General Facts:

 

Population: 186,641,228  For more visit Worldmeters

Official Languages: English

Capitals
Abuja

Area: 923,768 km²

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About Nigeria

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, commonly referred to as Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic in West Africa, bordering Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. It comprises 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja is located. Nigeria is officially a democratic secular country.
Modern-day Nigeria has been the site of numerous kingdoms and tribal states over the millennia. The modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, and the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914. The British set up administrative and legal structures whilst practicing indirect rule through traditional chiefdom. Nigeria became a formally independent federation in 1960, and plunged into a civil war from 1967 to 1970. It has since alternated between democratically-elected civilian governments and military dictatorships, until it achieved a stable democracy in 1999, with the 2011 presidential elections considered the first to be reasonably free and fair.
Nigeria is often referred to as the “Giant of Africa”, owing to its large population and economy.With approximately 184 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. Nigeria has one of the largest populations of youth in the world. The country is viewed as a multinational state, as it is inhabited by over 500 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba; these ethnic groups speak over 500 different languages, and are identified with wide variety of cultures. The official language is English. Nigeria is divided roughly in half between Christians, who live mostly in the southern part of the country, and Muslims in the northern part. A minority of the population practice religions indigenous to Nigeria, such as those native to Igbo and Yoruba peoples.
As of 2015, Nigeria is the world’s 20th largest economy, worth more than $500 billion and $1 trillion in terms of nominal GDP and purchasing power parity respectively. It overtook South Africa to become Africa’s largest economy in 2014. Also, the debt-to-GDP ratio is only 11 percent, which is 8 percent below the 2012 ratio. Nigeria is considered to be an emerging market by the World Bank; It has been identified as a regional power on the African continent, a middle power in international affairs, and has also been identified as an emerging global power. Nigeria is a member of the MINT group of countries, which are widely seen as the globe’s next “BRIC-like” economies. It is also listed among the “Next Eleven” economies set to become among the biggest in the world. Nigeria is a founding member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the African Union, OPEC, and the United Nations among’st other international organisations.
In the 2014 ebola outbreak, Nigeria was the first country to effectively contain and eliminate the Ebola threat that was ravaging three other countries in the West African region, as its unique method of contact tracing became an effective method later used by other countries, such as the United States, when Ebola threats were discovered.
Since 2002, the North East of the country has seen sectarian violence by Boko Haram, an Islamist movement that seeks to abolish the secular system of government and establish Sharia law. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in May 2014 claimed that Boko Haram attacks have left at least 12,000 people dead and 8,000 people crippled. At the same time, neighboring countries,Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger joined Nigeria in a united effort to combat Boko Haram in the aftermath of a world media highlighted kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls and the spread of Boko Haram attacks to these countries.

Currency

Government and politics

Muhammadu Buhari, President, March 28, 2015-current
Nigeria is a Federal Republic modeled after the United States, with executive power exercised by the president. It is influenced by the Westminster System model in the composition and management of the upper and lower houses of the bicameral legislature. The president presides as both Head of State and head of the national executive; the leader is elected by popular vote to a maximum of two 4-year terms. In the March 28, 2015 presidential election, General Muhammadu Buhari emerged victorious to become the Federal President of Nigeria, defeating then incumbent Good luck Jonathan.
The president’s power is checked by a Senate and a House of Representatives, which are combined in a bicameral body called the National Assembly. The Senate is a 109-seat body with three members from each state and one from the capital region of Abuja; members are elected by popular vote to four-year terms. The House contains 360 seats, with the number of seats per state is determined by population.
Ethnocentrism, tribalism, religious persecution, and prebendalism have affected Nigerian politics both prior and subsequent to independence in 1960. Kin-selective altruism has made its way into Nigerian politics, resulting in tribalist efforts to concentrate Federal power to a particular region of their interests. Nationalism has also led to active secessionist movements such as MASSOB, Nationalist movements such as Oodua Peoples Congress, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta and a civil war. Nigeria’s three largest ethnic groups (Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba) have maintained historical preeminence in Nigerian politics; competition amongst these three groups has fuelled corruption and graft.
Because of the above issues, Nigeria’s political parties are pan-national and secular in character (though this does not preclude the continuing preeminence of the dominant ethnicities). The major political parties at that time included the then ruling People’s Democratic Party of Nigeria, which maintains 223 seats in the House and 76 in the Senate (61.9% and 69.7% respectively); the opposition formerly All Nigeria People’s Party now All Progressives Congress has 96 House seats and 27 in the Senate (26.6% and 24.7%). About twenty minor opposition parties are registered.
The then president Olusegun Obasanjo, acknowledged fraud and other electoral “lapses” but said the result reflected opinion polls. In a national television address in 2007, he added that if Nigerians did not like the victory of his handpicked successor, they would have an opportunity to vote again in four years.
In the Nigerian general election, 2015, the victorious All Progressives Congress has 225 House seats and 60 in the Senate while the defeated People’s Democratic Party of Nigeria became the opposition with 125 seats in the House and 49 in the Senate.
Law As in many other African societies, prebendalism and high rates of corruption continue to constitute major challenges to Nigeria. All major parties have practised vote rigging and other means of coercion to remain competitive. In 1983, the policy institute at Kuru concluded that only the 1959 and 1979 elections to that time were conducted with minimal vote rigging.
There are three distinct systems of law in Nigeria:
  • Common law, derived from its British colonial past, and a development of its own after independence;
  • Customary law, derived from indigenous traditional norms and practice, including the dispute resolution meetings of pre-colonial Yorubaland secret societies and the Ẹ̀kpẹ̀ and Ọ̀kọ́ńkọ̀ of Igboland and Ibibioland;
  • Sharia law, used only in the predominantly Muslim northern states of the country. It is an Islamic legal system that had been used long before the colonial administration. In late 1999, Zamfara emphasized its use, with eleven other northern states following suit. These states are Kano, Katsina, Niger, Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Gombe, Sokoto,Jigawa, Yobe, and Kebbi.

 

Foreign relations

Former President Good luck Jonathan with the president of the United States Barack Obama and the first lady Michelle Obama, August 2014
Upon gaining independence in 1960, Nigeria made African unity the centre piece of its foreign policy and played a leading role in the fight against the apartheid government in South Africa. One notable exception to the African focus was Nigeria’s close relationship developed with Israel throughout the 1960’s. The latter nation sponsored and oversaw the construction of Nigeria’s parliament buildings.
Nigeria’s foreign policy was tested in the 1970’s after the country emerged united from its own civil war. It supported movements against white minority governments in the Southern Africa sub-region. Nigeria backed the African National Congress (ANC) by taking a committed tough line with regard to the South African government and their military actions in southern Africa. Nigeria was also a founding member of the Organisation for African Unity (now the African Union), and has tremendous influence in West Africa and Africa on the whole. Nigeria has additionally founded regional cooperative efforts in West Africa, functioning as standard-bearer for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and ECOMOG, economic and military organisations, respectively.
With this African-centred stance, Nigeria readily sent troops to the Congo at the behest of the United Nations shortly after independence (and has maintained membership since that time). Nigeria also supported several Pan African and pro-self government causes in the 1970’s, including garnering support for Angola’s MPLA, SWAPO in Namibia, and aiding opposition to the minority governments of Portuguese Mozambique, and Rhodesia.
Nigeria retains membership in the Non-Aligned Movement. In late November 2006, it organised an Africa-South America Summit in Abuja to promote what some attendees termed “South-South” linkages on a variety of fronts. Nigeria is also a member of the International Criminal Court, and the Commonwealth of Nations. It was temporarily expelled from the latter in 1995 when ruled by the Abacha regime.
Nigeria has remained a key player in the international oil industry since the 1970’s, and maintains membership in Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which it joined in July 1971. Its status as a major petroleum producer figures prominently in its sometimes volatile international relations with both developed countries, notably the United States, and the developing countries of China, Jamaica, and Ghana and Kenya in Africa.
Millions of Nigerians have emigrated at times of economic hardship, primarily to Europe, North America and Australia. It is estimated that over a million Nigerians have emigrated to the United States and constitute the Nigerian American populace. Individuals in many such Diasporic communities have joined the “Egbe Omo Yoruba” society, a national association of Yoruba descendants in North America.

 

Military

The Nigerian Military are charged with protecting The Federal Republic of Nigeria, promoting Nigeria’s global security interests, and supporting peacekeeping efforts especially in West Africa. This is in support of the doctrine sometimes called Pax Nigeriana.
The Nigerian Military consist of an army, a navy, and an air force. The military in Nigeria have played a major role in the country’s history since independence. Various juntas have seized control of the country and ruled it through most of its history. Its last period of rule ended in 1999 following the sudden death of former dictator Sani Abacha in 1998. His successor, Abdulsalam Abubakar, handed over power to the democratically elected government of Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999.
As Africa’s most populated country, Nigeria has repositioned its military as a peacekeeping force on the continent. Since 1995, the Nigerian military, through ECOMOG mandates, have been deployed as peacekeepers in Liberia (1997), Ivory Coast (1997–1999), Sierra Leone 1997–1999. Under an African Union mandate, it has stationed forces in Sudan’s Darfur region to try to establish peace.

 

Environmental issues

Nigeria’s Delta region, home of the large oil industry, experiences serious oil spills and other environmental problems, which has caused conflict.
Waste management including sewage treatment, the linked processes of deforestation and soil degradation, and climate change or global warming are the major environmental problems in Nigeria. Waste management presents problems in a mega city like Lagos and other major Nigerian cities which are linked with economic development, population growth and the inability of municipal councils to manage the resulting rise in industrial and domestic waste. This huge waste management problem is also attributable to unsustainable environmental management lifestyles of Kubwa Community in the Federal Capital Territory, where there are habits of indiscriminate disposal of waste, dumping of waste along or into the canals, sewerage systems that are channels for water flows, etc.
Haphazard industrial planning, increased urbanisation, poverty and lack of competence of the municipal government are seen as the major reasons for high levels of waste pollution in major Nigerian cities. Some of the ‘solutions’ have been disastrous to the environment, resulting in untreated waste being dumped in places where it can pollute waterways and groundwater.
In 2005 Nigeria had the highest rate of deforestation in the world, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO). In 2005 12.2%, the equivalent of 11,089,000 hectares had been forested in Nigeria. Between 1990 and 2000, Nigeria lost an average of 409,700 hectares of forest every year equal to an average annual deforestation rate of 2.38%. Between 1990 and 2005, in total Nigeria lost 35.7% of its forest cover, or around 6,145,000 hectares.

 

Administrative divisions

Major cities
City Population
Lagos 7,937,932
Kano 3,848,885
Ibadan 3,078,400
Kaduna 1,652,844
Port Harcourt 1,320,214
Benin City 1,051,600
Maiduguri 1,044,497
Zaria 1,018,827
Nigeria is divided into thirty-six states and one Federal Capital Territory, which are further sub-divided into 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs). The plethora of states, of which there were only three at independence, reflect the country’s tumultuous history and the difficulties of managing such a heterogeneous national entity at all levels of government. In some contexts, the states are aggregated into six geopolitical zones: North West, North East, North Central, South East, South South, and South West.
Nigeria has eight cities with a population of over 1 million people (from largest to smallest: Lagos, Kano, Ibadan,Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Benin City, Maiduguri and Zaria. Lagos is the largest city in Africa, with a population of over 17 million in its urban area alone. However, these figures are regularly disputed in Nigeria.

 

Economy

Nigeria is classified as a mixed economy emerging market, and has already reached lower middle income status according to the World Bank, with its abundant supply of natural resources, well-developed financial, legal, communications, transport sectors and stock exchange (the Nigerian Stock Exchange), which is the second largest in Africa.
Nigeria was ranked 30th in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) in 2012. Nigeria is the United States’ largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa and supplies a fifth of its oil (11% of oil imports). It has the seventh-largest trade surplus with the US of any country worldwide. Nigeria is the 50th-largest export market for US goods and the 14th-largest exporter of goods to the US. The United States is the country’s largest foreign investor. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected economic growth of 9% in 2008 and 8.3% in 2009. The IMF further projects an 8% growth in the Nigerian economy in 2011.
February 2011: According to Citigroup, Nigeria will get the highest average GDP growth in the world between 2010–2050. Nigeria is one of two countries from Africa among 11 Global Growth Generators countries.
Previously, economic development had been hindered by years of military rule, corruption, and mismanagement. The restoration of democracy and subsequent economic reforms have successfully put Nigeria back on track towards achieving its full economic potential. As of 2014 it is the largest economy in Africa, having overtaken South Africa.
During the oil boom of the 1970’s, Nigeria accumulated a significant foreign debt to finance major infrastructural investments. With the fall of oil prices during the 1980’s oil glut Nigeria struggled to keep up with its loan payments and eventually defaulted on its principal debt repayments, limiting repayment to the interest portion of the loans. Arrears and penalty interest accumulated on the unpaid principal which increased the size of the debt.
After negotiations by the Nigeria authorities, in October 2005 Nigeria and its Paris Club creditors reached an agreement in which Nigeria repurchased its debt at a discount of approximately 60%. Nigeria used part of its oil profits to pay the residual 40%, freeing up at least $1.15 billion annually for poverty reduction programmes. Nigeria made history in April 2006 by becoming the first African Country to completely pay off its debt (estimated $30 billion) owed to the Paris Club.
Nigeria is trying to reach the first of the Sustainable Development Goals, which is to end poverty in all its forms by 2030. Government officials have not taken official action to reach this. One of the many options to reach this would be to reduce the corruption levels within the state.

 

Agriculture

As of 2010, about 30% of Nigerians are employed in agriculture. Agriculture used to be the principal foreign exchange earner of Nigeria. Major crops include beans, sesame, cashew nuts, cassava, cocoa beans, groundnuts, gum arabic, kolanut, maize (corn), melon, millet, palm kernels, palm oil, plantains, rice, rubber, sorghum, soybeans and yams. Cocoa is the leading non-oil foreign exchange earner. Rubber is the second-largest non-oil foreign exchange earner. Prior to the Nigerian civil war, Nigeria was self-sufficient in food. Agriculture has failed to keep pace with Nigeria’s rapid population growth, and Nigeria now relies upon food imports to sustain itself.The usage of inorganic fertilizers was promoted by Nigerian government in the 1970’s.

 

Oil

The gates of the oil refinery in Port Harcourt.
Nigeria is the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8th largest exporter, and has the 10th largest proven reserves. (The country joined OPEC in 1971). Petroleum plays a large role in the Nigerian economy, accounting for 40% of GDP and 80% of Government earnings. However, agitation for better resource control in the Niger Delta, its main oil producing region, has led to disruptions in oil production and prevents the country from exporting at 100% capacity.
The Niger Delta Nembe Creek Oil field was discovered in 1973 and produces from middle Miocenedeltaic sandstone-shale in an anticline structural trap at a depth of 2–4 km. In June 2013, the company announced a strategic review of its operations in Nigeria, hinting that assets could be divested. While many international oil companies have operated there for decades, by 2014 most were making moves to divest their interests, citing a range of issues including oil theft. In August 2014, Shell Oil Company said it was finalizing its interests in four Nigerian oil fields.

 

Overseas remittances

Next to petrodollars, the second biggest source of foreign exchange earnings for Nigeria are remittances sent home by Nigerians living abroad. In 2014, 17.5 million Nigerians resided in foreign countries, with the UK and the USA having more than 2 million Nigerians each.
According to the International Organization for Migration, Nigeria witnessed a dramatic increase in remittances sent home from overseas Nigerians, going from USD 2.3 billion in 2004 to 17.9 billion in 2007. The United States accounts for the largest portion of official remittances, followed by the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Spain and France. On the African continent, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Libya and South Africa are important source countries of remittance flows to Nigeria, while China is the biggest remittance-sending country in Asia.

 

Services

Nigeria has one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world, major emerging market operators (like MTN, Etisalat, Zain and Globacom) basing their largest and most profitable centres in the country. The government has recently begun expanding this infrastructure to space based communications. Nigeria has a space satellite which is monitored at the Nigerian National Space Research and Development Agency Headquarters in Abuja.
Nigeria has a highly developed financial services sector, with a mix of local and international banks, asset management companies, brokerage houses, insurance companies and brokers, private equity funds and investment banks.

 

Mining

Nigeria also has a wide array of under exploited 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.

 

Manufacturing

Nigeria has a manufacturing industry which includes leather and textiles (centred Kano, Abeokuta, Onitsha, and Lagos), Nigeria currently has an indigenous auto manufacturing company; Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing located in Nnewi. It produces Buses and SUVs.car manufacturing (for the French car manufacturer Peugeot as well as for the English truck manufacturer Bedford, now a subsidiary of General Motors), t-shirts, plastics and processed food.
Nigeria in recent years has been embracing industrialization. It currently has an indigenous vehicle manufacturing company, Innoson Motors, which manufactures Rapid Transit Buses, Trucks and SUVs with an upcoming introduction of Cars. Nigeria also has few Electronic manufacturers like Zinox, the first Branded Nigerian Computer and Electronic gadgets (like tablet PCs) manufacturers. In 2013, Nigeria introduced a policy regarding import duty on vehicles to encourage local manufacturing companies in the country. In this regard, some foreign vehicle manufacturing companies like Nissan have made known their plans to have manufacturing plants in Nigeria. Ogun is considered to be the current Nigeria’s industrial hub, as most factories are located in Ogun and more companies are moving there, followed by Lagos.

 

Government satellites

The Nigerian government has commissioned the overseas production and launch of four satellites. The Nigeriasat-1 was the first satellite to be built under the Nigerian government sponsorship. The satellite was launched from Russia on 27 September 2003. Nigeriasat-1 was part of the world-wide Disaster Monitoring Constellation System.The primary objectives of the Nigeriasat-1 were: to give early warning signals of environmental disaster; to help detect and control desertification in the northern part of Nigeria; to assist in demographic planning; to establish the relationship between malaria vectors and the environment that breeds malaria and to give early warning signals on future outbreaks of meningitis using remote sensing technology; to provide the technology needed to bring education to all parts of the country through distant learning; and to aid in conflict resolution and border disputes by mapping out state and International borders.
NigeriaSat-2, Nigeria’s second satellite, was built as a high-resolution earth satellite by Surrey Space Technology Limited, a United Kingdom-based satellite technology company. It has 2.5-metre resolution panchromatic (very high resolution), 5-metre multispectral (high resolution, NIR red, green and red bands), and 32-metre multispectral (medium resolution, NIR red, green and red bands) antennas, with a ground receiving station in Abuja. The NigeriaSat-2 spacecraft alone was built at a cost of over £35 million. This satellite was launched into orbit from a military base in China.
NigComSat-1, a Nigerian satellite built in 2004, was Nigeria’s third satellite and Africa’s first communication satellite. It was launched on 13 May 2007, aboard a Chinese Long March 3 B carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China. The spacecraft was operated by NigComSat and the Nigerian Space Agency, NASRDA. On 11 November 2008, NigComSat-1 failed in orbit after running out of power because of an anomaly in its solar array. It was based on the Chinese DFH-4 satellite bus, and carries a variety of transponders: 4 C-band; 14 Ku-band; 8 Ka-band; and 2 L-band. It was designed to provide coverage to many parts of Africa, and the Ka-band transponders would also cover Italy.
On 10 November 2008 (0900 GMT), the satellite was reportedly switched off for analysis and to avoid a possible collision with other satellites. According to Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, it was put into “emergency mode operation in order to effect mitigation and repairs”. The satellite eventually failed after losing power on 11 November 2008.
On 24 March 2009, the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, NigComSat Ltd. and CGWIC signed another contract for the in-orbit delivery of the NigComSat-1R satellite. NigComSat-1R was also a DFH-4 satellite, and the replacement for the failed NigComSat-1 was successfully launched into orbit by China in Xichang on December 19, 2011. The satellite according to then-Nigerian President Good luck Jonathan which was paid for by the insurance policy on NigComSat-1 which de-orbited in 2009, would have a positive impact on national development in various sectors such as communications, internet services, health, agriculture, environmental protection and national security.

 

Ethnic groups

Nigeria has more than 500 ethnic groups, with varying languages and customs, creating a country of rich ethnic diversity. The largest ethnic groups are the Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and Fulani, accounting for more than 70% of the population, while the Edo, Ijaw, Kanuri, Ibibio, Ebira, Nupe, Gwari, Itsekiri, Jukun, Urhobo,Igala, Idoma and Tiv comprise between 25 and 30%; other minorities make up the remaining 5%.
The middle belt of Nigeria is known for its diversity of ethnic groups, including the Pyem, Goemai, and Kofyar. The official population count of each of Nigeria’s ethnicities has always remained controversial and disputed as members of different ethnic groups believe the census is rigged to give a particular group (usually believed to be northern groups) numerical superiority.
There are small minorities of British, American, East Indian, Chinese (est. 50,000), white Zimbabwean, Japanese, Greek, Syrian and Lebanese immigrants in Nigeria. Immigrants also include those from other West African or East African nations. These minorities mostly reside in major cities such as Lagos and Abuja, or in the Niger Delta as employees for the major oil companies. A number of Cubans settled in Nigeria as political refugees following the Cuban Revolution.
In the middle of the 19th century, a number of ex-slaves of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian descent and emigrants from Sierra Leone established communities in Lagos and other regions of Nigeria. Many ex-slaves came to Nigeria following the emancipation of slaves in the Americas. Many of the immigrants, sometimes called Saros (immigrants from Sierra Leone) and Amaro (ex-slaves from Brazil) later became prominent merchants and missionaries in these cities.

 

Languages

There are 521 languages that have been spoken in Nigeria (nine of which are now extinct).
In some areas of Nigeria, ethnic groups speak more than one language. The official language of Nigeria, English, was chosen to facilitate the cultural and linguistic unity of the country, owing to the influence of British colonization that ended in 1960.
Many French speakers from surrounding countries have influenced the English spoken in the border regions of Nigeria and some Nigerian citizens have become fluent enough in French to work in the surrounding countries. The French spoken in Nigeria may be mixed with some native languages but is mostly spoken like the French spoken in Benin. French may also be mixed with English as it is in Cameroon. Most of the population speaks English and their native language.
The major languages spoken in Nigeria represent three major families of languages of Africa: the majority are Niger-Congo languages, such as Igbo, Yoruba and Fulfulde;Kanuri, spoken in the northeast, primarily in Borno and Yobe State, is part of the Nilo-Saharanfamily; and Hausa is an Afroasiatic language.
Even though most ethnic groups prefer to communicate in their own languages, English as the official language is widely used for education, business transactions and for official purposes. English as a first language is used only by a small minority of the country’s urban elite, and it is not spoken at all in some rural areas. Hausa is the most widely spoken of the 3 main languages spoken in Nigeria itself (Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba) but unlike the Yorubas and Igbos, the Hausas tend not to travel far outside Nigeria itself.
With the majority of Nigeria’s populace in the rural areas, the major languages of communication in the country remain indigenous languages. Some of the largest of these, notably Yoruba and Igbo, have derived standardised languages from a number of different dialects and are widely spoken by those ethnic groups. Nigerian Pidgin English, often known simply as ‘Pidgin’ or ‘Broken’ (Broken English), is also a popular lingua franca, though with varying regional influences on dialect and slang. The pidgin English or Nigerian English is widely spoken within the Niger Delta Regions, predominately in Warri, Sapele, Port Harcourt, Agenebode, Ewu, and Benin City.

 

 

Health

Health care delivery in Nigeria is a concurrent responsibility of the three tiers of government in the country, and the private sector. Nigeria has been reorganising its health system since the Bamako Initiative of 1987, which formally promoted community-based methods of increasing accessibility of drugs and health care services to the population, in part by implementing user fees. The new strategy dramatically increased accessibility through community-based healthcare reform, resulting in more efficient and equitable provision of services. A comprehensive approach strategy was extended to all areas of health care, with subsequent improvement in the health care indicators and improvement in health care efficiency and cost.
HIV/AIDS rate in Nigeria is much lower compared to the other African nations such as Kenyaor South Africa whose prevalence (percentage) rates are in the double digits. As of 2012, the HIV prevalence rate among adults ages 15–49 was just 3.1 percent. As of 2014, life expectancy in Nigeria is 52.62 years on average according to CIA, and just over half the population have access to potable water and appropriate sanitation; As of 2010, the Infant mortality is 8.4 deaths per 1000 live births.
Nigeria was the only country in Africa to have never eradicated polio, which it periodically exported to other African countries; Polio was cut 98% between 2009 and 2010. However, a major breakthrough came in December 2014, when it was reported that Nigeria hadn’t recorded a polio case in 6 months, and on its way to be declared Polio free.[183][184] In 2012, a new bone marrow donor program was launched by the University of Nigeria to help people with leukaemia, lymphoma, or sickle cell disease to find a compatible donor for a life-saving bone marrow transplant, which cures them of their conditions. Nigeria became the second African country to have successfully carried out this surgery. In the 2014 ebola outbreak, Nigeria was the first country to effectively contain and eliminate the Ebola threat that was ravaging three other countries in the West African region, the Nigerian unique method of contact tracing employed by Nigeria became an effective method later used by countries such as the United States, when ebola threats were discovered.
The Nigerian health care system is continuously faced with a shortage of doctors known as ‘brain drain’, because of emigration by skilled Nigerian doctors to North America and Europe. In 1995, it was estimated that 21,000 Nigerian doctors were practicing in the United States alone, which is about the same as the number of doctors working in the Nigerian public service. Retaining these expensively trained professionals has been identified as one of the goals of the government.

 

Crime

Nigeria is home to a substantial network of organised crime, active especially in drug trafficking. Nigerian criminal groups are heavily involved in drug trafficking, shipping heroin from Asian countries to Europe and America; and cocaine from South America to Europe and South Africa. . The various Nigerian Confraternities or “campus cults” are active in both organised crime and in political violence as well as providing a network of corruption within Nigeria. As confraternities have extensive connections with political and military figures, they offer excellent alumni networking opportunities. The Supreme Vikings Confraternity, for example, boasts that twelve members of the Rivers State House of Assemblyare cult members. On lower levels of society, there are the “area boys”, organised gangs mostly active in Lagos who specialise in mugging and small-scale drug dealing. According to official statistics, gang violence in Lagos resulted in 273 civilians and 84 policemen killed in the period of August 2000 to May 2001.
Internationally, Nigeria is infamous for a form of bank fraud dubbed 419, a type of advance fee fraud (named after Section 419 of the Nigerian Penal Code) along with the “Nigerian scam”, a form of confidence trick practiced by individuals and criminal syndicates.These scams involve a complicit Nigerian bank (the laws being set up loosely to allow it) and a scammer who claims to have money he needs to obtain from that bank. The victim is talked into exchanging bank account information on the premise that the money will be transferred to him, and then he’ll get to keep a cut. In reality, money is taken out instead, and/or large fees (which seem small in comparison with the imaginary wealth he awaits) are deducted. In 2003, the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (or EFCC) was created, ostensibly to combat this and other forms of organised financial crime.
There is also some major piracy in Nigeria, with attacks directed at all types of vessels. Consistent with the rise of Nigeria as an increasingly dangerous hot spot, 28 of the 30 seafarers kidnapped as of January–June 2013 were in Nigeria. Additionally, the single death to date in 2013 occurred in Nigeria.
Nigeria has also been pervaded by political corruption. It was ranked 143 out of 182 countries in Transparency International’s 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index; however, it improved to 136th position in 2014. More than $400 billion were stolen from the treasury by Nigeria’s leaders between 1960 and 1999. In late 2013, Nigeria’s then central bank governor Lamido Sanusi informed President Goodluck Jonathan that the state oil company, NNPC had failed to remit US$20 billion of oil revenues, which it owed the state. Jonathan however dismissed the claim and replaced Sanusi for his mismanagement of the central bank’s budget. A Senate committee also found Sanusi’s account to be lacking substance. After the conclusion of the NNPC’s account Audit, it was announced in January 2015 that NNPC’s non-remitted revenue is actually US$1.48billion, which it needs to refund back to the Government.

 

Cuisine

Nigerian cuisine, like West African cuisine in general, is known for its richness and variety. Many different spices, herbs and flavourings are used in conjunction with palm oil or groundnut oil to create deeply flavoured sauces and soups often made very hot with chili peppers. Nigerian feasts are colourful and lavish, while aromatic market and roadside snacks cooked on barbecues or fried in oil are plentiful and varied.

 

Sport

A friendly match between Nigeria and Algeria at the Abuja National Stadium, in 2004
Football is largely considered the Nigeria’s national sport and the country has its own Premier League of football. Nigeria’snational football team, known as the “Super Eagles”, has made the World Cup on five occasions 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, and most recently in 2014. In April 1994, the Super Eagles ranked 5th in the FIFA World Rankings, the highest ranking achieved by an African football team. They won the African Cup of Nations in 1980, 1994, and 2013, and have also hosted the U-17 & U-20 World Cup. They won the gold medal for football in the 1996 Summer Olympics (in which they beat Argentina) becoming the first African football team to win gold in Olympic Football.
The nation’s cadet team from Japan ’93 produced some international players notably Nwankwo Kanu, a two-time African Footballer of the year who won the European Champions League with Ajax Amsterdam and later played with Inter Milan,Arsenal, West Bromwich Albion and Portsmouth. Other players that graduated from the junior teams are Nduka Ugbade,Jonathan Akpoborie, Victor Ikpeba, Celestine Babayaro, Wilson Oruma and Taye Taiwo. Some other famous Nigerian footballers include John Obi Mikel, Obafemi Martins, Vincent Enyeama, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Rashidi Yekini, Peter Odemwingieand Jay-Jay Okocha.
According to the official May 2010 FIFA World Rankings, Nigeria was the second top-ranked football nation in Africa and the 21st highest in the world. Nigeria is also involved in other sports such as basketball, cricket and track and field. Boxing is also an important sport in Nigeria; Dick Tiger andSamuel Peter are both former World Champions.
Nigeria’s national basketball team made the headlines internationally when it qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics as it beat heavily favoured world elite teams such asGreece and Lithuania. Nigeria has been home to numerous internationally recognised basketball players in the world’s top leagues in America, Europe and Asia. These players include Basketball Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, and later NBA draft picks Solomon Alabi, Yinka Dare, Obinna Ekezie, Festus Ezeli and Olumide Oyedeji.

 

Societal issues

Despite its vast government revenue from the mining of petroleum, Nigeria is faced by a number of societal issues, owing primarily to a history of inefficiency in its governance.

 

Human rights

Nigeria’s human rights record remains poor; According to the US Department of State, the most significant human rights problems are: use of excessive force by security forces; impunity for abuses by security forces; arbitrary arrests; prolonged pretrial detention; judicial corruption and executive influence on the judiciary; rape, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners, detainees and suspects; harsh and life‑threatening prison and detention centre conditions; human trafficking for the purpose of prostitution and forced labour; societal violence and vigilante killings; child labour, child abuse and child sexual exploitation; female genital mutilation (FGM); domestic violence; discrimination based on sex, ethnicity, region and religion.
Child marriage remains common in Northern Nigeria. Under the Shari’a penal code that applies to Muslims in twelve northern states, offences such as alcohol consumption,homosexuality, infidelity and theft carry harsh sentences, including amputation, lashing, stoning and long prison terms.
Under a law signed early 2014, same-sex couples who marry face up to 14 years each in prison. Witnesses or anyone who helps gay couples marry will be sentenced to 10 years behind bars. The bill also punishes the “public show of same-sex amorous relationships directly or indirectly” with ten years in prison. Another portion of the bill mandates 10 years in prison for those found guilty of organizing, operating or supporting gay clubs, organisations and meetings.

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