Agriculture is the backbone of Niger State's economy: more than 80% of the population depends either directly or indirectly on it for their livelihood. Crops grown in the state include cereals (guinea corn, millet, maize and rice), grains and legumes (cowpeas and bambara nuts), root and tubers (yam, cassava and potatoes), oil seeds and nuts (soyabeans, sheanuts, groundnut and sesame), fruits (mango, orange, banana, melon, cashew and guava) and fibres (cotton and kenaf). Natural and mineral resources found in the state include talc, gold, silica, marble, copper, iron, lead, granite and limestone. The state is a key source of hydroelectric power, with three dams located at Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro.
Niger State is home to fifteen tertiary institutions, including the Federal College of Education, Kontagora; the Federal Polytechnic at Bida; and the Federal University of Technology in Minna. Others include the state-owned technical teacher training colleges and the State College of Education in Minna.
The construction of the famous Kainji Dam in Niger State took 4 years to complete.