NATURAL RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT

Posted by on 2/12/2003 10:37:49 AM
Post Comment NATURAL RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT Nigeria

Agriculture, Forestry and other Basic Economic Activities: Ecologically, the FCT is a transition area between the grassland zone to the north and the forest zone to the south. Therefore, the area shares some of the characteristics of both the forest and savannah (grassland) zones and has the potentials to produce both forest root crops and tubers such as yams and cassava, as well as savannah crops such as grains and cereals.

The high agricultural potential in the FCT is exemplified not only by the current level of food crop production even with rudimentary methods, but also by the great variety of crops which can be sustained, including, as it does, such crops as roots and tubers (yam), legumes (groundnut and cowpea), grains (maize, sorghum and rice), seeds and nuts (melon seeds and benniseed), animal products (goats, cattle, sheep), fruits and vegetables.

Many of these crops can provide the needed raw materi als for several agro based and agroallied industries in the territory. The tremendous urban growth the FCT has been witnessing notwithstanding, agriculture has still remained the major occupation of majority of its residents, especially the indigenous ones. The territory has an advantage of being able to sustain virtually any cropping practice. In fact, the FCT's master plan allocated about sixty percent of the territory's land to agriculture and forestry.

The Abuja ADP, through its network of research and liaison offices, is in the fore front of accelerating agricultural development within the territory. Thus, several pilot, adaptive and experimental schemes have been established. In addition, the territory has about twenty forest reserves, designed specifically to ensure getting, as much as possible, the positive benefits of tree and nontree components of the ecosystem.

Forest products include sawntimber, paper, wood pulp and firewood. Most of FCT lies in the southern Guinea savannah vegetation zone with a mixture of trees and luxuriant grasses. Although large forests are absent, it is estimated that about 262,000 hectares of the Territory consist of deciduous forests (Abumere, 1993). Beside agriculture, residents of the territory are actively engaged in varied economic activities ranging from office work through trading, service oriented activities to small scale industrial activities. Of particular note, is the high level of women's involvement in these activities.

Mineral Resources: There are various types of mineral resources in the FCT which are of high quality and have potentials for both the domestic and export markets. Some of the minerals and their various applications are as follows.

Marble: Marble is perhaps the mineral with the greatest known quantity in the FCT. Marble deposits around the village of Burum alone are more than seven million tons. Indeed, the quality of the Burum marble is reckoned to be excellent. There are other deposits of marble elsewhere in the FCT, especially around the villages of Kusaki, Kenada, Taka Lafia and Ele.

It is estimated that the marble formations here run along a narrow band for some seven km in a northeast direction from Ele. Deposits of marble may be found around the village of Kusaki. These marble deposits are truly important and will in future form an important aspect of the economic development of the Territory.

Tin Deposits: Tin is probably known in association with Jos in Nigeria, but some deposits in the FCT are found mainly around the village of Kusaki, northeast of Kuje district and somewhat also north east of FCT. Tin veins in this area may be up to three km in length and some30 m in width. The large veins are feldspathic, containing microsline, albite, quartz.A little more work still needs to be done there to establish whether mining will be commercially viable.

Stones: These are mainly granitic rocks found all over the territory, that may be utilised as industrial materials mica and talc schists or as rocks that will be of possible use as building materials. For many of the minerals, no detailed studies have as yet been carried out to determine; their extent of availability and whether or not they are worth exploiting.

Wolframite and Tantalite: Deposits of wolframite and tantalite exist in the FCT alone, along the road between Suleja and Burum. Wolframite is a compound of iron and manganese. Tantalite is a black mineral, also a variety of iron. The extent of the deposits of these two minerals are however unknown and more work is required to establish the quantities and qualities available.

Lead: Found mainly in Babban Tasha village of the territory.

Clay: Red clays suitable for house construction and bricks making are found in places like lzom, Dangara, Shenagu, Gwagwa, Karu and Kobo. Ceramic clays are also present in places like Rubochi, Yaba and Bwari.

Mica: White mica, suitable for use as raw material in production of rubber, roofing materials, paint and paper production,exists around the villages of Kabin f Mangoro and Kusaki.

Local Sourcing of Raw Materials: Numerous raw materials with varied uses could be sourced for in the FCT . Prominent among them include the following: minerals based, such as Marble, Tin, Building and crushed




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