The FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA /naɪˈdʒɪəriə/ ( listen ),
commonly referred to as NIGERIA, is a federal republic in West Africa
Benin in the west,
Cameroon in the east, and
Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea
Atlantic Ocean . It comprises 36 states and the Federal Capital
Territory , where the capital ,
Abuja is located.
officially a democratic secular country .
Nigeria has been the site of numerous kingdoms and tribal
states over the millennia. The modern state originated from British
colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, and the merging of the
Southern Nigeria Protectorate and
Northern Nigeria Protectorate in
1914. The British set up administrative and legal structures whilst
practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms . Nigeria
became a formally independent federation in 1960, and plunged into a
civil war from 1967 to 1970. It has since alternated between
democratically elected civilian governments and military
dictatorships, until it achieved a stable democracy in 1999, with the
2011 presidential elections considered the first to be reasonably free
Nigeria is often referred to as the "Giant of Africa", owing to its
large population and economy. With approximately 188 million
Nigeria is the most populous country in
Africa and the
seventh most populous country in the world .
Nigeria has one of the
largest populations of youth in the world. The country is viewed as
a multinational state , as it is inhabited by over 500 ethnic groups,
of which the three largest are the Hausa , Igbo and Yoruba ; these
ethnic groups speak over 500 different languages, and are identified
with wide variety of cultures. The official language is English .
Nigeria is divided roughly in half between
Christians , who live
mostly in the southern part of the country, and
Muslims in the
northern part. A minority of the population practise religions
indigenous to Nigeria, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba
As of 2015 ,
Nigeria is the world's 20th largest economy, worth more
than $500 billion and $1 trillion in terms of nominal GDP and
purchasing power parity respectively. It overtook South
become Africa's largest economy in 2014. The 2013 debt-to-GDP ratio
was 11 percent.
Nigeria is considered to be an emerging market by the
World Bank ; it has been identified as a regional power on the
African continent, a middle power in international affairs, and
has also been identified as an emerging global power .
Nigeria is a
member of the MINT group of countries, which are widely seen as the
globe's next "
BRIC -like" economies. It is also listed among the "Next
Eleven " economies set to become among the biggest in the world.
Nigeria is a founding member of the
African Union and a member of many
other international organizations, including the
United Nations , the
Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations and
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 2.1 Early (500 BC – 1500)
* 2.2 Middle Ages (1500–1800)
* 2.3 British
* 2.4 Independent
Federation and First
* 2.5 Civil war (1967–1970)
* 2.6 Military juntas (1970–1999)
* 2.7 Democratisation (1999–)
Government and politics
* 3.1 Law
* 3.2 Foreign relations
* 3.3 Military
* 4 Geography
* 4.1 Environmental issues
* 4.2 Administrative divisions
* 5 Economy
* 5.1 Agriculture
* 5.2 Oil
* 5.3 Overseas remittances
* 5.4 Services
* 5.5 Mining
* 5.6 Manufacturing
* 6 Society
* 6.1 Demographics
* 6.2 Ethnic groups
* 6.3 Languages
* 6.4 Religion
* 6.5 Health
* 6.6 Education
* 6.7 Crime
* 7 Culture
* 7.1 Literature
* 7.2 Media
* 7.3 Music and film
* 7.4 Cuisine
* 7.5 Sport
* 8 Societal issues
* 8.2 Strife and sectarian violence
* 8.3 Media representation
* 8.4 Women
* 9 See also
* 10 References
* 11 External links
Nigeria was taken from the
Niger River running through the
country. This name was coined in the late 19th century by British
Flora Shaw , who later married Lord Lugard , a British
colonial administrator. The origin of the name Niger, which originally
applied only to the middle reaches of the
Niger River, is uncertain.
The word is likely an alteration of the Tuareg name egerew n-igerewen
used by inhabitants along the middle reaches of the river around
Timbuktu prior to 19th-century European colonialism.
Ceremonial Igbo pot from 9th-century
Igbo-Ukwu . Main
History of Nigeria and
Timeline of Nigerian history
EARLY (500 BC – 1500)
History of Nigeria before 1500 Nok
Nok civilisation of
Northern Nigeria flourished between 500 BC
and AD 200, producing life-sized terracotta figures which are some of
the earliest known sculptures in Sub-Saharan Africa. Further
north, the cities
Katsina have a recorded history dating to
around 999 AD. Hausa kingdoms and the Kanem-
Bornu Empire prospered as
trade posts between North and West Africa.
Kingdom of Nri of the
Igbo people consolidated in the 10th
century and continued until it lost its sovereignty to the British in
1911. Nri was ruled by the
Eze Nri , and the city of Nri is
considered to be the foundation of Igbo culture. Nri and
where the Igbo creation myth originates, are in the territory of the
Umeuri clan. Members of the clan trace their lineages back to the
patriarchal king-figure Eri . In West Africa, the oldest bronzes made
using the lost-wax process were from
Igbo Ukwu , a city under Nri
influence. YORUBA copper mask of Obalufon from the city of
The Yoruba kingdoms of
Ife and Oyo in southwestern
prominent in the 12th and 14th centuries, respectively. The oldest
signs of human settlement at Ife's current site date back to the 9th
century, and its material culture includes terracotta and bronze
MIDDLE AGES (1500–1800)
Benin ivory mask , one of Nigeria's most recognised
Benin Empire , 16th century. Further information: History
Oyo, at its territorial zenith in the late 17th to early 18th
centuries, extended its influence from western
Nigeria to modern-day
Togo . The Edo's
Benin Empire is located in southwestern Nigeria.
Benin's power lasted between the 15th and 19th centuries. Their
dominance reached as far as the city of Eko (an
Edo name later changed
Lagos by the Portuguese ) and further.
At the beginning of the 19th century,
Usman dan Fodio directed a
successful jihad and created and led the centralised
(also known as the
Sokoto Caliphate ). The territory controlled by the
resultant state included much of modern-day northern and central
Nigeria; it lasted until the 1903 break-up of the Empire into various
Benin City in the 17th century with the Oba of
Benin in procession. This image appeared in a European book,
Description of Africa, published in Amsterdam in 1668.
For centuries, various peoples in modern-day
Nigeria traded overland
with traders from North Africa. Cities in the area became regional
centres in a broad network of trade routes that spanned western,
central and northern Africa. In the 16th century, Spanish and
Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to begin significant,
direct trade with peoples of modern-day Nigeria, at the port they
Lagos and in
Calabar . Europeans traded goods with peoples at
the coast; coastal trade with Europeans also marked the beginnings of
Atlantic slave trade . The port of
Calabar on the historical
Bight of Biafra (now commonly referred to as the Bight of Bonny)
become one of the largest slave trading posts in
West Africa in the
era of the transatlantic slave trade. Other major slaving ports in
Nigeria were located in
Lagos on the Bight of
Benin and on
Bonny Island on the Bight of Biafra. The majority of those enslaved
and taken to these ports were captured in raids and wars. Usually the
captives were taken back to the conquerors' territory as forced
labour; after time, they were sometimes acculturated and absorbed into
the conquerors' society. A number of slave routes were established
Nigeria linking the hinterland areas with the major coastal
ports. Some of the more prolific slave traders were linked with the
Oyo Empire in the southwest, the
Aro Confederacy in the southeast and
Sokoto Caliphate in the north.
Slavery also existed in the territories comprising modern-day
Nigeria;. its scope was broadest towards the end of the 19th century.
According to the Encyclopedia of African History, "It is estimated
that by the 1890s the largest slave population of the world, about 2
million people, was concentrated in the territories of the Sokoto
Caliphate . The use of slave labor was extensive, especially in
A changing legal imperative (transatlantic slave trade outlawed by
Britain in 1807) and economic imperative (a desire for political and
social stability) led most European powers to support widespread
cultivation of agricultural products, such as the palm, for use in
BRITISH NIGERIA (1800–1960)
Colonial Nigeria "Up-River Chiefs,
The slave trade was engaged in by European state and non-state actors
such as Great Britain , the
Portugal and private
companies, as well as various African states and non-state actors.
With rising anti-slavery sentiment at home and changing economic
realities, Great Britain outlawed the international slave trade in
1807. Following the
Napoleonic Wars , Great Britain established the
West Africa Squadron in an attempt to halt the international traffic
in slaves. It stopped ships of other nations that were leaving the
African coast with slaves; the seized slaves were taken to
a colony in
West Africa originally established for the resettlement of
freed slaves from Britain. Britain intervened in the
power struggle by bombarding
Lagos in 1851, deposing the slave trade
friendly Oba Kosoko, helping to install the amenable Oba Akitoye , and
signing the Treaty between Great Britain and
Lagos on 1 January 1852.
Lagos as a Crown Colony in August 1861 with the Lagos
Treaty of Cession . British missionaries expanded their operations and
travelled further inland. In 1864,
Samuel Ajayi Crowther
Samuel Ajayi Crowther became the
first African bishop of the
Anglican Church .
In 1885, British claims to a West African sphere of influence
received recognition from other European nations at the Berlin
Conference . The following year, it chartered the Royal
under the leadership of Sir
George Taubman Goldie . In 1900 the
company's territory came under the control of the British government,
which moved to consolidate its hold over the area of modern Nigeria.
On 1 January 1901,
Nigeria became a British protectorate , and part of
British Empire , the foremost world power at the time. In the late
19th and early 20th centuries the independent kingdoms of what would
Nigeria fought a number of conflicts against the British
Empire's efforts to expand its territory. By war, the British
Benin in 1897, and, in the
Anglo-Aro War (1901–1902),
defeated other opponents. The restraint or conquest of these states
opened up the
Niger area to British rule. Postage stamp with
portrait of Queen
Elizabeth II , 1953
In 1914, the British formally united the
Niger area as the Colony and
Protectorate of Nigeria. Administratively,
Nigeria remained divided
into the Northern and Southern Protectorates and
Lagos Colony .
Inhabitants of the southern region sustained more interaction,
economic and cultural, with the British and other Europeans owing to
the coastal economy.
Christian missions established Western educational institutions in
the Protectorates. Under Britain's policy of indirect rule and
validation of Islamic tradition, the Crown did not encourage the
Christian missions in the northern, Islamic part of the
country. Some children of the southern elite went to Great Britain to
pursue higher education. By independence in 1960, regional differences
in modern educational access were marked. The legacy, though less
pronounced, continues to the present-day. Imbalances between North and
South were expressed in Nigeria's political life as well. For
Nigeria did not outlaw slavery until 1936 whilst in
other parts of
Nigeria slavery was abolished soon after colonialism.
Following World War II, in response to the growth of Nigerian
nationalism and demands for independence, successive constitutions
legislated by the British government moved
self-government on a representative and increasingly federal basis. By
the middle of the 20th century, a great wave for independence was
sweeping across Africa.
Nigeria achieved independence in 1960.
INDEPENDENT FEDERATION AND FIRST REPUBLIC (1960–1966)
Nigeria gained independence from the
United Kingdom as a Commonwealth
Realm on 1 October 1960. Nigeria's government was a coalition of
conservative parties: the Nigerian People\'s Congress (NPC), a party
dominated by Northerners and those of the Islamic faith, and the Igbo
and Christian-dominated National Council of
Nigeria and the Cameroons
(NCNC) led by
Nnamdi Azikiwe . Azikiwe became Nigeria's maiden
Governor-General in 1960. The opposition comprised the comparatively
liberal Action Group (AG), which was largely dominated by the Yoruba
and led by
Obafemi Awolowo . The cultural and political differences
between Nigeria's dominant ethnic groups – the Hausa
('Northerners'), Igbo ('Easterners') and Yoruba ('Westerners') –
An imbalance was created in the polity by the result of the 1961
plebiscite . Southern
Cameroon opted to join the
Republic of Cameroon
Northern Cameroons chose to remain in Nigeria. The northern part
of the country was now far larger than the southern part. In 1963, the
nation established a Federal
Republic , with Azikiwe as its first
president . When elections were held in 1965, the Nigerian National
Democratic Party came to power in Nigeria's Western Region.
CIVIL WAR (1967–1970)
Nigerian Civil War The
Republic of Biafra in June
1967, when it declared its independence from the rest of
The disquilibrium and perceived corruption of the electoral and
political process led, in 1966, to back-to-back military coups . The
first coup was in January 1966 and was led by Igbo soldiers under
Emmanuel Ifeajuna and
Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu . The coup
plotters succeeded in murdering Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa
Ahmadu Bello of the Northern Region and Premier Ladoke
Akintola of the Western Region. But, the coup plotters struggled to
form a central government. President Nwafor Orizu handed over
government control to the Army, then under the command of another Igbo
officer, General JTU Aguiyi-Ironsi .
Later, the counter-coup of 1966 , supported primarily by Northern
military officers, facilitated the rise of Lt. Colonel
Yakubu Gowon to
head of state. Tension rose between North and South;
Igbos in Northern
cities suffered persecution and many fled to the Eastern Region.
In May 1967, the Eastern Region declared independence as a state
Republic of Biafra , under the leadership of Lt. Colonel
Emeka Ojukwu . The
Nigerian Civil War began as the official Nigerian
government side (predominated by soldiers from the North and West)
attacked Biafra (Southeastern) on 6 July 1967 at Garkem. The 30-month
war, with a long siege of Biafra and its isolation from trade and
supplies, ended in January 1970. Estimates of the number of dead in
the former Eastern Region are between 1 and 3 million people, from
warfare, disease, and starvation , during the 30-month civil war.
France, Egypt, the Soviet Union, Britain, Israel, and others were
deeply involved in the civil war behind the scenes. Britain and the
Soviet Union were the main military backers of the Nigerian government
France and others aided the Biafrans.
Nigeria used Egyptian
pilots for their air force.
MILITARY JUNTAS (1970–1999)
Main article: Nigerian military juntas of 1966–1979 and 1983–1998
Olusegun Obasanjo was a military president who ruled the country
from 1976 to 1979.
During the oil boom of the 1970s,
OPEC and the huge
oil revenues it was generating enriched the economy. Despite these
revenues, the military government did little to improve the standard
of living of the population, help small and medium businesses, or
invest in infrastructure. As oil revenues fueled the rise of federal
subsidies to states, the federal government became the centre of
political struggle and the threshold of power in the country. As oil
production and revenue rose, the Nigerian government became
increasingly dependent on oil revenues and on international commodity
markets for budgetary and economic concerns. It did not develop
alternate revenue sources in the economy for economic stability. That
spelled doom to federalism in Nigeria.
Beginning in 1979, Nigerians participated in a return to democracy
Olusegun Obasanjo transferred power to the civilian regime of
Shehu Shagari . The Shagari government became viewed as corrupt by
virtually all sectors of Nigerian society. In 1983 the inspectors of
the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) began
to notice "the slow poisoning of the waters of this country." The
military coup of
Muhammadu Buhari shortly after the regime's
re-election in 1984 was generally viewed as a positive development.
Buhari promised major reforms, but his government fared little better
than its predecessor. His regime was overthrown by another military
coup in 1985.
The new head of state,
Ibrahim Babangida , declared himself president
and commander in chief of the armed forces and of the ruling Supreme
Military Council. He set 1990 as the official deadline for a return to
democratic governance. Babangida's tenure was marked by a flurry of
political activity: he instituted the
International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund 's
Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) to aid in the repayment of the
country's crushing international debt. At the time most federal
revenue was dedicated to servicing that debt. He enrolled
the Organisation of the Islamic Conference , which aggravated
religious tensions in the country.
Babangida survived an abortive coup, then postponed a promised return
to democracy to 1992. Free and fair elections were finally held on 12
June 1993, the first since the military coup of 1983, with a
presidential victory for
Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola of the
Social Democratic Party , who gained some 58% of the votes, defeating
Bashir Tofa of the
National Republican Convention . However,
Babangida annulled the elections, leading to massive civilian protests
which effectively shut down the country for weeks. Babangida finally
kept his promise to relinquish office to a civilian government, but
not before appointing
Ernest Shonekan head of an interim government.
Babangida's regime has been considered the most corrupt, and
responsible for creating a culture of corruption in Nigeria.
In late 1993 Shonekan's caretaker regime was overwhelmed by the
military coup of General
Sani Abacha , who used military force on a
wide scale to suppress the continuing civilian unrest. He shifted
money to offshore accounts in western European banks and defeated coup
plots by bribing army generals. In 1995 the government hanged
environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwa on trumped-up charges in the deaths of
Ogoni elders. Lawsuits under the American Alien Tort Statute
Royal Dutch Shell and Brian Anderson, the head of Shell's
Nigerian operation, settled out of court with Shell continuing to deny
Several hundred million dollars in accounts traced to Abacha were
discovered in 1999. The regime came to an end in 1998, when the
dictator died in the villa. His successor, General Abdulsalami
Abubakar , adopted a new constitution on 5 May 1999, which provided
for multiparty elections. On 29 May 1999 Abubakar transferred power to
the winner of the elections, Obasanjo, who had since retired from the
Bida Emirate durbar festival, 2001
Nigeria regained democracy in 1999 when it elected Olusegun Obasanjo
, the former military head of state, as the new
President of Nigeria .
This ended almost 33 years of military rule (from 1966 until 1999),
excluding the short-lived second republic (between 1979 and 1983) by
military dictators who seized power in coups d\'état and
counter-coups during the Nigerian military juntas of 1966–1979 and
1983–1998 . Although the elections which brought Obasanjo to power
in 1999 and again in 2003 were condemned as unfree and unfair, Nigeria
has shown marked improvements in attempts to tackle government
corruption and to hasten development.
Ethnic violence for control over the oil-producing
Niger Delta region
and inadequate infrastructures are some of the issues in the country.
Umaru Yar\'Adua of the People\'s Democratic Party (PDP) came into
power in the general election of 2007 . The international community
has been observing Nigerian elections to encourage a free and fair
process, and condemned this one as being severely flawed.
Yar'Adua died on 5 May 2010. Dr.
Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as
Yar'Adua's replacement on 6 May 2010, becoming Nigeria's 14th Head of
State, while his vice-president,
Namadi Sambo , an architect and
Kaduna State governor, was chosen on 18 May 2010, by the
National Assembly. His confirmation followed President Jonathan's
nomination of Sambo to that position.
Goodluck Jonathan served as Nigeria's president until 16 April 2011,
when a new presidential election in
Nigeria was conducted. Jonathan of
the PDP was declared the winner on 19 April 2011, having won the
election with a total of 22,495,187 of the 39,469,484 votes cast, to
stand ahead of
Muhammadu Buhari from the main opposition party, the
Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) , which won 12,214,853 of the
total votes cast. The international media reported the elections as
having run smoothly with relatively little violence or voter fraud, in
contrast to previous elections.
In the March 2015 election ,
Muhammadu Buhari defeated Goodluck
Jonathan by roughly 2 million votes. Observers generally praised the
election as being fair. Jonathan was generally praised for conceding
defeat and limiting the risk of unrest.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Politics of Nigeria Nigerian National Assembly ,
Muhammadu Buhari , President, May 29, 2015–current
Nigeria is a federal republic modelled after the
United States ,
with executive power exercised by the President . It is influenced by
Westminster System model in the composition and management of the
upper and lower houses of the bicameral legislature. The president
presides as both head of state and head of the federal government ;
the leader is elected by popular vote to a maximum of two 4-year
terms. In the March 28, 2015 presidential election, General Muhammadu
Buhari emerged victorious to become the President of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria, defeating then-incumbent Dr
Goodluck Jonathan .
The president's power is checked by a Senate and a House of
Representatives , which are combined in a bicameral body called the
National Assembly . The Senate is a 109-seat body with three members
from each state and one from the capital region of Abuja; members are
elected by popular vote to four-year terms. The House contains 360
seats, with the number of seats per state is determined by population.
Ethnocentrism, tribalism, religious persecution, and prebendalism
have affected Nigerian politics both prior and subsequent to
independence in 1960. Kin-selective altruism has made its way into
Nigerian politics, resulting in tribalist efforts to concentrate
Federal power to a particular region of their interests. Nationalism
has also led to active secessionist movements such as
Nationalist movements such as
Oodua Peoples Congress , Movement for
the Emancipation of the
Niger Delta and a civil war . Nigeria's three
largest ethnic groups (Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba) have maintained
historical preeminence in Nigerian politics; competition amongst these
three groups has fuelled corruption and graft.
Because of the above issues, Nigeria's political parties are
pan-national and secular in character (though this does not preclude
the continuing preeminence of the dominant ethnicities). The two
major political parties are the People\'s Democratic Party of Nigeria
All Progressives Congress
All Progressives Congress . About twenty minor opposition
parties are registered.
The then president
Olusegun Obasanjo , acknowledged fraud and other
electoral "lapses" but said the result reflected opinion polls. In a
national television address in 2007, he added that if Nigerians did
not like the victory of his handpicked successor, they would have an
opportunity to vote again in four years.
Nigerian general election, 2015 , the victorious All
Progressives Congress has 225 House seats and 60 in the Senate while
the defeated People\'s Democratic Party of
Nigeria became the
opposition with 125 seats in the House and 49 in the Senate.
NATIONAL SYMBOLS OF NIGERIA
Coat of arms of Nigeria
Coat of arms of Nigeria
Arise, O Compatriots "
Black crowned crane
As in many other African societies, prebendalism and high rates of
corruption continue to constitute major challenges to Nigeria. All
major parties have practised vote rigging and other means of coercion
to remain competitive. In 1983, the policy institute at Kuru concluded
that only the 1959 and 1979 elections to that time were conducted with
minimal vote rigging. In 2012,
Nigeria was estimated to have lost
over $400 billion to corruption since independence.
Main article: Law of
There are three distinct systems of law in Nigeria:
Common law , derived from its British colonial past, and a
development of its own after independence;
Customary law , derived from indigenous traditional norms and
practice, including the dispute resolution meetings of pre-colonial
Yorubaland secret societies and the Ẹ̀kpẹ̀ and
Igboland and Ibibioland ;
Sharia law, used only in the predominantly
Muslim northern states
of the country. It is an Islamic legal system that had been used long
before the colonial administration. In late 1999, Zamfara emphasised
its use, with eleven other northern states following suit. These
Niger , Bauchi , Borno ,
Kaduna , Gombe ,
Sokoto , Jigawa , Yobe , and Kebbi .
The country has a judicial branch , the highest court of which is the
Supreme Court of
Main article: Foreign relations of
Nigeria Nigerian President
Goodluck Jonathan (center) poses with
United States President Barack
Obama and First Lady
Michelle Obama in August 2014
Upon gaining independence in 1960,
Nigeria made African unity the
centrepiece of its foreign policy and played a leading role in the
fight against the apartheid government in South Africa. One notable
exception to the African focus was Nigeria's close relationship
Israel throughout the 1960s. The latter nation
sponsored and oversaw the construction of Nigeria's parliament
Nigeria's foreign policy was tested in the 1970s after the country
emerged united from its own civil war. It supported movements against
white minority governments in the Southern
Africa sub-region. Nigeria
African National Congress (ANC) by taking a committed tough
line with regard to the South African government and their military
actions in southern Africa.
Nigeria was also a founding member of the
Organisation for African Unity (now the
African Union ), and has
tremendous influence in
West Africa and
Africa on the whole. Nigeria
has additionally founded regional cooperative efforts in West Africa,
functioning as standard-bearer for the Economic Community of West
African States (ECOWAS) and
ECOMOG , economic and military
With this African-centred stance,
Nigeria readily sent troops to the
Congo at the behest of the
United Nations shortly after independence
(and has maintained membership since that time).
supported several Pan African and pro-self government causes in the
1970s, including garnering support for
Angola 's MPLA ,
Namibia, and aiding opposition to the minority governments of
Mozambique , and Rhodesia .
Nigeria retains membership in the
Non-Aligned Movement . In late
November 2006, it organised an Africa-South America Summit in
promote what some attendees termed "South-South" linkages on a variety
Nigeria is also a member of the International Criminal
Court , and the
Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations . It was temporarily expelled
from the latter in 1995 when ruled by the Abacha regime .
Nigeria has remained a key player in the international oil industry
since the 1970s, and maintains membership in Organization of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which it joined in July 1971.
Its status as a major petroleum producer figures prominently in its
sometimes volatile international relations with both developed
countries , notably the United States, and the developing countries of
Jamaica , and
Kenya in Africa.
Millions of Nigerians have emigrated at times of economic hardship,
primarily to Europe, North America and Australia. It is estimated that
over a million Nigerians have emigrated to the
United States and
Nigerian American populace. Individuals in many such
Diasporic communities have joined the "Egbe Omo Yoruba" society, a
national association of Yoruba descendants in North America.
Nigerian Armed Forces
The Nigerian military are charged with protecting the Federal
Republic of Nigeria, promoting Nigeria's global security interests,
and supporting peacekeeping efforts, especially in West Africa. This
is in support of the doctrine sometimes called PAX NIGERIANA .
The Nigerian Military consist of an army, a navy, and an air force.
The military in
Nigeria have played a major role in the country's
history since independence. Various juntas have seized control of the
country and ruled it through most of its history. Its last period of
military rule ended in 1999 following the sudden death of former
Sani Abacha in 1998. His successor,
Abdulsalam Abubakar ,
handed over power to the democratically elected government of Olusegun
Obasanjo in 1999.
As Africa's most populated country,
Nigeria has repositioned its
military as a peacekeeping force on the continent. Since 1995, the
Nigerian military, through
ECOMOG mandates, have been deployed as
Ivory Coast (1997–1999), and Sierra
Leone (1997–1999). Under an
African Union mandate, it has stationed
Sudan 's Darfur region to try to establish peace.
Geography of Nigeria Map of Nigeria, showing
state boundaries, cities, and waterways.
Nigeria map of Köppen
Nigeria is located in western
Africa on the
Gulf of Guinea and has a
total area of 923,768 km2 (356,669 sq mi), making it the world's
32nd-largest country (after
Tanzania ). It is comparable in size to
Venezuela , and is about twice the size of the US state of California.
It shares a 4,047-kilometre (2,515 mi) border with
Benin (773 km or
Niger (1,497 km or 930 mi),
Chad (87 km or 54 mi), Cameroon
(1,690 km or 1,050 mi), and has a coastline of at least 853 kilometres
Nigeria lies between latitudes 4° and 14°N , and
longitudes 2° and 15°E . The
Zuma Rock near Suleja
The highest point in
Chappal Waddi at 2,419 m (7,936 ft).
The main rivers are the
Niger and the Benue , which converge and empty
Niger Delta . This is one of the world's largest river
deltas, and the location of a large area of Central African mangroves.
Nigeria has a varied landscape. The far south is defined by its
tropical rainforest climate , where annual rainfall is 60 to 80 inches
(1,500 to 2,000 mm) a year. In the southeast stands the Obudu Plateau
. Coastal plains are found in both the southwest and the southeast.
This forest zone's most southerly portion is defined as "salt water
swamp," also known as a mangrove swamp because of the large amount of
mangroves in the area. North of this is fresh water swamp, containing
different vegetation from the salt water swamp, and north of that is
Nigeria's most expansive topographical region is that of the valleys
Niger and Benue river valleys (which merge into each other and
form a "y" shape). To the southwest of the
Niger is "rugged" highland
. To the southeast of the Benue are hills and mountains, which form
Mambilla Plateau , the highest plateau in Nigeria. This plateau
extends through the border with
Cameroon , where the montane land is
part of the
Bamenda Highlands of Cameroon.
The area near the border with
Cameroon close to the coast is rich
rainforest and part of the Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests
ecoregion, an important centre for biodiversity . It is habitat for
the drill monkey , which is found in the wild only in this area and
across the border in Cameroon. The areas surrounding
Calabar , Cross
River State, also in this forest, are believed to contain the world's
largest diversity of butterflies . The area of southern Nigeria
Niger and the Cross Rivers has lost most of its forest
because of development and harvesting by increased population, with it
being replaced by grassland (see Cross-
Niger transition forests ).
Everything in between the far south and the far north is savannah
(insignificant tree cover, with grasses and flowers located between
trees). Rainfall is more limited, to between 500 and 1,500 millimetres
(20 and 60 in) per year. The savannah zone's three categories are
Guinean forest-savanna mosaic ,
Sudan savannah, and
Guinean forest-savanna mosaic is plains of tall grass interrupted by
Sudan savannah is similar but with shorter grasses and shorter
Sahel savannah consists of patches of grass and sand, found in
the northeast. In the
Sahel region, rain is less than 500 millimetres
(20 in) per year and the
Sahara Desert is encroaching. In the dry
north-east corner of the country lies Lake
Chad , which
Chad and Cameroon.
Main articles: Environmental issues in the
Niger Delta and
Nigeria's Delta region, home of the large oil industry , experiences
serious oil spills and other environmental problems, which has caused
Waste management including sewage treatment , the linked processes of
deforestation and soil degradation , and climate change or global
warming are the major environmental problems in Nigeria. Waste
management presents problems in a mega city like
Lagos and other major
Nigerian cities which are linked with economic development, population
growth and the inability of municipal councils to manage the resulting
rise in industrial and domestic waste. This huge waste management
problem is also attributable to unsustainable environmental management
lifestyles of Kubwa Community in the Federal Capital Territory, where
there are habits of indiscriminate disposal of waste, dumping of waste
along or into the canals, sewerage systems that are channels for water
Haphazard industrial planning, increased urbanisation, poverty and
lack of competence of the municipal government are seen as the major
reasons for high levels of waste pollution in major Nigerian cities.
Some of the 'solutions' have been disastrous to the environment,
resulting in untreated waste being dumped in places where it can
pollute waterways and groundwater.
Nigeria had the highest rate of deforestation in the world,
according to the
Food and Agriculture Organization
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations (FAO). In 2005 12.2%, the equivalent of 11,089,000 hectares
had been forested in Nigeria. Between 1990 and 2000,
Nigeria lost an
average of 409,700 hectares of forest every year equal to an average
annual deforestation rate of 2.38%. Between 1990 and 2005, in total
Nigeria lost 35.7% of its forest cover, or around 6,145,000 hectares.
In 2010, thousands of people were inadvertently exposed to lead
containing soil / ore from informal gold mining with the northern
state of Zamfara . While estimates vary, it is though that upwards of
400 children died of acute lead poisoning making this perhaps the
largest lead poisoning fatality epidemic ever encountered. As of
2016, efforts to manage the exposure are ongoing.
Main article: Administrative divisions of
Nigeria is divided into thirty-six states and one Federal Capital
Territory , which are further sub-divided into 774 Local Government
Areas (LGAs). In some contexts, the states are aggregated into six
geopolitical zones: North West, North East, North Central, South East,
South South, and South West.
As of the 2006 census ,
Nigeria has eight cities with a population of
over 1 million people (from largest to smallest:
Kano , Ibadan
Benin City and
Port Harcourt .
Lagos is the largest city in
with a population of over 12 million in its urban area .
A clickable map of
Nigeria exhibiting its 36 states and the federal
* Cross River
Federal Capital Territory (FCT)
Main article: Economy of
Nigeria Maitama district ,
Lagos Island as seen from Victoria Island .
Kuje market scene
Nigeria is classified as a mixed economy emerging market , and has
already reached lower middle income status according to the World Bank
, with its abundant supply of natural resources, well-developed
financial, legal, communications, transport sectors and stock exchange
Nigerian Stock Exchange ), which is the second largest in Africa.
Nigeria was ranked 30th in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) in 2012.
Nigeria is the United States' largest trading partner in sub-Saharan
Africa and supplies a fifth of its oil (11% of oil imports). It has
the seventh-largest trade surplus with the US of any country
Nigeria is the 50th-largest export market for US goods and
the 14th-largest exporter of goods to the US. The
United States is the
country's largest foreign investor. The International Monetary Fund
(IMF) projected economic growth of 9% in 2008 and 8.3% in 2009. The
IMF further projects an 8% growth in the Nigerian economy in 2011.
In February 2011,
Citigroup projected that
Nigeria would have the
highest average GDP growth in the world in 2010–2050.
Nigeria is one
of two countries from
Africa among 11 Global Growth Generators
Previously, economic development had been hindered by years of
military rule , corruption, and mismanagement. The restoration of
democracy and subsequent economic reforms have successfully put
Nigeria back on track towards achieving its full economic potential.
As of 2014 it is the largest economy in Africa, having overtaken
During the oil boom of the 1970s,
Nigeria accumulated a significant
foreign debt to finance major infrastructural investments. With the
fall of oil prices during the
1980s oil glut
1980s oil glut
Nigeria struggled to keep
up with its loan payments and eventually defaulted on its principal
debt repayments, limiting repayment to the interest portion of the
loans. Arrears and penalty interest accumulated on the unpaid
principal, which increased the size of the debt. After negotiations by
Nigeria authorities, in October 2005
Nigeria and its Paris Club
creditors reached an agreement under which
Nigeria repurchased its
debt at a discount of approximately 60%.
Nigeria used part of its oil
profits to pay the residual 40%, freeing up at least $1.15 billion
annually for poverty reduction programmes.
Nigeria made history in
April 2006 by becoming the first African country to completely pay off
its debt (estimated $30 billion) owed to the Paris Club.
Nigeria is trying to reach the first of the Sustainable Development
Goals , which is to end poverty in all its forms by 2030. Government
officials have not taken official action to reach this. One of the
many options to reach this would be to reduce the corruption levels
within the state.
Further information: Agriculture in
As of 2010 , about 30% of Nigerians are employed in agriculture.
Agriculture used to be the principal foreign exchange earner of
Major crops include beans , sesame , cashew nuts , cassava , cocoa
beans , groundnuts , gum arabic , kolanut, maize (corn), melon ,
millet , palm kernels , palm oil , plantains , rice , rubber , sorghum
, soybeans and yams . Cocoa is the leading non-oil foreign exchange
Rubber is the second-largest non-oil foreign exchange earner.
Prior to the
Nigerian civil war ,
Nigeria was self-sufficient in
food. Agriculture has failed to keep pace with Nigeria's rapid
population growth, and
Nigeria now relies upon food imports to sustain
itself. The Nigerian government promoted the use of inorganic
fertilizers in the 1970s.
Petroleum industry in
Nigeria The gates of
the oil refinery in
Port Harcourt .
Nigeria is the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and
the 8th largest exporter, and has the 10th largest proven reserves.
(The country joined
OPEC in 1971). Petroleum plays a large role in the
Nigerian economy, accounting for 40% of GDP and 80% of Government
earnings. However, agitation for better resource control in the Niger
Delta , its main oil producing region, has led to disruptions in oil
production and prevents the country from exporting at 100% capacity.
Niger Delta Nembe Creek
Oil field was discovered in 1973 and
produces from middle
Miocene deltaic sandstone -shale in an anticline
structural trap at a depth of 2 to 4 kilometres (1.2 to 2.5 miles).
In June 2013, Shell announced a strategic review of its operations in
Nigeria, hinting that assets could be divested. While many
international oil companies have operated there for decades, by 2014
most were making moves to divest their interests, citing a range of
issues including oil theft. In August 2014,
Shell Oil Company said it
was finalising its interests in four Nigerian oil fields.
Next to petrodollars, the second biggest source of foreign exchange
Nigeria are remittances sent home by Nigerians living
abroad. In 2014, 17.5 million Nigerians resided in foreign countries,
with the UK and the USA having more than 2 million Nigerians each.
According to the
International Organization for Migration , Nigeria
witnessed a dramatic increase in remittances sent home from overseas
Nigerians, going from USD 2.3 billion in 2004 to 17.9 billion in 2007.
United States accounts for the largest portion of official
remittances, followed by the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada,
France. On the African continent, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Chad,
Libya and South
Africa are important source countries of remittance
flows to Nigeria, while
China is the biggest remittance-sending
country in Asia.
Nigeria has one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in
the world, major emerging market operators (like MTN, Etisalat, Zain
and Globacom) basing their largest and most profitable centres in the
country. The government has recently begun expanding this
infrastructure to space based communications .
Nigeria has a space
satellite which is monitored at the Nigerian National Space Research
and Development Agency Headquarters in Abuja.
Nigeria has a highly developed financial services sector, with a mix
of local and international banks, asset management companies,
brokerage houses, insurance companies and brokers, private equity
funds and investment banks.
Further information: Mining industry of
Nigeria also has a wide array of underexploited mineral resources
which include natural gas, coal, bauxite , tantalite , gold, tin ,
iron ore, limestone , niobium , lead and zinc . Despite huge deposits
of these natural resources, the mining industry in
Nigeria is still in
Nigeria has a manufacturing industry which includes leather and
textiles (centred Kano, Abeokuta, Onitsha, and Lagos), Nigeria
currently has an indigenous auto manufacturing company; Innoson
Vehicle Manufacturing located in Nnewi. It produces Buses and SUVs.car
manufacturing (for the French car manufacturer
Peugeot as well as for
the English truck manufacturer Bedford , now a subsidiary of General
Motors ), t-shirts , plastics and processed food .
Nigeria in recent years has been embracing industrialisation. It
currently has an indigenous vehicle manufacturing company, Innoson
Motors, which manufactures Rapid Transit Buses , Trucks and SUVs with
an upcoming introduction of Cars .
Nigeria also has few Electronic
manufacturers like Zinox, the first Branded Nigerian Computer and
Electronic gadgets (like tablet PCs) manufacturers. In 2013, Nigeria
introduced a policy regarding import duty on vehicles to encourage
local manufacturing companies in the country. In this regard, some
foreign vehicle manufacturing companies like Nissan have made known
their plans to have manufacturing plants in Nigeria. Ogun is
considered to be the current Nigeria's industrial hub, as most
factories are located in Ogun and more companies are moving there,
The Nigerian government has commissioned the overseas production and
launch of four satellites. The Nigeriasat-1 was the first satellite to
be built under the Nigerian government sponsorship. The satellite was
Russia on 27 September 2003. Nigeriasat-1 was part of
the worldwide Disaster Monitoring Constellation System. The primary
objectives of the Nigeriasat-1 were: to give early warning signals of
environmental disaster; to help detect and control desertification in
the northern part of Nigeria; to assist in demographic planning; to
establish the relationship between malaria vectors and the environment
that breeds malaria and to give early warning signals on future
outbreaks of meningitis using remote sensing technology; to provide
the technology needed to bring education to all parts of the country
through distant learning; and to aid in conflict resolution and border
disputes by mapping out state and International borders.
NigeriaSat-2, Nigeria's second satellite, was built as a
high-resolution earth satellite by Surrey Space Technology Limited, a
United Kingdom -based satellite technology company. It has 2.5-metre
resolution panchromatic (very high resolution), 5-metre multispectral
(high resolution, NIR red, green and red bands), and 32-metre
multispectral (medium resolution, NIR red, green and red bands)
antennas, with a ground receiving station in
Abuja . The NigeriaSat-2
spacecraft alone was built at a cost of over £35 million. This
satellite was launched into orbit from a military base in China.
NigComSat-1 , a Nigerian satellite built in 2004, was Nigeria's third
satellite and Africa's first communication satellite. It was launched
on 13 May 2007, aboard a Chinese
Long March 3B carrier rocket , from
Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in
China . The spacecraft was
NigComSat and the Nigerian Space Agency,
NASRDA . On 11
NigComSat-1 failed in orbit after running out of power
because of an anomaly in its solar array. It was based on the Chinese
DFH-4 satellite bus , and carries a variety of transponders : 4 C-band
Ku-band ; 8
Ka-band ; and 2
L-band . It was designed to provide
coverage to many parts of Africa, and the
Ka-band transponders would
also cover Italy.
On 10 November 2008 (0900 GMT), the satellite was reportedly switched
off for analysis and to avoid a possible collision with other
satellites. According to Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, it
was put into "emergency mode operation in order to effect mitigation
and repairs". The satellite eventually failed after losing power on
11 November 2008.
On 24 March 2009, the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Science and
NigComSat Ltd. and CGWIC signed another contract for the
in-orbit delivery of the NigComSat-1R satellite. NigComSat-1R was also
DFH-4 satellite, and the replacement for the failed
successfully launched into orbit by
China in Xichang on December 19,
2011. The satellite according to then-Nigerian President Goodluck
Jonathan which was paid for by the insurance policy on NigComSat-1
which de-orbited in 2009, would have a positive impact on national
development in various sectors such as communications, internet
services, health, agriculture, environmental protection and national
Demographics of Nigeria Population density in
POPULATION IN NIGERIA
Nigeria's population increased by 57 million from 1990 to 2008, a 60%
growth rate in less than two decades. Almost half of Nigerians are 14
years old or younger.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa
and accounts for about 18% of the continent's total population;
however, exactly how populous is a subject of speculation.
United Nations estimates that the population in 2009 was at
154,729,000, distributed as 51.7% rural and 48.3% urban, and with a
population density of 167.5 people per square kilometre. National
census results in the past few decades have been disputed. The results
of the most recent census were released in December 2006 and gave a
population of 140,003,542. The only breakdown available was by gender:
males numbered 71,709,859, females numbered 68,293,08. In June 2012,
Goodluck Jonathan said that Nigerians should limit their
number of children.
According to the United Nations,
Nigeria has been undergoing
explosive population growth and has one of the highest growth and
fertility rates in the world. By their projections,
Nigeria is one of
eight countries expected to account collectively for half of the
world's total population increase in 2005–2050. By 2100 the UN
estimates that the Nigerian population will be between 505 million and
1.03 billion people (middle estimate: 730 million). In 1950, Nigeria
had only 33 million people.
One in four Africans is a Nigerian. Presently,
Nigeria is the
seventh most populous country in the world . 2006 estimates claim
42.3% of the population is between 0–14 years of age, while 54.6% is
between 15 and 65; the birth rate is significantly higher than the
death rate , at 40.4 and 16.9 per 1000 people respectively.
Nigeria's largest city is
Lagos has grown from about 300,000
in 1950 to an estimated 15 million today.
Largest cities or towns in Nigeria
A Hausa harpist
Nigeria has more than 500 ethnic groups, with varying languages and
customs, creating a country of rich ethnic diversity. The largest
ethnic groups are the Hausa , Yoruba , Igbo and
Fulani , together
accounting for more than 70% of the population, while the Urhobo-Isoko
Edo , Ijaw , Kanuri , Ibibio ,
Ebira , Nupe ,
Gwari , Jukun , Igala
, Idoma and Tiv comprise between 25 and 30%; other minorities make up
the remaining 5%.
The middle belt of
Nigeria is known for its diversity of ethnic
groups, including the Pyem, Goemai, and
Kofyar . The official
population count of each of Nigeria's ethnicities has always remained
controversial and disputed as members of different ethnic groups
believe the census is rigged to give a particular group (usually
believed to be northern groups) numerical superiority.
There are small minorities of British, American, East Indian ,
Chinese (est. 50,000), white Zimbabwean , Japanese, Greek, Syrian
and Lebanese immigrants in Nigeria.
Immigrants also include those from
other West African or East African nations. These minorities mostly
reside in major cities such as
Abuja , or in the
as employees for the major oil companies. A number of Cubans settled
Nigeria as political refugees following the
Cuban Revolution .
In the middle of the 19th century, a number of ex-slaves of
Afro-Brazilian descent and emigrants from Sierra Leone
established communities in
Lagos and other regions of Nigeria. Many
ex-slaves came to
Nigeria following the emancipation of slaves in the
Americas. Many of the immigrants, sometimes called Saros (immigrants
from Sierra Leone) and Amaro (ex-slaves from Brazil) later became
prominent merchants and missionaries in these cities.
Main article: Languages of
Nigeria Map of Nigeria's linguistic
groups Women in north
There are 521 languages that have been spoken in
Nigeria (nine of
which are now extinct).
In some areas of Nigeria, ethnic groups speak more than one language.
The official language of Nigeria, English, was chosen to facilitate
the cultural and linguistic unity of the country, owing to the
influence of British colonisation that ended in 1960.
Many French speakers from surrounding countries have influenced the
English spoken in the border regions of
Nigeria and some Nigerian
citizens have become fluent enough in French to work in the
surrounding countries. The French spoken in
Nigeria may be mixed with
some native languages but is mostly spoken like the French spoken in
Benin. French may also be mixed with English as it is in Cameroon.
Most of the population speaks English and their native language.
The major languages spoken in
Nigeria represent three major families
of languages of
Africa : the majority are Niger-Congo languages, such
as Igbo , Yoruba and
Fulfulde ; Kanuri , spoken in the northeast,
primarily in Borno and
Yobe State , is part of the Nilo-Saharan
family; and Hausa is an Afroasiatic language.
Even though most ethnic groups prefer to communicate in their own
languages, English as the official language is widely used for
education, business transactions and for official purposes. English as
a first language is used only by a small minority of the country's
urban elite, and it is not spoken at all in some rural areas. Hausa is
the most widely spoken of the 3 main languages spoken in Nigeria
itself (Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba) but unlike the Yorubas and Igbos, the
Hausas tend not to travel far outside
With the majority of Nigeria's populace in the rural areas, the major
languages of communication in the country remain indigenous languages.
Some of the largest of these, notably Yoruba and Igbo, have derived
standardised languages from a number of different dialects and are
widely spoken by those ethnic groups.
Nigerian Pidgin English , often
known simply as '
Pidgin ' or 'Broken' (Broken English), is also a
popular lingua franca , though with varying regional influences on
dialect and slang. The pidgin English or Nigerian English is widely
spoken within the
Niger Delta Regions, predominately in
Warri , Sapele
Port Harcourt ,
Ewu , and
Benin City .
Religion in Nigeria
Religion in Nigeria (Afrobarometer 2013)
Islam (41%) Other (1%) The
Abuja National Mosque .
Church of Nigeria ,
Nigeria is a religiously diverse society, with
Islam and Christianity
being the most widely professed religions. Nigerians are nearly
equally divided into
Muslims , with a tiny minority of
Animism and other religions.
Islam dominated the north and had a number of supporters in the South
Western, Yoruba part of the country.
Nigeria has the largest Muslim
population in sub-Saharan Africa.
Protestantism and local syncretic
Christianity are also in evidence in Yoruba areas, while Roman
Catholicism is more prominent in south eastern Nigeria. Both
Roman Catholicism dominated in the Ibibio ,
and the Efik kiosa lands.
The 1963 census indicated that 47% of Nigerians were Muslim, 35%
Christian, and 18% members of local indigenous congregations . If
accurate, this indicated a sharp increase since 1953 in the number of
Christians (up 23%); a decline among those professing indigenous
beliefs, compared with 20%; and only a modest (6%) drop of Muslims
which can likely be attributed to immigration, emigration, and
The vast majority of
Nigeria are Sunni belonging to Maliki
school of jurisprudence ; however, a sizeable minority also belongs to
Shafi madhhab . A large number of Sunni
Muslims are members of Sufi
brotherhoods. Most Sufis follow the
Tijaniyyah and/or the
Mouride movements. A significant
Shia minority exists (see
Nigeria ). Some northern states have incorporated
Sharia law into
their previously secular legal systems, which has brought about some
Kano State has sought to incorporate
Sharia law into its
constitution. The majority of Quranists follow the Kalo Kato or
Quraniyyun movement. There are also
Ahmadiyya and Mahdiyya minorities.
According to a 2001 report from
The World Factbook
The World Factbook by
CIA , about
50% of Nigeria's population is
Muslim , 40% are
Christians and 10%
adhere to local religions. But in some recent report, the Christian
population is now sightly larger than the
Muslim population. An 18
December 2012 report on religion and public life by the Pew Research
Center stated that in 2010, 49.3 percent of Nigeria's population was
Christian, 48.8 percent was Muslim, and 1.9 percent were followers of
indigenous and other religions, or unaffiliated. Additionally, the
2010s census of
Association of Religion Data Archives has reported
that 46.5 percent of the total population is Christian, slightly
bigger than the
Muslim population of 45.5 percent, and that 7.7
percent are members of other religious groups.
The 2010 census of
Association of Religion Data Archives has also
reported that 46.5% of the total population was Christian, slightly
larger than the
Muslim population of 45.5%, while 7.7% were members of
other religions. However, these estimates should be taken with
caution because sample data is mostly collected from major urban areas
in the south, which are predominantly
Among Christians, the Pew Research survey found that 74% were
Protestant , 25% were Catholic , and 1% belonged to other Christian
denominations, including a small Orthodox
Christian community. In
terms of Nigeria's major ethnic groups, the Hausa ethnic group
(predominant in the north) was found to be 95%
Muslim and 5%
Christian, the Yoruba tribe (predominant in the west) was 55% Muslim,
Christian and 10% adherents of other religions, while the Igbos
(predominant in the east) and the Ijaw (south) were 98% Christian,
with 2% practising traditional religions. The middle belt of Nigeria
contains the largest number of minority ethnic groups in Nigeria, who
were found to be mostly
Christians and members of traditional
religions, with a small proportion of Muslims.
Leading Protestant churches in the country include the Church of
Nigeria of the
Anglican Communion , the Assemblies of God Church , the
Nigerian Baptist Convention and The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations
Since the 1990s, there has been significant growth in many other
churches, particularly the evangelical Protestant ones. These include
Christian Church of God , Winners\' Chapel , Christ
Apostolic Church (the first Aladura Movement in Nigeria), Deeper
Christian Life Ministry , Evangelical Church of
West Africa , Mountain
of Fire and Miracles ,
Christ Embassy and The Synagogue Church Of All
Nations. In addition, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Aladura Church , the Seventh-day Adventist and various
indigenous churches have also experienced growth.
The Yoruba area contains a large
Anglican population, while Igboland
is predominantly Roman Catholic and the
Edo area is composed
predominantly of members of the
Pentecostal Assemblies of God, which
was introduced into
Nigeria by Augustus Ehurie Wogu and his associates
at Old Umuahia.
Nigeria has become an African hub for the
Grail Movement and
the Hare Krishnas , and the largest temple of the
is in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, with a total capacity of 10,000.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) announced
creation of new Owerri mission in
Nigeria in 2016.
Further information: Health in
Nigeria A hospital in Abuja,
Health care delivery in
Nigeria is a concurrent responsibility of the
three tiers of government in the country, and the private sector.
Nigeria has been reorganising its health system since the Bamako
Initiative of 1987, which formally promoted community-based methods of
increasing accessibility of drugs and health care services to the
population, in part by implementing user fees. The new strategy
dramatically increased accessibility through community-based
healthcare reform, resulting in more efficient and equitable provision
of services. A comprehensive approach strategy was extended to all
areas of health care, with subsequent improvement in the health care
indicators and improvement in health care efficiency and cost.
HIV/AIDS rate in
Nigeria is much lower compared to the other African
nations such as
Kenya or South
Africa whose prevalence (percentage)
rates are in the double digits. As of 2012 , the
HIV prevalence rate
among adults ages 15–49 was just 3.1 percent. As of 2014 , life
Nigeria is 52.62 years on average according to CIA, and
just over half the population have access to potable water and
appropriate sanitation ; As of 2010 , the infant mortality is 8.4
deaths per 1000 live births .
Nigeria was the only country in
Africa to have never eradicated polio
, which it periodically exported to other African countries; Polio
was cut 98% between 2009 and 2010. However, a major breakthrough came
in December 2014, when it was reported that
Nigeria hadn't recorded a
polio case in 6 months, and was on its way to being declared Polio
free. In 2012, a new bone marrow donor program was launched by the
Nigeria to help people with leukaemia , lymphoma , or
sickle cell disease to find a compatible donor for a life-saving bone
marrow transplant , which cures them of their conditions. Nigeria
became the second African country to have successfully carried out
this surgery. In the
2014 ebola outbreak ,
Nigeria was the first
country to effectively contain and eliminate the Ebola threat that was
ravaging three other countries in the West African region, the
Nigerian unique method of contact tracing employed by
an effective method later used by countries such as the United States,
when ebola threats were discovered.
The Nigerian health care system is continuously faced with a shortage
of doctors known as 'brain drain ', because of emigration by skilled
Nigerian doctors to North America and Europe. In 1995, it was
estimated that 21,000 Nigerian doctors were practising in the United
States alone, which is about the same as the number of doctors working
in the Nigerian public service. Retaining these expensively trained
professionals has been identified as one of the goals of the
Main article: Education in
Nigeria Children at school in
Nigeria is overseen by the Ministry of Education . Local
authorities take responsibility for implementing policy for
state-controlled public education and state schools at a regional
level. The education system is divided into
Kindergarten , primary
education , secondary education and tertiary education . After the
1970s oil boom, tertiary education was improved so that it would reach
every subregion of Nigeria. 68% of the Nigerian population is
literate, and the rate for men (75.7%) is higher than that for women
Nigeria provides free, government-supported education, but attendance
is not compulsory at any level, and certain groups, such as nomads and
the handicapped, are under-served. The education system consists of
six years of primary school, three years of junior secondary school,
three years of senior secondary school, and four, five or six years of
university education leading to a bachelor's degree.
Further information: Corruption in
Nigeria , Confraternities in
Nigeria , Piracy in the
Gulf of Guinea , and
Nigeria is home to a substantial network of organised crime , active
especially in drug trafficking. Nigerian criminal groups are heavily
involved in drug trafficking, shipping heroin from Asian countries to
Europe and America; and cocaine from South America to Europe and South
Africa. The various Nigerian Confraternities or "campus cults" are
active in both organised crime and in political violence as well as
providing a network of corruption within Nigeria. As confraternities
have extensive connections with political and military figures, they
offer excellent alumni networking opportunities. The Supreme Vikings
Confraternity, for example, boasts that twelve members of the Rivers
State House of Assembly are cult members. On lower levels of society,
there are the "area boys ", organised gangs mostly active in
specialise in mugging and small-scale drug dealing. According to
official statistics, gang violence in
Lagos resulted in 273 civilians
and 84 policemen killed in the period of August 2000 to May 2001.
Nigeria is infamous for a form of bank fraud dubbed
419, a type of advance fee fraud (named after Section 419 of the
Nigerian Penal Code) along with the "
Nigerian scam ", a form of
confidence trick practised by individuals and criminal syndicates.
These scams involve a complicit Nigerian bank (the laws being set up
loosely to allow it) and a scammer who claims to have money he needs
to obtain from that bank. The victim is talked into exchanging bank
account information on the premise that the money will be transferred
to him, and then he'll get to keep a cut. In reality, money is taken
out instead, and/or large fees (which seem small in comparison with
the imaginary wealth he awaits) are deducted. In 2003, the Nigerian
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (or EFCC) was created,
ostensibly to combat this and other forms of organised financial
There is also some major piracy in
Nigeria , with attacks directed at
all types of vessels. Consistent with the rise of
Nigeria as an
increasingly dangerous hot spot, 28 of the 30 seafarers kidnapped as
of January–June 2013 were in Nigeria. Additionally, the single death
to date in 2013 occurred in Nigeria.
Nigeria has also been pervaded by political corruption . It was
ranked 143 out of 182 countries in
Transparency International 's 2011
Corruption Perceptions Index ; however, it improved to 136th position
More than $400 billion were stolen from the treasury by Nigeria's
leaders between 1960 and 1999. In late 2013, Nigeria's then central
Lamido Sanusi informed President
Goodluck Jonathan that
the state oil company,
NNPC , had failed to remit US$20 billion in oil
revenues, which it owed the state. Jonathan, however, dismissed the
claim and replaced Sanusi for alleged mismanagement of the central
bank's budget. A Senate committee also found Sanusi's account to be
lacking substance. After the conclusion of the NNPC's account audit,
it was announced in January 2015 that NNPC's non-remitted revenue is
actually US$1.48 billion, which it needs to refund back to the
In 2015, Nigerian President
Muhammadu Buhari stated that corrupt
officials have stolen $150 billion from
Nigeria in the last 10 years.
Main article: Culture of
Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart by Chinua
Achebe is Africa's most popular and best selling literary piece ever,
translated into over 40 languages across
Africa and around the world.
Nigerian citizens have authored many influential works of
post-colonial literature in the English language. Nigeria's best-known
Wole Soyinka , the first African Nobel Laureate in
Literature , and
Chinua Achebe , best known for the novel Things Fall
Apart and his controversial critique of
Joseph Conrad .
Other Nigerian writers and poets who are well known internationally
John Pepper Clark ,
Ben Okri ,
Cyprian Ekwensi , Buchi
Helon Habila ,
T. M. Aluko ,
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ,
Daniel O. Fagunwa ,
Femi Osofisan and
Ken Saro Wiwa , who was executed
in 1995 by the military regime.
Nigeria has the second largest
newspaper market in
Egypt ) with an estimated
circulation of several million copies daily in 2003.
Critically acclaimed writers of a younger generation include Chris
Sefi Atta ,
Helon Habila ,
Helen Oyeyemi ,
Nnedi Okorafor ,
Kachi A. Ozumba ,
Sarah Ladipo Manyika , and
Chika Unigwe .
Main article: Media in
MUSIC AND FILM
Main articles: Music of
Nigeria , Cinema of
Nigeria , and Festivals
Nigeria has had a huge role in the development of various genres of
African music , including West African highlife ,
Afrobeat , and
palm-wine music , which fuses native rhythms with techniques that have
been linked to the Congo ,
Jamaica and worldwide.
Many late 20th-century musicians such as
Fela Kuti have famously
fused cultural elements of various indigenous music with American jazz
and soul to form
Afrobeat which has in turn influenced hip hop music .
JuJu music which is percussion music fused with traditional music
from the Yoruba nation and made famous by
King Sunny Adé , is also
from Nigeria. There is also
Fuji music , a Yoruba percussion style,
created and popularised by Mr. Fuji, Alhaji Sikiru
Ayinde Barrister .
There is also the Afan Music invented and popularised by the Ewuborn
poet and musician Umuobuarie Igberaese. There is a budding hip hop
movement in Nigeria.
Kennis Music , the self-proclaimed number-one
record label in Africa, and one of Nigeria's biggest record labels,
has a roster almost entirely dominated by hip hop artists.
Notable musicians from
Sade Adu ,
King Sunny Adé ,
Onyeka Onwenu ,
Dele Sosimi ,
Adewale Ayuba ,
Ezebuiro Obinna , Alhaji
Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Bennie King,
Ebenezer Obey , Umobuarie
Femi Kuti ,
Dr. Alban , Wasiu Alabi, Bola
Abimbola, Zaki Adze,
Tuface Idibia ,
Aṣa , Nneka , Wale , P Square
and D\'Banj . An Eyo Iga Olowe Salaye masquerade jumping
In November 2008, Nigeria's music scene (and that of Africa) received
international attention when MTV hosted the continent's first African
music awards show in
Abuja . Additionally, the very first music video
played on MTV Base
Africa (the 100th station in the MTV network) was
Tuface Idibia 's pan-African hit "African Queen".
The Nigerian film industry is known as
Nollywood (a portmanteau of
Hollywood ) and is now the 2nd-largest producer of movies
in the world. Nigerian film studios are based in
Enugu , forming a major portion of the local economy of these cities.
Nigerian cinema is Africa's largest movie industry in terms of both
value and the number of movies produced per year. Although Nigerian
films have been produced since the 1960s, the country's film industry
has been aided by the rise of affordable digital filming and editing
T.B. Joshua 's
Emmanuel TV , originating from Nigeria, is one of the
most viewed television stations across Africa.
Main article: Cuisine of
Nigerian cuisine, like West African cuisine in general, is known for
its richness and variety. Many different spices, herbs and flavourings
are used in conjunction with palm oil or groundnut oil to create
deeply flavoured sauces and soups often made very hot with chili
peppers . Nigerian feasts are colourful and lavish, while aromatic
market and roadside snacks cooked on barbecues or fried in oil are
plentiful and varied.
A friendly match between
Algeria at the Abuja
National Stadium , in 2004
Football is largely considered Nigeria's national sport and the
country has its own Premier League of football. Nigeria's national
football team , known as the "Super Eagles", has made the World Cup on
five occasions 1994 , 1998 , 2002 , 2010 , and most recently in 2014 .
In April 1994, the Super Eagles ranked 5th in the FIFA World Rankings
, the highest ranking achieved by an African football team. They won
African Cup of Nations
African Cup of Nations in 1980 , 1994 , and 2013 , and have also
hosted the U-17
Dick Tiger and
Samuel Peter are both former World
Nigeria\'s national basketball team made the headlines
internationally when it qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics as it
beat heavily favoured world elite teams such as Greece and Lithuania .
Nigeria has been home to numerous internationally recognised
basketball players in the world's top leagues in America , Europe and
Asia. These players include Basketball Hall of Famer
Hakeem Olajuwon ,
NBA draft picks
Solomon Alabi ,
Yinka Dare ,
Obinna Ekezie ,
Festus Ezeli ,
Al-Farouq Aminu and
Olumide Oyedeji .
Despite its vast government revenue from the mining of petroleum,
Nigeria faces a number of societal issues, owing primarily to a
history of inefficiency in its governance.
Human rights in
Nigeria's human rights record remains poor; according to the US
Department of State, the most significant human rights problems are:
use of excessive force by security forces; impunity for abuses by
security forces; arbitrary arrests; prolonged pretrial detention;
judicial corruption and executive influence on the judiciary; rape,
torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners,
detainees and suspects; harsh and life‑threatening prison and
detention centre conditions; human trafficking for the purpose of
prostitution and forced labour; societal violence and vigilante
killings; child labour, child abuse and child sexual exploitation;
domestic violence; discrimination based on ethnicity, region and
Under the Shari\'a penal code that applies to
Muslims in twelve
northern states, offences such as alcohol consumption, homosexuality ,
infidelity and theft carry harsh sentences, including amputation,
lashing, stoning and long prison terms.
Under a law signed in early 2014, same-sex couples who marry face up
to 14 years each in prison. Witnesses or anyone who helps gay couples
marry will be sentenced to 10 years behind bars. The bill also
punishes the "public show of same-sex amorous relationships directly
or indirectly" with ten years in prison. Another portion of the bill
mandates 10 years in prison for those found guilty of organising,
operating or supporting gay clubs, organisations and meetings.
In the Nigerian state of
Akwa Ibom about 15,000 children were branded
as witches and most of them end up abandoned and abused on the
STRIFE AND SECTARIAN VIOLENCE
See also: Conflict in the
Niger Delta , Religious violence in Nigeria
, and Herder—farmer conflict in central
states that implement some form of sharia law (in green)
Because of its multitude of diverse, sometimes competing
Nigeria prior to independence was faced with
sectarian tensions and violence, particularly in the oil-producing
Niger Delta region, where both state and civilian forces employ
varying methods of coercion in attempts gain control over regional
petroleum resources. Some of the ethnic groups like the
Ogoni , have
experienced severe environmental degradation due to petroleum
Since the end of the civil war in 1970, some ethnic violence has
persisted. There has subsequently been a period of relative harmony
since the Federal
Government introduced tough new measures against
religious violence in all affected parts of the country. The 2002 Miss
World pageant was moved from
Abuja to London in the wake of violent
protests in the Northern part of the country that left more than 100
people dead and over 500 injured. The rioting erupted after Muslims
in the country reacted in anger to comments made by a newspaper
reporter. Rioters in
Kaduna killed an estimated 105 men, women, and
children with a further 521 injured taken to hospital.
Since 2002, the country has seen sectarian violence by
Boko Haram ,
an Islamist movement that seeks to abolish the secular system of
government and establish
Sharia law in the country. In the 2010 Jos
riots , more than 500 people were killed by religious violence.
Goodluck Jonathan in May 2014 claimed that Boko
Haram attacks have left at least 12,000 people dead and 8,000 people
crippled. In May 2014
Nigeria in a united effort to combat
Boko Haram in the aftermath of
2014 Chibok kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls. In April 2016, over
500 people in ten villages in predominantly
Christian areas in Agatu
were murdered by
Fulani herdsmen. A visiting Nigerian Senator reported
that all the primary and post-primary schools, health centres, worship
centres as well as the police station in the area were destroyed. The
UNHCR representative said in 20 years of work, she had "never seen
such a level of destruction".
* Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria\'s Oil Dictatorship , an
audio documentary produced by
Amy Goodman first aired in 1998 on
Democracy Now! .
Sweet Crude , a documentary film produced and directed by Sandy
Cioffi about Nigeria's oil-rich
Niger Delta .
* Poison Fire, a documentary exposing oil and gas abuses in Nigeria,
Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth
Nigeria volunteers, which premiered at
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam .
Nollywood Babylon , a 2008 documentary by Montrealers Ben Addelman
Samir Mallal about the Nigerian film industry,
Nollywood . It
premiered at the Festival de nouveau cinéma de Montréal 2008.
Nigeria is a state party of the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination Against Women It also has signed Maputo
Protocol , an international treaty on women's rights, and the African
Union Women's Rights Framework. Discrimination based on sex is a
significant human rights issue, however. Forced marriages are common.
Child marriage remains common in
Northern Nigeria . 39% of girls are
married before age 15, although the Marriage Rights Act banning
marriage of girls below 18 years of age was introduced on a federal
level in 2008.
There is polygamy in Nigeria. Submission of the wife to her husband
and domestic violence are common. Women have less land rights
Maternal mortality was at 814 per 100,000 Iive births in 2015. Female
genital mutilation is common. In 2015, there was a federal ban.
In Nigeria, at least half a million suffer from vaginal fistula ,
largely as a result of lack of medical care. Early marriages can
result in fistula. Most workers in the informal sector are women.
Index of Nigeria-related articles
* Outline of
* 2015 attack of Nigerian Army on Shi\'a community
Killing of Pro-Biafra Protesters (2015-2016)
* List of Languages in
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