HUMAN GEOGRAPHY

COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES IN NIGERIA

Commercial activities involves the buying, selling and distribution of goods and services in Nigeria. It involves trading, transportation and communication within and outside the country.   Types of Commercial Activities The types of Commercial activities in Nigeria include the followings: 1) Trade: Local trade. National trade. International trade. Stock exchange. Money market. Foreign exchange market (FOREX).   2) Transportation. 3) Communication.   Trade in Nigeria Trade in Nigeria involves the buying and selling or exchange of goods and services between one region of Nigeria and another or between Nigeria and other countries. Types of Trade: There are two types of trade in Nigeria. These are: 1) Local Trade: Local trade involves the buying and selling of goods in the local markets in villages and towns. Local trade deals mostly with the buying and selling of foodstuff, clothing and other materials in the local market where people provide and get the basic necessities of life. Most items traded in local market are mainly to meet family need and not for commercial purposes.   2) Internal or Domestic Trade: This is the type of trade which involves the buying and selling or exchange of goods and services within the country or between one region in Nigeria and another. The pattern of internal trade in the country is usually between southern and northern Nigeria.   3) External or International Trade: This is the type of trade between Nigeria and other countries like Britain, U.S.A ., Japan and other African countries.   FACTORS WHICH FAVOUR INTERNAL TRADE IN NIGERIA The following factors account for the favourable internal trade in Nigeria. Difference in products: As a result of the differences in products produced by different regions, internal trade is therefore boosted e.g. kolanut in the south and groundnut in the north. Good transportation network: The different regions are linked together by good roads and railways. Differences in climate: Differences in climate enable different regions to produce different products thereby, creating room for internal trade. Fertile soils: Different regions have different level of soil fertility which ensures the production of different crops. Wide market/demand: Wide market exists within the country which can consume or buy these products. Common currency: The different regions in Nigeria have the same currency – Naira and Kobo which makes sales and purchases easy. Government Encouragement: Government may decide to encourage internal trade by the provision of infrastructure e.g. road and electricity. Presence of minerals: Presence of different minerals in different places or locations do encourage internal trade. Differences in local technology: As a result of differences in local technology in different parts of the country, internal trade is bound to take place. Availability of credit facilities: The availability of credit facilities e.g. bank loans do help to increase internal trade.   LIMITATIONS OR PROBLEMS OF INTERNAL TRADE The following limitations or problems retard the level of internal trade in Nigeria. Unfavourable climate which can lead to low yield and harvest. High rate of rural-urban migrations. High level of pests and disease attack on crops, leading to low harvest. Poor transportation network like bad roads. Perishability of some products due to poor storage and long distances e.g. vegetables, meat and tomatoes. Smuggling of the products to neighbouring countries thereby, causing artificial scarcity. Similarity of products do limit internal trade in Nigeria. Inter communal strife or political instability do slow down internal trade Low technology generally does not improve internal trade.   COMMODITIES INVOLVED IN INTERNAL TRADE Major commodities involved in internal trade include yam, garri, groundnuts, beans, tomatoes, kolanuts, palm oil, sugar cane, plastics, textile and cement.   IMPORTANCE OF INTERNAL TRADE Fosters regional cooperation: Internal trade fosters regional cooperation. Availability of new products: Some new products that is not originally available in an area are made available through internal trade. Provision of Job opportunity: It also provides employment to many people involved in trade. Growth of ancilliary services: Internal trade ensures the growth of ancillary services like agro-allied industries and banking. Provision of raw material: Internal trade provides raw materials for industries e.g. tomato juice/paste industries. Diffusion of Ideas: Internal trade also promotes the diffusion of ideas when people from different regions come together. Source of Income: Internal trade provides income to individuals and the nation.   STOCK EXCHANGE Stock exchange market is a highly organised market where investors can buy and sell existing securities like shares, stocks, debentures, gilt edge etc. This is a market where those who are interested in purchase of securities are brought into contact with the sellers. The stock exchange is an essential part of the capital market. It serves as a source of raising capital as well as forum for financial investment. The market deals in old existing shares only, i.e ., new ones are not traded in it. The stock exchange market ensures that every transaction must follow prescribed set of rules and regulations which are complex in nature. Quoted companies are organisations whose shares are quoted in the stock exchange market. The Nigerian stock exchange market is in Lagos with branches in Abuja and PortHarcourt. It was established in 1960 through the Act of Parliament. Some of the companies quoted in the market are: Nestle Food Nigeria Plc ., Nigeria Breweries Plc ., Guinness Plc ., Union Bank Plc. and First Bank Plc.   Importance of Stock Exchange An Avenue for Raising Capital: Capital can be raised by companies and government through the stock exchange. Provides Employment Opportunities: The stock exchange provides employment for brokers, jobbers, clerks and others. Provides Information to Investors: Investors, especially foreign investors, can obtain necessary information about the investment situation of a country. Facilitates Transfer of Investment: An investor can withdraw his investment from a company to invest in another company. It is a Market for Investment: The stock exchange provides an avenue for people to invest in any sector of the economy. It provides Yardstick for Measuring Performance of Companies: The price quoted can be used to measure performance of a business as only sound and efficient companies are quoted on the stock market. It leads to Increase in the Standard of Living: Investment opportunities will lead to more income, which will affect consumption, thereby increasing the standard of living of the people of a country.   Functions of the Stock Exchange Fund Mobilisation: Through the stock exchange market which is a part of the capital market, fund or capital can be raised or mobilised by companies and investors. Sales of Securities: Investors can buy and sell old securities like stock, shares etc. Financial Market for Investment: It is a market where people can invest their money in shares of companies. It Facilitates the Transfer of Shares: Stock exchange facilitates the transfer of ownership of shares between investors. Investors who want to withdraw from one company to another can do so without any hindrance. Provides Avenue for Government to Raise Fund: Government can raise fund by selling bond or gilt-edge in the stock market. Valuation of Price of Securities: The market, through the forces of demand and supply can fix price for securities. Provision of Professional Advice: The stock market provides professional advice to investors on sales and management of securities. Provision of Rules and Regulations: The market is charged with the responsibility of providing rules and regulations that will ensure smooth operation on the floor of the stock exchange. Encourages Companies to be More Efficient: The market ensures that companies quoted in the exchange have good reputation; this will gear up companies to perform well so that they can be listed.   Procedures of Transaction at the Stock Exchange Buying and selling at the stock exchange is facilitated by the brokers and jobbers. Not everybody is permitted to trade directly at the exchange except the members. The actual dealer in securities are the jobbers who tend to specialise in particular types of stock while the brokers act as agents for potential buyers. A broker working on behalf of a client will approach the jobber with the intention of knowing the price. The jobber will then quote for him two prices: higher price as the selling price and lower price as the buying price. The difference is the jobbers’ turn. When the broker signifies his intention to buy, the necessary documents will be prepared. Share of well known companies are known as blue chips while gilt-edge refers to government stock. Prices of shares are quoted cum div or ex div. Cum div denotes price at which the holder of such shares has the right to receive the next dividend payable while ex div denotes price at which the holder of such shares has no right to receive the next dividend. Two documents will be prepared to facilitate transactions. The documents are contract note and transfer form (note). a) Contract Note: This is a document sent by a broker to his client to confirm a purchase or sale made on his behalf. Contract note will give details on: Purchase or sale of shares. Broker’s commission. Date of payment. Stamp duty that has been incurred.   b) Transfer Form: After settlement of payments, a document called, transfer form will be prepared. The transfer form is a document used to transfer ownership of shares. The seller of the shares must sign the form which authorises the removal of his name from the share registration records of the company. The broker, acting for the buyer will complete the form and send to the company’s registrar. This will be sent with the share certificate of the seller and on that strength, a new certificate will be issued to the new shareholder.   MONEY MARKET Money market can be defined as a market for short-term loan. The market consists of institutions or individuals who either have money to lend or wish to borrow on a shortterm basis.   Instruments used in the money market Treasury bills: Treasury bill is normally issued by the central bank of a country, which assists the government to borrow money from the money market on shortterm basis. Bill of exchange: Bill of exchange refers to a promisory note which shows the acknowledgement of indebtedness by a debtor to his creditor and his intention to pay the debt on demand or at an agreed time in future, normally ninety (90) days. Call money funds: The call money fund or market is a special arrangement in which the participating institutions invest surplus money for their immediate requirement on an overnight basis with the interest and withdrawal on demand. The call money has an advantage of early return and at the same time are withdrawable on demand. It provides solution to the immediate stock of liquidity pressures in the money market.   Institutions involved in the money market Institutions involved in the money market include: Central bank. Commercial banks. Acceptance houses. Finance houses. Discount houses. Insurance companies.   Advantages of money market Provision of finance: Money market enables entrepreneurs and investors to raise enough finance through borrowing to run their businesses. Creation of extra income: The money invested in money market is capable of yielding extra income in form of interest. Promotion of economic development: Economic growth and development is enhanced through borrowing from money market. Ability to recall invested funds: Funds invested in the money market are very easy to recall. It enhances savings: Money market provides opportunity for those having surplus fund to invest thereby enhancing savings.   CAPITAL MARKET Capital market is a market for medium-term and long-term loans. The capital market serves the needs of industry and the commercial sector. It comprises all the institutions which are concerned with either the supply of or demand for long-term capital.   Instruments used in capital market Instruments used in capital market are mainly stocks and shares. Stocks and shares are securities purchased by individuals, which is an evidence of contributing part of the total capital used in running an existing industry. At the end of a normal business year, stock and share holders receive dividend as a reward for…

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HUMAN RESOURCES

All resources of the environment are usually organised by man for optimum use. The ability of man to make the best use of these resources depends on his level of education, technology and culture.   Factors which Determine the Size of Human Resources Factors which can determine the size of human resources are: Birth rate or natality: High birth rate generally do lead to high population or human resources. Death rate or mortality: Low death rate leads to increase in human population while high death rate reduces it. Migration: While migration (movement out of a country) reduces population, immigration (movement into a country) increases human resources. Level of Fertility: High level of fertility of the population leads to increase in human population. Medical Facilities: Improved medical facilities in a country do lead to increase in human population. Education: The higher the level of education, the lesser the growth of human population. In other words, illiteracy leads to increase in human population, because of indiscriminate rate of child bearing. Technology: High level of technology do lead to reduction in human population and vice versa. Climate: Favourable climate of a country can lead to reduction in child bearing. Political stability: A very stable political activities do lead to increase in human population than when a country is in political crisis.   Population Classification or Distribution The population of a country could be classified or distributed into the following categories: Sex, Age, Geographical and Occupational, based on the data obtained from population census. Sex Distribution: Sex distribution shows how many males and females are in a country in a particular period of time. This is very important, because it enables the government of the country to ascertain the sex ratio. When the ratio of females is more than the males, the government can project for a rapid population growth in the future. The population of females is a great determining factor of what the population of a country would be in future. Where the population of females is more than that of the males, the tendency is that the population of the country will grow rapidly. This rapid population growth as a result of many women in the country can be controlled by making a law that will make it an offence for anyone to marry more than one wife. But, one of the consequences of such law is that, there will be high rate of prostitution in such a country. Nature has made it impossible for any government to make the ratio of males equal to females even with the use of law. Age Distribution: This refers to the breakdown of the population of a particular country into age groups. This age distribution which varies from country to country is derived from population census figures. However, the population of a country can be divided into the following age groups: 0 – 5 years: This is the pre-school age or what we presently call pre-primary or nursery school age group. 6-11 years: Primary School age group. 12 – 16 years: Secondary or the post-primary school age group. 17 – 21 years: Post-secondary or higher institution age group. 22 – 55 years: Working population or labour force age group. 56 and above: Old age group.   The Importance or Advantages of Age Distribution It enables the government of a country to know the number of people that are working. It reveals the number of tax payers. The government can project how much that could be realised from income tax. Through the number of people that are working, the production of goods can be determined. The manufacturers can envisage what the future consumption of their goods will be. It helps government to plan its budget based on the number of people in each age group. It enables the government to determine what the economy will be in future. It reveals the population of dependants and helps government to plan for them.   Economic Implication of Age Distribution 1) Where majority of the people fall in the pre-primary group There will be increase in demand for articles like toys, baby food and others used by infants. Increase in the production of toys and other commodities used by infants. There will be more need for nursery schools. There will be more need for nannies and housemaids.   2) Where the percentage of primary school children is high There will be the need for more primary schools. The need for free education at that level in order to eradicate illiteracy which may also be one of the possible consquences of rise in their number. Increase in government expenditure to cater for them as part of dependants. Increase in demand for commodities used by that age group.   3) Secondary or post-primary age: This age group falls among the dependants and unproductive group. If their number is too high, it is detrimental to the economy of such a country.   4) Post-secondary or higher institution age: Major bulk of these people will metamorphose into the working population. High population of this group will be good omen if it grows in pari passu with the resources and employment opportunities; otherwise, they will be turned out as unemployed graduates who may constitute themselves into undesirable elements.   5) The working population: If this population grows high, it is a good omen to the economy of a country because, this is the productive section of a country’s population.   6) The old age: This is another dependant and unproductive group. If their number is high, they will constitute themselves into burden to the government and the working population.   Economic implications or effects of increase in the population of dependants The dependants are those that are not working or the unproductive groups that cannot fend for themselves but are catered for by the working population. Dependants include: infants, those in primary, secondary and higher institutions and the aged people. That is, the total population of a country, excluding the working population or labour force, will give you the population of dependants. Economic implications of increase in their population more than the working population include the followings: High taxation: Those working will be made to pay high rate of tax to enable government realise enough money that will be used in catering for the dependants. Increase in government expenditure: Government of the country concerned will spend more in order to cater for the dependants whose number has increased. Increase in demand for goods: There will be increase in demand for goods and services and; if care is not taken, demand may exceed supply. Increase in prices: Prices of goods and services will rise if demand is higher than supply. High imports: More goods and services have to be imported in order to complement local production and thereby, meeting up with the increasing demand. Low saving: Both the government and workers may save nothing because, people may be living from hand to mouth as a result of having many mouths to feed. Low investment: Since nothing is saved, there may be no investment because people are mainly living from hand to mouth. Poor standard of living: This is as a result of the fact that there are many people to be fed by the small number of those working. Also, the few social amenities provided by the government will now be used by more than unexpected number of people. Decrease in exports: Nothing may be left for exports as majority of the goods and services produced locally will be consumed in the country. Deficit balance of payments: The country with increase in the population of dependants will suffer from deficit balance of payments. This is as a result of high imports and low exports. Low economic growth: This will be the cummulative effect of increase in dependants which will result in increase in government expenditures, low savings, low investments, etc. High ratio of dependency: This may be the first visible effect of increase in dependants and a big problem to the working population and government.   Occupational Distribution: Occupational distribution is the breaking down of the population of a country into activities engaged in by men and women to earn their living. This distribution is affected by many factors like the availability of natural resources, the level of technological development, the level of education, etc. Majority of the occupationally distributed population of West Africans fall into agriculture, mainly because West African countries have agrarian economy. Others fall into other occupations depending on their educational specialization, etc. However, occupation as a whole can be classified into four major principal divisions namely, extractive, manufacturing and constructive, commercial and direct and indirect services.   Geographical Distribution: This refers to the break down of the population of a country into geographical areas. People of a country are scattered into different areas by geographical, historical, economic and social factors. The population of a country cannot be equitably distributed into geographical areas. In a country like Nigeria, the southern parts are densely populated than the northern parts that have low population density. This geographical distribution of the population affects the occupation of the people in the areas. As a result of the fact that southern parts of Nigeria have thick forest, the people are mainly farmers. The northerners on the other hand are mainly cattle rearers because their area falls in the arid zone and this area encourages sparse population. The areas also contain a greater percentage of grassland where the animals graze on.   Importance of Human Resources Labour supply: Labour is necessary for the economic growth and development of all nations. Control over other resources: Human beings, because of their intelligence can control other resources for maximum benefit. Defence: Large population does provide the required armed forces for defence purposes. Development: Development is only possible through the contribution of individuals who are healthy and educated. Power: Countries known to have large, educated population with scientists etc. are known to control world power more than others e.g. U.S.A.

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PROBLEMS OF TOURISM IN NIGERIA

Some of the major problems facing tourism development in Nigeria include the following: Inadequate funding: In Nigeria, the tourism industry is poorly funded. Poor funding has led to the poor development of the sub-sector. lack of access roads: In Nigeria, there is basically lack of access roads to most resort centres. Many of the roads are in bad shape and this tends not to attract tourists to such centres. Poor publicity: Lack of effective publicity or communication system for publicizing the scenery, wildlife and cultural attractions to visitors is a big problem in the country. Inadequate personnel: One of the problems of developing tourism attractions in Nigeria is the inadequacy of competent and trained tourism personnel. Very few personnel are trained and competent. lack of private investment: In Nigeria, tourism development are left in the hand of government. Government alone cannot develop tourism in Nigeria. Inadequate infrastructure: Basic infrastructure like electricity, pipe-borne water etc are inadequate and in some areas are lacking and this tends to reduce the development of tourism in Nigeria. Security problems: Tourism is unable to develop in Nigeria as a result of threat of security such as the occurrence of kidnappers and Boko Haram in the country. Absence of tourism boards: There is complete absence of tourism boards in the country. This has lead to the poor development of tourism in Nigeria. SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEMS OF TOURISM IN NIGERIA Increase in budgetary provision: there should be increase and release of budgetary provisions by the government for tourism development. Such fund will go a long way in providing infrastructural development of the country. Launching of tourism development trust fund: the government should launch tourism Development fund. This fund will also go a long way to ensure adequate provision of capital for tourism development in the country. Provision of enabling environment: the government should also provide the enabling environment for tourism to strive. Regulations and laws have to be flexible so as to attract investors into the industry. Pursuance of aggressive marketing: Pursuance of aggressive marketing strategies have to be put in place to promote tourism assets locally and internationally. Engagement of private sector: the government should encourage and embrace the private sector in order to drive the tourism development programmes. Establishment of more tourism boards: More tourism boards should be established by the government. These boards do encourage the growth and development of tourism in the country.

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JUSTIFICATION FOR TOURISM

Tourism is an activity done by an individual or a group of individuals, which leads to the movement from one place to another or a country to another for performing a specific a specific task or a visit to a place or several places for the purpose of entertaining which lead to an awareness of other civilizations and culture, also increasing the knowledge of countries, culture and history. One of the most important subjects of tourism is attractions. Attractions are the most important components in the tourism system. Attractions are the main motivators for tourist’s trips and the core of the tourism product, without attractions, there would be no need for other tourism services. Indeed, tourism as such would not exist if it were not for attractions. There are three main justification for tourism in Nigeria. These justification include: Leisure. Recreation. ¬†Education.   Leisure: Leisure is the time when you are not working or studying and can relax and do things you enjoy. Leisure is one of the most important justification for tourism. This give individuals or tourists the opportunity to enjoy themselves to the fullest while they visit resort centres. Recreation: Recreation is any activity that you do for pleasure or amusement. Tourism also create room for recreation of tourists as they involve in doing things which they enjoy in the resort centres e.g. watching football and dancing. Education: One of the major justification for tourism is education. When tourist visit any places of interest or even a country, they take their time to educate themselves on the behaviour, traditional and cultural life of the people. It helps them to learn on certain things which they do not know before.

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PHYSICAL AND SOCIO-CULTURAL FEATURES OF A TOWN

PHYSICAL FEATURES OF A TOWN The physical features of a town include : Relief, vegetation, climate and drainage. Relief: Relief of a town may either be on a lowland and fairly on plateau e.g. Jos. Majority of the towns are located on a lowland or flat land which is suitable for human settlement and establishment of many other social-cultural features like schools, markets, mosquitoes and roads. Climate: The climate of all the towns in Nigeria varies based on the location of such towns. Towns in the Southern parts of the country do experience equatorial type of climate with low temperature and heavy rainfall while the towns in Northern part of Nigeria do experience tropical continental (dry) climate or Sudan climate with hot temperature and low rainfall. Drainage: Drainage refers to water bodies like rivers and lakes. While some towns may have rivers or lakes for domestic or individual use while other towns may not have them. Such towns may either get water by government water protects or boreholes sunk by individuals. Vegetation: The vegetation of any town varies from one town to another. Forest vegetation is common to towns located in southern parts of Nigeria while Savanna vegetation is common to towns located in the northern parts of Nigeria.   SOCIO-CULTURAL FEATURES OF A TOWN The socio-cultural features of a town include all the features which enable such town to exist and permits all human activities to strive. Such socio-cultural features are: Educational establishment: Majority of the towns do have primary and secondary schools, polytechnics, colleges of education and universities which are built to enable the citizens to acquire basic education. Markets: Market do exist in all towns. The market may be big and its activities are normally on daily basis where people trade in different commodities. Infrastructures: Many towns do have basic infrastructures like good roads, electricity and pipe-borne water. Most of the roads are tarred. Settlement: A settlement is a collection of buildings with people living in them. The town settlement is mainly an urban settlements. They are usually large, densely populated with socially heterogenous people who do not know one another very well. They are usually nucleated settlements. Religious activities: All towns are usually associated with religious activities where churches and mosques are established to serve as religion centres.   DIRECTION AND LOCATION OF PHYSICAL AND CULTURAL FEATURES WITHIN THE TOWN There is a wide variations in the direction and location of physical features in a town setting. While majority of the physical features in the town like rivers, mountains, lowland, vegetation are located naturally or by nature, lots of the cultural features are located or made by human activities. Cultural features like school, markets, roads, churches and mosques are normally built by the people or government which may be located in suitable places in the town. In other words, majority of the physical features are created by nature and remain where they are, the cultural features are made or establish by the people and can be located in suitable places within the town.

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