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Economy and Infrastructure

The British colonial strategy did much to destroy Nigeria's traditional economy, eradicating all independent tin producers and replacing indigenous food crops with crops intended primarily for export, such as palm oil. The present day economy is primarily petroleum based, with petroleum revenues constituting over 80% of Nigeria's foreign currency earnings. Commercial production started with a Shell-BP discovery in the Delta in 1956 and now exceeds 2 million barrels of oil per day. This makes Nigeria the world's ninth largest oil producer.

There are several other mineral resources, including tin, lead and zinc, but the mining industry has been in decline for many years.

Agricultural exports include cocoa, palm oil, groundnuts, cotton, timber and rubber. In the early 1970's the oil sector had only been contributing about 30% of the GDP until the oil price boom later in that decade. At that time, the Naira became artificially inflated with the result that imports were able to compete with locally produced products. This contributed to the precipitous decline in both the export of natural resources and agricultural products and also in the indigenous manufacturing industry.



Highways total 32, 105 km and are being built fast.


Total 3,557km
Road from Abuja airport to Central Area


8,575km consisting of the Niger and Benue rivers and smaller rivers and creeks


Crude oil 2,042km
Petroleum products 3,000km
Natural Gas 500km


Number of telephones: estimated at 492,204
Radio broadcast stations: AM 35, FM 17
Television broadcast stations: 28
Number of televisions: 3.8 million

The port in Lagos

Ports and Harbors

Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Onne, Sapele, Warri

Air Transport

Airports: 65
Airports with paved runways: 51
Heliports: Over 50 especially in the oil producing fields of the Niger Delta
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World INvestment NEws, 2000.
This is the electronic edition of the special country report on Nigeria published in Forbes Global.

June 12th 2000 Issue.
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