IMPORTANCE OF GEOLOGY IN NIGERIA
Geology is simply the study of the Earth. When we talk about the ‘Earth’ in this context we are not just talking about the ball-shaped mass that is hanged in space but also it’s history, origin, composition and economic importance. It is one of the most important aspect of life and is a discipline that holds much value to the World’s economy, the environment and man as a whole. Imprints inherent in structures like Rocks or zones of the Earth like the Mantle can help a Geologist in describing the Earth under a variety of aspects… The age of the Earth can be determined, natural disasters and environmental hazards can be predicted and mitigated, Environmental problems can be tackled, mineral exploration and exploitation is carried out and in general man’s life will be made better.
In Nigeria, the usefulness of Geology can not be overstated and it is foreseen that the discipline holds great importance in taking the future of the nation to the next level. As an Earth Science that it is, Geology is studied as at least a four-year course in majority of Nigerian Universities with both basic and advanced aspects being tended to. In this article, we outline some of the importance of Geology in Nigeria.
IMPORTANCE OF GEOLOGY IN NIGERIA
1. OIL AND GAS
It is no news that Nigeria’s economic mainstay is Petroleum and it seems it will continue to be so for the next couple of years. A Geologist is needed to access the land and sea of regions and determine the location and amount of petroleum that can be extracted for economic purposes. Knowledge of Geology is arguably the most crucial aspect in the Oil and Gas sector as a Geologist can go as far as determine where to drill and how to drill in the process of extracting fuel. Geologist understand the rocks and Sediments of the Earth better than anyone, in short, without the Geologist the process of extracting oil is not feasible.
2. MINERAL RESOURCES
Aside Petroleum, Nigeria is blessed with other valuable minerals. Geology is the study of not just rocks but Minerals also. It gives knowledge on the composition and characteristics of a particular mineral which is essential in telling its value. Also, Mining Geology is an aspect of Geology that involves the identification of ore deposits and extracting the ore for economic purposes. Gold, Tin, Iron, Copper and a lot other minerals can be mined and exported for economic benefit and can also be used locally.
3. DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Luckily for us, Nigeria is not located in a seismically active region as our fault system is not very active so we have naturally escaped the most devastating Natural disaster in Earthquakes. However, the country is not immune to some other Environmental hazards like Flood and Landslides… Geology helps us understand these problems and subsequently help us manage them with the aid of well-defined prevention mechanism. This is a very important aspect of Geology as it helps save lives and properties.
This is the study of the Earth’s water both on the surface of the Earth and beneath it. Geology deals with the entirety of this, from the Freshwater lakes to the Saline waters of Oceans. However, scientists can carry out researches on the waters of the surface of the Earth and this is where Geology comes out unique as it involves the study of the Groundwater i.e all the water beneath the Earth surface. This groundwater has a lot of importance and Geology helps us tell them. Geology also helps in understanding the composition, characteristics and process of groundwater flow which educates us about pollution and its overall usefulness. This is very essential.
5. HISTORY AND ORIGIN
Geology helps us in telling the history and origin of man and his environment. With the aid of fossil records a Geologist can tell us the estimated age of a particular environment, this can even be improved on as Isotopic dating of rock materials can tell us the exact age of that particular environment. Aside this, it tells us kind of organisms that have lived there as well as the environmental history, these put together gives us the Geological history of the place. Isn’t it fascinating how you know the Earth is over 4.5 billion years old? Geology gave that date with the aid of rock dating. It is beautiful.
Although it may seem that Geology isn’t very useful in Nigeria as compared to other developed countries, the discipline contributes a lot to the Country’s economy per se. Geology is the wealth of the world! And aside from economy, it helps man live a better life overall and that’s the most important.