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Nigeria spends N4b on jute bag importation

by Business News Report

Nigeria spent about 20 million dollars (about N4 billon) on importation of jute bags in 2015, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, has said. Abubakar disclosed this at the inauguration of the Kenaf Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (KEPPMAN) in her office on Tuesday in Abuja.
She said that the importation was in spite of the country’s potential of becoming a net exporter of jute bags and other derivatives of kenaf.
Kenaf is herbaceous plant with a wide range of food and non-food derivatives, which grows annually or biennially. It is a source of an edible vegetable oil, while the kenaf seed oil is also used for cosmetics, industrial lubricants and for bio-fuel production.
Its non-food derivatives include jute bags and other shopping bags, newsprint, insulation bags, absorbents, bedding material, bio-plastics and composites for board making.
The minister said: “what is disturbing is the inability of the country to fully harness the potential of this very important commodity.

“Countries like India, Bangladesh, China, Malaysia and others which understand the significance of the commodity to the development of their economies are investing massively and reaping returns worth billions of dollars. The simple fact that kenaf can be grown in commercial quantity in over 20 states of Nigeria, including the FCT explains why the Federal Government is keen on developing the commodity. Kenaf has given us a window of opportunity in our quest for economic diversification.
“Investment in kenaf would not only create millions of jobs for our teeming unemployed youth but would also enhance the standard of living for all stakeholders in the commodity value chain.’’

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