Nigeria expended a sum of $264 million on shea butter and vegetable oil importation in 2021, the latest report from the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has shown.
Speaking at a strategic sectoral dialogue session on the future of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria in Lagos, Mr Rotimi Aluko, said the country spent $114 million on the importation of shea butter in 2021 while another $150 million was spent on castor oil importation.
The Chairman of the council who was represented by the Director, Mineral Material Development Department, RMRDC, Dr Mohammed Buga, however, said the council had developed the technology and equipment for Shea nut processing to limit the huge amount of foreign exchange expended on shea butter which Nigeria can easily produce locally.
The director further added that the plant has a crushing capacity of 0.5ton/hr and a kneading capacity of 100g/hr.
In the same development, Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) stated that the council has designed and developed a castor seed sheller and promoted the cultivation of improved castor seeding for the sustainable supply of raw materials to consolidate its success in the establishment of castor oil processing plant.
Furthermore, RMRDC Claimed it is in collaboration with National Research Institute for Chemical Technology to develop a pilot plant for the co-production of caustic soda and precipitated calcium carbonate.
Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) is an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria (under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology) vested with the mandate to promote the development and utilization of Nigeria’s industrial raw materials.
RMRDC was established in July 1987 as a recommendation of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER).