Nigeria on the world map. Map of Nigeria
Map of Nigeria with cities. Where Nigeria is on the world map. The main geographical facts about Nigeria - population, country area, capital, official language, religions, industry and culture.
Nigeria Fact File
Official name Federal Republic of Nigeria
Form of government Republic transitioning from military to civilian rule
Area 923,770 sq km (356,668 sq miles)
Time zone GMT + 1 hour
Projected population 2015 165,313,000
Population density 140.7 per sq km (364.3 per sq mile)
Life expectancy 50.6
Infant mortality (per 1,000) 72.5
Official languages English
Other languages French, Hausa, Yoruba, Ibo, Fulani
Literacy rate 57.Г
Religions Muslim 50%, Christian 40%, indigenous beliefs 10%
Ethnic groups About 250 indigenous groups the largest of which are Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Ibo 68%; Kanuri, Edo, Tiv, Ibidio, Nupe 25%; other 7 %
Economy Services 51 %, agriculture 45%, industry 4%
GNP per capita US$ 840
Climate Tropical in south, with wet season April to October; arid in north
Highest point Chappal Waddi 2,419 m (7,936 ft)
Map reference Page 365
With the continent's largest population, huge oil revenues, and a territory that is four times the size of the United Kingdom, Nigeria is one of Africa's most important nations. It also ranks as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and a place where tensions between the main tribal groups are close to breaking point.
Such tensions are not new to the area: regional and ethnic conflict go back to the days of Nigeria's
ancient city-states. The life of the Yoruba people centered on the city of Ife, while the Hausa kingdom was in the north. The kingdom of Benin, well known for its portrait bronzes of past rulers, was in the west, and a number of communities of Ibo lived in the southeast. Bringing all these peoples together to form a single nation has proven difficult: since independence, in I960, there has been a series of military dictatorships, and only ten years of elected government. An unsuccessful attempt to secede by the Ibo in 1967 (who set up an independent state named Biafra) failed in 1970, following a bitter civil war in which thousands of people died. A new constitution was adopted in 1999, and a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed.
Physical features and land use Nigeria
Economy and resources Nigeria
Economy and resources Nigeria
Nigeria's coast on the west African Gulf of Guinea consists of long, sandy beaches and mangrove swamps where its rivers flow into the sea. The mouth of the Niger forms an immense delta, threaded with thousands of creeks and lagoons, with Port Harcourt on one of the main channels. Upstream it divides, the Benue (Benoue) River leading east into Cameroon and the Niger heading northwest toward Benin. These two large rivers provide transport, by boat, for cargo and people. High rainfall on the coast and in the river valleys enables yams, cassava, maize, and vegetables to be grown and on floodland alongside the rivers rice is cultivated.
In the rainy forested belt to the north the hills gradually rise to the semiarid central savanna plateau, and then to the Jos Plateau, reaching 1,780 m (5,840 ft) at Share Hill. Up the Benue (Benoue) River to the east the land rises to the wooded slopes of the Adamaoua Massif and the Cameroon highlands. From these hill-slope areas come such products as cocoa, rubber, hardwoods, and palm oil. North of the Jos Plateau the savanna becomes dry, in many places degenerating into arid Sahelian scrub, where both herds and herders have difficulty surviving. Around Lake Chad (Lac Tchad) the typical vegetation is hardy acacia and doum palms.
Together, the river systems of the Niger and the Benue (Benoue) drain sixty percent of Nigeria's total land area. Though much reduced by clearing for cultivation, the Nigerian rainforests still produce mahogany and iriko. Wildlife includes elephant, chimpanzee, and the red river hog.
People and culture In addition to the Yoruba, Fulani, Hausa, and Ibo, Nigeria has 245 much smaller ethnic groups. Not only are they divided along lines of ethnicity, language, and regional dialect, there is also a major religious division. The north of the country is largely Islamic (the religion of the Hausa and Fulani) while the south is for the most part Christian, combined with indigenous African beliefs. Outbreaks of communal violence in the north sometimes occur as a result of clashes between Islamic fundamentalists and missionary Christians. Despite widespread Christian proselytizing there is evidence that Islamic influence is gradually growing in the south.
Although seventy percent of the labor force works in agriculture, and many rural people are subsistence farmers, Nigerians have also lived in cities for centuries. This contrasts with many other parts of Africa. Long before European commercial expansion into the region, places such as Benin City, Kano, Ibadan, and Ife were administrative and trading centers with sizeable populations. As in other parts of west Africa, women in the non-Islamic Nigerian cultures play a prominent role in commercial life.
Nigeria is rich in natural resources and these are the basis of its economy. They include tin, columbite, iron ore, coal, limestone, lead, zinc, and natural gas. By far the most important, however, is oil: Nigeria is OPEC's fourth largest producer, with oil providing eighty percent of government revenue and ninety percent of export earnings overall. This has led to what many consider over-dependence on a single commodity. In addition it has provided a limitless source of independent wealth for the political elite.
Agricultural production has failed to keep pace with population growth, and Nigeria is now a food importer. There are fundamental imbalances in the economy that result in chronic inflation and a steadily depreciating currency. Investors are wary because of political instability and corruption at the highest levels of government. Domestic and international debts prevent an agreement with the IMF on debt relief.