Sunday, 30 July 2017

The Groundnut Pyramids Of Kano, Will They Ever Return?

Groundnut pyramids were pyramid-like structures made from groundnut sacks. The pyramids were built in northern Nigeria in cities such as Kano, where groundnut production was a key part of the economy. They were viewed as both a tourist attraction and a symbol of wealth.
In the 1960s and 70s, as production in Nigeria shifted from agriculture to oil, the groundnut pyramids disappeared.
Groundnut pyramids were the invention of Alhassan Dantata (1877—1955), a prominent nut trader. Dantata came to Kano in 1919 and within five years was one of the most successful businessmen, supplying the Royal Niger Company (RNC) with most of their groundnuts. Dantata's company kept their groundnuts at a facility in Kofar Nassarawa, and they stacked the bags in the shape of a pyramid before they were shipped.

One groundnut pyramid could be made from as much as 15,000 full groundnut bags. A journalist with Daily Trust Newspapers, Ismail Adebayo, who visited a former groundnut pyramid site in Kano reported that the land was now a football field.
Groundnut pyramids were built all across northern Nigeria, in cities like Kofar Mazugal, Brigade, Bebeji , Malam Madori and Dawakin Kudu. The pyramids became synonymous with Nigeria's agriculture wealth; a postage stamp even featured a groundnut pyramid.However, as groundnut production declined in the 1970s and 1980s the groundnut pyramids disappeared and were replaced with buildings.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, on his visit to Kano during the presidential campaign, promised that his administration would help thepeople to revive the groundnut pyramids, as well as put in place, the necessary infrastructure to boost its processing and packaging. He said there was the need to empower Kano people and boost trade and industry here.
In 2014, Jonathan said his administration, under the groundnut value chain programme, is expected to produce an additional 120,000 metric tonnes of groundnut valued at 24 billions naira and supplied to small, medium and large scale processors.
According to him, the project was planned to be implemented in 15 states - Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Kebbi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara. But nothing was heard of the project till the expiration of his administration in 2015.
Now, the begging question is, "Will the groundnut pyramids ever return?" 
Credits: Wikipedia, Daily Trust.

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