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The Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai and the National Shea Products Association of Nigeria (NASPAN) are to partner in the production of improved Shea seedlings, training programme and certification to global standard.

The agreement to engage in the partnership came as a result of a meeting between the University Management and the Leadership of the Association.

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Abu Kasim Adamu hinted that the University was ready to partner with NASPAN, and both partners to come up with a Memorandum of Understanding, expressing the confidence that all interests would be resolved.

He decried the spate of felling of shea trees and the unhealthy export, and observed that Niger State and indeed the nation were being shortchanged, hence the need for the University to salvage the situation.

The Vice Chancellor stressing that there has been a special interest in the University for the production of Shea butter with many research projects going on.

Professor Adamu disclosed that already, some researchers in the University are already running grants of the National Research Fund intervention in shea production.

Speaking earlier, the National President of the National Shea Products Association of Nigeria, Malam Mohammed Ahmed Kontagora said the demand for Shea increases daily with sixty percent coming from Niger State.

He described the situation as worrisome, hence the request to partner with the University to give the sector the desired attention with much training and certification in the application of Shea products.

Malam Ahmed Kontagora noted that with nature endowing the State with Shea trees, it should be made one of the premium non-oil export commodities.

The national President therefore itemized areas of partnership needed with the University to include, Shea Parkland Afforestation and Reforestation (SPARE) Project, Training programmes that will help facilitating effective implementation of the Association’s objectives, and research in improved seedlings.

He said with all these, the University is the best bet to promote Shea products activities, given the much needed fund.

Also, the Coordinating Director of Research and Development, Professor Nuhu Obaje disclosed the University’s research on Shea has reached about seventy percent completion, adding that on the campus alone, a total of two thousand, nine hundred and eighty two Shea trees have been counted, adding that a Shea Management Committee already exist in the University.

Professor Obaje who is the NNPC Basinal Chair Professor, reiterated the need for more partnership in order to promote Shea production.

In their separate submission, Professors Mohammed Aliyu Paiko, Naomi Dadi- Mahmud, Abubakar Sadeeq Ibrahim Gudugi and Alimi Folorunso Lawal the partnership was very apt and timely considering the interest of the Institution in shea production.

The were unanimous on the fact that a Memorandum of Understanding was needed for the two parties study and work with.

A committee which include members of the Association was immediately set up to discuss the modalities of the Memorandum.