By Ayo Akinfe
(1) Nigeria is actually a very rocky country. In the northeast and north central geo-political zones in particular, we have large swathes of rocky plateaus. Have we ever thought about how to cash in on this?
(2) Apart from looking for solid minerals like limestone, granite, cobalt, etc, do we appreciate how central rocks are to an economy? For starters, they are key to the development of the construction industry. Blocks of stones are used in foundations, walls, bridge piers, abutments, lighthouses, aqueducts, and retaining walls.
(3) Rocks are also used for masonry work, lintels and vertical columns, covering floors of the building. Flags or thin slabs are used for paving, roofing, etc, while broken or crushed rocks are used as aggregates in concrete, in road constructions
(4) In addition, broken or crushed rocks are also used as railway ballast. Stone screenings are also used as a natural substitute for sand. Surely, in countries where their rock supply is limited, they must be looking for where to make purchases, so Nigeria should be in the market
(5) Worldwide, rocks are used as blocks along the river and canal banks for preventing erosion called riprap. They are also used as base material for water and sewage filters, in case of waterworks and sewage treatment plants
(6) Are aware of the fact that in the construction of the masonry dam, stones of good quality and durability are of vital importance? Adolf Hitler once wanted to build a 200,000 Olympic Stadium in Berlin totally covered in granite. However, the madman did not realise that Germany simply did not have that amount of granite
(7) At the cosmetic end of the construction industry, rocks are also used in ornamental works in and outside the buildings, for decorative things like blocks, slabs and chips
(8) In America in particular, their rocky areas have also formed the backbone of the tourist industry, especially in places like Colorado
(9) I want to throw down a challenge to all the geologists, civil engineers and archaeologists in our midst. Can you please give us an evaluation of the worth of the Nigerian rock industry. How many thousands of kilogram se of rock are there in Nigeria and how much is it worth?
(10) I would also like to know how long it would take us to blast up all the rock in Nigeria. When we finish blasting it all, what will we then do? Look for synthetic alternatives or go an import rocks from neighbouring African countries?