The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, has revealed that Nigeria accounts for about 57 percent of the world shea production.
She said this at the introduction of the upcoming 11th Annual International Shea Conference themed: “Shea 2018” focused on “Going Further Together” on Tuesday, in Abuja.
She said that Nigeria stood to benefit immensely from the shea industry if the informal sector was properly harnessed.
According to the minister, the industry would boost employment generation, alleviate poverty, create wealth, sustain the environment and attract foreign investment.
“Nigeria accounts for about 57 percent of the world shea nut production, of which the global shea market for chocolate value is approximately 117 billion dollars, while that of the cosmetics industry stands at 382 billion dollars.
“The 2018 conference, no doubt, explores the meaning of an African proverb that states “if you want to ‘go quickly, go alone; if you want to go far, go together,” Abubakar said.
She said that the conference would afford Nigeria an opportunity for business linkages with the rest of the world, reduce trade barriers and also achieve sustainability.
“The country would be on the right path to diversifying its economy through strategic focus on the commodity’s export business.
“Shea butter has the potential to eradicate poverty, improve rural economies and also provide richness to our teeming youths,” she added.
On collaboration, she said that the ministry would collaborate with the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NCA) and the Ministry Agriculture to organise the 16th annual International African Cotton Congress.
Abubakar said that the congress would focus on mechanised cotton farming as an essential equipment to boost African cotton production.
She said that the country was blessed with fertile land for cotton production.
Abubakar said that the conference would provide Nigeria with International best practices, as well as new technologies in line with cotton farming.
On Made-in-Nigeria franchise, Abubakar said that the ministry would champion franchise business development services for Made-in-Nigeria business access around the world.
According to her, the scheme was aimed at franchising scalable local businesses that have shown their appeal to other countries.