A guide to natural resources in Nigeria

There are a vast array of different natural resources in Nigeria. Being the giant of Africa is one of the countries in Africa that has the widest range of different natural resources. Natural resources are materials and substances that occur naturally and can be used for economic gain.

Although Nigeria mainly focuses on Crude oil as its major economic source, it still uses some other natural and mineral resources to improve its standard of living and the economy.

Natural resources in nigeria

Statistically, the level of exploitation of these minerals is very low in relation to the extent of deposit found in the country. One of the objectives of the new National Policy on Solid Minerals is to ensure the orderly development of the mineral resources of the country.

In Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals Development grant prospecting licenses to investors (local and foreign), to enable them participate in the exploitation of the vast mineral resources in Nigeria.

Here is a list of all the natural resources in Nigeria and their locations.

1. Crude Oil

natural resources in nigeria

Popularly known as one of the natural resources in Nigeria. Crude oil is a fossil fuel discovered in the country in 1956.

Crude oil is a mixture of hydrocarbons that is formed from plants and animals that lived millions of years ago. It is considered a fossil fuel for there are strong evidences that its originated from fossilized animals and plants.

It exists in liquid form in underground pools or reservoirs, in tiny spaces within sedimentary rocks, and near the surface in tar (or oil) sands. Nigeria is the world’s fourth richest in crude oil deposit and the first in Africa.

Crude oil mineral deposits are found majorly in the Niger-Delta regions comprising of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Imo, Ondo, and Rivers State.

2. Gold

gold in nigeria

Gold is a natural resource deposit mainly found in the Northern part of Nigeria. Its production started in the year 1913 and climaxed in the 1930s. The gold production, however, declined during and after the Second World War.

This natural resource is prominently found in Iperindo in Osun State, Malele, Gurmana, Okolom-Dogondaji, Anka, Bin Yauri, Maru, and Tsohon Birnin Gwari-Kwaga.

Other states with smaller deposits include; Abia, Abuja, Bauchi, Edo, Cross River, Niger, Sokoto, Osun, Oyo State, Kebbi, Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara.

3. Silver

Nigeria is one of the few African countries that has silver deposits, though silver is not vastly deposited in Nigeria like other minerals and metals, as it is only deposited in the northern part of Nigeria, namely Kano and Taraba State.

Years ago, silver was mined in combination with lead and zinc but with the coming of the Russian scientists in Nigeria, Silver in its pure form was discovered in Taraba.

Though there isn’t any mining or exploration of this mineral resource yet, the government is greatly working to make sure that the exploration of this mineral will be of benefit to the state and the people in general. It is one of the oldest minerals to be mined which have accounted for its long use even before 4th millennium BC.

4. Coal

natural resources in nigeria

Another fossil fuel, coal is among the non-renewable natural resources in Nigeria. Nigeria is blessed with coal rich states especially Enugu which is known as the “the coal city” because of its vast coal deposits, other states include: Benue, Kogi, Delta, Kwara, Plateau, Abia, Anambra, Bauchi, Edo, Ondo, Adamawa and Imo. The country can make use of coal as an alternative source for generating electricity.

Manufacturing industries use coal as a liquid fuel for cement and steel production. This naturally occurring substance is a combustible brownish-black or black sedimentary rock which occurs in rock strata in layers.

5. Granite

Granite is abundantly deposited in Nigeria and Africa at large. Its deposition has called for numerous local and international quarrying companies into the country.

Of all the igneous rocks, granite is mostly known and is commonly found on earth, it is light-coloured with dark mineral visible grains. Granites are found in all the states of the federation but occur in larger quantities in Abuja (FCT), Cross River, and Ekiti State.

6. Iron Ore

iron ore in nigeria

Nigeria is among the African countries with vast iron ore deposits which can be found in some states in the country: Abia, Anambra,  Bauchi, Benue, Kwara, Plateau and Nassarawa. Itakpe in Kogi State is believed to have the purest deposits of iron ore.

7. Barite

Nigeria is immensely blessed with a large number of Barite deposits. Cross River State has the highest quality and quantity of barite in Nigeria. The mineral can be found in commercial quantities in Obubra, Yala, Biase, Ikom, Yakurr and Obanliku LGA, other states include Benue and Plateau.

8. Bitumen

Bitumen is one of the rich and popular natural resources in Nigeria as it contains oil accounting over 13 billion barrels. Bitumen was discovered first in the 1900s, with exploration beginning in 1905. This greatly contributes to the Nigerian economy. This natural resource is found in Ondo, Lagos, Ogun, and Edo State.

9. Clay

natural resources in nigeria

Clay is one of the most popular natural resources in Nigeria and is the oldest building material on earth. Today, it is used to manufacture pottery, ceramics, wall and floor tiles, fire bricks, among others.

Clay is deposited in large quantities in most of the states such as Abuja (FCT) Akwa Ibom, Anambra State, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, and Sokoto.

10. Limestone

Limestone is a sedimentary rock and non-renewable natural resources that is greatly used by local, as well as international firms in Nigeria.

Limestone is majorly deposited in Cross River and Ebonyi states but can still be found in commercial deposit in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Ogun, Ondo and Sokoto, making Nigeria the most richly deposited West African country when it comes to Limestone.