By Salawudeen Olawale
Niger Commissioner for Commerce, Trade and Investment, Mrs Ramatu Yar’ adua, disclosed that the state is exporting 57 per cent of the Shea Butter produced world-wide.
Yar’adua made this known today Tuesday at news conference at the defence of her ministry’s 2017 budget proposal at the state House of Assembly in Minna.
According to her, the state has engaged consultants to conduct a shea tree research and come up with a roadmap that will guide the value chain in the production of the product.
“This has become more urgent in view of the fact that Niger state is currently producing about 57 per cent of the world’s Shea butter that goes into the international market.
“These consultants are going to be training our women on how to process the Shea nuts, converting that to butter.
“They are going to train these women to first of all know how to pick the nuts, sort the nuts and preserve them, and these consultants work closely with the American Shea Butter Institute,” she added.
Judging by a survey undertaken by the American Shea Butter Institute, she explained that Niger could generate nearly 2 billion dollars annually from the production of Shea Butter alone.
“We can generate about 2 billion dollars a year; that is if we follow the road map of the consultants for the state.
“The figure was arrived at following a survey carried out by the American Shea Butter Institute,” she said.
Yar’adua listed some of the ministry’s achievements in the past year, including the construction of 40 industrial clusters, the Suleja International Market and motor parks.
She commended the house for granting the ministry approval to access a N2 billion Central Bank of Nigeria’s loan for micro, small and medium enterprises.
Yar’adua disclosed that the 2017 budget would focus on wealth and job creation.