Apart from agriculture, which formed the bedrock of economic activities in Nigeria both in the past and at the present, many other people were engaged in economic activities like hunting, fishing, manufacturing, trading, etc.
Thus, the existence of industries has to a large extent helped in the provision of occupation to many Nigerians. And from doing some other things than agriculture, man’s income has increased.
TYPES OF INDUSTRIES
The exact time which industries began to exist in Nigeria is not well known but the truth is that it started in the very olden days.
Industries could be grouped based on the location and the available raw materials in an area.
Nigeria is a country endowed with a variety of mineral, animal, and vegetable resources which provided the basis for the industries.
However, the important industries in Nigeria include the following: Pottery, metal-work, clothing, salt production; leatherwork, soap-making, construction, and food processing.
Pottery making is possible in the area where clay soil is found. Thus, clay exists in many parts of Nigeria and pottery making is carried out there. For this reason, pottery has become a widespread craft. People in the early, middle and late stone ages made their tools with clay soil. Again, the Igbo-Ukwu and Ife artworks were made of clay.
PRODUCTION: First of all, clay is mixed and worked through to remove foreign materials like stone and pieces of wood. It was also tempered by adding ground pottery shreds and sand. The essence is to make it less elastic so that during firing, it will hot crack. Then, the next stage is building the pot on sand using the coil method until the work is made. After the main building, the next is a decoration which is made using maize husks or by using other methods.
However, Nigerian women produce pottery of different sizes and shapes for different purposes. While some use produces things like a water pot, cooking pot, cup, plates, etc. Others use it to produce art wort This process of pottery making is called production.
include the following: – iron, tin, copper; bronze, brass, etc.
Thus, smiths in Nigeria had worked with the above before the nineteenth century. It is of much importance to mention that iron is the most important among the metals because of its existence in different areas.
However, the archeologist insisted that iron technology was an independent invention in West Africa. And Nok culture is comprised of iron. Meanwhile, as earlier stated, iron is present in different parts of the country.
PRODUCTION: Working on iron involves special skills and as such, it is reserved for a restricted group of people. First of a”‘ it must be mined and then smelted. Iron is smelted by heating iron ore in a furnace to a very high temperature until it flows and then hardens. The smelted iron is used by the smiths to forge tools and weapons ranging from arrows, fishing hooks to guns, iron bullets.
BRONZE AND BRASS
other metal works such as Bronze and brass were used in casting heads and figures of artworks. Both the Benin and the Igbo-Ukwu cultures were of bronze origin.
CASTING OF METAL
The lost wax or what is termed cire perdu was the method of casting bronze. First, a model of the object to be produced was made in wax and the decorations were put in. And the model must be covered with clay and allowed to dry.
Salt is produced in different areas of Niger in a large quantity. But because of its demand, it commands short supply. However, salt production is carried out in the following places: Nembe, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Awe in Adamawa, Jukun, Uburu, Abakiliki, Ogoja and in Borno.
Meanwhile, salt production was done by evaporation or boiling seawater or water from brine springs and lakes. And we have locally produced and imported salt from the north (i.e., Sahara region). Salt is very important in human life.
THE CLOTH INDUSTRY
Initially, clothes were made from animal skins, and the barks of trees such as aji in Igboland, and raffia palm leaves among others. Later on, locally grown cotton became the main raw material for cloth making.
However, cloth production was later modernized through the three processes such as Spinning, weaving and dying. The cloth industries were seen mainly /n Kano. Sokoto, Borno, Bida, Ilorin, Oyo, Abeokuta, Akwete, Okene, Iseyin among other cities.
But today, doth industries are seen virtually in all the cities across the federation. Cloth is very important because man uses it to cover his nakedness.
Now, the types of cloth we have are: blue doth or “achire” or “asho- oke” “abada” *george” lace etc. Clothes are equally imported from the following countries- Angola, Gabon, Brazil, Republic of Benin, and the Gold Coast etc. Again, Nigerian people in their respective regions are involved in cloth productions that are peculiar to their own culture.
THE LEATHER INDUSTRY
Animal rearing occurs mainly in the northern part of the country and as a result, they are the main centres for leather and skin works. States such as Sokoto, Kano, Bida, Maiduguri are recognized for the unique leather they produce.
Meanwhile, leather is obtained from the skins of goats, sheep, snakes and lizards respectively. Leather is. produced through the process of tannin. Tannin is the various organic compounds found in tree barks and oak- galls, which are used In the production of