The Raw Materials Research and Development Council has said Nigeria spent $264m on the importation of shea-butter and castor oil in 2021.
Speaking at a strategic sectoral dialogue session on the future of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday, the Chairman, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sectoral Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr Rotimi Aluko, said that in 2021, the country spent $114 on importation of Shea butter while $150 was spent on castor oil importation.
Aluko who was represented at the event by the Director, Mineral Material Development Department, RMRDC, Dr Mohammed Buga, said the council had developed the technology and equipment for Shea nut processing. He added that the plant has a crushing capacity of 0.5ton/hr and kneading capacity of 100g/hr.
Aluko said, “Nigeria imported shea butter worth N114m 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.” To consolidate on its success in the establishment of castor oil processing plant, he said the council designed and developed castor seed sheller and promoted cultivation of improved castor seeding for sustainable supply of raw materials.
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.