Republic of Nigeria, commonly referred to as Nigeria
(/naɪˈdʒɪəriə/ ( listen)), is a federal republic in
West Africa, bordering
Benin in the west,
Cameroon in the
Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf
Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. It comprises 36 states and the
Federal Capital Territory, where the capital,
Abuja is located.
Nigeria is officially a democratic secular country.
Nigeria has been home to a number of kingdoms and tribal states over
the millennia. The modern state originated from British colonial rule
beginning in the 19th century, and took its present territorial shape
with the merging of the
Southern Nigeria Protectorate
Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern
Protectorate in 1914. The British set up administrative and
legal structures whilst practising indirect rule through traditional
Nigeria became a formally independent federation in 1960.
It experienced a civil war from 1967 to 1970. It thereafter alternated
between democratically elected civilian governments and military
dictatorships until it achieved a stable democracy in 1999, with the
2011 presidential election 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 186 million inhabitants, Nigeria
is the most populous country in
Africa and the seventh most populous
country in the world.
Nigeria has the third-largest youth population
in the world, after
India and China, with more than 90 million of its
population under age 18. 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 a
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, who live mostly in
the north. A minority of the population practise religions indigenous
to Nigeria, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities.
As of 2015[update],
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. However, it currently has a
Human Development Index, ranking 152nd in the world.
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 OPEC.
2.1 Early (500 BC – 1500)
2.2 Middle Ages (1500–1800)
Federation and First
2.5 Civil war (1967–1970)
2.6 Military juntas (1970–1999)
2.7 Democratisation (1999–)
Government and politics
3.2 Foreign relations
4.1 Environmental issues
4.2 Administrative divisions
5.3 Overseas remittances
6.2 Ethnic groups
7.3 Music and film
8 Societal issues
8.2 Strife and sectarian violence
8.3 Media representation
9 See also
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
journalist 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.
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Ceremonial Igbo pot from 9th-century Igbo-Ukwu.
History of Nigeria
History of Nigeria and Timeline of Nigerian history
Early (500 BC – 1500)
History of Nigeria
History of Nigeria before 1500
Nok sculpture, terracotta
Nok civilisation of
Northern Nigeria flourished between 500 BC and
AD 200, producing life-sized terracotta figures that 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
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 Aguleri,
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
Yoruba copper mask of Obalufon from the city of Ife, c.1300
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 figures.
Middle Ages (1500–1800)
Benin ivory mask, one of Nigeria's most recognised artefacts.
Benin Empire, 16th century.
History of Nigeria
History of Nigeria (1500–1800)
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
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 the
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
located in Badagry,
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 agriculture."
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
Main article: Colonial Nigeria
"Up-River Chiefs, Calabar", 19th century
The slave trade was engaged in by European state and non-state actors
such as Great Britain, the Netherlands,
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 Freetown, a
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
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
Niger Company 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
Nigeria became a British protectorate, and part of the
British Empire, the foremost world power at the time. In the late 19th
and early 20th centuries the independent kingdoms of what would become
Nigeria fought a number of conflicts against the British Empire's
efforts to expand its territory. By war, the British conquered 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
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 operation of
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
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.
Federation and First
Nigeria gained independence from the United Kingdom
on 1 October 1960, while retaining the British monarch, Elizabeth II,
as nominal head of state and Queen of Nigeria. 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
Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC) led by Nnamdi Azikiwe. Azikiwe
replaced the colonial governor-general in November 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') – were sharp.
An imbalance was created in the polity by the result of the 1961
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)
Main article: Nigerian Civil War
Republic of Biafra in June 1967, when it declared its independence
from the rest of Nigeria
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
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
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."[self-published source?] 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'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 Organization 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,
Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention.
However, Babangida annulled the elections, leading to massive civilian
protests that 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
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
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 that 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
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
Main article: Politics of Nigeria
Nigerian National Assembly, Abuja
Muhammadu Buhari, President, 29 May 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 28 March 2015 presidential election, General
Muhammadu Buhari emerged victorious to become the President of the
Republic of Nigeria, defeating then-incumbent Dr Goodluck
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
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 MASSOB, 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 and the 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.
In the 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
"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 Nigeria
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 Ọ̀kọ́ńkọ̀ of
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
states are Kano, Katsina, 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 Nigeria.
Main article: Foreign relations of Nigeria
Goodluck Jonathan (center) poses with United States
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 developed with
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
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
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 Africa-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
Portuguese 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. 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
China, Jamaica, and
Kenya in Africa.
Millions of Nigerians have emigrated during 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 constitute the
Nigerian American populace. Individuals in
many such Diasporic communities have joined the "Egbe Omo Yoruba"
society, a national association of Yoruba descendants in North
See also: 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 dictator
Sani Abacha in 1998. His successor, Abdulsalam
Abubakar, handed over power to the democratically-elected government
Olusegun Obasanjo the next year.
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 forces in Sudan's Darfur region to try to establish peace.
Main article: Geography of Nigeria
Map of Nigeria, showing state boundaries, cities, and waterways.
Nigeria map of Köppen climate classification.
Nigeria is located in western
Africa on the
Gulf of Guinea
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. Its borders span for 4,047-kilometre (2,515 mi)s, and
it shares borders with
Benin (773 km or 480 mi), 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 (530 miles)s.
Nigeria lies between latitudes
4° and 14°N, and longitudes 2° and 15°E.
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 into the
Niger Delta. This is one of the world's
largest river deltas, and the location of a large area of Central
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 rainforest.
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 the 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
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
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 northeast corner of the country lies Lake
Nigeria shares with Niger,
Chad and Cameroon.
Main articles: Environmental issues in the
Niger Delta and
Deforestation in Nigeria
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
flows, and the like.
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 cities of the
country. 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). That year, 12.2%, the equivalent of 11,089,000
hectares had been forested in the country. 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
In 2010, thousands of people were inadvertently exposed to
lead-containing soil / ore from informal gold mining within the
northern state of Zamfara. While estimates vary, it is thought 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
Main article: Administrative divisions of Nigeria
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[update],
Nigeria has eight cities with a
population of over 1 million people (from largest to smallest:
Lagos, Kano, Ibadan,
Benin City and Port Harcourt.
Lagos is the
largest city in Africa, with a population of over 12 million in its
A clickable map of
Nigeria exhibiting its 36 states and the federal
Federal Capital Territory (FCT)
Main article: Economy of Nigeria
Maitama district, Abuja
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 (the Nigerian Stock Exchange), which is the second
largest in Africa.
Nigeria was ranked 21st in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) in
Nigeria is the United States' largest trading partner in
Africa and supplies a fifth of its oil (11% of oil
imports). It has the seventh-largest trade surplus with the US of any
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
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[update] it is the largest economy in Africa, having
overtaken South Africa.
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
Nigeria is trying to reach the first of the Sustainable Development
Goals, which is to end poverty in all its forms by 2030.
Further information: Agriculture in Nigeria
As of 2010[update], about 30% of Nigerians are employed in
agriculture. Agriculture used to be the principal foreign
exchange earner of Nigeria.
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 earner.
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
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%
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
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
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, 9mobile, Airtel
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 that 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
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 that includes leather and
textiles (centred on 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, followed by Lagos.
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
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
Long March 3B carrier rocket, from
Xichang Satellite Launch Centre
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;
14 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 19 December
2011. The satellite, according to then-Nigerian President
Goodluck Jonathan, was paid for by the insurance policy on
NigComSat-1, which de-orbited in 2009. It was stated the satellite
would have a positive impact on national development in various
sectors such as communications, internet services, health,
agriculture, environmental protection and national security.
Main article: Demographics of Nigeria
Population density in Nigeria
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
Africa and accounts for about 18% of the continent's total
population; however, exactly how populous is a subject of
United Nations estimates that the population in 2016 was at
185,989,640, 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.
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, Gbagyi, 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
Lagos and 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-Cuban
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 Nigeria
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 as 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
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
Nigeria itself.
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, Agenebode, Ewu, and
Main article: Religion in Nigeria
Religion in Nigeria
Religion in Nigeria (2016)
Roman Catholic (10.0%)
Other religions (0.8%)
Abuja National Mosque.
National Church of Nigeria, Abuja.
Nigeria is a religiously diverse society, with
Christianity and Islam
being the most widely professed religions. Nigerians are nearly
equally divided into
Christians and 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, Annang,
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 Qadiriyya,
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
According to a 2001 report from
The World Factbook
The World Factbook by CIA, about
47% of Nigeria's population is Muslim, 43% are
Christians and 10%
adhere to local religions. But in some recent report, the
Christian population is now sightly larger than the
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 Christian.
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.
Protestant churches in the country include the Church of
Nigeria of the
Anglican Communion, the Assemblies of God Church, the
Nigerian Baptist Convention
Nigerian Baptist Convention and The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations.
Since the 1990s, there has been significant growth in many other
churches, independently started in
Africa by Africans, particularly
Protestant ones. These include the Redeemed Christian
Church of God, Winners' Chapel,
Christ Apostolic Church (the first
Aladura Movement in Nigeria), Living Faith Church Worldwide, Deeper
Christian Life Ministry, Evangelical Church of West Africa, Mountain
of Fire and Miracles, Christ Embassy, Lord’s Chosen Charismatic
Revival Movement, Celestial Church of Christ, and Dominion City.
In addition, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the
Aladura Church, the Seventh-day Adventist and various indigenous
churches have also experienced growth.
The Yoruba area contains a large
Anglican population, while Igboland
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 Eckankar
religion is in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, with a total capacity of
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, Nigeria's capital
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[update], the
rate among adults ages 15–49 was just 3.1 percent. As of
2014[update], life expectancy in
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[update], 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 University of
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 Ile-Ife, Nigeria
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 (60.6%).
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 419 Scams
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
Rivers State House of Assembly are cult members. On lower
levels of society, there are the "area boys", organised gangs mostly
Lagos who 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 crime.
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 bank governor
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[who?] in January 2015 that
NNPC's non-remitted revenue is actually US$1.48 billion, which it
needs to refund back to the Government.
In 2015, Nigerian President
Muhammadu Buhari stated that corrupt
officials have stolen $150 billion from
Nigeria in the last 10
Main article: Culture of Nigeria
Main article: Nigerian literature
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
writers are Wole Soyinka, the first African Nobel Laureate in
Literature, and Chinua Achebe, best known for the novel Things Fall
Apart (1958) and his controversial critique of Joseph Conrad.
Other Nigerian writers and poets who are well known internationally
include John Pepper Clark, Ben Okri, Cyprian Ekwensi, Buchi Emecheta,
Helon Habila, T. M. Aluko, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Daniel O.
Femi Osofisan and Ken Saro Wiwa, who was executed in 1995 by
the military regime.
Nigeria has the second largest newspaper market
Africa (after Egypt) with an estimated circulation of several
million copies daily in 2003.
Critically acclaimed writers of a younger generation include Chris
Abani, Sefi Atta, Helon Habila, Helen Oyeyemi, Nnedi Okorafor, Kachi
A. Ozumba, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, and Chika Unigwe.
Main article: Media in Nigeria
Music and film
Main articles: Music of Nigeria, Cinema of Nigeria, and Festivals in
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, Brazil, Cuba,
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 Ewu-born
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
Nigeria include: Sade Adu, King Sunny Adé,
Onyeka Onwenu, Dele Sosimi, Adewale Ayuba, Ezebuiro Obinna, Alhaji
Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Bennie King, Ebenezer Obey, Umobuarie
Igberaese, Femi Kuti, Lagbaja, Dr. Alban, Wasiu Alabi, Bola Abimbola,
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)
Tuface Idibia's pan-African hit "African Queen".
The Nigerian film industry is known as
Nollywood (a portmanteau of
Nigeria and Hollywood) and is now the 2nd-largest producer of
movies in the world. Nigerian film studios are based in Lagos, Kano
and 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
T.B. Joshua's Emmanuel TV, originating from Nigeria, is one of the
most viewed television stations across Africa.
Main article: Cuisine of Nigeria
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
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
Six occasions 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010,2014, and most recently in 2018.
In April 1994, the Super Eagles ranked 5th in the FIFA World Rankings,
the highest ranking achieved by an African football team. They won the
African Cup of Nations
African Cup of Nations in 1980, 1994, and 2013, and have also hosted
the U-17 & U-20 World Cup. They won the gold medal for football in
1996 Summer Olympics
1996 Summer Olympics (in which they beat Argentina) becoming the
first African football team to win gold in Olympic Football.
The nation's cadet team from Japan '93 produced some international
players notably Nwankwo Kanu, a two-time African Footballer of the
year who won the European Champions League with Ajax Amsterdam and
later played with Inter Milan, Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion and
Portsmouth. Other players that graduated from the junior teams are
Nduka Ugbade, Jonathan Akpoborie, Victor Ikpeba, Celestine Babayaro,
Wilson Oruma and Taye Taiwo. Some other famous Nigerian footballers
include John Obi Mikel, Obafemi Martins, Vincent Enyeama, Yakubu
Aiyegbeni, Rashidi Yekini,
Peter Odemwingie and Jay-Jay Okocha.
According to the official May 2010 FIFA World Rankings,
the second top-ranked football nation in
Africa and the 21st highest
in the world.
Nigeria is also involved in other sports such as
basketball, cricket and track and field. Boxing is also an
important sport in Nigeria;
Dick Tiger and
Samuel Peter are both
former World Champions.
Nigeria's national basketball team
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, and later
NBA draft picks Solomon Alabi, Yinka Dare, Obinna Ekezie, Festus
Al-Farouq Aminu and Olumide Oyedeji.
Nigeria made history by qualifying the first bobsled team for the
Winter Olympics from
Africa when their Women's 2-man team qualified
for the bobsled competition at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in
Pyeongchang, South Korea.
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
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, organizations 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 Nigeria
Nigerian 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[when?] 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
Jos riots, more than 500 people were killed by religious
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 Benin, Chad,
Nigeria in a united effort to combat
Boko Haram in the aftermath of
2014 Chibok kidnapping
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
Sweet Crude, a documentary film produced and directed by Sandy Cioffi
about Nigeria's oil-rich
Poison Fire, a documentary exposing oil and gas abuses in Nigeria,
Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth
Nigeria volunteers, which premiered at
the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.
Nollywood Babylon, a 2008 documentary by Montrealers
Ben Addelman and
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
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
Female genital mutilation
Female genital mutilation is common. In 2015, there was a
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
Index of Nigeria-related articles
Outline of Nigeria
2015 attack of Nigerian
Army on Shi'a community
Killing of Pro-Biafra Protesters (2015-2016)
List of Languages in Nigeria
Boko Haram in Context: The Terrorist Organizations’s Roots in
Nigeria’s Social History
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