OFFICIAL NAME: Federal Republic of Nigeria
CAPITAL: Abuja (formerly Lagos)
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Democratic Federal Republic
AREA: 923,768 Sq Km (356,669 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION: 111,464,300


Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Nigeria is located in West Africa. It is bound by Benin to the west, Niger to the north, Chad to the northeast, Cameroon to the east and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. The country has four geographical regions from south to north. (1.) A coastal belt of mangrove swamps. (2.) Undulating plains and scattered hills covered in tropical rain forests. (3.) A central plateau with open woodland and savannah. (4.) A semi-desert in the extreme north which is also known as the High Plains of Hausaland. The principal rivers are the Niger and Benue. Major Cities (pop. est.); Lagos 1,347,000, Ibadan 1,265,000, Kano 699,900, Ogbomosho 660,600, Oshogbo 441,600, Ilorin 430,600 (1992). Land Use; forested 12%, pastures 44%, agricultural-cultivated 36%, other 8% (1993).


CLIMATE: Nigeria has a tropical climate with two seasons. A wet season form April to October and a dry season from November to March with the wettest month June. Average annual precipitation varies from 1,770 mm (70 inches) in the west to 4,310 mm (170 inches) along the east coast, and to 470 mm (50 inches) in the central areas. The prevailing winds are the rain bearing south westerlies and the hot dry and dust laden Harmattan from the Sahara Desert in the northeast. Average temperature ranges are from 23 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit) to 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit) all year.


PEOPLE: Nigeria has an estimated 250 ethnic groups with the Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba and Ibos groups accounting for 60% of the population. The non-African ethnic minorities account for a total of 27,000 and include the British, Indians, Lebanese and Americans.


DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 134 persons per sq km (347 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 35.2% urban, 64.8% rural (1990). Sex Distribution; 49.5% male, 50.5% female (1990). Life Expectancy at Birth; 48.8 years male, 52.2 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 47% under 15, 26% 15 to 29, 14% 30 to 44, 8% 45 to 59, 4% 60 to 74, 1% 75 and over (1990). Birth Rate; 49.8 per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 15.6 per 1,000 (1990). Increase Rate; 34.2 per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate; 105.0 per 1,000 live births (1990).


RELIGIONS: Around 45% of the population are Muslim while 49% are Christians, of which Roman Catholics account for 12%, Protestants for 26% and African Christians for 11%. The remainder following local native tribal beliefs.


LANGUAGES: The official language is English which is spoken by only 5% of the population. The national languages most widely used are Hausa, Yoruba and Ibo.


EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: N/A. Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over 29,538,200 or 50.7% (1990).


MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: On Oct. 1, 1960 Nigeria became an independent nation and the following year the northern part of Cameroon, which was a UN Trust Territory, was incorporated into Nigeria. In Jan. 1966 military leaders led by Maj.Gen. Ironsi overthrew Nigeria's government and executed many of the political leaders. In July 1966 a countercoup overthrew Maj.Gen. Ironsi who was also killed in the offensive. In May 1967 Nigeria's eastern region declared itself an independent republic called Biafra, led by Lt.Col. Odemegwu Ojukwu, which resulted in a full scale civil war between Biafra and the rest of Nigeria. In 1970 Lt.Col. Ojukwu surrendered and the civil war came to an end with Gen. Gowon in power. In July 1975 Gen. Gowon was ousted in a bloodless coup led by Brig. Murtala Mohammed, who embarked on a program to return civil rule. In Feb. 1976 Brig. Mohammed was killed in an abortive military coup by junior officers. Mohammed was succeeded by Gen. Obasanjo who continued Mohammed's program and in Sept. 1978 he legalized political parties. In Aug. 1979 the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) won elections and Alhaji Shehu Shagari became President. In 1983 Pres. Shagari was re-elected and on Dec. 31, 1983 the military led by Maj.Gen. Mohammed Buhari ousted the government and established himself as head of the Supreme Military Council. In Aug. 1985 Buhari was replaced by Maj.Gen. Ibrahim Babangida who promised a return to civil rule. In May 1989 political parties were again legalized. In April 1990 there was an unsuccessful coup attempt which resulted in the execution of 42 soldiers. In Sept. 1990 Pres. Babangida began major restructuring of the armed forces, as part of his promise to demilitarize the government and return the government to civilian rule. In Mar. 1991 there were several weeks of protests and riots by Shiite Muslims in Katsina state, who demanded the establishment of Islamic law, which resulted in the deaths of some 250 people, mostly Muslims. In June 1991 Nigeria hosted the Organization of African Unity (OAU) summit and Pres. Babangida was elected chairman of the OAU for 1991-1992. On July 1, 1991 a British journalist was expelled from the country after criticizing the government's expenditure. In Oct. 1991 further religious riots escalated in Kano state, in the north, resulting in a further 100 deaths as the Army moved in. In Nov. 1991 the government order citizens to stay at home and closed borders in an attempt to carry out an accurate census. On Jan. 13, 1992 a new National Council of Ministers was sworn in after the government decided to reduce the number of ministries from 27 to 20 and on Jan. 24, 1992 the National Electoral Commission (NEC) announced a schedule for elections with the legislative in Nov. 1992, although later brought forward to July and the presidential in Dec. 1992. Also in Jan. 1992 further riots erupted in Katsina state resulting in the arrest of 263 Islamic fundamentalists and the death of 10 people. In March 1992 ethnic violence over farming rights erupted in Taraba state between the Jukun and Tiv tribal groups resulting in 100 deaths. On July 4, 1992 legislative elections resulted in the Social Democratic Party (SDP) winning the majority of seats in both houses of the National Assembly closely followed by the National Republican Convention (NRC). On Aug. 7, 1992 the NEC annulled the first round of presidential primaries due to widespread allegations of irregularities and corruption while later rounds were also suspended. On Jan. 4, 1993 the Transitional Council and the National Defense and Security Council (NDSC) were inaugurated with Gen. Babangida as President of the NDSC. Also in Jan. 1993 the NEC continued its process of screening presidential candidates and by April 1993 the SDP had chosen Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola and the NRC selected Bashir Othma Tofa as their respective candidates. In June 1992 Abiola emerged as the clear winner of the presidential elections, although the results were later postponed and then subsequently leaked by the Campaign for Democracy indicating that Abiola had won in 19 of the 30 states. On June 23, 1993 the NDSC annulled the election results that led to condemnation by the US and British government as well as the restriction of aid. and Pres. Babangida issued regulations that banned the SDP and NRC presidential candidates from taking part in new elections. Following which strikes and civil disobedience occurred in Lagos before security forces restored order. On July 6, 1993 the NDSC issued an ultimatum to the SDP and NRC to participate in an interim national government or face new elections with both parties agreeing to participate in an interim government. On July 31, Pres. Babangida announced the interim government would be inaugurated on Aug. 27, 1993. On Aug. 26, 1993 Pres. Babangida stepped down as President and was succeeded by Ernest Shonekan. Also in Aug. 1993 protests and strikes against the NDSC brought the country to a standstill and on Nov. 17, 1993 the military led by Gen. Sani Abacha seized control of the interim government and disbanded it while Gen. Babangida left for Egypt. Gen. Abacha established a Provisional Ruling Council and promised to led the country into a multiparty democracy.


CURRENCY: The official currency is the Naira (N) divided into 100 Kobo.


ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $32,517,000,000 (1993). Public Debt; USD $29,496,000,000 (1994). Imports; N 143,151,200,000 (1992). Exports; N 205,613,100,000 (1992). Tourism Receipts; USD $31,000,000 (1993). Balance of Trade; N 69,145,000,000 (1993). Economically Active Population; 30,765,500 or 31.1% of total population (1986). Unemployed; 4.0% (1992).


MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are the UK, Germany, the USA, Japan and France.

MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Cassava, Coal, Cocoa, Cotton, Ground Nuts, Iron Ore, Livestock, Maize, Millet, Oil and Natural Gas, Palm Kernels, Rice, Rubber, Sorghum, Timber, Tin, Yams.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Cement, Fertilizers, Food Processing, Lumber, Mining, Motor Vehicle Assembly, Oil and Natural Gas Processing and Refining, Petrochemicals, Textiles.

MAIN EXPORTS: Crude Oil and Refined Products, Hides, Natural Gas, Timber, Tin.


TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 3,505 km (2,178 mi) (1987), passenger-km 3,808,277,000 (2,366,353,000 passenger-mi) (1987), cargo ton-km 827,400,000 (566,686,000 short ton-mi) (1985). Roads; length 124,000 km (77,050 mi) (1984). Vehicles; cars 773,000 (1989), trucks and buses 606,000 (1989). Merchant Marine; vessels 249 (1990), deadweight tonnage 726,948 (1990). Air Transport; passenger-km 256,247,000 (159,224,000 passenger-mi) (1990), cargo ton-km 30,588,000 (20,950,000 short ton-mi) (1990).


COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 23 with a total circulation for 11 of 1,140,000 (1993). Radio; receivers 18,000,000 (1994). Television; receivers 6,100,000 (1994). Telephones; units 342,300 (1993).


MILITARY: 77,100 (1995) total active duty personnel with 80.4% army, 7.3% navy and 12.3% air force while military expenditure accounts for 0.6% (1993) of the Gross National Product (GNP).


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