Natural resources are materials or substances that are present in nature and can be used by humans for economic purposes. They could be renewable (can be replenished if consumed) e.g Biogass, water and wind; or non-renewable (Limited in supply and cannot be replenished) e.g Gold, Bitumen and Silver.
Nigeria is known to be "The Giant of Africa" due to her large variety of natural resources. The economic growth of Nigeria depends directly and indirectly on her natural resources. Mineral resources are found in most states in Nigeria.
Below is a highlight of mineral resources that are available in Nigeria, their locations and uses.
Oil and Gas
This is one of the most important mineral resources in Nigeria, it is drilled from the ground and refined to petroleum products such as Lubricating oil, Diesel, Kerosene, Petrol etc. A large percentage of our GDP is attributed to oil and gas
Oil and gas can be found in, Abia, Bayelsa, Edo, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, and Imo state.
Bitumen has excellent water-proofing properties and is widely used for making roofing products. It is commonly used to build highways, motorways and rail networks.
Bitumen can be found in Lagos, Edo, Ondo, Ogun
The primary use of iron ore is in the production of iron and steel. Steel is used to make automobiles, locomotives, hospital equipment, kitchen utensils and ships.
Iron Ore can be found in, Anambra, Kogi, Kwara, Delta and Benue State
Most people will know Cocoa as a ground powder they use to produce chocolate. Cocoa is the seed of the cacao tree. The seed is used to produce cocoa butter which is then processed to become chocolate.
Cocoa can be found in, Imo, Kwara, Ondo, Edo, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Anambra.
Cotton is a fibre and food product, cotton is basically used to make most types of clothing. Cottonseed oil is also used in food and cosmetics.
Cotton is produced in the Northern part of Nigeria. It can be found in Katsina, Kano, Niger, Kwara, Sokoto
Salt has a long history of food preservation and flavouring since the stone ages. Salt is still been used today to preserve food, add flavour to meals, tanning and chemical reactions.
Salt can be found in Abia, Ebonyi, Cross River and Akwa Ibom.
Lead and Zinc
Lead and Zinc is used in construction, television tubes, nuclear shielding, ceramics, ammunitions, weights, and as a protective coating on steel. Zinc can also be combined with copper to make brass (an alloy metal).
Lead and Zinc can be found in Ebonyi, Benue and Kano
Gold is one of the most valuable metals on earth and it is usually alloyed with other metals such as silver, platinum and copper to increase its strength. Gold alloys are used to make jewellery, decorative items, dental fillings and coins.
Gold can be found in Nigeria in Edo, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Oyo and Osun.
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Other Mineral resources that can be found in Nigeria include Tin, Timber, Oil palm and Coffee.
Nigeria is indeed blessed with a wide range of mineral and agricultural resources and we would strive more when we make the best use of our natural resources.
Over-dependence on the non-renewable resources would be detrimental to the economy in the long run, much more attention needs to be paid to renewable resources or agricultural resources to ensure sustainability and positive growth and development of our dear nation.