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Nigeria

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Facts & Figures

President: Goodluck Jonathan (2010)

Land area: 351,649 sq mi (910,771 sq km); total area: 356,667 sq mi (923,768 sq km)

Population (2010 est.): 152,217,341 (growth rate: 1.9%); birth rate: 36.0/1000; infant mortality rate: 92.9/1000; life expectancy: 47.2; density per sq km: 151

Capital (2003 est.): Abuja, 590,400 (metro. area), 165,700 (city proper)

Largest cities: Lagos (2003 est.), 11,135,000 (metro. area), 5,686,000 (city proper); Kano, 3,329,900; Ibadan, 3,139,500; Kaduna, 1,510,300

Monetary unit: Naira

More Facts & Figures

Flag of Nigeria
Index
  1. Nigeria Main Page
  2. Independent Nigeria Faces Ethnic Conflicts
  3. Military Coups Shift Power
  4. West African Superpower
  5. Religion and Fighting Threaten Nigeria's Stability
  6. Corruption and Violence Taint Democratic Elections
  7. Government Cracks Down on Islamist Militants in the North
  8. Ban on Same-Sex Marriages Sparks Homophobic Violence
  9. Boko Haram Massacres Hundreds of Civilians

Geography

Nigeria, one-third larger than Texas and the most populous country in Africa, is situated on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. 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. Swamps and mangrove forests border the southern coast; inland are hardwood forests.

Government

Multiparty government transitioning from military to civilian rule.

History

The first inhabitants of what is now Nigeria were thought to have been the Nok people (500 BC –c. AD 200). The Kanuri, Hausa, and Fulani peoples subsequently migrated there. Islam was introduced in the 13th century, and the empire of Kanem controlled the area from the end of the 11th century to the 14th.

The Fulani empire ruled the region from the beginning of the 19th century until the British annexed Lagos in 1851 and seized control of the rest of the region by 1886. It formally became the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria in 1914. During World War I, native troops of the West African frontier force joined with French forces to defeat the German garrison in Cameroon.

Next: Independent Nigeria Faces Ethnic Conflicts
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