NATURAL RESOURCES AND POTENTIALS FOR DEVELOPMENT

Posted by on 2/5/2003 12:37:26 PM
Post Comment NATURAL RESOURCES AND POTENTIALS FOR DEVELOPMENT Nigeria

Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry: According to the Revised Lagos State Plan, agricultural uses account for 30 per cent of the state's rural dwellers and sizeable tracts of asyet uncultivated land are zoned for agriculture in the Regional Plan. Such arable crops as maize, cassava, vegetable, rice, yam, cocoyam, cowpeas, soyabeans, and pineappes are grown by peasant farmers on small holdings.

Lagos Skyline with NECOM Building in the background
Lagos Skyline with NECOM Building in the background

Tree crops grown in varying quantities include coconut, oil palm and kolanut; of less importance are cocoa, plantain, banana, cashew, citrus and rubber. The output figures, where available, have been rather insignificant. The range of livestock if reared in the State includes poultry, pig, sheep and goat as well as cattle and rabbit.

The state government has recently introduced an agricultural policy to wipe out the lethargy which has characterised agriculture in the state. The policy involves provision of land and essential services to individual and corporate farmers.

Thus, agricultural estates involving over 114,071.6 hectares of small, medium and large portions of land have been designed and laid out along the LagosBadagry road, the LagosEpe road, the Lagos tokin road and in similar schemes at Lagos SouthWest and Lekki Peninsula. Farm roads, farmers markets, s agroservice centres and other facilities are provided in each estate for use by the existing villages.

Central Business District, Lagos Island
Central Business District, Lagos Island

The Government's agricultural credit scheme makes tractors and other basic implements available on hire purchase basis, and loans could be obtained from the Nigerian Agricultural and Cooperative Bank (NACB). The state's Agricultural a Development Programme (ADP) is involved in the initiatives and hopes to stimulate some 12,800 farmers in the state to improved production.

Finally, the state's schools' agricultural programme, which is designed to involve all primary and secondary e schools, has so far exposed 1,213 schools to various farming activities: crop cultivation (cassava, maize, and vegetables), livestock raising (poultry, D rabbits) and fish farming.

The programme hopes to interest young people in farming for self employment in the future. Fishing in the State involves both inland and offshore fishing. About 286 societies of artisanal (smallscale) fishermen, whose combined member ship is over 50,000, carry out their fishing activities in the lagoons, creeks and rivers of the State, using canoes fitted with outboard engines.

On the other, hand, offshore fishing involves companies using modern trawlers and equipment to catch fish, shrimps etc. within the country's territorial waters. The important fishing areas in the State are the waters around Lagos Island, Badagry, Ikorodu and Epe LGAs. Aquaculture or fish farming is a fast growing area of fish production.

Muritala Muhammed International Airport, (The Nation's Premier gateway)
Muritala Muhammed International Airport, (The Nation's Premier gateway)

In 1988, there were 200 registered fish farms in the State. In addi tion to the commercial fish farms, DFRRI, in the late 1980s, also piloted Homestead Fish Ponds. Well over 300 people now own such small fish ponds in their backyards. The State Government and ADP have initiated programmes in aid of all the various fish producing activities, both to increase fish out put and enhance the protein intake of the citizens.

Lagos State forestry activities originated from the 5,220hectare Ogun River Forest Reserve which had been gazetted for the Colony province of Western Region in 1934. With subsequent policy reviews, the revised Lagos State Regional Plan 19802000 now features four additional forestry reserves (typically in swampy watersheds), namely Langbasa Forest Reserve (1,425 hectares); Ologe lagoon (3,500 hectares), Isasi (650 hectares) and Yelwa (500 hectares).

To counter illegal felling, conserve timber supplies and provide useful tree species, Government activities have concentrated on the raising of seedlings and afforestation (in reserves) involving such tree species as Abura (Mitrogyna Stipulosa), Idigbo (Terminalia invoren sis), puipwood (Gmelina arborea), Ofuri (Mansonia altisima), and others. Recent years have also wit nessed the establishment of parks and zoological Gardens, soil conservation and Green belt planting schemes, a wildlife conservation programme, and experimental woodlots at three locations (totalling 10.2 hectares).

National Arts Theatre, Iganmu

Besides, the treeplanting cam paign in recent years has led to amenity tree plant ing along numerous streets/roads in Metropolitan Lagos, with additional 317,360 seedings distributed to different organisations annually during the tree planting campaigns. It is estimated that 282,336 logs are checked annually and varying amounts collected in revenue from forestry activities carried out by various units of the State's Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, including the State ADP.

Mineral Resources: The two nonmetallic mineral resources available in commercial quantities in the State are clay and silicarich sands. The clay occurs at several locations within the state, notably in Ikorodu LGA where it is being exploited for mak ing tiles and burnt bricks (lgbogbo), as well as Epe and Badagry LGAs. The prospects for further exploitation are enormous.

Nigerian Breweries Complex, Iganmu
Nigerian Breweries Complex, Iganmu

The silicarich sands, which can support a glass industry, occur mainly in the Badagry LGA. It is only a matter of time before commercial exploitation begins. Also of importance for construction purposes is the widespread occur rence of regular sand dug from or near river beds in various areas of the State.

Further, the bitumen deposits which have attracted much attention in Ondo and Ogun States in recent years are believed to have extensions into Epe and Lagos Island LGAs. In 1996, an indige nous oil orosoectina comoanv discovered an oil field, AJE, offshore Badagry town. More recently, in December 1999, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), announced the discovery by Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (an affiliate of Exxon Mobil) of an oil field in Erha, southeast of Lagos, 165km. offshore in the deepwater oil block, OPL 209.

Industrial Development and Potentials: Lagos State has always led other areas of Nigeria in industrial production. Atemporal

The ever popular Bar Beach, Victorian Island
The ever popular Bar Beach, Victorian Island

depiction of the proportions of national manufacturing accounted for by Lagos State illustrates the point (Table 24.4) Viewed over the period 1963 to 1987, the State's shares have averaged the following proportions: 1644 per cent by establishments, 2475 per cent by value added.

Being a major subset of industrial enterprises in Nigeria, the assemblage of manufacturing establishments in Lagos State features such characteristics as structural imbalance, sluggish investment in recent years, dominance of consumer goods over capital and intermediate goods production, high proportions of imported inputs and low capacity utilisation. Further mirroring the national pattern, the spatial distribution of industrial activities among the component LGAs in the State is highly uneven.

Apapa Seaport ( The nerve center of Nigeria's Maritime Trade)
Apapa Seaport ( The nerve center of Nigeria's Maritime Trade)

A survey of manufacturing establishments employing 10 or more persons conducted for the State in 1998 shows that the State had 1,379 establishments of this size. The distribution by LGA shows that four LGAs (Badagry, Epe, EtiOsa and lfako/ljaye), had less than one percent each. Ikeja and Mushin LGAs had 23 and 16 per cent respectively.

The share of the other LGAs range between 1 and 15 percent (see Table 24.5). Furthermore, a wide range of smallscale or cottage industries exists in the State and has been growing remarkably since 1985.

A 1992 survey has shown that before 1985, there were 1,055 mineral based cottage industries in the state, involving soap and cream/pomade manufacture, leather works, textile, tie and dye, weaving, carving, ceramics, raf fia works, cane works, foundry works, goldsmithing, block moulding, roof making and others. Between 1985 and 1992, the number of establishments in these mineralbased cottage industries had increased by 563 establishments or 53.4 per cent.

The growth trend has continued into the new millennium. Agrobased cottage industries involving palm oil production, cassava processing, general food processing, groundnut oil processing, fruit drink processing, tomato puree, domestic salt processing, local gin production and others have similarly increased from a combined total of 691 establishments before 1985 to 854 by 1992, a growth of about 24 per cent in the 19851992 period.

The prospects for further growth are high in these cottage industry groups but such potentialities for future development are not limited to them. The regular industrial enterprises, those employing 10 or more persons, also have varying prospects for future growth.

Although the specific rationale for such prospects are inherent partly in the characteristics of the different industry groups, existing eco nomic and industrial policies of government (both national and State) also provide general bases for optimism. Of direct relevance in the food, bever ages and tobacco group, for instance, are such policies as the abolition of the Commodity Boards, the complete abolition of the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree to encourage foreign investment, the prohibition of imports of such items as vegetable oils and tomato puree and paste, the provision of a wide range of incentives to industry and the encouragement of production for export.




Add Comment

* Required information
1000
Captcha Image

Comments (0)

No comments yet. Be the first!