NATURAL RESOURCES IN NIGERIA

Nigeria is a large African country blessed with several natural resources. Famous for its crude oil exports, Nigeria is also rich in several other natural resources which many may not be aware of.

While the country’s economy is largely dependent on crude oil sales currently, the solid mineral resources potential of the country is quite huge which means a diversification of the Nigerian economy from a largely oil-based one to one with multiple sources of foreign exchange is inevitable in the future.

In this article, a list of some of the natural resources found within the Nigerian territory and their locations is provided.

The term natural resources apply commonly to natural sources of wealth that are sought and used by humans. These resources may be classified based on different parameters with renewability being a popular one.

Based on renewability, natural resources may be classified as renewable and non-renewable. Based on use, we can also have mineral and agricultural resources.

Mineral resources can further be divided into industrial and metallic minerals. Classification of natural resources is not out focus in this article so we will stop here on that.

In this article, we will review the natural resources of Nigeria under two classifications which are Mineral Resources and Agricultural Resources.

Mineral Resources In Nigeria And Their Locations.

The mineral resources of Nigeria have serious potential for wealth creation but as of now, the solid minerals sector is grossly underutilized while only the petroleum sector is doing well.

These minerals are found all over the country with each of the 36 states and the FCT that make up the country boasting a significant amount of one or more mineral resources.

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Below is a list of some of the most sought mineral resources in Nigeria and states where they can be found.

  • Bitumen – Lagos, Edo, Ondo, Ogun.
  • Coal – Ondo, Enugu.
  • Oil and gas – Akwa Ibom, Abia, Bayelsa, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Imo.
  • Gold – Edo, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Ijesha, Oyo.
  • Iron ore – Benue, Anambra, Kogi State, Kwara, Delta State.
  • Lead and zinc – Ebonyi, Benue, Ogoja, Kano.
  • Salt – Akwa Ibom, Abia, Ebonyi, Cross River.
  • Tin – Jos, Bauchi.

Agricultural Resources In Nigeria And Their Locations.

Another type of natural resources is those classified as Agricultural resources. These are extremely important for the country’s economic stability.

While they can be consumed locally, they can also be exported and traded internationally. Below is a list of some of the key agricultural resources in the country, and the states where you can find them:

  • Cocoa – Edo, Anambra, Imo, Kwara, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Oyo.
  • Coffee – Kwara, Bauchi, Osun.
  • Cotton – Katsina, Kano, Niger, Kwara, Sokoto.
  • Groundnut – Ebonyi, Katsina, Sokoto, Kano, Niger.
  • Kola nut – Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Kwara.
  • Oil palm – Akwa Ibom, Imo, Anambra, Oyo, Aba.
  • Plantain – Ogun, Oyo, Osun.
  • Rubber – Delta, Cross River, Ogun, Edo.
  • Sugarcane – Sokoto.
  • Timber – Edo, Ogun, Delta.

From the lists provided, you will understand that Nigeria is blessed with a lot of natural resources.

Coal was first discovered in Nigeria in the year 1909 in the city of Enugu. Nigerian coal is regarded as one of the best coals in the world due to its low Sulphur and Ash content. This means that Nigerian coal is eco-friendly. It is estimated that Nigeria has about three billion tons of coal.

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Petroleum which is the main source of foreign exchange for Nigeria was first discovered in Oloibiri, Bayelsa State, in 1959. Nigeria currently produces about 2.5 million barrels of oil daily, and there are 180 trillion cubic metres of gas reserve.

Rock Salt is another mineral resource that is in high demand. It is a combination made of table salt, caustic soda, chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, and several other materials. About 1.5 million tons of rock salt is preserved in Nigeria.

Nigeria is estimated to have about 10 million tons of Lead/Zinc spread across states like Enugu, Abuja, Cross Rivers, Cano, and others. The east-central part of Nigeria is the richest in lead/zinc mineralization with about 5 million tons of this resource.

The Nigerian National Iron Ore Company was established In 1979. It is said that there are about 3 billion tons of iron ore are available in the country. Iron ore is present in such states as Enugu, Abuja, Niger, and Kogi. Gemstones are also found all over the country.

States popularly for precious gemstones are Bauchi, Plateau, and Kaduna. Some types of gemstones that can be found in Nigeria are ruby, emerald, sapphire, and various others.

Another type of natural resource found in Nigeria is Bitumen. Bitumen is used in road construction. Exploration for bitumen in Nigeria first took place in 1905. The following states are famous for bitumen; Ogun, Edo, Ondo, and Lagos.

It is estimated that Nigeria has twice as much bitumen reserve as crude oil. Gypsum is yet another natural resource found in Nigeria. It is used in the production of cement, chalk, and POP (plaster of Paris). Edo, Delta, Gombe, and Kogi states are popular for Gypsum production.

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Nigeria is estimated to have about 4 billion tons of talc, found in states such as Kogi, Oyo, Osun, and Niger. Bentonite and barite are used primarily as drilling mud in crude oil exploration.

It is estimated that there are about 700 million tons of bentonite in Nigeria, found in states like Borno, Plateau, and Adamawa. Nigerian bentonite, however, falls short of the standard required for use as drilling mud. This means that it must be processed further to make it suitable for that purpose.

The barite reserve of Nigeria is estimated to be about 7.5 million tons of barite and can be found in Bauchi and Taraba states.

Conclusion

It is beyond doubt that Nigeria is a richly blessed country. There is an abundance of natural resources in the country as there is no Nigerian state that does not boast of one natural resource or another.

Some of these natural resources are currently well utilized while others are not. More work is required on the part of the government to ensure that the natural resources of the country are judiciously utilized.

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