Nigeria Overview

An Introduction to Nigeria

Nigeria is located on the west coast of Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea and sandwiched between Benin and Cameroon.  A land mass of just over 923 km2, or twice the size of California, it is a federal republic comprised of 36 states.  Abuja, in the centre of the country is its capital city, replacing the former capital of Lagos in the south west.

Like many African countries Nigeria has a colourful history.  A British colony until independence in 1960, it suffered a serious of dictatorships, civil war, and military coups until 1999.  Today it has a stable elected government.  All this though hasn’t prevented the country growing into a vibrant and influential force in Africa and the wider world, coming in second place to South Africa as the largest economy in Africa.

A key component in this growth has been its people, all 186 million of them.  This makes Nigeria the most populous country in Africa, and seventh most populous in the world.  A country with this many people would have lots of languages, and Nigeria has more than 500 languages, although English is one of the official languages and widely spoken.  Others major languages include Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Fulfulde and Kanuri.

Population Demographics

0-14 years: 42.79% (male 40,744,956/female 38,870,303)
15-24 years: 19.48% (male 18,514,466/female 17,729,351)
25-54 years: 30.65% (male 29,259,621/female 27,768,368)
55-64 years: 3.96% (male 3,595,293/female 3,769,986)
65 years and over: 3.12% (male 2,754,040/female 3,047,002)

(2016 est. from

The Economy

Nigeria has the world’s 20th largest economy in part largely due to its oil exports.  As a member of OPEC, Nigeria is the 11th largest oil producer in the world, and this oil forms the main source of its national income.  Other sources include beans, sesame, cashew nuts, cocoa beans, kola nut, corn, melon, palm kernels, palm oil, rice, yams and rubber. Cocoa is the leading non-oil foreign exchange earner followed by rubber.

A fast developing telecommunications market is being complimented with an expanding manufacturing industry in leather, textiles and electronics.  Many of these industries make use of Nigeria’s natural resources, such as oil, natural gas, iron ore and of course its people.

The Climate & Vegetation

Nigeria’ vegetation’s is reflective of its climate.  Tropical rainforest in the south gives way to savannah type in the centre of the country with the reduction of rainfall further north.  The northern half has even less rain and comprises of semi dry arid climate and vegetation.

The History of Nigeria

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