Tell me about Nigeria

New Fulani


Official Name: Federal Republic of Nigeria

Head of State: Gen. Olurun Obasanjo (ret.) elected Head of State February, 1999.

Area: 356,700 sq mi. (Twice the size of California)

Population (1998 est.): 110,532,242; average annual rate of natural increase: 2.96%; infant mortality rate: 70.7/1000; density per sq mi.: 310

Capital Abuja, pop. (1995 est.) 339,000

Largest cities: Lagos: metro. area (1996 est.) 10,878, 000. Other large cities: Ibadan, 1,365,000; Ogbomosho, 711,900; Kano, 657,300

Monetary unit: Naira. Value, 2000 N100:US$1.00

Languages: English (official) Hausa, Yoruba, Ibo, and more than 200 others

Ethnicity/Race: Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Ibo, Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv, Ijaw

Religions: Islam, 50%; Christian, 40%; indigenous, 10%

Literacy rate: 51%

Economic summary: Income (1996 est.): $138.00 per capita. Real growth rate: 3%. Inflation: 57% (1996 est) Agriculture: peanuts, rubber, cocoa, grains, fish, yams, cassava, livestock. Labor force: 42.844 million; agriculture, 54%; government, 15%; industry, commerce and services, 19%. Products: crude oil, natural gas, coal, tin, processed rubber, cotton, petroleum, hides, textiles, cement, chemicals. Natural resources: petroleum, tin, columbite, iron ore, coal, limestone, lead. Exports: $11.6 billion (f.o.b., 1995): oil, cocoa, palm products, rubber. Imports: $10 billion (c.i.f., 1995): consumer goods, capital equipment, raw materials, chemicals. Major trading partners: Western European countries, U.S., Japan.

Member of Commonwealth of Nations

(Demographics from http//:www.INFOPLEASE.COM/IPA/a0107847.HTML), updated, May, 2000.

Nigeria. What does that name bring to mind? Most people know it's in Africa. Some people think of jungles, monkeys, lions, mud huts, and disease. In reality, Nigeria is a large country with many different climates, a multitude of cultures, and a level of development that surprises many westerners.

See a map of Nigeria

See a map of Africa 


Geography, People, Government..

What's it like to live in Nigeria?


The Federal Republic of Nigeria is a country in West Africa on the
Gulf of Guinea. It is one-third larger than Texas. Its neighbors are
Benin, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad. The lower course of the Niger
River flows south through the western part of the country into the
Gulf of Guinea.

Nigeria has a diverse topography, with arid savanna, rainforest,
mountains, and mangrove swamps. The swamps and mangrove
forests border the southern coast, and the wide delta of the Niger
River. This area has an equatorial climate. Inland are hardwood
forests in a central tropical belt. The north is semi-arid to arid
rolling grassland savannas punctuated with mountains and extinct


Most of the people in Nigeria belong to one of three large language
groups, the Hausa, in the north, the Yoruba, in the West, and the Ibo
in the East. Although one fourth of Nigerians live in cities, the majority
of people are subsistence farmers. They live in villages and use
traditional methods of farming. They eat rice, yams and cassava
(starchy tubers), corn, and beans. The Fulani are often associated
with Hausa speakers. The northern Hausa speakers tend to be Muslim.
The other groups largely profess to be Christian.


Nigeria became independent from Britain in 1960 and is now divided
into 36 states to accelerate development and to minimize the impact
of ethnic loyalties on national politics. Ethnicity is a sensitive issue, as
Nigeria has 426 ethnic groups

Nigeria has had a predominantly military government since Dec. 31,
1983. A transition program to a constitutional government is in place,
as of 1999.


What's it like living in Nigeria?

A glimpse of Nigeria brings to mind five words: Land, People,
Cultures, Lively, and Growth.

The land itself is big and beautiful. From ancient hardwoods bordering
slow-flowing streams in the jungles in the south, to towering sand dunes
and camels in the north, 500 miles away, there are many different types
of terrain.

There are lots of people! At more than 100 million citizens, the pop-
ulation density is like taking everyone in the USA west of the Mississippi,
except California, and putting them all in Texas! One can rarely be alone
in Nigeria!

The people themselves are very diverse. Traveling 50 miles, you may
encounter people of ten totally different cultures. Most people speak
two or more of the 350+ Nigerian languages.

A Nigerian tends to be a lively person. They enjoy visiting, laughing,
and celebrations. Cities, towns, and villages are often noisy and reflect
the nature of their climate and foods: pungent! Nigerians vigorously
support sports teams and are proud of their country.

Lastly, growth is very obvious. The population doubles about every
19 years. The leaders are trying to help Nigeria develop. Many areas
are being electrified and roads paved. Basic consumer goods are
being produced and distributed to most areas of the country. Nigeria
has great potential for a bright future.

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