers and suppliers more quickly.” We can do a lot of communication on WhatsApp, Zoom, and they [customers] can send us some samples by email with that [digitalization].”

Garo stated that he hopes to see GB Tannery become the best tannery in Nigeria within the next five years. In addition, begin producing leather goods. He revealed that his company has begun discussions with some Italian companies to advance this vision.

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