Nigeria is one of the countries blessed with an abundance of natural resources even though the government of the country seems to focus solely on crude oil.
In fact, a 2015 report revealed that Nigeria loses about N50 trillion from untapped resources but the current government is looking to diversify the economic in order to reduce dependence on the oil and gas sector.
In this post, we will discover these natural resources and the states in which they can be found.
As a matter of fact, in 2010, the Federal Government of Nigeria identified a total of 37 minerals that are yet to be explored.
But some private industries are beginning to utilise this untapped potential. For instance, Dangote Industries is currently into the mining of gold, iron ore, coal and lead/zinc.
Generally, natural resources can either be renewable (plants and animals), or non-renewable (fossil fuels, minerals, and soils).
Usually, the non-renewable resources are found in limited quantities, and the production of this can take the earth millions of years to replicate. As a result of their limited quantities and usefulness, they are often considered to be the most valuable.
Let’s take a look at these natural resources
Map of Nigeria Showing Natural Resources
Crude oil is the most important natural resource in the country and the oil producing states include Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Lagos, Ondo, Imo and Rivers.
Below is a brief profile of some of the major oil producing states
- Akwa Ibom
Akwa Ibom is the highest oil and gas producing state in the country with over 500,000 barrels produced daily.
- Delta state
Delta is also the second major producer of oil and gas in the country with a daily output of 346,000 barrels. Also, the state has one of the largest deposits of crude oil and natural gas in the country.
Apart from its crude oil deposits, Delta is also rich in natural resources like limestone, decorative rocks, tar sand, kaolin, lignite, silica and industrial clay.
- Rivers State
Rivers state produces an estimated 344,000 barrels per day. The state has a GDP of $21.073 and a per capita of $3,965 while its internally generated revenue is over N80 billion.
Several multinational and indigenous oil companies are located in Port Harcourt, the administrative capital of Rivers state. These include the likes of Shell Petroleum Development Company, Chevron, Total Nigeria, Oando etc.
- Lagos State
Lagos state is ranked 6th with daily production estimated at 40,000 barrels.
The state is the most recent addition to the list of oil producing states as the Federal Government approved four of the five oil-producing Aje wells in the state in 2016.
Crude oil production in Lagos is just a small fraction of the revenue generated by the state each year. Lagos is one of the few states in the country that has been able to generate revenue from other sources apart from crude oil.
- Edo state
Edo state is the seventh largest producer of oil and gas in the country with a daily output of 33, 000 barrels.
The state also produces mineral resources like limestone and quarry. In 2016, Edo state generated N19.1 billion in 2016 making it the 4th richest among the oil producing state and the 6th richest state in the country.
Coal is one of Nigeria’s main natural resources as well as the country’s oldest commercial fuel. The reason for the neglect of coal industry is due to the switch to diesel as many industries that were dependent on coal in the past found diesel as a more efficient option.
Prior to this switch, coal production in Nigeria was at an all time high of an estimated one million tonnes in 1959.
Some of the untapped coal deposit can be found in locations like Oriu in the south-east, through Urnuezeala, Umuahia, Nnewi, Oba, in a 20 to 40km – wide belt across the Niger, to Ogwashi, Asaba, Mgbiigliba and Adiase-Uti in Delta State
These untapped deposits is said to contain over 50 million tonnes. The coal exists as lignites, sub-bituminous coal and bituminous coal.
Columbite is another untapped mineral resource in Nigeria. It is found in states like Plateau, Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Kogi and Nassarawa states. Columbite is an ore of niobium. It has a submetallic luster and a high density, a niobate of iron and manganese.
Some of the uses of columbite ore include alloy of steel to form weldable high speed steel for radio transmitting valves and heat sensitive detective devices. It is also a substitute for tantalum, which is often used in the electronics and telecommunications industry, making columbite a valuable resource in these industries. The ROI on columbite ore is estimated at 10 to 15%.
Founded in states like Borno, Sokoto, Cross River and Benue, limestone is formed either by direct crystallization from seawater or the accumulation of shell fragments. The average specific gravity of Nigerian limestone varies from 2.70 to 2.86.
Limestone is a multipurpose mineral resource and it is used in building sculptures and monuments, manufacture of paint, tooth paste, detergents, soaps, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, ceramics, asbestos, industrial adhesives, paper conversion, livestock concentrate and chemical fillers in rubber and plastic. It is also useful in the steel and iron refinery.
Tin ore can be found in Jos, Plateau state however the general output is low as about 10,546 tonnes are found in the state.
Nonetheless, the exploration of tin ore in the country can serve as an avenue for the production of tin oxide which is used in paint, paper and ink industries.
It is also used in the production of tin oxide resistors and electric lead wires. The ROI on investment in the milling, packaging and export of tin ore is estimated at 10 to 30 percent.
Here’s a list of the mineral resources found in Nigeria and their locations.
- Bitumen: Edo, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo.
- Coal: Enugu, Ondo
- Gold: Ebonyi, Edo, Ijesha, Kaduna, Oyo.
- Iron ore: Anambra, Benue, Delta State, Kogi State, Kwara.
- Lead and zinc: Benue, Ebonyi, Kano, Ogoja.
- Salt: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi.
- Tin: Bauchi, Jos.