Nigeria is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. The country is known as federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Nigeria has its origins in the British colonization of the region during the late nineteenth to early twentieth century’s; it emerged from the combination of two neighbouring British protectorates that is Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate.
Nigeria got its independence in 1960 but plunged into civil war several years later. It has since alternated between democratically-elected civilian governments and military dictatorships with its 2011 presidential elections being viewed as the first to be conducted reasonably freely and fairly.
Nigeria is often referred to as the “Giant of Africa”, due to its large population and economy of approximately 174 million inhabitants. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh-most populous country in the world.
The country is inhabited by over 500 ethnic groups of which the three largest are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. Nigeria is roughly divided in half between Christians who live mostly in the southern and central parts of the country and Muslims concentrated mostly in the northern and south western regions.
The country projects that by 2050; Nigeria is expected to become one of the world’s top 20 economies due to its oil reserves which have played a major role in its growing wealth and influence.
Nigeria is considered to be an Emerging market by the World Bank. It is also a member of the MINT group of countries which are widely seen as the globe’s next “BRIC-like” economies. It is also listed among the “Next Eleven” economies set to become among the biggest in the world.
General information about Nigeria has been summarized to include the following;