Actualizing the industrial potentials of Nigerian communities and states

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industrial potentials

Different nations are ranked from first-world to third-world based on their competence for developing products for trade and sustenance. The more a nation develops valuable products, the more they become wealthy and influential in the world. Humans create wealth by applying scientific knowledge on agricultural and mineral resources to develop products that satisfy contemporary needs. Before industrial revolution, most societies could only develop limited products and services, since they relied on manual energy. But after the industrial revolution, they mass-produce goods and services using the industrialisation methods of specialization, mechanization and division of labour. Hence, by adopting social reforms for industrialisation, different societies can actualize their industrial potentials, create wealth and experience national prosperity.


An eagle born inside a cage believes that it cannot fly since it does not have the space to try. The doubt and reluctance to try increases when the captor occasionally feeds it and gives it hope for more. Unless it discovers its potentials for flying and hunting, the self-doubting eagle will keep hoping on its captor for food. Nigerians are born into a colonially imposed system of laws that restricts productivity by seizing people’s resources and keeping the people perpetually dependent on importation for survival. And unless they are shown their industrial potentials, they may never attempt industrial productivity.


Three layers of socio-economic progress for actualizing industrial productivity

To actualize a society’s industrial potentials, visionary leaders organically form three layers of socio-economic growth: production, distribution and usage.


  1. Production: schools (research and transfer scientific knowledge), industry (systemic network for applying scientific knowledge in producing things by harvesting, mining, recycling, extracting and/or refining raw materials into finished goods) and banks (provide loans for raw materials, machines and workers).


  1. Distribution: Markets (storage and sale of the products), transport (roads, railways, seaports and airports to distribute products) and media (to showcase products, services, socio-cultural ideas and general info as broadcasts, songs, movies, pictures, writings and general arts).


  1. Usage: Social centres (residential homes, churches, mosques, courthouses, stadiums, malls, offices, club-houses, fashion and cultural centres), health-centres (hospitals, gyms) security-centres (camps, barracks, bases, prisons, fire-stations) and other centres to use produced and purchased products to render various services or engage in sundry activities.

Without enough material production from different people’s owning and using their resources, both the distribution and usage stages cannot be sustained. Also, maintaining imported amenities will be difficult, as the materials to maintain them are not locally available. Yet, many Nigerians, especially politicians, aim and end at distribution and usage levels, while blocking or diverting the production level to rely on importation. This dependence on importation is funded from holding down some communities for foreign exploitation and endless debts. Such systems do not only restrict productivity, but also promote cruel opportunism. Without resource-based industries, banks, schools and other sectors become support systems for importation.


It may not be possible to get a responsible, productive and happy society without properly adjusting the social and political foundation upon which the society is built. Therefore, to order their union for progress, intending or disorganized societies can follow these four stages of socio-political progress.


Four layers of socio-political progress for sustainable growth


  1. Cultural distinction: this is a stage where the different communities that will unite in a country identify and establish the socially responsible aspects of their cultures. Culture is a particular people’s system of values and beliefs about nature, divine, life, society, human origin, destiny and interactions. It is the deepest element that socially and inwardly binds people in a religion or community to direct their actions and reactions to other people and the environment.


  1. Production distinction: this is to establish the various communities’ potentials for productivity (human and mineral resources). Motivated by their cultural beliefs about nature, divine, life, etc., humans seek resources and techniques to express and sustain themselves. This leads to developing or adopting other people’s technologies for producing necessary items.


  1. Socio-political blend of cultures: this is a dialogue for cultural and productive collaboration between the various communities that form a country. Like marriage between compatible and consenting partners for mutual growth, prosperous countries rise from free consent between several communities to live and work together for security and progress. The richness of the various cultures combine to strengthen the union. Without dialogue and free consent to live together, communities held together by force will keep fighting and hindering one another.[1]


  1. Agreement: this is the stage where the different communities sign the agreement (constitution) to unite them as a country, and also to approve the terms and conditions for living together and contributing agreed portions of their various earnings for common growth and security. [2]

Free and prosperous nations develop as groups of communities who agree to live and work together for their growth and security. Just like in marriage or other long-term partnerships, these four stages create the foundation for people to believe and commit to the union. And when responsibly productive people agree to collaborate as a country, peace, patriotism and prosperity will follow.


A major cause of poor social services in Nigeria is insufficiency of products and equipment for them. Some communities have resources that can be combined with resources from other communities to produce more valuable items. But if they do not know these possibilities, they may never demand a social reform to enable them collaborate in producing things. Hence, revealing different people’s industrial potentials and how much they could earn from them becomes necessary for people to demand political reforms for economic freedom and productive collaboration.

In a free exchange economy, any resource that can grow or be mined from your land is your industrial potential for productivity. But in centrally controlled economies, governments violently seize and sell different people’s resources for a socialist distribution of income. By formally owning your land and resources in a well-regulated society, you can get loans for labourers and machines to process them. Then, you can be supplying your processed or raw resources to secondary industries who need them for more finished goods. Also, other people whose lands do not have mineral resources can use, lease or sell them for residence, hospitals, schools, stadiums, malls, office-buildings, industries, farms, parks, airports or other commercial or public buildings. Even skilled immigrants or refugees without lands can provide different forms of labour to earn good living in such exchange economies.


Production materials can be grouped into three: primary (for tools/machines and vehicles), secondary (for buildings and general constructions) and tertiary (for manufacturing consumer products).


Primary materials (for MACHINES/TOOLS and VEHICLES)

The basic equipment upon which other types of production depend are mostly engines and vehicles made of steel, rubber, plastic, glass, copper, aluminium. By developing machines, vehicles and tools, a society lays foundation for other forms of productivity. According to Lee Kwan Yew, industrial potentials grow from steel, ships, motor cars, petrochemicals and textile, then electrical and electronic goods, cameras, and finally computers.[3] So, we discuss materials for machines, vehicles and tools as the primary materials for industrialization.


  • STEEL: is made from metal scraps and/or iron ore which is mined from land. In making steel, impurities such as nitrogen, silicon, phosphorus, sulphur are removed, and alloying elements such as manganese, nickel, chromium, carbon and vanadium are added to produce different grades of steel.[4] After the smelting and refining process to remove impurities comes the process of casting molten (liquid) metals into different shapes.[5]


Uses: Steel is used in making engines, vehicles, building irons and rods, offshore platforms and pipelines,[6] ships, trains, appliances and weapons, electric cables, nails, hammer, chisel, knife, gym equipment and different machines.[7]


Complements and substitutes: alloying elements include manganese, chromium, tungsten, molybdenum, nickel, boron, titanium, vanadium, cobalt, niobium, copper, silicon, tin.


Location: Steel can be found in Ajaokuta, Enugu, Cross-river (Iron ore, tin ore and titanium), Ekiti (Tin ore), Kogi (iron ore and tin ore), Oyo, Plateu (tin ore).[8]


Revenue: Though demand and price for different resources vary according to political, health and social influences, we will present average prices for different resources. Presently a ton of carbon steel is around $712, while stainless steel stands around $2442.[9]


  • RUBBER: rubber is a coagulated, elastic latex that comes from specific trees, especially the Hevea brasiliensis.[10] There are about four processes for manufacturing rubber depending on the intended output and circumstance.[11] They include extrusion, latex dipping, moulding, and calendaring.[12]


Uses: tyre, foam, shock mounts, seals, couplings, footwear, hose, fan belt, machine insulators and pads, tool handles, moulded products, linings, rolls, gloves, condoms, medical devices, adhesives, carpet backing, thread.


Locations: Delta, Cross-river, Ebonyi, Rivers, Edo, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo


Average revenue: between $1.64 and $4.82 for a kilo.[13]


  • GLASS: glass comes from proportionately mixing and heating mixed derivatives from glass sand (silica), Sodium oxide, limestone, dolomite and feldspar. Afterwards, the heated molten flows into the float bath, which consists of a mirror-like surface made from molten tin.[14] Three stages of glass production are batch house, hot end and cold end.


Uses: windshields, mirrors, bottles, tumblers, plates, furniture, building, ornament, watches.


Locations: Silica is found in Delta, Lagos, Ogun and Rivers. Glass sand is found in Abia, Akwa Ibom and Rivers. Limestone is found in Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Cross-River, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Kogi, Ogun, Osun and Plateau. Dolomite is found in Osun and Oyo. Feldspar is found in Abia, Ekiti, Ogun, Osun and Oyo. There could still be more undiscovered in other states.


  • LEAD: is widely used in batteries, cable sheaths, machinery manufacturing, shipbuilding, light industry, lead oxide, radiation protection and other industries.[15]


Complements and substitutes: galena


Locations: Lead can be found in Adamawa, Ebonyi and Plateau, galena in Cross-river.


  • ZINC: was used to make brass and for medicinal purposes. It is the fourth most consumed metal in the world after iron, aluminium and copper. It is combined with copper to form brass and with other metals to form materials that are used in automobiles, electrical components, and household fixtures.


Locations: Zinc can be found in Adamawa, Ebonyi and Plateau.


  • Bauxite: it is a metallic mineral used for large-scale aluminium, which is then used in vehicles, electronics, construction, utensils and main constituent material in making aeroplane.[16] It is also used in different industries for chemicals, refractory, abrasive, cement, steel, petrol, rubber, plastic, paint and cosmetics, then in construction, paper-making, water purifying and petrol-refining. It is soft and red, and rich in alumina.


Substitute: columbite and tantalite


Location: bauxite can be found in Anambra, Delta, Ekiti and Enugu. Columbite can be found in Ekiti and Plateau; and tantalite can also be found in Ekiti.


  • Cassiterite: is a tin oxide and the most important source of tin. It is mined from igneous and metamorphic rocks.[17]


Locations: its placer deposits (contrast with primary cassiterite) can be found in Ekiti and Oyo. Plateau.[18]


  • Titanium: is a lustrous transition metal which is resistant to corrosion in sea water, aqua regia and chlorine. It is silver colour, low density and high strength.[19] It is used in engine applications such as rotors, compressor blades, hydraulic system components and nacelles. Due to the strength, it is alloyed with Aluminium for use in aircraft (most use), armour plating, naval ships, spacecraft, and missiles. It is also used in structural parts fire walls, landing gear, exhaust ducts (helicopters), hydraulic systems, tennis rackets, helmet grills, bicycle frames and spectacle frames.[20] Because it is bio-compatible (non-toxic and is not rejected in the body), it is used in different medical applications including surgical implements, implants and joint replacement. Also, for wheelchairs and crutches.


Location: Titanium can be found in Cross-river

Secondary materials (CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS)

After getting materials for tools, vehicles and machines, the next are materials for constructing buildings, roads, railways, airports, seaports and other routes for distributing goods and services. This refers to the other mineral resources for making building materials, excluding the ones previously mentioned for steel and glass production.


  • Cement: comes from iron ore and calcium carbonate, silica and alumina, which are derived from limestone, rock, chalk and clay. They are extracted through blasting in quarries, before being crushed and transported to storage plants. Afterwards, the extracts are grinded and heated at high temperatures of about 1500o[21]


Locations: limestone in Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Cross-River, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Kogi, Ogun, Osun and Plateau. Chalk in Ogun. Clay can be found in Abia, Anambra, Akwa-Ibom, Cross-river, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo and Rivers.


  • Granite: is feldspar-bearing rock that is made up entirely of crystals. They are used for making tiles, furniture finishing, building rocks, paving stones, monuments, slabs, gemstones, etc.[22]


Complements and substitutes: marbles, ceramics, gravel, diorite and aquamarine[23]


Locations: Gravel can be found in Delta, Lagos and Ogun. Granite can be found in Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Osun and Oyo. Marbles can be found in Abia, Ebonyi, Niger, Ondo and Oyo. Ceramics can be found in Anambra, Cross-river and Ogun. Diorite can be found in Ondo. Aquamarine can be found in Oyo.


  • Sands: sand is one of the most versatile aggregate minerals, and can be used in detergents, cosmetics, toothpaste, solar panels, silicon chips, paints, chemicals and especially buildings.[24] In chemical industry, industrial sand is the primary component in chemicals used to make household cleaners and fiber optics. As foundry in metal industry, it is used together with clay-moulds to cast metals into desired shapes. In construction, it is used for flooring, mortars, cements, stucco, roofing shingles, skid-resistant surfaces and asphalt. In oil and gas recovery, it is pumped down holes in deep well applications to prop open rock fissures and increase the flow rate of natural gas or oil.


There is almost no community or state in Nigeria that does not have sand. However, each community will evaluate their types of sand to discover its particular utility. Few types of sands have been previously identified in different places.


Locations: Sandstone in Anambra, Silica sand in Delta, foundry sand in Ekiti and Lagos, sharp sand in Lagos, tar sand in Ogun.


  • Talc: talc is a clay mineral mined from metamorphic rocks and convergent plate boundaries. It is used for oil-based paints, rubber, ceramics, paper, roofing, powders (reduced for health concerns) and in making plastics.[25]


Locations: talc can be found in Cross-river, Osun and Oyo.


  • Quartzite: is a light-coloured, hard metamorphic rock, which forms from the metamorphism of quarts sandstone.[26] It is a decorative stone that can be used for roofing tiles, flooring, stairsteps, countertops, roads for construction, silicon carbide.


Locations: quartzite can be found in Edo and Ekiti, and quartz in Ogun, Osun and Oyo.


  • Gypsum: gypsum is an evaporite mineral found in layered sedimentary deposits. It is used for manufacturing wallboard, cement and plaster.[27]


Complement and substitutes: shale rock,[28] Pyrite (shiny like gold)[29]


Location: Gypsum can be found in Abia, Ebonyi, Edo and Ogun; Shale can be found in Abia and Imo; Pyrite can be found in Anambra.


  • Kaolin is used for film formation, fibre extension, polymer extension and reinforcement, chemical composition, carrier (pesticides and pharmaceuticals) adsorbent, diluent and polishing agent for teeth, automobiles, soft-metals like gold and silver.[30]


Locations: can be found in Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Imo, Niger, Ogun and Oyo.



The next level of actualizing industrial potentials after developing tools, machines and vehicles, and constructing buildings and transportation routes is manufacturing utility products. These are the day to day products and supplies upon which people depend for their day-to-day activities and living.


  • Crude oil: Crude oil lies at the foundation of modern industrialization by supplying fuels for powering machines to replace the manual systems of production. After crude oil is removed from the ground, it is sent to a refinery where different parts of the crude oil are separated into usable petroleum products like gasoline, diesel, fuel, heating oil, jet-fuel, petrochemical feedstock, waxes, lubricating oils, asphalt,[31] and other chemicals.


Locations: Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross-river, Delta, Edo, Rivers and Imo.


  • Lignite (Coal): lignite is mainly used for generating electricity. But in other cases it could also be used in synthetic natural gas generation, fertilizer production and home-heating.[32]


Locations: Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo; Enugu, Imo and Kogi.


  • Plants: form the basis of most consumable products from foods, cosmetics, medicine, clothes and general fashion.


CORN for cornmeal, custard, penicillin, sugar, whiskey, ethanol, corn-silk, livestock feeds from the cobs, oil, glue,[33] glucose and corn-starch for face-powders instead of talc; FLOWERS for perfumes, poisons, drugs and decoration; YAM for adhesives; groundnut for peanut butter, oil, feeds, synthetic fibre; CASSAVA for feeds, pills and tablets, creams, baking flour, starch, adhesives, gums, particle board from cassava stalk, cassava alcohol, dried yeast;[34] PALM for food, snacks, cosmetics, biofuel energy, animal feed (kernel expeller), pharmaceuticals;[35] COCOA for tea, chocolates and other beverages; COTTON for textiles, KOLA NUT AND BITTER KOLA for drugs and cosmetics; plantain, banana, tomato, sugarcane, guinea corn, millet, ginger, rice, citrus, pineapple, groundnut, wheat, cocoyam, potatoes, beans, cowpea, citrus, pineapple, cashew, coffee, melon, gum, sorghum for different kinds of food, juice, beers, rum and gins.


  • Timber: for buildings, furniture and tool-handles. Iroko, mahogany, iron wood, walnut, opepe, Afara, Ogea, Sangha, Abura, red mangrove, teak, Melina and neem. These can be cultivated in different communities with available lands and interest in them.


  • Leather: comes from different animals like cows, goats, donkeys, sheep, antelopes, snakes and other livestock and can be treated and used in making football, baseball, clothes, belts, bags, furniture, shoes. Sheep also supplies wools that are processed for sweaters, blankets, fur clothes, rugs.


Location: Though anybody with land can rear any of these livestock, many northern states like Bauchi, Borno and Yobe have expansive grazing lands.


  • Phosphate: this is mainly used in food, detergents, personal hygiene and construction.[36]


Location: can be found in Ogun and Abia.


  • Uranium: is found in more than 200 different minerals, which are mostly prevalent in granite and sedimentary rocks. It is an abundant source of concentrated energy. A kilogram of natural Uranium produces as much heat as 20 tonnes of coal. This heat can be harnessed to make steam and generate power.[37]


Location: can be found in Cross River


  • Gold: is mined from rocks and is used in making jewelleries (50%), Electronics (37%), official coins (8%) and others (5%).


Location: can be found in Osun, Niger, Ondo and others


  • Bitumen: due to its excellent waterproofing features, bitumen is mainly used in construction industry for paving roads and roofing. It is also suitable in other applications like agriculture, hydraulics and erosion-control, railways,[38] mastic floorings for recreation and factories, tank foundation, joint-filling material, dump-proof for masonry.[39]


Location: bitumen can be found in Lagos and Ondo.


Existing industries

Occasionally, some federal and state governments attempt industrialization by installing assembly plants and industries to process mineral resources. Yet, these industrial efforts quickly crumble under the usual mismanagement found in centralized economies and raffle-draw systems of government.[40] In centralized economies, where government seizes all resources and dictates economic activities, government officials employ their friends above competent people. Second factor is an incomplete network of production where zealous officials import and dump refining machines without ensuring steady production of raw materials and growing viable markets (productive population to buy them). Thus, these industries crumble from managerial incompetence or inconsistent turnovers.


Some of the existing or abandoned industries include: Peugeot assembly plant in Kaduna and Motor assembly in Kano; Refineries in Kaduna, Rivers and Delta; Textile mills in Jigawa, Kano and Rivers; Leather industries in Kano and Sokoto; Oil mill in Katsina; Steel rolling mills in Katsina and Kogi; Tyre industry in Ogun; Fertilizer in Rivers; Glass, Petrochemical and Plastic in Rivers.


In heterogeneous societies, people are more cautious in managing their private establishments than public-owned establishments. So, the communities in which these companies are built will negotiate terms with government to acquire, lease or sell them to private managers.


In conclusion, the unemployment, poverty, hopelessness and mass-emigration among Nigerian youths despite abundant resources shows a deficiency of Nigeria’s political structure. Also, some Nigerians’ demand for imported amenities as condition for their industrial productivity shows misunderstanding of the stages of socio-economic progress. It is like a woman demanding to get other peoples’ children as a condition for her to conceive and bear her own children. Waiting to receive imported products as allocation or shares from the foreign exploitation of some other communities mentally discourages many Nigerians from developing their human and mineral resources for long-term productivity, social impact and legacy. Such free allocations and amenities easily become opium for the privileged and the hopefuls by dulling their productive minds and keeping them afraid of activating their industrial potentials. If individuals and communities are not allowed to own and use their various resources for material production, there may never be an economic diversification or progress.


By understanding the cultural pride that comes from productivity above parasitism, various Nigerian communities will support social reforms for individuals and communities to own, develop and trade industrial products from their various resources. This means establishing long-lasting systems of productivity and impact, instead of living to perpetually pay bills to foreigners. Only then can Nigerians build a befitting country for their great names, cultures and future generations. What makes a country great is not the amount of imported products pumped into it, but the peoples’ readiness to reorder the society and develop their industrial potentials for responsible productivity. Finally, it is the accumulation of locally-made products and services in a country that constitutes wealth of a nation.


[1] Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, edited by Michael Oakeshott (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1962), p.130

[2] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, “Organizing the true national conference for a new Nigeria” in Restartnaija. retrieved 5th April, 2020.

[3] Lee Kwan Yew, From third world to first (USA: HarperCollins, 2000), p.521


[5] Chapter 82 – Metal processing  and metal working industry, retrieved 7th April, 2020

[6] Tanzila Bhuiyan, “18 Different uses of steels” in Civil Engineering. retrieved 7th April, 2020.


[8] The location of most of the minerals in this work are derived from the INEC’s “Nigeria atlas of electoral constituencies, Edited by Prof. Olayinka Balogun, (Abuja: Cartografx ltd. 2008)

[9] retrieved 28th June, 2020.

[10] Rubber production. retrieved 7th April, 2020.

[11] retrieved 7th April, 2020

[12] retrieved 7th April, 2020

[13] retrieved 27th June, 2020

[14] retrieved 7th April, 2020

[15] Asian metal, Lead: uses. retrieved 8th April 2020

[16] BYJU’s, “Uses of bauxite” retrieved 1st May, 2020.

[17] Hobart M. King, “Cassiterite” in

[18] Ibid.


[20] Continental, “Titanium applications” retrieved 29th April, 2020.

[21] Lafarge Zambia, Manufacturing process

[22], uses of granite. retrieved 7th April, 2020

[23], “The mineral Aquamarine”. retrieved 29th April, 2020.

[24] Mcshane welding and metal products, “industrial sand: how do we use it?” retrieved 29th April, 2020.

[25] Talc: the softest mineral, retrieved 29th April, 2020.

[26], “What is quartzite?” retrieved 12th April 2020

[27] Hobart M. King, “Gypsum” in retrieved 13th April 2020

[28] Anne Marie Helmenstine, “Facts to know about shale rock” in ThoughtCo.

[29] Hobart M. King, “Pyrite” in

[30] Wayne M. Bundy, “The diverse industrial applications of Kaolin” in GeoScienceWorld.

[31] Oil: crude and petroleum products explained. retrieved 7th April, 2020.

[32] Lignite energy council, “what is lignite?” retrieved 12th April 2020.

[33] Miss Cellania, “10 ways to use corn” in Mental Floss, 9th October, 2010. retrieved 29th April, 2020.

[34] Cassava starch and its uses. retrieved 30th April, 2020.

[35] GreenPalm, “What is palm oil used for?” retrieved 29th April, 2020.

[36] “Phosphates, Industrial” in HIS Markit, retrieved 29th April, 2020.

[37] “Uranium and its applications” retrieved 29th April, 2020.

[38] Ace Oil, “The uses of bitumen”. retrieved 7th April, 2020.

[39] BitBiz, “General uses of Bitumen”. retrieved 12th April, 2020.

[40] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, “Tokenism and the inadequacy of raffle-draw system of government” in Restartnaija. retrieved7th May, 2020.