The Federal Government (FG) spent $264 million to import shea butter and vegetable oil last year (2021).
According to the Chairman, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sectoral Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Rotimi Aluko, who made this disclosure, while the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration spent $114 million on the importation of Shea butter, $150 million was spent on vegetable oil importation.
Aluko, who was represented at a strategic sectoral dialogue session on the future of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria in Lagos by the Director, Mineral Material Development Department (RMRDC), Dr Mohammed Buga, however, hinted that the council had developed the technology and equipment for Shea nut processing.
He further stated the plant has a crushing capacity of 0.5ton/hr and kneading capacity of 100g per hr.
“Nigeria imported shea butter worth N114 million in 2021. The council developed the technology and equipment for Shea nut processing. The plant was upgraded by introducing a more efficient kneader. The technology has been adopted by private sector operators,” Aluko said.
To consolidate on its success in the establishment of vegetable oil processing plant, he added that the council designed and developed castor seed sheller and promoted cultivation of improved castor seeding for sustainable supply of raw materials.
“The efforts of the council has led to the establishment of two castor oil processing companies in Abuja and Kwara state respectively,” Aluko revealed.
He also said the country imported caustic soda worth N34,572 in 2019, adding that the RMRDC in collaboration with National Research Institute for Chemical Technology, developed a pilot plant for the co-production of caustic soda and precipitated calcium carbonate.
“The plant was designed, fabricated and installed to produce 250kg per day sodium hydroxide and 158kg per day precipitated calcium carbonate from quick lime and sodium carbonate,” he said.