PZ Cussons Foundation has donated the PZ Nasara Shea-Butter processing facility to a women’s co-operative group in Tungan Wawa in Kontagora Local Government Area, Niger State.
In her speech at the occasion, a trustee of the Foundation and wife of a former president of Nigeria, Justice Fati Lami Abubakar, said the project executed by the Foundation was an intervention to empower women economically through encouragement of rural enterprise. The new facility is to upgrade their traditional method of production and make them internationally competitive, she added.
Abubakar noted that it will bring together local processors under one umbrella and organise them into a more formal structure as enterprise. The facility consists of raw material store, structures for drying, roasting, blending, finished goods store, borehole and other equipment and machineries.
She informed the gathering that PZ Cussons Foundation has executed over 52 projects spread in the six geo-political zone of the country since its establishment in 2007. The focal area of its mandate is in education, health care, potable water supply and road rehabilitation. The PZ Nasara Shea-Butter Processing Centre is the first outside the Foundation’s focal area of social services and infrastructure she concluded. It is also the third project to be executed by the Foundation in Niger State. It would be re-called that PZ Cussons Foundation, as part of its CSR initiative, constructed 500 metre Market Road Minna and donated a Health Care Centre in Gbaiko, Bosso Local Government Area.
Also speaking at the event, the Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, commended the Board of Trustee of the Foundation for siting the project in the state. According to him, it will support the effort of the government in diversifying the economy of the state by enhancing productivity in agro allied endeavours at rural levels as well as help in poverty eradication and employment. He promised to encourage other corporate bodies to do the same. Niger State has a large land mass suitable for agriculture. The governor has unfolded plans to distribute new improved shea seedlings to encourage more cultivation.
Nigeria accounts for 57 per cent of global shea-butter production with a total value of about $3.8 billion. This project is part of the on-going effort by the Niger State Government to sensitise private sector players and other development partners to awaken rural populace especially women to tap into that potential. It has large market in USA.
Shea butter is rich in Vitamin A, E and F and is widely used in cosmetics. It is necessary for production of collagen, applied for skin moisturisation, skin healing and beauty enhancement. It is also known as skin’s best friend.