Nigeria – Federal Republic of Nigeria, a state in West Africa

Nigeria

The country is located in the western part of the Plurinational State of Nigeria (the English acronym for Nigeria [naɪˈdʒɪrɪə]); the Federal Republic of Nigeria (ɪrɪə), is a state in West Africa bordered by Benin. It is bordered by Benin to the west, Niger to the north, Chad to the northeast and Cameroon to the east. The area is 923.768 km². The population is 152 million (2011). Nigeria is the most populous state in Africa, ranking only 14th on the continent in terms of land area. The capital is Abuja.

Contents

History

On October 1, 1960 Nigeria became an independent state. The first government of an independent Nigeria was based on a coalition of the NCNC and NCP parties, with Abubakar Tafawa Balewa of the NCP as prime minister. After the declaration of Nigeria as a republic in 1963, Nnamdi Azikiwe (a representative of the NSNG) became president. The opposition was represented by the Action Group led by Obafemi Awolowo. The regional governments were headed by: in the North by the leader of the NCK, Ahmadu Bello, in the West by S. Akintola of the Action Group and in the East by M. Okpara of the NSNG. In 1963, a fourth region, the Midwestern Region, was formed in the eastern part of Western Nigeria. In 1964 elections in that region were won by the NSNG.

In January 1966, a group of Igbo officers led a military coup. The brief period of the “first republic” ended. The military attempted to establish a unitary state in Nigeria, divided into provinces. Northern Nigerian Muslims saw the coup as a threat to their interests, and inter-ethnic clashes erupted across the country. In late July, military units composed of Northern soldiers staged a new military coup. A lieutenant colonel (later a general), Yakubu Gowon (who ruled from 1966 to 1975) became head of state. The persecution of Igbo in the north resumed, with thousands killed, leading to mass Igbo flight to the east, their attempts to establish the Biafra state, and the civil war of 1967-1970. The country reverted to a federal system.

The civil war of 1967-1970.

The country’s political parties were banned from 1966-1978, 1984-1989, and 1993-1998. In 1975 Gowon was overthrown by a group of officers under the leadership of Murtala Mohammed, who was known for his intolerance of corruption and indiscipline; it is believed that the program against these phenomena in society which he promulgated and launched might have yielded worthwhile results, but Mohammed himself was killed in February 1976 in another, this time failed, coup attempt organized by Lt. Colonel B. S. Dimka. His successor, Olusegun Obasanjo, handed over power, as originally intended, to a civilian government headed by Shehu Shagari, elected under highly questionable circumstances.

In 1979 a new constitution was adopted, marking the beginning of the “second republic.

In 1983, the Shagari administration, steeped in corruption and despotism, was overthrown by a new group of military officers, who led the country virtually uninterruptedly for a decade and a half. Elections were held in 1993, but the winning Yoruba, Moshood Abiola, was rejected by the military, mostly of northern ethnic origin.

“The Fourth Republic.”

In 1998, as the military dictator Sani Abacha was preparing to run for president, Abacha died and his successor, Abdusalam Abubakar, handed over power to civilians. A retired general from the Christian community, Olusegun Obasanjo, won the presidential election. There was an interfaith consensus that representatives of the Muslim and Christian community should succeed each other as president. Obasanjo served two terms in office and tried through various manipulations to have the constitution amended so that he could run for a third term, but was unsuccessful. But his protégé, the Muslim Umaru Yar’Adua, was elected as the new president in 2007.

In 2003 there was an outbreak of unrest in Plateau state. [1]

In 2006, there was intercommunal violence between Hausa Muslims and Christians in Nigeria. Over a hundred people were killed in clashes during February. [2] In September, sectarian clashes occurred in Jigawa state. [3]

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In November 2008, riots between Muslims and Christians erupted again in the town of Jos, with about 300 victims. The reason for the riots was the victory in local elections of a Muslim party representing the interests of the Hausa people. [4]

On January 13, 2010, a federal court in Nigeria handed over the presidency to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan because the previously elected president, Umaru Yar-Adua, was undergoing lengthy treatment in Saudi Arabia. On February 9, 2010, the Nigerian Senate confirmed the transfer of powers.

In March 2010, Jonathan dissolved the cabinet he had inherited from the previous president and proceeded to appoint new ministers, causing discontent among Umaru Yar’Adua’s supporters. [5]

In March 2010, bloody clashes between Christians and Muslims in Plateau Province ( Plateau ) killed more than 500 people. [6]

On May 5, 2010, President Umaru Yar’Adua died at the age of 58 in his villa in the Nigerian capital, where he had returned in February after a course of treatment abroad. [7]

On May 6, 2010, Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as Nigeria’s new president. He remained in office until the end of his deceased predecessor’s term. On April 16, 2011, Nigeria held a presidential election, which was won by incumbent President Jonathan. [8]

Geographical Information

General geography

Nigeria is located in West Africa on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea and covers an area of 923,768 km²,[9] being the 32nd country in the world and the 14th in Africa in terms of territory. It has a total length of 4,047 km: with Benin (773 km) in the west, with Niger (1,497 km) in the north, with Chad (87 km) in the northeast, with Cameroon (1,690 km) in the east; the coastline is 853 km [9].

The country’s highest point is Mount Chapal Waddy (2,419 m) [9] located in Taraba state near the Nigerian-Cameroonian border.

The Niger and Benue rivers divide the country into two parts: the southern part is the Coastal Plain and the northern part is dominated by low plateaus. Much of the country is occupied by the Maritime Plain, formed mainly by river sediment. In the west, there is a chain of sand spits along the coast, which connect to each other and to the Gulf of Guinea.

To the north of the Maritime Plain, the territory of the country passes into a low plateau – the Yoruba Plateau to the west of the Niger River and the Udi Plateau to the east. Then lies the Northern Plateau, the height of which varies from 400-600 m to more than 1000 m. The highest point is the central part of the plateau – the Jos Plateau, the highest point of which is Mount Shere (1735 m). The Northern Plateau changes into the Sokoto Plain in the north-west and the Born Plain in the north-east

Cities

There are at least six cities in Nigeria with populations of over 1 million (Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Benin City). Lagos has more than 10 million people and is one of the largest cities in Africa and the world.

Government Structure

Formally, Nigeria is a multi-party republic, but it is also believed that in reality the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) controls almost all the levers of power. [10]

Legislature.

Bicameral National Assembly (the National Assembly) [11] .

The upper house is the Senate (109 seats). Senators are elected by a plurality majoritarian system in 36 three-mandate and one single-mandate district. The President of the Senate is elected indirectly from among the senators.

The lower house is the House of Representatives (360 seats). Deputies are elected by a majority relative majority system. The term of office of all deputies is 4 years.

73 seats in the Senate and 213 in the House of Representatives are controlled by the pro-president People’s Democratic Party (PDP) (centrists). The All People’s Party (conservatives) has 28 and 95 seats respectively.

Executive power

The president is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He is elected by direct universal secret ballot for 4 years and can hold office for not more than two consecutive terms. In May 2006 the Senate refused to approve a constitutional amendment allowing the president to be elected for a third term.

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Armed Forces

The total number of Nigeria’s Armed Forces is 85 thousand.

The Army has 67 thousand men, five divisions (two mechanized infantry, one tank, one amphibious assault and one amphibious assault brigade), and a guard brigade (stationed in the capital).

The Air Force – 10 thousand men (according to foreign experts, the air fleet is ineffective).

Naval forces – 8 thousand men, 1 frigate, 1 corvette, 2 missile launches, 3 patrol boats.

Foreign policy

On October 7, 1960, Nigeria was admitted to the United Nations[12] and has been a member of the Economic Commission for Africa and virtually all non-regional specialized agencies since then. It is also a member of the G-77, the African Union, and the World Trade Organization. Nigeria has been a member of OPEC since June 1971. Nigeria is also a member of several regional organizations – the Niger Basin Committee and the Lake Chad Basin Commission [13]. It is a member of the international organization of the ACP countries.

Administrative division

The territory of Nigeria is divided into 36 states and one Federal Capital Territory, which in turn are divided into 774 Local Government Areas (LGA) [14].

After independence in 1960, Nigeria consisted of three regions formed along ethno-religious lines: Northern (center – Kaduna, main population – Hausa), Western (center – Ibadan, main population – Yoruba) and Eastern (center – Enugu, main peoples – Igbo, Edo (Bini) and Ibibio). In 1963, the two provinces of the Western Region were transformed into the Midwestern Region.

In 1967 the provinces were disbanded and replaced by 12 states directly subordinate to the federal government (only the former Midwest Province escaped fragmentation). In 1976, 9 more states were formed, as well as a federal metropolitan area (now Abuja). Two new states were formed in 1987, 9 in 1991, and 6 in 1996 [14].

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa

Emblem of Nigeria, Nigeria

Emblem of Nigeria, Nigeria.

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. The number of people living here exceeds 200 million. At the same time, the state is located on a relatively small area, which amounts to about 1 million square kilometers.

The south of the country bordering the Gulf of Guinea, the northern part of it overlooks the coast of Lake Chad. Nigeria’s neighbors by land are Cameroon, Niger, Chad and Benin. Nigeria’s history is full of mystery and enigma: Scientists have discovered the remains of a population that were good farmers and knew how to work iron, even before our era.

Later came the state of Oyo; its founders were the Yoruba tribes. Their cultural flowering was dated around the 17th century AD. Until about 1960, it was ruled by the British: Nigeria was a colony, but today it’s a presidential republic. Its official language is English.

Did you know? The country got its name thanks to the Niger River, which flows on its territory. This river is one of the largest in Africa.

Climate of Nigeria

The climate in Nigeria is monsoon equatorial. The average temperature never drops below +25 ° C. In the northern part of the country the heat is in March and April, in the south in April, and the most rain and cold days are in August.

The Niger River delta receives the most rainfall, amounting to as much as 4,000 mm annually! The north-eastern part of the country needs more moisture than the rest – it receives just 500 mm of rainfall each year. The country is driest in winter because of the north wind, locally known as “harmattan”. The scorching heat during the day (up to +40 ° C), while at night the temperature drops below +10 ° C.

This is interesting! Did you know that Nigeria has surpassed Hollywood in the number of films made in a year? That’s right! It is firmly in second place in this category, behind only India and its Bollywood.

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Nature

Elephant, Nigeria

Elephant, Nigeria. Photo by Firstname sjw.

The natural beauty of Nigeria is colorful and natural. Tropical forests and endless savannahs occupy most of this African country. Tropical forests, where trees reach up to 45 meters in height, are found on the plains and in the river valleys.

The Niger River literally cuts the country in two: the southern part, where the Coastal Plain is located, and the northern part, a cluster of plateaus. The plain stretches from the western outskirts to the most easterly point.

In the north of the country, there are many stepped plateaus with peaks reaching a height of 2 or more kilometers (Vogel Peak, located on the Shebski Plateau, is one of such peaks). There you can also see the unusually shaped rocks rising above the hills of the plateau. In the northwestern part of the country, the plateau becomes a plain, which is the basin of Nigeria’s Sokoto River and bears its name. The north of the country, where rainfall is low, is rich in deciduous forests.

The forest has been noticeably thinned in recent times. Trees are mercilessly cut down and burned for fields. About half of Nigeria’s land area is occupied by savannah, of two kinds at once: tall grass and park. When the tropical rains come, both people and animals take refuge in the tall grass of the savannas. During periods of drought, the savannah fades and burns out from the scorching sun. The northeastern regions, which need water the most, are covered by the sparse vegetation of the Sahel savanna. But the coast of Lake Chad is a riot of color, with reeds, papyrus, and many other plants.

Nigeria’s fauna is also diverse. The country has many parks and protected areas where leopards, giraffes, elephants, a huge number of antelope and other animals live. Among them, you can find there a pygmy antelope called “dikdik”, which weighs no more than 3 kilograms. There are many rare animals in Nigeria. For example, there you can see herds of buffalo and scaly anteater, as well as representatives of the monkeys: lemurs, green monkeys, powerful gorillas and artistic chimpanzees. Birds have their own rich world. Especially many of them can be found near rivers – this is where the real kingdom of birds!

Residents of

Ibibio village, Nigeria

Ibibio Village, Nigeria.

About 200 species of peoples inhabit Nigeria. Each has its own language. First in number are the Tiv, Yorubo, Ibibio, and several others. Their culture, clothing and customs have long been one of the major attractions of Nigeria. Visitors are drawn to everything from handmade clothing to wooden and bronze objects that sell out in the blink of an eye.

Most Nigerians are now engaged in breeding domestic animals. The second most important occupation of the indigenous population is fishing.

Did you know? In the early 20th century, there was an incredibly popular sect among the country’s inhabitants who deliberately spread black pox among the rest of the population so that their god would become stronger.

Big Cities.

National Democracy Day Celebration, Abuja, Nigeria.

National Democracy Day celebration, Abuja, Nigeria. Photo by Paul Kagame.

The country has quite a few fairly large cities that still look like villages. The capital of the state is Abuja, although not so long ago it was Lagos. Since the country is constantly torn by conflicts on religious grounds, it was decided to move the capital to a calmer place.

The population of Abuja is 1.35 million people.

Lagos is the most populous city. It has about 10 million inhabitants. It was founded by Europeans about 400 years ago and during that time has managed to become the center of industry and a major port in Nigeria. There is a university, two major museums and several comfortable hotels. The city is located in the south, on the Gulf of Guinea.

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Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria. Photo by Israel Ofori.

Ibadan – has more than 5 million inhabitants. It is located next door to Lagos. It is home to the Yoruba, one of the country’s weaving, as well as wood and metal carving.

Ibadan, Nigeria

Ibadan, Nigeria. Photo by DerSpie.

Benin City is probably named for its association with the state Nigeria (Benin) borders. Its local population is about 2.5 million people. The city is famous for its national holidays.

Ife is a real city of craftsmen. Its museum contains many bronze and terracotta pieces, which attract tourists.

Kano is another stunning city. There is a huge mosque and an ancient palace, which once housed an emir. The city has about 2.5 thousand inhabitants. Their religion is Islam.

There are also Port Harcourt, Aba, Kaduna and many other towns, each with its own characteristic features and vivid personality.

The Economy

The country is not a rich country. In fact, Nigeria is one of the poorest countries in the world. The main source of income – oil production. Much of the profits go into the black business. More than half of Nigerians live below the poverty line.

Did you know? Nigeria is a country of swindlers. You can be cheated literally anywhere: in transport, at work and even at government level. Anything is stolen, and anything that can be stolen is stolen. That’s the way it is with the locals.

History

More than four thousand years ago, the northern tribes migrated to what is now the country. They came to be regarded as locals. The first large state created in Nigeria was Kanem-Bornu. It was founded at the end of the 8th century B.C. and was located in the northern part of Nigeria. By the 16th century, it was the most powerful state in Western Sudan.

In the south of modern Nigeria there were two prosperous countries, Benin and Oyo. Their economy was as strong as that of Kanem-Bornu, but because of the dense forests they had no connection with the sea, and agriculture was in decline due to a complete lack of horses. Benin prospered through the trade of live goods. Future slaves were supplied to the city from neighboring states and sold to Europeans.

In the 19th century, when the slave trade was abolished, internecine war broke out, after which most of the land was seized by Britain, which by 1904 fully controlled the country. So Nigeria became a British colony and was until 1954.

At present the country is a presidential republic. Its president in the 1999 election was Olusegun Obosanjo, a retired general.

This is interesting! Every year the city of Kaduna gathers all the Nigerian governors to hold polo competitions among them. A unique stadium was built here for this purpose.

Kaduna, Nigeria

Kaduna, Nigeria. Photo by Heather Kostaras.

Nigeria’s most beautiful places

National Mosque

National Mosque, Abuja, Nigeria

This grand building has become iconic. The mosque was built in 1984. It is open to tourists only when there are no prayers.

  • The mosque has four minarets – in each corner of the perimeter;
  • The presence of spiral staircases in each of the minarets;
  • The prayer hall has no columns; it is spacious and has golden domes on top;
  • There are lines from the Koran written on the mosque’s large chandelier;
  • there are offices, a library, and a museum within the structure.
Zuma Rock Zuma Rock

Zuma Rock, Nigeria

Zuma Rock, Nigeria. Photo by Jeff Atawai.

Represents an iconic stone monolith, also called the “gateway to Abuja.” It is so firmly entrenched in Nigerian culture that it has even been depicted on the country’s coins. Locals tell us that the stone holds mysterious powers. In any case, this monolith is an extraordinary phenomenon.

Millennium Park

Millennium Park, Abuja, Nigeria

Millennium Park, Abuja, Nigeria. Photo by Delondiny.

This park is one of the largest in the country. It is located next to the Abuja government offices complex. Queen Elizabeth II of England was the initiator of the opening of the park.

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The Millennium is divided into two compartments by the river. In this unique place you can study the fauna and flora of Nigeria. Butterfly and bird exhibits and numerous public entertainment complexes make the park attractive to tourists.

It’s interesting! The most bizarre animal, which is listed in the Red Book and lives in Nigeria, is the pangolin. The animal is unique in that its body is almost entirely covered with rigid scales. Obviously, this is a natural protection against predators. It is noticed that in moments of danger the animal curls into a rigid scaly ball, which is an impregnable fortress for enemies.

Kamukuf National Park

The park is located on a plain surrounded on all sides by mountains. The nature of Nigeria, its flora and fauna are widely represented here. You can see baboons, elephants, and giraffes, all accompanied by the heavenly singing of African birds.

Did you know. The Senegalese galago, which lives in Nigeria and belongs to the nocturnal primate species, actively uses facial expressions to communicate with its congeners. Just like humans!

Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove

Osun Osogbo Holy Grove, Nigeria

Osun Osogbo Sacred Grove, Nigeria. Photo by jbdodane.

This humid tropical forest is valuable to the Yoruba people because it contains a pantheon of their deities, which is still well preserved today. The forest also contains important works of art and antiquities worshipped by the Nigerian people.

In the grove there are 2 ancient palaces, 9 god-worshiping areas and 5 sacred sites.

Did you know. Mount Chaplain-Waldi is the highest point in Nigeria. Its altitude is 2,419 meters.

Arts and Crafts Village

An interesting place located in Abuja that gives tourists the opportunity to experience the full colors of the local color. There are a variety of crafts and directions of the cultural development of the country through the centuries.

Small stores offer a variety of goods:

  • masks;
  • jewelry;;
  • bags;
  • figurines.

Visitors are invited to try the national cuisine.

It’s interesting! Nigeria has its own National Space Agency. By 2013, the country is planning to launch its own astronaut into space.

Jos Museum

This cultural object has been successfully working since 1952. In it you can see:

  • sculptures;
  • original pottery;
  • woodwork decorated with carvings;
  • Various figurines of people and animals.

Some interesting facts about Nigeria

  • The first African to win the Nobel Prize was the Nigerian writer Shoyinka.
  • Russia is helping Nigeria build a nuclear power plant.
  • Of the hundred most successful people in Africa, 21 are from Nigeria.
  • The state currency of Nigeria is called “naira”.
  • About a third of all adults in the state are illiterate.
  • The average number of children in Nigerian families is 5.
  • In order to avoid conflicts between nationalities in the country there is an unspoken law among the authorities, according to which it is advisable to elect a Muslim and a Christian as a president in succession.
  • More than 1 million people from India work in Nigeria.
  • Nigeria is the most HIV-infected country on the mainland and the 3rd in the world. Statistics show that one in 30 of its residents has AIDS.
  • Nigeria exports almost only oil.
  • It is fashionable in the country to be overweight. Skinny people here are considered poor and sick, and prefer not to communicate with them.
  • Tourists from Nigeria are not allowed to take many products or flora and fauna out of the country. The amount of exported jewelry is also strictly regulated.

Although Nigeria still has few good roads, and its population centers sometimes suffer from a lack of basic amenities, the country captivates the traveler with its distinctive and colorful beauty. The state is developing rapidly, and the day is not far off when it may reach a good standard of living not only for the elite, but also for each and every one of its inhabitants.

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Nigeria on the world map. Map.

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. Sunrise 05-09-2022 at 05:54 GMT Sunset at 17:32 GMT

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