Background: British influence and control over what would become Nigeria and Africa's most populous country grew through the 19th century. A series of constitutions after World War II granted Nigeria greater autonomy; independence came in 1960. Following nearly 16 years of military rule, a new constitution was adopted in 1999, and a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed. The government continues to face the daunting task of reforming a petroleum-based economy, whose revenues have been squandered through corruption and mismanagement, and institutionalizing democracy. In addition, Nigeria continues to experience longstanding ethnic and religious tensions. Although both the 2003 and 2007 presidential elections were marred by significant irregularities and violence, Nigeria is currently experiencing its longest period of civilian rule since independence. The general elections of April 2007 marked the first civilian-to-civilian transfer of power in the country's history. In January 2010, Nigeria assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2010-11 term.
Location: Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Benin and Cameroon
Area land: 910,768 sq km
Area water: 13,000 sq km
Coastline: 853 km
Country name conventional long form: Federal Republic of Nigeria
Country name conventional short form: Nigeria
Country name former: Federal Republic of Nigeria
Age structure: 0-14 years: 40.9% (male 32,476,681/female 31,064,539); 15-64 years: 55.9% (male 44,296,228/female 42,534,542); 65 years and over: 3.1% (male 2,341,228/female 2,502,355) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 1.935% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 35.51 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 16.06 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female; total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 91.54 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 97.42 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 85.31 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 47.56 years; male: 46.76 years; female: 48.41 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 4.73 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 3.6% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 3.3 million (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 220,000 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Nigerian(s); adjective: Nigerian;
Ethnic groups: Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups; the following are the most populous and politically influential: Hausa and Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, Tiv 2.5%;
Religions: Muslim 50%, Christian 40%, indigenous beliefs 10%;
Languages: English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani, over 500 additional indigenous languages;
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 68%; male: 75.7%; female: 60.6% (2003 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $369.8 billion (2010 est.); $346.2 billion (2009 est.); $327.9 billion (2008 est.);
GDP (official exchange rate): $206.7 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 6.8% (2010 est.); 5.6% (2009 est.); 6% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $2,400 (2010 est.); $2,300 (2009 est.); $2,200 (2008 est.);
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 31.9%; industry: 32.9%; services: 35.2% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 70% (2007 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2%; highest 10%: 32.4% (2004);
Labor force: 48.33 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 70%; industry: 10%; services: 20% (1999 est.);
Unemployment rate: 4.9% (2007 est.); ;
Budget: revenues: $18.16 billion; expenditures: $29.55 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: crude oil, coal, tin, columbite; rubber products, wood; hides and skins, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food products, footwear, chemicals, fertilizer, printing, ceramics, steel;
Industrial production growth rate: 4% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 21.92 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 19.21 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);
Statistics: CIA World Factbook.
(Liberal, independent), Lagos
Displaying 1 to 4 of 49 items.
In Nigeria, Mexico, Iraq, Russia and Indonesia, billions of dollars of oil are being stolen, causing serious problems for governments and corporations.
The kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls should be the last straw. Nigeria must decisively end the menace of the insurgency group Boko Haram.
International efforts are being made to address Africa's energy deficiencies by developing renewable energy sources on a grand scale.
Over the next four years, Nigeria's leaders have an opportunity to address a host of issues that have plagued the country both domestically and in terms of foreign policy.