The Natural Resources that will feed Grassroots Industrial Development in Nigeria

This chapter displays the available natural resources (agricultural and mineral) that will feed grassroots industrial development and add to the internally generated revenue (IGR) of Nigerian states. It is believed that grassroots development would accordingly be faster and more expanded if local governments become autonomous, whether the country is restructured into regions or left in states as it is now. As established in our earlier discussion, Nigeria is blessed with abundant and diversified Agricultural and Mineral Resources, far more than most other countries of the world.

Agricultural Resources

Nigerian agricultural produce are usually classified into two, namely: staple (food) crops and cash (export) crops. This classification is not in any way rigid because excess food produce may at any point in time be converted into exportable commodities, and some of the exportable commodities may be reserved for domestic use.

The main staple crops in Nigeria are Cassava, Yam, Rice, Maize, Plantain, Beans, Cocoyam, Fish, Fruits, Vegetables, Medicinal Plants, etc. – which grow well in southern part of Nigeria; in addition to Cattle, Fish, Cow Pea, Onions, Pepper, Tomato, etc. – which grow outstandingly well in the northern part.

The main exportable crops in Nigeria are Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Cashew Nuts, Timber (wood products), Cocoa, and Natural Rubber – which thrive best in southern Nigeria; and Groundnut, Cotton, Sesame Seed, Shea Nut, Ginger, Garlic, Gum Arabic, Sugar Cane, Hides and Skin – which thrive best in the northern parts of the country.

Nigeria has wonderful climatic and soil conditions that are suitable for the growth of both the staple and export crops. The Table below gives a snapshot view of the main agricultural produce and where they thrive best.

Major Agricultural Produce that can be found in the 6 Geopolitical Zones (Regions) of Nigeria
Geopolitical Zones (Regions) Main Agricultural Produce
Cash Crops (Exportable Produce) Staple (Food) Produce
1. South-East Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Cashew Nuts, Timber (wood products), Natural Rubber, etc. Cassava, Yam, Rice, Maize, Plantain, Beans, Cocoyam, Fish, Fruits, Vegetables, Medicinal Plants, etc.
2. South-South Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Cashew Nuts, Timber (wood products), Natural Rubber, Bamboo, Cocoa, etc. Cassava, Yam, Plantain, Rice, Beans, Cocoyam, Maize, Fish, Fruits, Vegetables, Medicinal Plants, etc.
3. South-West Cocoa, Timber (wood products), Palm Oil, Rubber, Cashew, Soybean, etc. Yam, Cassava, Plantain, Beans, Maize, Fish, Fruits, Vegetables, Medicinal Plants, etc.
4 North-Central (Middle Belt) Cashew Nuts, Groundnuts, Cotton, Shea Nut (Butter), Sesame/ Beni-Seed, Ginger, Tea, Soybean, Gum Arabic, Sugar Cane, etc. Yam, Cassava, Potato, Maize, Beans, Plantain, Cattle, Fish, Fruits, Vegetables, Medicinal Plants, etc.
5. North-East Gum Arabic, Cotton, Groundnuts, Hides & Skin (Leather Products), Hibiscus/ Herbal Tea, Wheat, Sesame/ Beni-Seed, Sorghum, Sugar Cane, etc. Wheat, Maize, Cattle, Fish, Cow Pea, Beans Onions, Pepper, Tomato, Fruits, Vegetables, Medicinal Plants, etc.
6. North West – Groundnuts, Cotton, Soybean, Hides & Skin, Hibiscus/ Herbal Tea, Hides and Skin, Garlic, Gum Arabic, Ginger, Soybean, Sesame/ Beni-Seed, Shea Nut (Butter), Sorghum, Wheat, Sugar Cane, etc. Cattle, Fish, Maize, Cow Pea, Beans, Onions, Pepper, Tomato, Fruits, Vegetables Medicinal Plants (in particular, Dogonyaro), etc.


Hence, each of the staple and export produce can also be industrially processed locally through the addition of value to the raw. It is noteworthy that a lot of efforts have been made in the past by private entrepreneurs, interventionist and government agencies, to industrially process the raw produce, but not much success has been recorded owing mainly to inadequate infrastructure especially electricity and road network, as well as the foreign exchange needed to purchase modern machinery and other inputs.

Solid Mineral Resources

Another Table below presents a concise picture of the key solid mineral resources that have been confirmed to be buried in commercial quantities within the soil, across all the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria:

Major Solid Minerals that can be found in the 6 Geopolitical Zones (Regions) of Nigeria
Geopolitical Zones (Regions) Solid Mineral Resources
1. South-East 1) Abia: Gold, Lead/Zinc, Limestone, Lignite/Coal, Oil/Gas & Salt

2) Anambra: Clay, Glass-Sand, Gypsum, Iron-ore, Lead/Zinc, Lignite, Limestone, Phosphate & Salt

3) Ebonyi: Gold, Lead/Zinc & Salt

4) Enugu: Coal, Lead/Zinc & Limestone

5) Imo: Gypsum, Lead/Zinc, Lignite, Limestone, Marcasite, Oil/Gas, Bentonite, Phosphate & Salt

2. South-South 1) Akwa Ibom: Clay, Lead/Zinc, Lignite, Limestone, Oil/Gas, Salt & Uranium

2) Bayelsa: Clay, Gypsum, Lead/Zinc, Lignite, Limestone, Manganese, Oil/Gas & Uranium

3) Cross River: Barite, Lead/Zinc, Lignite, Limestone, Manganese, Oil/Gas, Salt & Uranium

4) Delta: Clay, Glass-sand, Gypsum, Iron-ore, Kaolin, Lignite, Marble & Oil/Gas

5) Edo: Bitumen, Kaolin/ Clay, Bentonite, Dolomite, Phosphate, Glass-sand, Gold, Gypsum, Iron-ore, Lignite, Limestone, Marble & Oil/Gas

6) Rivers: Clay, Glass-Sand, Lignite, Marble & Oil/Gas

3. South-West 1) Ekiti: Feldspar, Granite, Kaolin, Syenite & Tatium

2) Lagos: Bitumen, Clay & Glass-sand

3) Ogun: Bitumen, Clay, Feldspar, Gemstone, Kaolin, Limestone & Phosphate

4) Ondo: Bitumen, Clay, Coal, Dimension Stones, Feldspar, Gemstone, Glass-Sand, Granite, Gypsum, Kaolin, Limestone & Oil/Gas

5) Osun: Columbite, Gold, Granite, Talc, Tantalite & Tourmaline

6) Oyo: Aqua Marine, Cassiterite, Clay, Dolomite, Gemstone, Gold, Kaolin, Marble, Limonite, Talc & Tantalite

4 North-Central/ Middle Belt 1) Benue: Barite, Clay, Coal, Gemstone, Gypsum, Iron-Ore, Lead/Zinc, Limestone, Marble & Salt, Fluoride, Gemstones, Granite, Iron-ore, Kaolin, Lead/Zinc, Marble, Molybdenite, Phrochlore, Salt, Tantalite/Columbite, Tin & Wolfram

2) Plateau: Barite, Bauxite, Bentonite, Bismuth, Cassiterite, Clay, Coal, Emerald,

3) Kogi: Cole, Dolomite, Feldspar, Gypsum, Iron-ore, Kaolin, Marble, Talc & Tantalite

4) Kwara: Cassiterite, Columbite, Feldspar, Gold, Iron-ore, Marble, Mica & Tantalite

5) Nasarawa: Amethyst (Topaz Garnet), Barite, Barite, Cassirite, Chalcopyrite, Clay, Columbite, Coking Coal, Dolomite/Marble, Feldspar, Galena, Iron-ore, Limestone, Mica, Salt, Sapphire, Talc, Tantalite, Tourmaline Quartz & Zireon

6) Niger: Gold, Lead/Zinc & Talc

5. North-East 1) Adamawa: Bentonite, Gypsium, Kaolin & Magnesium,

2) Bauchi: Gold, Cassiterite (tine ore), Columbite, Gypsum, Wolfram, Coal, Limestone, Lignite, Iron-ore & Clay

3) Gombe: Gemstone & Gypsum

4) Borno: Bentonite, Clay, Diatomite, Gypsum, Hydro-carbon, Kaolin & Limestone

5) Yobe: Soda Ash & Tantalite

6) Taraba: Lead/Zinc

6. North West 1) Kaduna: Gemstones (in particular – Amethyst, Aqua Marine, Sapphire, Sihnite, Superntinite, Tentalime, Topaz & Tourmaline) Asbestos, Clay, Fluorspar, Gemstone, Gold, Graphite, Kaolin, Hyanite, Mica, Rock Crystal, Ruby,

2) Kano: Cassiterite, Copper, Gemstone, Glass-sand, Lead/Zinc, Pyrochinre & Tantalite

3) Jigawa: Butyles

4) Katsina: Kaolin, Marble & Salt

5) Zamfara: Coal, Cotton & Gold

6) Sokoto: Clay, Flakes, Gold, Granite, Gypsum, Kaolin, Laterite, Limestone, Phosphate, Potash, Silica Sand & Salt

Kebbi : Gold

FCT Abuja: Cassiterite, Clay, Dolomite, Gold, Lead/Zinc, Marble & Tantalite


There are many more solid minerals that are not included on this list. Yet, Nigeria would still become a very wealthy nation and industrial giant if just half of its abundant mineral and agricultural natural resources are reasonably tapped and processed.


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