Fast Facts About Nigeria
|Area:||923000 square kilometres|
|Languages:||English, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba|
|Location:||West Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea and bordered by Benin in the west, Niger in the north and Cameroon in the east|
|Religion:||Predominantly Muslim but with a significant Christian population|
A former British colony, it gained independence in 1960. It has a federal system of government and consists of 36 states as well as the federal Capital Territory, administered by the central government. A chequered political history and varying degrees of economic management make finding accurate economic and business statistics difficult. But Nigeria is a potentially wealthy country, more so since the discovery of significant oil and gas reserves in the Niger Delta area, with Port Harcourt as the hub.
Lagos, the former capital, with 11 million people making it the 17th largest city in the world remains the commercial and business centre of the country. Rich soils support thriving agricultural communities, producing millet, cassava and yams for local consumption. Export crops include cocoa, of which is the world's fourth largest shipper, and groundnuts.
Nigeria has a mix of good arable land, rainforest, savannah plains, a relatively dry northern area which is part the Sahel (the southern fringe of the Sahara Desert) and, being on the Gulf of Guinea gives Nigeria some excellent beaches. A mountainous area in the south east has a consequent temperate climate.
Indeed, the Obudu Hills, near Calabar in Cross River State, has one of the world's most bio-diverse areas, particularly as far as the variety and abundance of birdlife is concerned. The area, and part of neighbouring Cameroon, is home to the drill monkey, which is not found anywhere else. (Would you like to visit the Obudu Mountains? Stay at Obudu Mountain Resort)
As with other countries, it is the people who make it. The visitor will be amazed by the rich literary history and culture of music and dance obvious in this vast and diverse country.
It is estimated that human habitation in Nigeria goes back to 9000 BC and that the Cross River State area was home to the Bantu people who, over the centuries, spread throughout central and southern Africa.