Nigeria | Wikipedia audio article

Nigeria | Wikipedia audio article


The Federal Republic of Nigeria, commonly
referred to as Nigeria ( (listen)), is a federal republic in West Africa, bordering Niger in
the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the southeast, and Benin in the west. Its
coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. The federation
comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja is located.
Nigeria is officially a democratic secular country.Nigeria has been home to a number
of ancient and indigenous kingdoms and 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 and Northern Nigeria Protectorate
in 1914. The British set up administrative and legal structures whilst practicing indirect
rule through traditional chiefdoms. 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 and fair.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 250 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa,
Igbo and Yoruba; these ethnic groups speak over 250 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 practice religions indigenous
to Nigeria, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities.
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
Africa to 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 “low” Human
Development Index, ranking 152nd in the world. 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 and OPEC.==Etymology==
The name 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.==History=====
Early (500 BC – 1500)===The 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 Kano and 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.
The 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 influence. The Yoruba kingdoms of Ife and Oyo in southwestern
Nigeria became 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)===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 to 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 Fulani Empire (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 European colonies. 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 named
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) became
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 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
throughout 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 the 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 European industry.===British Nigeria (1800–1960)===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 colony in West Africa originally established
for the resettlement of freed slaves from Britain. Britain intervened in the Lagos Kingship
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. Britain annexed 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 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
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 January 1901, 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. 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 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 instance,
northern 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 Nigeria toward 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)===The Federation of 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 of
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 plebiscite. Southern
Cameroons opted to join the Republic of Cameroon while 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)===The disequilibrium 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 mostly by Igbo soldiers under Majors Emmanuel
Ifeajuna and Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu. The coup plotters succeeded in assassinating Prime
Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Premier 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; tens of thousands of Igbos in Northern cities
were massacered and many survivors fled to the Eastern Region.
In May 1967, the Eastern Region declared independence as a state called the 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 while France and
others aided the Biafrans. Nigeria used Egyptian pilots for their air force.===Military juntas (1970–1999)===During the oil boom of the 1970s, Nigeria
joined 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 when 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’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 Nigeria in 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, defeating
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 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 four Ogoni elders. Lawsuits under the American Alien Tort Statute
against Royal Dutch Shell and Brian Anderson, the head of Shell’s Nigerian operation, settled
out of court with Shell continuing to deny liability.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 military.===Democratisation (1999–)===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 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 former 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==Nigeria is a federal republic modelled after
the United States, with executive power exercised by the President. It is influenced by the
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 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 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. 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.===Law===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.===Foreign relations===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 buildings.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 backed the 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
organizations, respectively. 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). Nigeria also supported several Pan-African
and pro-self government causes in the 1970s, including garnering support for Angola’s MPLA,
SWAPO in 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 Abuja to
promote what some attendees termed “South-South” linkages on a variety of fronts. 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 Ghana 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 America.===Military===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 of 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 peacekeepers in Liberia (1997), 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.==Geography==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. 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. The highest point in Nigeria is 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 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
rainforest.Nigeria’s most expansive topographical region is that of the valleys of the 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
Nigeria between the 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 Sahel savannah. Guinean forest-savanna mosaic is plains of tall grass interrupted
by trees. Sudan savannah is similar but with shorter grasses and shorter trees. 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 Chad, which Nigeria shares with Niger, Chad
and Cameroon.===Environmental issues===Nigeria’s Delta region, home of the large
oil industry, experiences serious oil spills and other environmental problems, which has
caused conflict. 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.In 2005 Nigeria had the highest rate of deforestation
in the world, according to the 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 6,145,000 hectares.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 ongoing.===Administrative divisions===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): Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Benin City and Port Harcourt. Lagos is the
largest city in Africa, with a population of over 12 million in its urban area.==Economy==Nigeria is classified as a mixed economy emerging
market. It has 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 2015. 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 worldwide. 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 countries.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 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 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 the
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.===Agriculture===As of 2010, 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.===Oil===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. The 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.Nigeria
has a total of 159 oil fields and 1,481 wells in operation according to the Department of
Petroleum Resources. The most productive region of the nation is the coastal Niger Delta Basin
in the Niger Delta or “South-south” region which encompasses 78 of the 159 oil fields.
Most of Nigeria’s oil fields are small and scattered, and as of 1990, these small unproductive
fields accounted for 62.1% of all Nigerian production. This contrasts with the sixteen
largest fields which produced 37.9% of Nigeria’s petroleum at that time.===Overseas remittances===
Next to petrodollars, the second biggest source of foreign exchange earnings for Nigeria are
remittances sent home by Nigerians living abroad.According to the International Organization
for Migration, Nigeria witnessed a dramatic increase in remittances sent home from overseas
Nigerians, going from US$2.3 billion in 2004 to 17.9 billion in 2007. The United States
accounts for the largest portion of official remittances, followed by the United Kingdom,
Italy, Canada, Spain and 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.===Services===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.===Nigeria Air===On the 18th of July 2018, the Nigeria government
announced a new birth of a National Carrier, the Nigeria Air, this is after 15 years during
which the former carrier was shut down as a result of mismanagement. Nigeria Air is
meant to be operated under government/private partnership and the government is expected
to fund the initial capital of $300 million within the next 5 years.
The Name, Logo and the government planned was announced the same day it was launched,
the Nigeria website and staff have not been planned. Though the issue of the staff is
expected to be managed by the private owners. It is worthy to note that Nigeria Air is different
from Air Nigeria, an airline company owned by NICON ground and Virgin Atlantic Airways===
Mining===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 its infancy.===Manufacturing and technology===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 city of Aba in south-eastern part of the
country are well known for their handicrafts, famously known as “Aba made”.===Government satellites===
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 launched from 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 the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China. The spacecraft was operated by NigComSat
and the Nigerian Space Agency, NASRDA. On 11 November 2008, 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 Technology, NigComSat Ltd. and CGWIC signed another contract for the
in-orbit delivery of the NigComSat-1R satellite. NigComSat-1R was also a DFH-4 satellite, and
the replacement for the failed NigComSat-1 was 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.==Society=====
Demographics===Nigeria’s population increased by 57 million
from 1990 to 2008, a 60% growth rate in less than two decades. As of 2017, the population
stood at 191 million. Around 42.5% of the population were 14 years or younger, 19.6%
were aged 15–24, 30.7% were aged 25–54, 4.0% aged 55–64, and 3.1% aged 65 years
or older. The median age in 2017 was 18.4 years. Nigeria is the most populous country
in Africa and accounts for about 17% of the continent’s total population as of 2017; however,
exactly how populous is a subject of speculation.The 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, President 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 as of 2006 Presently, Nigeria is the seventh
most populous country in the world. The birth rate is 36.9-births/1000 population and the
death rate is 12.4 deaths/1000 population as of 2017, while the total fertility rate
is 5.07 children born/woman.Nigeria’s largest city is Lagos. Lagos has grown from about
300,000 in 1950 to an estimated 13.4 million in 2017.===Ethnic groups===
Nigeria has more than 250 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 Niger Delta as employees for the major oil companies. A number of Cubans
settled in Nigeria as political refugees following the Cuban Revolution.
In the middle of the 19th century, a number of ex-slaves of Afro-Cuban and 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 Saro (immigrants from Sierra Leone) and Amaro (ex-slaves
from Brazil) later became prominent merchants and missionaries in these cities.===Languages===There are 521 languages that have been spoken
in Nigeria; nine of them 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 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 three 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 Benin City.===Religion===Nigeria is a religiously diverse society,
with Islam and Christianity being the most widely professed religions. Nigerians are
nearly equally divided into Muslims and Christians, with a tiny minority of adherents of Animism
and other religions. Islam dominates North Western (Hausa, Fulani
and others) and a good portion of Northern Eastern (Kanuri, Fulani and other groups)
Nigeria. It also has a number of adherents in the South Western, Yoruba part of the country.
Nigeria has the largest Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa. Protestant and locally
cultivated Christianity are also widely practiced in Western areas, while Roman Catholicism
is a more prominent Christian feature of South Eastern Nigeria. Both Protestantism and Roman
Catholicism are observed in the Ibibio, Annang, Efik and Ijo lands of the south.
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 birthrate. The vast majority of Muslims in 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 Shia in Nigeria). Some northern states have incorporated Sharia
law into their previously secular legal systems, which has brought about some controversy.
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, as well as Bahá’ís.According to a 2001 report from 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 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 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, 35% 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, independently
started in Africa by Africans, particularly the evangelical 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 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.
Further, 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 10,000. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
(LDS) announced creation of new Owerri mission in Nigeria in 2016.===Health===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 health care 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 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, 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 Nigeria became 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 government.===Education===Education 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 (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.===Tertiary education===The government has majority control of university
education. Tertiary education in Nigeria consists of Universities (Public and Private), Polytechnics,
Monotechnics, and Colleges of education. The country has a total number of 129 universities
registered by NUC among which federal and state government own 40 and 39 respectively
while 50 universities are privately owned. In order to increase the number of universities
in Nigeria from 129 to 138 the Federal Government gave 9 new private universities their licences
in May 2015. The names of the universities that got licenses in Abuja included, Augustine
University, Ilara, Lagos; Chrisland University, Owode, Ogun State; Christopher University,
Mowe, Ogun State; Hallmark University, Ijebu-Itele, Ogun State; Kings University, Ode-Omu, Osun
State; Micheal and Cecilia Ibru University, Owhrode, Delta State; Mountain Top University,
Makogi/Oba Ogun state; Ritman University, Ikot-Epene, Akwa- Ibom State and Summit University,
Offa, Kwara State. First year entry requirements into most universities
in Nigeria include: Minimum of SSCE/GCE Ordinary Level Credits at maximum of two sittings;
Minimum cut-off marks in Joint Admission and Matriculation Board Entrance Examination (JAMB)
of 180 and above out of a maximum of 400 marks are required. Candidates with minimum of Merit
Pass in National Certificate of Education (NCE), National Diploma (ND) and other Advanced
Level Certificates minimum qualifications with minimum of 5 O/L Credits are given direct
entry admission into the appropriate undergraduate degree programs.Students with required documents
typically enter university from age 17-18 onwards and study for an academic degree.===Crime===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 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.Internationally, 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 (or EFCC) was created, ostensibly to combat this
and other forms of organised financial crime.There is 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
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
in 2014.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 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 years.==Tourism==Tourism in Nigeria centers largely on events,
due to the country’s ample amount of ethnic groups, but also includes rain forests, savannah,
waterfalls, and other natural attractions. Abuja is home to several parks and green areas
with the largest one being Millennium Park. Millennium Park was designed by architect
Manfredi Nicoletti and was officially opened by the United Kingdom’s Elizabeth II in December
2003. Another open area park is located in Lifecamp Gwarimpa; near the residence of the
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory. The park is located on a slightly raised hilltop
which contains sport facilities like Basketball and Badminton courts another park is the city
park, it is located in wuse 2 and is home to numerous outdoor and indoor attractions
such as a 4D cinema, astro-turf, lawn tennis court, paintball arena and a variety of restaurants. Lagos, subsequent to the re-modernization
project achieved by the previous administration of Governor Raji Babatunde Fashola, is gradually
becoming a major tourist destination, being one of the largest cities in Africa and in
the world. Lagos is currently taking steps to become a global city. The 2009 Eyo carnival
(a yearly festival originated from Iperu Remo, Ogun State), which took place on 25 April,
was a step toward world city status. Currently, Lagos is primarily known as a business-oriented
and a fast-paced community.Lagos has become an important location for African and “black”
cultural identity. Lots of festivals are held in Lagos; festivals vary in offerings each
year and may be held in different months. Some of the festivals are Festac Food Fair
held in Festac Town Annually, Eyo Festival, Lagos Black Heritage Carnival, Lagos Carnival,
Eko International Film Festival, Lagos Seafood Festac Festival, LAGOS PHOTO Festival and
the Lagos Jazz Series, which is a unique franchise for high-quality live music in all genres
with a focus on jazz. Established in 2010, the event takes place over a 3–5 day period
at selected high quality outdoor venues. The music is as varied as the audience itself
and features a diverse mix of musical genres from rhythm and blues to soul, Afrobeat, hip
hop, bebop, and traditional jazz. The festivals provide entertainment of dance and song to
add excitement to travelers during a stay in Lagos.
Lagos has a number of sandy beaches by the Atlantic Ocean, including Elegushi Beach and
Alpha Beach. Lagos also has a number of private beach resorts including Inagbe Grand Beach
Resort and several others in the outskirts. Lagos has a variety of hotels ranging from
three star to five star hotels, with a mixture of local hotels such as Eko Hotels and Suites,
Federal Palace Hotel and franchises of multinational chains such as Intercontinental Hotel, Sheraton
and Four Points by Hilton. Other places of interest include the Tafawa Balewa Square,
Festac town, The Nike Art Gallery, Freedom Park, Lagos and the Cathedral Church of Christ,
Lagos. Obudu Mountain Resort is a ranch and resort
on the Obudu Plateau in Cross River State. It was developed in 1951 by M. McCaughley,
a Scot who first explored the mountain ranges in 1949. He camped on the mountaintop of the
Oshie Ridge on the Sankwala Mountains for a month before returning with Mr. Hugh Jones
a fellow rancher in 1951. Together with Dr Crawfeild, they developed the Obudu Cattle
Ranch. Although the ranch has been through troubles since, it has been rehabilitated
to its former glory. Since 2005, a cable car climbing 870 metres
(2,850 ft) from the base to the top of the plateau gives visitors a scenic view while
bypassing the extremely winding road to the top.The resort is found on the Obudu Plateau,
close to the Cameroon border in the northeastern part of Cross River State, approximately 110
kilometres (68 mi) east of the town of Ogoja and 65 kilometres (40 mi) from the town of
Obudu in Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River State.
It is about 30 minutes drive from Obudu town and is about a 332 kilometres (206 mi) drive
from Calabar, the Cross River State capital.Charter air service is available to the Bebi Airport
which lies between the village of Obudu and the resort.
The ranch has in recent times seen an influx of both Nigerian and international tourists
because of the development of tourist facilities by Cross-River State Government, which has
turned the ranch into a well known holiday and tourist resort center in Nigeria.==Culture=====
Literature===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. Fagunwa, Femi Osofisan and Ken Saro Wiwa, who was executed in 1995
by the military regime. Nigeria has the second largest newspaper market in Africa (after
Egypt) with an estimated circulation of several million copies daily in 2003.
Critically acclaimed writers of a younger generation include Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani,
Chris Abani, Sefi Atta, Helon Habila, Helen Oyeyemi, Nnedi Okorafor, Kachi A. Ozumba,
Sarah Ladipo Manyika, and Chika Unigwe.===Media======Music and film===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 from Nigeria. Fuji music, a Yoruba percussion style, was created
and popularised by Mr. Fuji, Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister.
Afan Music was 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, Zaki Adze, Tuface Idibia, Aṣa, Nneka, Wale, P
Square and D’Banj. 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 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 editing technologies.
The 2009 thriller film The Figurine is generally considered the game changer, which heightened
the media attention towards New Nigerian Cinema revolution. The film was a critical and commercial
success in Nigeria, and it was also screened in international film festivals. The 2010
film Ijé by Chineze Anyaene, overtook The Figurine to become the highest grossing Nigerian
film; a record it held for four years, until it was overtaken in 2014 by Half of a Yellow
Sun (2013). By 2016, this record was held by The Wedding Party, a film by Kemi Adetiba.
By the end of 2013, the film industry reportedly hit a record breaking revenue of ₦1.72 trillion
(US$11 billion). As of 2014, the industry was worth ₦853.9 billion (US$5.1 billion)
making it the third most valuable film industry in the world, behind the United States and
India. It contributed about 1.4% to Nigeria’s economy; this was attributed to the increase
in the number of quality films produced and more formal distribution methods.T.B. Joshua’s
Emmanuel TV, originating from Nigeria, is one of the most viewed television stations
across Africa.There are many festivals in Nigeria, some of which date to the period
before the arrival of the major religions in this ethnically and culturally diverse
society. The main Muslim and Christian festivals are often celebrated in ways that are unique
to Nigeria or unique to the people of a locality. The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation
has been working with the states to upgrade the traditional festivals, which may become
important sources of tourism revenue.===Cuisine===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.===Sport===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 in 1980, 1994, and 2013, and have also hosted the U-17 & U-20
World Cup. They won the gold medal for football in the 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,
Rashidi Yekini, Peter Odemwingie and Jay-Jay Okocha. According to the official May 2010 FIFA World
Rankings, Nigeria was 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 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 Ezeli, 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.In
the early 1990s, Scrabble was made an official sport in Nigeria. By the end of 2017, there
were around 4,000 players in more than 100 clubs in the country. In 2015, Wellington
Jighere became the first African player to win World Scrabble Championship.==Social issues==
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===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 religion. 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
streets.===Strife and sectarian violence===Because of its multitude of diverse, sometimes
competing ethno-linguistic groups, 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 extraction.
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 by Muslims 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. Muslim 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 Muslim religious violence.Nigerian President 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, Cameroon and Niger joined Nigeria in
a united effort to combat Boko Haram in the aftermath of the 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”.===Media representation===
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, featuring 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.===Women===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 live 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.==See also==Index of Nigeria-related articles
Outline of Nigeria

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