Nigeria

 

Nigeria is a federal constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and one Federal Capital Territory.

The capital city is Abuja.

The three largest and most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria are the Hausa,Igbo and Yoruba.

The name Nigeria was taken from the river Niger running through the country.

Location and Geographic Information:
The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north.
Its coast lies on the Gulf of Guinea, a part of the Atlantic Ocean, in the south.

The total size of the area is 923,768 km2 (356,669 sq mi), making it the world's 32nd-largest country.
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, the world's largest river deltas.

Nigeria has a varied landscape deriving from tropical rainforests, to high hills, Coastal plains and salt water swamps.
Nigeria is also an important centre for biodiversity. It is widely believed that the areas surrounding Calabar, Cross River State, contain the world's largest diversity of butterflies. The drill monkey is only found in the wild in Southeast Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon.

History:
The people of Nigeria have an extensive history, and archaeological evidence shows that human habitation of the area dates back to at least 9000 BC.

Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to begin trade in Nigeria, and called the port Lagos after the Portuguese town of Lagos.

On January 1, 1901 Nigeria became part of the British Empire.

Following World War II, in response to the growth of Nigerian nationalism and demands for independence, on October 1, 1960, Nigeria gained its independence from the United Kingdom
The nation parted with its British legacy in 1963 by declaring itself a Federal Republic, with Azikiwe as the first president.

Nigeria re-achieved democracy in 1999 when it elected Olusegun Obasanjo as the new President ending almost thirty three-years of military rule.

Population:
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, the eighth most populous country in the world, and the most populous country in the world in which the majority of the population is black.
Nigeria's largest city is Lagos. Lagos has grown from 300,000 in 1950 to an estimated 15 million today, and the Nigerian government estimates that the city will have expanded to 25 million residents by 2015.
Nigeria has more than 250 ethnic groups, with varying languages (currently estimated 521 languages in the country) and customs, creating a country of rich ethnic diversity.

The Official language is English, and is widely used for education, business transactions and for official purposes.

The main religions are Islam, Christianity, and indigenous religions. Christianity is concentrated in the south while Islam dominates in the north; central regions tend to be religiously divided.

Football is Nigeria’s national sport, with the national football team named “Super Eagles”.

Economy:
Nigeria is listed among the "Next Eleven" economies, and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The economy of Nigeria is one of the fastest growing in the world, with the International Monetary Fund projecting a growth of 9% in 2008 and 8.3% in 2009.
 It is the third largest economy in Africa, and is a Regional power in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Nigeria is the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8th largest exporter, and has the 10th largest proven reserves.

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.
Agriculture used to be the principal foreign exchange earner of Nigeria. At one time, Nigeria was the world's largest exporter of groundnuts, cocoa, and palm oil and a significant producer of coconuts, citrus fruits, maize, pearl millet, cassava, yams and sugar cane.It also has a manufacturing industry which includes leather and textiles, car manufacturing, T-shirts, plastics and processed food.

The country has recently made considerable amount of revenue from home made Nigerian Movies which are sold locally and internationally. These movies are popular in other African countries and some parts of Europe.

Nigeria has one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world, major emerging market operators basing their largest and most profitable centers in the country.

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