ECONOMY: AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, LIVESTOCK AND FISHING
In 2007 agriculture took part in 33% of the national income. The sector has a very high potential and could not only meet internal needs, but also allocate important quotas for exports. In reality production inefficiency, the property structure based on medium-small plots in which it is more difficult to introduce adequate mechanization processes and the development of the oil sector with the consequent exodus from the countryside, greatly reduce its efficiency. There is, as in all of Africa, subsistence agriculture (especially cassava, taro and cassava), which provides for the food needs of the population, and commercial agriculture; the latter, as we said, has great potential for development also due to the variety of crops that can be practiced in the country. Sorghum and millet are mainly cultivated, particularly widespread in the savannah areas of the north of the country, maize, present in the western area, and rice, which thrives especially in the more humid southern belt; also in the South, the sweet potato is grown, while the cassava, which together with cereals is the basic and traditional food, is widespread everywhere. Commercial crops were introduced by the British who helped to give the related activity a character strictly linked to export as well as a rational distribution with respect to environmental possibilities. Generally, however, contrary to what happened in other colonial countries, agriculture was not organized in large plantations and remained in the hands of small producers. Oil palm, cocoa and peanut are the three main crops. The oil palm, widespread throughout the Guinean area (Nigeria is the third world producer of palm oil after Malaysia and Indonesia), naturally affects above all the area known as the Oil Rivers., that is, the Niger delta. Cocoa cultivation is also very profitable: Nigeria is the fourth largest producer in the world although its production has practically halved since the 1970s; The production of peanuts has also decreased, mainly cultivated in the north of the country, but whose harvests are sometimes subject to significant fluctuations depending on the more or less prolonged periods of drought. Cotton farming is equally widespread in the North; minor but still important crops are coffee, some oil crops such as soy and sesame, sugar cane, coconut palm, tobacco, bananas, certain spices (pepper, ginger). § Nigeria is one of the richest African countries also in the forestry field; approx. obeche and abura. The timber is sent mainly to Sapele (where it is also partly processed), a port on the Benin river that can also be reached by ocean-going vessels. In the Benin City area there are Hevea plantations, which fuel a fair export of rubber. § Breeding is also a notable source of wealth; it is concentrated in the savannas and steppes of the North, where it is practiced eminently by the Fulbe; however, only in very limited cases is it conducted with rational techniques (the quality of the livestock is often poor); the commercial organization is lacking, even if some slaughtering and meat preservation plants have recently been created. Goats predominate, of which Nigeria is the largest African producer, and sheep. Less common are cattle, which traditionally do not exceed certain limits towards the south due to the presence of the tsè-tsè fly, and pigs whose meat – as is well known – is forbidden to traditional Muslim breeders in the North. In the North, horses, donkeys and camels are also bred. § Regarding fishing, despite the potential richness of Nigerian ocean and river waters, the country remains heavily dependent on imports; the fishing fleet is being modernized; the canning industry is lacking.
ECONOMY: INDUSTRY AND MINERAL RESOURCES
In implementing the ambitious government program, which provided for a better use of oil revenues in order to promote a broader development, such as to reduce Nigeria’s almost total dependence on oil exports, the industrialization of the country obviously acquired a decisive role. Compared to other emerging economy countries, according to allcountrylist, Nigeria has the advantage of being able to count for its industrialization both on a large internal market and on the possibility of finding easy buyers of its products in the ECOWAS area.founded, not surprisingly, in Lagos in 1975. The textile industry is important, especially the cotton industry, which includes several factories and processes national raw materials; again in relation to local productions various other industrial activities have established themselves such as tobacco manufacturing, oil mills (palm and peanut oil). Small industries on a local scale are fruit juice factories, breweries, woodworking complexes, shoe factories, etc. Rapid urbanization has led to a strong growth in the demand for cement and building materials in general: the construction sector is therefore an important sector of the Nigerian economy. Equally expanding is the industry linked to mining: in addition to oil refineries there are various tin smelters, aluminum production plants (Port Harcourt), two iron and steel complexes in Aladja and Ajaokuta, flanked by numerous plants that process iron scrap. Nigeria also has some large companies in the automotive sector. § Oil is the basis of the Nigerian economy. The country is a member of OPEC and in 2008 had proven reserves of approximately 36.25 million barrels of oil. The first well was dug in 1956 in the Niger delta; the oil business is carried out by various foreign companies, such as ENI, Shell, Exxon / Mobil, Chevron etc., associated in § Oil is the basis of the Nigerian economy. The country is a member of OPEC and in 2008 had proven reserves of approximately 36.25 million barrels of oil. The first well was dug in 1956 in the Niger delta; the oil business is carried out by various foreign companies, such as ENI, Shell, Exxon / Mobil, Chevron etc., associated in § Oil is the basis of the Nigerian economy. The country is a member of OPEC and in 2008 had proven reserves of approximately 36.25 million barrels of oil. The first well was dug in 1956 in the Niger delta; the oil business is carried out by various foreign companies, such as ENI, Shell, Exxon / Mobil, Chevron etc., associated in joint venture controlled by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The crude oil is partly sent for export, partly refined in the Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna and Alesa Eleme plants, but also due to network tampering problems, the refining is unable to meet national needs. Considerable is the extraction of natural gas, of which Nigeria has the richest African fields; two gas pipelines connect the extraction areas to the Afam thermal power station and the Trans-Amadi industrial area; another pipeline connects Imo to Aba. However, the country also derives a not insignificant source of income from the exploitation, already started some time ago, of other minerals, mainly from tin (the mining activity started in the early nineteenth century in the Jos plateau, then extending to the Kano area), coal, present with various deposits in the Enugu area, iron, zinc, lead, gold, uranium etc. Despite the growing role played by oil in the national economy, Nigerian electricity is still to some extent water-based, thanks largely to the large power plant built in Kainji, on the Niger River.