The majority of Nigeria’s land resources consist of oil products, yet the economy is still diverse. Petroleum is the most prominent export and plays the largest role in the country’s economy, but agriculture and minerals are also abundant. Nigeria is the 12th largest petroleum-producing country in the world. It is drilled off the coast of the Niger Delta, refined, and made further into petroleum products. Amongst the oil refineries are many natural gas deposits.
Cocoa is the leading non-mined product followed closely by rubber, both of which grow in shady and rainforest-like climates. The most popular food products are rice, yams, and cassava (a starchy root from a tropical tree). Over a third of Nigeria is considered to be arable land. About 30% of Nigeria’s population is employed in agriculture. Pre-Nigerian Civil War conditions allowed the country to self-sustain a sufficient amount of food, but they now rely on imports.
Mined products only account for a miniscule fraction of the economy; they include coal, lignite, gold, coke, bitumen, and iron ore. However, the mining of most all of these minerals have dwindled since the mid 20th century and show little sign of returning to their original prosperity. The discovery of Nigerian oil in 1956 pushed mining to the backburner. Many minerals could be produced domestically, but because of this industry’s underdevelopment, they must be imported.