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How To Invest in Soap Making

From studies carry out, Nigeria has great potential to produce high quality toilet and laundry soaps more than obtainable from Malaysia, Singapore, and other Asian companies.

From studies carry out, Nigeria has great potential to produce high quality toilet and laundry soaps more than obtainable from Malaysia, Singapore, and other Asian companies.

Nigeria as a country can easily produce quality laundry and toilet soaps, using local raw materials and technology that can gain international acceptance. This will depend on how the project is handled professionally. This is what this country deserves at this point in time. With this policy in place and sincerity of purpose, the local industries will come up and protected from the effect of importation from abroad. It should be noted that the unemployment situation in the country, foreign debts, unfavourable balance of payments, and other related economic problems cannot be solved, unless Nigeria looks inwards to establish small and medium scale industries, and develop technologically.

It is indeed a sad tale to discover that there are many brands of toilet soaps and creams in the market, which are imported from Malaysia and Indonesia, and even from Europe and America. From research carried out, Nigeria can conveniently produce any type of toilet and laundry soaps required by its population. The raw materials and technology are readily available, including experienced manpower. Soap production can be established on a cottage, or as small, medium or large scale depending on the investor’s fund.

The technology and art of making soap has been with us for a very long time. It is only the technology that has improved globally, which Nigerian investors can as well imbibe. Soap production, either laundry or toilet (or both), can be carried out in any part of the country, but the most important thing is to apply professionalism in the proposed project, so as to achieve international standards. One can conveniently set up a virile and dependable plant using locally manufactured machinery and equipment.

Raw materials

The raw material is readily available and locally abundant in the country. Prospective investors will be advised on the best-recommended producers of these machines within the country. Alternatively, some foreign manufacturers of complete sets of the toilet and laundry soap making machines would be recommended to prospective investors also.

Wide range of uses

There is hardly any home or industry where soap is not used on a daily basis. Also, Glycerin, a by-product recovered during soap production, commands very high commercial value, as it is very useful in cosmetics and pharmaceutical formulations, and in laboratories as re-agents.


There is a vast market for soap. Consumption and usage of soap for personal hygiene and general cleanliness per household is rising, and the importance cannot be emphasised. Nigeria market is a very large one considering the growing population yearly.

Moreover, with the increase in population, there is a widening demand-supply gap. As a result, the need to establish more soap production plants in both rural and urban areas at various levels of production, to cater for the cleansing needs of various classes of consumers.

Apart from the Nigerian markets, one can cash in on the high demand from the neighbouring countries (whose indigenes travel several kilometres to and fro Nigeria to purchase daily essentials) or to export. Once the quality is good and price competitive, there will always be a willing market. With the type of local raw materials available, Nigeria can provide high quality products that can even be exported to developed part of the world.

Plants and machinery

Machines required to set up this plant are oil storage tanks and vessels, steam generators, filter press, soap reactors, recovery vessels, drying machines, cooling frames, plodder, cutting tables, stamping machine, wrapper, etc.

Plants of various sizes exist to produce 1500, 1600, 2200 metric tons of soap per annum. The capacity can be increased according to the promoter’s request, and capacity of production will depend wholly on availability of funds and plant capacity chosen.

Required raw materials

Essential raw materials for soap production are animal fats or vegetable oil, chemicals, including fragrances, wrapping materials and cartons. These raw materials are 100 percent available locally. The local availability of raw materials, among other things, will ensure continuous production and profitability.

Production process

Modern soap production technology involves pre-treatment, saponification, grinding, drying and packaging. Packaging is very important. Details of the modern production processes would be discussed in detail in the feasibility studies reports.


The minimum number of workers required to carry out the above production depends wholly on the capacity chosen, and on whether the proposed investor is interested in producing bar or toilet soap, or both. For attractive products, the most important thing is the packaging system adopted. This must be carefully done, make sure that it is equal to or more attractive than the imported products.


From preliminary investment analysis conducted, the cost of setting the project will depend on the scale and type of machines to be used (whether imported or locally made machines). On the average, using locally-made machines is estimated at about N6.2 million, as shown below. The project cost may be higher if imported machines are applied. The return on investment is very encouraging. The pay back period is also very short depending on the production and marketing strategies adopted which will be treated in the feasibility studies. The projected revenue, gross profit and cash flows are all encouraging too. Details will be shown on the report.

The good thing about this project is that it is one of the listed projects that the banks are interested in funding, but the business plan must be professionally presented. Other financial institutions are also interested in funding this project, because it is one of the consumer goods that are very marketable and lucrative.

For details on comprehensive and bankable feasibility studies, business plans procurement and installations of strong and durable machines, packaging methods, export markets and funding arrangements, please contact the author of this article, Uba Godwin on 01-4721550, 08034494437, 08023664368 or email him at

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