Nigeria is a country blessed with lots of raw materials. These raw materials are found in almost all parts of the country. From the north to the west, east, and south, raw materials are located and found in enormous quantities. Raw materials are substances that are obtained directly from natural resources; these include materials obtained from animals, woods, metals, trees, etc.
Hides and skin are raw materials produced in large quantities in the northern part of Nigeria. They are animal by-products, important and valuable in producing leather materials. Hides and skins are obtained from the fresh or dried, tanned, stretched, and treated skins of animals such as cows, buffalos, pigs, deer, sheep, etc.
While that’s the case, hides refer to the skin of large animals, like cows, or buffalos, while skins refer to the skins of smaller animals like goats, sheep, pigs, fish, etc.
Where are Hides and Skins Produced in Nigeria?
The city of Kano is known for its renewed leather industry and tanneries. The production of hides and skin in Kano State goes as far back as the time of colonization. States like Sokoto, Kaduna, and Maiduguri are also known for producing hides and skins.
In general, the Northerners in Nigeria are known for their unique leather products. These leathers are gotten from the hide and skin of different animals. States like Kano have well-developed tanneries used to process the leathers obtained from the hides and skins of animals.
What are Hide and Skin Used for in Nigeria?
Hides and skin are renewable raw materials that are used for the production of leather and textile materials. They are valuable economical materials that boost the country’s economy. Currently, they are used in the production of footwear, leather upholstery, car seats, and leather goods: cloths, jackets, gloves, belts, etc. they are also used in the production of Nigeria talking drums, which are very common among the Yoruba’s. Hides and skin are also used in producing fur clothing, rugs, and wool.
Ponmo, Kanda, or kpomo, which is a popular delicacy amongst the Yorubas and Igbos in Nigeria, are obtained from processed cow skin. Hides and skin are also used for medical purposes. It is pertinent to mention the application of pig skins to second and third-degree burns to help in protecting the wounds against infections and speed up the healing process. It is also a very common practice in most parts of Nigeria for people to use snakeskin and oil as a remedy for healing scars.
Cosmetics products are also obtained from hides and skins. Collagen and elastin are obtained from the skin of animals and are used in the production of anti-aging creams.
One common household furniture/item in most Nigerian houses are floor rugs. These rugs are used to either cover the entire living room or bedroom areas or a certain part of the house. Leather rugs are the most expensive type of rugs found in Nigeria. These rugs come in different shapes and sizes and can be woven. They are gotten from the hides of animals. Some wool rugs are also made of the wool of sheep.
Does Nigeria Export Products Made From Hides and Skins?
Nigeria is known for being one of the largest exporters of leather which is derived from hides and skin. The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, during The Inauguration and Sensitization Workshop on the National Leather and Leather Products Policy Implementation Plan, held in 2021, stated that Nigeria is one of the highest producers of leathers in Africa, both finished and semi-finished leather products.
He then went further to say that Nigeria’s semi-finished and finished leathers have their highest patronage in Italy, Spain, and other countries and that the Nigerian leather industry has the potential to generate over 1 billion dollars by 2025. This shows that the leather industry in Nigeria is one of the economic ways through which the country’s resources are boosted.