As Nigeria awaits the outcome of its 2015 presidential election, we’re taking a look at the wealthiest and poorest of its 36 states.
In the past decade, several Nigerian states have seen a growing wealthy class. Tourism and natural resources are mostly responsible for this economic boom, with a vast majority of people in the states working in these areas. These are also the states attracting foreign investors.
If you missed our list of 12 poorest Nigerian states, you can find it here.
Here are some things you need to know about the 12 richest Nigerian states by gross domestic product.
Abia State has several large-scale enterprises including the Nigeria Breweries, Golden Guinea Breweries, Aba Textile mills and International Glass Industries. This state is known as the “Japan of Africa” because of its strong small-scale artisans industries — industries that draw in foreign buyers from all over the world.
Tourism has greatly driven this state’s economy. Cross River State has seen a growth of nearly 20 percent in tourism in recent years. A study at Academia.edu found that about 25 percent of the state’s residents work in hotel jobs, 21 percent work in transportation and 16 percent work in trading, schools or as civil servants.
Kaduna State is an industrial center for the country, producing textiles, machinery and petroleum products. Kaduna is also one of the country’s largest producers of cotton and boasts resources including serpentine, amethyst and gold.
Of the nine universities in Ogun State, five are private. The Ogun State government recently partnered with the National Enterprise Development Programme to further wealth generation through skills training and the loft goal of creating more than 3 million jobs.
Akwa Ibom State is rich in mineral resources such as natural gas, salt and limestone. Akwa Ibom is the third largest producer of petroleum in Nigeria. Recently the state has seen a lot of investment in the areas of commerce, agriculture, housing, motels and tourism.
Edo State is home to large-scale companies such as 7-Up Bottling Co. Ltd, Guinness Nigeria and the National Institute for Oil Palm Research. Edo North is another area rich in minerals such as limestone, calcite and dolomite, which have caught foreign investor attention. In 2013 a delegation from the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Agro-Business visited Ebo State to explore investment opportunities.
Kano State is a major commercial state in Nigeria that serves as a central port for the distribution of goods to northern parts of the country. In 2014, Africa’s richest billionaire — Aliko Dangote — pledged to build 11 health centers in Kano.
Imo State is rich in natural resources such as crude oil, lead, zinc, limestone and natural gas. The main industries are manufacturing, agriculture, building and construction, mining and quarrying, water, gas and electricity. Some major companies that have been or still are doing business in Imo state include Afrik Enterprises (a pharmaceutical company), Imo Modern Poultry and Aluminum Extrusion Industry.
Oyo State saw a 14-percent gross domestic product growth rate between 2008 and 2012. The state has the second-highest emerging middle class in the South West region and a gross state product of more than $1.91 trillion.
Delta State is a major oil producing state and has become a leader in renewable energy industries. In 2014 Canada pledged to invest $5 billion in producing 3,000 megawatts of solar-based energy, 1,000 of which are to come from the Delta State.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Youth Development was recently recognized with an award for Excellence in Good Governance and the Fastest Growing State Economy, according to BusinessDay newspaper. The Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt, is central to the Nigerian oil industry and home to companies including Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Texaco and Michelin. It was also considered a key battleground in the presidential election, and a curfew was imposed during the election.
Lagos has a rapidly growing wealthy class of residents that, according to the NewYorkTimes, “educate their young in Swiss boarding schools and at Oxford or Princeton, pay cash for luxury homes and cars, and hold major London and New York real estate parcels in their portfolios.” This new class is mostly there because of the oil rush surrounding Nigeria. The country was the world’s 11th largest oil producer in 2013.