The year was 1956. That was the year Nigeria negotiated this turn. That Sunday was like every other one, but the impact of a single event that happened would change the destiny of Nigeria forever. It was the day Shell D’Arcy found oil in Oloibiri, in present day Bayelsa State. The discovery of crude oil was supposed to be a blessing that was expected to accelerate the development and growth of the Nigerian economy. But what went wrong? A question for another day…
A look at the Nigerian economy 59 years down that 1956 discovery, you’ll see that it may have been a mistake after all, because Nigeria has abandoned all other sources of exports and relied on oil which has shown time and time again that it will soon crash. The Nigerian government however is neck-deep in its dependence on the “black gold” that it can’t seem to retrace its steps and reinvest or refocus its attention on cash crops and other mineral deposits which Nigeria has in abundance. The Nigerian economy is heavily reliant on oil and gas exports which account for about 96% of foreign exchange earnings and 86% of the total revenue of the Federal Government.
But with the steady decline in the price of crude oil, we have no choice than to get up, dust ourselves and revisit the ancient landmark – Agriculture. We must create new wealth from the richness of our soils, the vastness of our rivers and the abundance of our cheap labor. We must industrialize the agricultural sector.
Here is a look at the vast agricultural heritage, locked up in every state of the federation according to the order of their alphabetical appearance.
Banana and Plantain
Beans is a leguminous food crop and can be said to be the highest source of protein for the average family in Nigeria. States where you can find this is commercial quantity include Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara states.
Bitumen/Oil Sand Reserves
Nigeria is blessed with other mineral deposits apart from crude oil. Bitumen and Oil sands can be found in very large quantities in Edo, Lagos, Ogun and Ondo states.
Cashew in Nigeria is grown in 19 States namely: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Kogi, Kwara, Nassarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo and Taraba states. However, the crop can grow in almost all parts of the Country.
Cassava is extensively cultivated in Nigeria as an annual crop and is a major source of carbohydrates. It is a major staple food in the developing world, providing a basic diet for the average Nigerian. You can find it in commercial quantities in Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Kogi, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo and Rivers states.
Cattle Hide and Beef
This is found majorly in the northern parts of the country such as Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kebbi, Niger, Taraba, Zamfara and to lesser extents, Kwara, Nassarawa and Oyo states.
Citrus includes sweet oranges, red grapes, lemon, lime, tangerine, etc and are grown in states such as Benue, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kaduna, Kogi, Kwara, Nassarawa, Ogun, Osun, Oyo and Taraba states.
Although coal is the largest source of energy for the generation of electricity worldwide, it is not so in Nigeria. Abandoned and relegated to the rear, this resource can be found in Anambra, Benue, Enugu, Kogi and Plateau states.
This is the source of chocolate and can be found in large quantities in Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Kogi, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo and Taraba states.
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Cotton is the primary source of raw materials for the textile industry in Nigeria. If revived, it could save the country millions of naira in importation of cotton-textile materials. You can find cotton in abundance in Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Sokoto and Zamfara states.
Contrary to general perception, the ‘black gold’ is not the only gold found in Nigeria. The country is richly blessed with all these natural resources , including ‘yellow gold.’ States such as Kaduna, Kebbi, Kogi, Niger, Ondo, Osun and Zamfara states are at the forefront of its production.
Remember the ‘Groundnut Pyramids’ of the years past? The good old days of Nigeria being at the forefront of groundnut exportation is long gone and almost forgotten. However, they are still produced in states like Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Nassarawa, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara.
Nigerians will benefit more if the government turns its attention to developing the Limestone industry. It will make cement cheaper and readily available for all. Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Nassarawa, Ogun, Ondo and Sokoto states have large deposits of this resource.
Apart from consumption-based production, Nigeria has the capacity to produce corn and maize for exports. Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Gombe, Taraba, Plateau, Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Nasarawa, Niger and Zamfara states are equal to that task.
Oil palm is indigenous to Nigeria but there are countries who have their GDP powered by the cash crop, leaving Nigeria to its fate with crude oil. Oil palm abounds in the country in states such as Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Imo and Rivers states.
Rice is the most staple food in Nigeria. It is rich in carbohydrate and is cultivated in very large quantities in states like Bauchi, Benue, Ebonyi, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Niger, Sokoto and Zamfara.
The Rubber tree is a commercial tree economically grown in plantations and is useful for the latex that bleeds from the stem in the event of wounding. Before the era of the oil boom, rubber was one of the agricultural commodities that was important in the socio-economic life of Nigerian economy. It is grown largely in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Ekiti, Kaduna, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Rivers and Taraba states.
Nigeria’s coastal zone is endowed with numerous living and non-living resources. The most important living resources are fin and shellfish including shrimps, periwinkles, prawns, oysters, crayfish, crabs, etc. States such as Benue, Cross River, Delta, Kwara, Ogun, Osun and Oyo have the highest amount of fish farms in the country, while the largest seafood producing states are: Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Rivers states.
States in the Northern part of the country can champion this production because they are blessed with a good solar location. Such states include Bauchi, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe, among others.
Sorghum is grown largely in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Gombe, Taraba, Plateau, Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Nasarawa, Niger and Zamfara states.
The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses. The plant is classed as an oilseed rather than a pulse by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. The states which produce it in Nigeria include Abia, Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Ekiti, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nassarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba and the FCT.
Sugar and Sugarcane
The world demand for sugar is the primary driver of sugarcane agriculture as sugarcane is what produces 80% of the worlds sugar. Adamawa, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Taraba states would do just fine in the large-scale export of sugarcane should Nigeria venture into it.
Timber and Wood
With deforestation becoming the norm in Nigeria, there are states who would still do well in exporting timber and wood from Nigeria. Cross River, Edo, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo and Oyo states are definitely chief among them.
Tin and Columbite
The abundant mineral resources in Nigeria knows no bound. Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Plateau and Nasarawa states can boast of a great deal of Tin and Columbite underneath them.
Most states in Nigeria cultivate this cash crop. But the notable ones who lead the pack are Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara states.
Wheat is grown predominantly in the northern part of the country where it is known by the local name “Alkama”. States like Adamawa, Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara are chief in its production.
Yam is in the class of roots and tubers that is a staple of the Nigerian and West African diet, which provides some 200 calories of energy per capita daily. Nigeria is by far the world’s largest producer of yams, accounting for over 70–76 percent of the world production. Yam producing states in Nigeria are Adamawa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kaduna, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, and Plateau states.