Coal is one of the most important energy sources in the world. It provides the main source of primary energy for industry and transportation. The knowledge of coal and the spread of use in Nigeria were as a result of European colonial conquest and subsequent colonisation. Since the conquest of Ngwo, of Eastern Nigeria in 1908, which eventually led to the discovery and mining of coal in Enugu-Ngwo from 1915, it has furnished the energy needed for transportation and industrialisation in Nigeria. It also provided both direct and indirect employment to people across Europe and Africa. The main focus of this paper is to capture the under-utilisation of coal in Nigeria since its discovery as its utilisation has always been on the provision of energy, majorly for transportation. Proper efforts were not made to exploit it on the area of electricity generation or carbonise and extend its uses beyond energy generation. With the choice of the consumers of coal to opt for the use of diesel, which offered a cheaper source of energy, the coal industry collapsed. Primary and secondary sources were deployed for this historical reconstruction and all the facts collated were analysed using qualitative research methodology. This paper contends that since the 1980s, the utilisation of coal for different nation building process was abandoned in Nigeria.