Republic of Nigeria
|Form of government
|Telephone area code
Nigeria has an area of 923,768 km2 and is located
on the west coast of Africa. It is the most populous
country on the continent. The country borders Niger and
Chad in the north, Cameroon in the east, the Gulf of
Guinea in the south and Benin in the west .
In the middle of the flat coastal region lies the
great delta of the Niger, which connected further north
with the course of the Benue and flows here into the
Gulf of Guinea. The swamps and mangrove forests reach
more than 100 km in the hinterland. Further north, the
country gradually rises to the northern Nigerian
plateau: in the middle is the Bauchi Plateau (up to
approx. 1,200 m), on which the Jos Mountains (up to
1,780 m) lie. In the far north there is a semi-arid
zone. The Bornu plateau in the northeast descends to
Lake Chad, in the northeast are the foothills of the
Adamawa highlands with Nigeria's highest mountain, Vogel
Peak at 2,042 m. The largest city in the country with
around 8.8 million residents in the urban area is Lagos
on the Gulf of Guinea, which was also the capital of
Nigeria until 1991 (since 1991 Abuja ).
The climate in Nigeria is tropical, with
precipitation decreasing strongly from the hot, humid
south to the north: around 800 mm are measured annually
in Kano in the north and around 1,800 mm in Lagos on the
Gulf of Guinea. The southeastern part of the coast with
up to 3,000 mm is one of the rainiest areas in Africa.
In the southern part of the country the rainy season
lasts from April to November, in the north it is around
two months shorter. In the extreme north of the country,
the dry climate of the Sahel region prevails.
Flora and fauna
According to the very different amounts of
precipitation, there are different vegetation zones in
Nigeria. Mangrove forests and swamps predominate in the
coastal areas. Large parts of the tropical rainforest,
which mainly occurred in the southeast of the country,
was cleared for agriculture and wood processing (e.g.
mahogany, iroko) and replaced by oil palm forests.
Towards the north there is a wet savannah with tall
grass and baobab and carob trees. There are only a few
trees left in the dry savannah further north, e.g. on
the rivers. Acacia and dump palms are found in the arid
northeast (Chad basin). Nigeria is estimated to have
lost over 80% of its original forest area. The remaining
stocks have meanwhile been declared nature reserves or
are located in game and national parks (such as
Kainjisee National Park), but the protective measures do
not seem to be sufficient or are given too little
The once very diverse wildlife of Nigeria has been
greatly decimated due to the restriction of its habitat.
Species from the tropical rainforest are particularly
affected. These include, for example, forest elephants,
African wild dogs, various types of monkeys (such as
mandrill, gorilla), vervet monkeys, forest buffalos,
okapis, leopards and brush pigs. Various types of
antelope, giraffes, crocodiles and hippos live in the
savannah. The bird life in Nigeria includes various
species of parrots, birds of prey and blessings.
An estimated 129 million people live in Nigeria; the
state is the most populous country on the African
continent. The residents belong to over 250 different
ethnic groups. The most significant are the peoples of
Haussa and Fulani in the north of the country with a
total of 30%, the Yoruba (Joruba) with 21% in the
southwest and the Ibo (18%) and Ibibio in the southeast.
Each of these groups has its own language and culture.
The official language is English, but not all Nigerians
speak it fluently.
According to COUNTRYAAH, 50% of the population are followers of Islam,
most of whom live in the north of the country.
Christianity predominates in the south, around a quarter
of the total population is Protestant and around 12% is
Catholic. In addition, natural religions and various
forms of Christianity are practiced. The conflict
between the Islamic peoples of the north and the
Christian peoples of the south, which continues to lead
to bloody conflicts in the country today, has a
The literacy rate in Nigeria is estimated at just
under 68% (around 30% in 1970). Primary schools are
often difficult to reach for the rural population.
Secondary schools are offered, but only around a fifth
of all elementary school children take part. The
population growth is a high 2.35%, despite the poor
medical care of the population. Infant mortality is 10%;
Due to the large number of people infected with HIV
(5.5%) and the spread of other infectious diseases such
as hepatitis, malaria and meningitis, the average life
expectancy is only 47 years.
A new constitution entered into force in 1999 in the
presidential Federal Republic of Nigeria. Since May
2010, President and Head of Government has been Goodluck
Jonathan, who was elected by the people for four years
(one-time re-election possible).
The legislature lies with the National Assembly,
which consists of two chambers: the Senate has 109
seats, with each state providing three senators and the
capital Abuja one senator; the members are elected for
four years. The 360 members of the House of
Representatives also remain in office for four years.
Sharia law (Islamic law) is practiced in twelve of
Nigeria's 36 states, although it is not recognized by
the national government. The legal system practiced in
the other states is based on British common law.
The economy of Nigeria suffered severe losses in the
years of military rule due to corruption and
mismanagement. Formerly an exporter of food, the country
is now dependent on imports to meet demand. Above all,
the industrialization and diversification of the economy
continue to be prevented by the poorly developed
infrastructure, corruption, the unrest that breaks out
again and again and the poor economic policy of the
government. The necessary reform of the state oil sector
is still pending. Two thirds of the population still
live in poverty.
Almost two thirds of the population are employed in
the agricultural sector, which, however, mostly
represents a pure subsistence economy. Agricultural
products include yams, kidney beans, cassava, cocoa and
The banking sector, telecommunications, IT,
construction, retail and wholesale as well as the
entertainment industry are considered to be promising
growth engines. However, the Nigerian economy is still
largely based on the extraction and export of oil, which
accounts for around 90% of export earnings. The
industry, which is primarily concerned with the
processing of crude oil, employs only a tenth of the
Nigerian population, but generates 34% of the gross
domestic product (GDP). The country also has deposits of
natural gas, tin, hard coal and brown coal, gold and
iron ore, some of which have not yet been mined.
Nigeria's other export goods include cocoa, palm oil,
peanuts and rubber; The customers are the USA, India and
Brazil. In addition to food, machines, chemical products
and consumer goods imported from the United States,
China and Brazil.
The road network is 200,000 kilometers long, of which
60,000 kilometers are paved. The rail network amounts to
3.505 kilometers. There are eleven international
Currency is the naira.