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Motto: "Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress"
Anthem: Arise, O Compatriots
File:United States Navy Band - "Arise O, Compatriots".oga
Location of  Nigeria  (dark blue)– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)– in the African Union  (light blue)
Location of  Nigeria  (dark blue)

– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)
– in the African Union  (light blue)

9°4′N 7°29′E / 9.067°N 7.483°E / 9.067; 7.483
Largest city Lagos
Official languages English
Major languages
Other languages[1]
Demonym Nigerian
Government Federal presidential republic
 -  President Goodluck Jonathan
 -  Vice President Namadi Sambo
Legislature National Assembly
 -  Upper house Senate
 -  Lower house House of Representatives
Independence from the United Kingdom
 -  Unification of Southern and Northern Nigeria 1914 
 -  Declared and recognized 1 October 1960 
 -  Republic declared 1 October 1963 
 -  Total 923,768 km2 (32nd)
356,667 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 1.4
 -  2012 estimate 170,123,740[2] (7th)
 -  2006 census 140,431,790
 -  Density 184.2/km2 (71st)
477.0/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2012 estimate
 -  Total $448.495 billion[3] (30th)
 -  Per capita $2,722[3]
GDP (nominal) 2012 estimate
 -  Total $268.708 billion[3] (37th)
 -  Per capita $1,657.292[3]
Gini (2010)48.8[4]
HDI (2012)Increase 0.471[5]
low · 153rd
Currency Naira (₦) (NGN)
Time zone WAT (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+1)
Drives on the right
Calling code +234
Internet TLD .ng

Nigeria is a country in west Africa. It has a population of 154,729,000, which is more than any other country in Africa. The capital of Nigeria is Abuja. Nigeria is known for being a large country, and the most wealthy in Africa.[6]


From the 1500s to the 1800s, many people from the land now called Nigeria (and other parts of West Africa) were taken away and turned into slaves by Europeans, and they were sent to work in the Americas. These slaves were bought and sold in the Americas by Europeans who lived there. Today, many people related to those slaves still live in America, though they are no longer slaves. They are called African-Americans.

From 1901 to 1960, the United Kingdom ruled Nigeria. However, by 1960 the people wanted independence very much, and Britain finally let them have it. For some time after this, Nigeria was a dictatorship, where the leaders stayed in control even if many people disliked them. At this time, Nigeria had a big war called the Biafra War with Christian Igbo people who wanted their own country in the East. They did not want to be a part of Nigeria, which was ruled by a Muslim, and they wanted their own country called "Biafra". They did not get their country, and hundreds of thousands of people were killed.

In 1999, Nigeria became a democracy, where people choose their leaders. After that, Olusegun Obasanjo, a Yoruba Christian from the south, became President. In 2007, Umaru Yar'Adua, a Hausa Muslim, was elected to be the next President. Yar'Adua died in May, 2009. Goodluck Jonathan, the vice president, then became president.

Since 2002, there have been a battles in the north of the country. The battles are between government troops and the Islamist group Boko Haram. This group wants to have Sharia law for the country.[7]


Nigeria has a total area of 923,768 km2 (356,669 sq mi).[8] It is the world's 32nd-largest country. It shares a border with Benin (773 km), Niger (1497 km), Chad (87 km) and Cameroon (1690 km). It has a coastline of at least 853 km.[9]

The Zuma Rock near Suleja

The highest point in Nigeria is Chappal Waddi at 2,419 m (7,936 ft). The main rivers are the Niger and the Benue River. They come together and empty into the Niger Delta, one of the world's largest river deltas. It is the location of a large area of Central African Mangroves.


These are the cities in Nigeria with over 1 million people as of 2012.

City Population
Lagos 11,547,000
Kano 3,466,000
Ibadan 3,028,000
Abuja 2,245,000
Port Harcourt 1,947,000
Kaduna 1,566,000
Benin City 1,398,000
Zaria 1,075,000


In Nigeria, there are almost equal amounts of Muslims and Christians. Most of the Christians live in the south, and most of the Muslims live in the north. Contrary to some beliefs, the Nigerian civil war was not only attributed to religious intolerance. The war which took place between 6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970, was a political conflict caused by the attempted secession of the southeastern provinces of Nigeria as the self-proclaimed Republic of Biafra. The conflict was the result of economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria.

Natural resources

Nigeria produces a large amount of oil, and some fighting has been going on because many people want a share of the oil profits. This fighting has been happening in the area called the Niger Delta, where the Niger River flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

The largest city in Nigeria is Lagos. Nigeria has both grasslands and rainforests, and can get very hot, because it is close to the Equator.


Nigerian cuisine, like West African cuisine in general, is known for its richness and variety. Many different spices, herbs and flavourings are used along with palm oil or groundnut oil. These make deeply flavoured sauces and soups often made very hot with chili peppers. Nigerian feasts are colourful and lavish. Good smelling market and roadside snacks cooked on barbecues or fried in oil are plentiful and varied.[10]


Association football is Nigeria's national sport. The country has its own Premier League of football. Nigeria's national football team, known as the Super Eagles, has made the World Cup four times. These were in 1994, 1998, 2002, and most recently in 2010. They won the African Cup of Nations in 1980 and 1994. They also hosted the Junior World Cup. They won the gold medal for football in the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Nigeria is also involved in other sports such as basketball, cricket and track and field.[11] Boxing is also an important sport in Nigeria; Dick Tiger and Samuel Peter are both former World Champions.

Other pages


  1. "Languages of Nigeria". Ethnologue. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
  2. "Africa :: Nigeria". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency (United States).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Nigeria". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  4. "Gini Index". World Bank. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
  5. "International Human Development Indicators". UNDP. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  7. From Cultural Justice to Inter-Ethnic Mediation, Basil Ugorji - 2012
  8. "Rank Order – Area". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  9. "Africa :: Nigeria". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  10. H.O. Anthonio & M. Isoun: "Nigerian Cookbook". Macmillan, Lagos, 1982.
  11. "Nigerian Basketball". 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  1. CIA website