Eight soil profiles developed on crystalline basement complex rocks in the semi-arid region of Nigeria were analyzed for total contents of cesium (Cs), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), hafnium (Hf), iron (Fe), lanthanum (La), lutetium (Lu), scandium (Sc), thorium (Th), uranium (U) and ytterbium (Yb). The contents range from 50.3–95.4 Cs, 16.1–58.1 Cr, 0.6–9.0 Co, 9.0–34.8 g g–1 Hf, 0.31–3.69% Fe, 17.2–60.7 La, 60.4–90.6 Lu, 2.6–12.6 Sc, 8.3–21.5 Th, 4.7–9.2 U and 3.6–92 g g–1, Yb. Their corresponding means were 68.4, 35.1, 4.0, 19.9 g g–1, 1.70%, 37.1, 79.4, 6.5, 14.7, 6.7 and 5.0 g g–1. In general, total Cs, Co, Fe, La, U and Yb increased with further increase with depth. On the other hand, Lu, Sc and Th showed no distinct vertical distribution within the profiles. All eleven elements were correlated with the amounts of clay present in the soils, the correlation being stronger for Cs, Th, Yb, Cr and Lu.