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Following nearly 16 years of military rule, a new constitution was adopted in 1999, and a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed. The president faces the daunting task of reforming a petroleum-based economy, whose revenues have been squandered through corruption and mismanagement, and institutionalizing democracy. In addition, the OBASANJO administration must defuse longstanding ethnic and religious tensions, if it is to build a sound foundation for economic growth and political stability. Although the April 2003 elections were marred by some irregularities, Nigeria is currently experiencing its longest period of civilian rule since independence.


Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Benin and Cameroon

Geographic coordinates:

10 00 N, 8 00 E


total: 923,768 sq km
land: 910,768 sq km
water: 13,000 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 4,047 km
border countries: Benin 773 km, Cameroon 1,690 km, Chad 87 km, Niger 1,497 km


853 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation


varies; equatorial in south, tropical in center, arid in north


southern lowlands merge into central hills and plateaus; mountains in southeast, plains in north

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Chappal Waddi 2,419 m

Natural resources:

natural gas, petroleum, tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, niobium, lead, zinc, arable land

Land use:

arable land: 33.02%
permanent crops: 3.14%
other: 63.84% (2005)

Irrigated land:

2,820 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards:

periodic droughts; flooding

Environment - current issues:

soil degradation; rapid deforestation; urban air and water pollution; desertification; oil pollution - water, air, and soil; has suffered serious damage from oil spills; loss of arable land; rapid urbanization

Geography - note:

the Niger enters the country in the northwest and flows southward through tropical rain forests and swamps to its delta in the Gulf of Guinea


note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 42.3% (male 28,089,017/female 27,665,212)
15-64 years: 54.6% (male 36,644,885/female 35,405,915)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 1,930,007/female 2,124,695) (2006 est.)

Median age:

total: 18.7 years
male: 18.7 years
female: 18.6 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.38% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:

40.43 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate:

16.94 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate:

0.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 97.14 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 104.05 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 90.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 47.08 years
male: 46.52 years
female: 47.66 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

5.49 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

5.4% (2003 est.)

people living with HIV/AIDS:

3.6 million (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

310,000 (2003 est.)

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: one of the most highly endemic areas for Lassa fever (2005)


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%


Muslim 50%, Christian 40%, indigenous beliefs 10%


English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 68%
male: 75.7%
female: 60.6% (2003 est.)

Country name:

conventional long form: Federal Republic of Nigeria
conventional short form: Nigeria

Government type:

federal republic


Abuja; note - on 12 December 1991 the capital was officially transferred from Lagos to Abuja; most federal government offices have now moved to Abuja

Administrative divisions:

36 states and 1 territory*; Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Federal Capital Territory*, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nassarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara


1 October 1960 (from UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day (National Day), 1 October (1960)


new constitution adopted May 1999

Legal system:

based on English common law, Islamic Shariah law (in 12 northern states), and traditional law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations


18 years of age; universal

Legislative branch:

bicameral National Assembly consists of Senate (109 seats - 3 from each state plus 1 from Abuja, members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and House of Representatives (360 seats, members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 12 April 2003 (next to be held in 2007); House of Representatives - last held 12 April 2003 (next to be held in 2007)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - PDP 53.7%, ANPP 27.9%, AD 9.7%; seats by party - PDP 76, ANPP 27, AD 6; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - PDP 54.5%, ANPP 27.4%, AD 8.8%, other 9.3%; seats by party - PDP 223, ANPP 96, AD 34, other 6; note - one seat is vacant

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court (judges appointed by the President); Federal Court of Appeal (judges are appointed by the federal government on the advice of the Advisory Judicial Committee)

Economy - overview:

Oil-rich Nigeria, long hobbled by political instability, corruption, inadequate infrastructure, and poor macroeconomic management, is undertaking some reforms under a new reform-minded administration. Nigeria's former military rulers failed to diversify the economy away from its overdependence on the capital-intensive oil sector, which provides 20% of GDP, 95% of foreign exchange earnings, and about 65% of budgetary revenues. The largely subsistence agricultural sector has failed to keep up with rapid population growth - Nigeria is Africa's most populous country - and the country, once a large net exporter of food, now must import food. Following the signing of an IMF stand-by agreement in August 2000, Nigeria received a debt-restructuring deal from the Paris Club and a $1 billion credit from the IMF, both contingent on economic reforms. Nigeria pulled out of its IMF program in April 2002, after failing to meet spending and exchange rate targets, making it ineligible for additional debt forgiveness from the Paris Club. In the last year the government has begun showing the political will to implement the market-oriented reforms urged by the IMF, such as to modernize the banking system, to curb inflation by blocking excessive wage demands, and to resolve regional disputes over the distribution of earnings from the oil industry. In 2003, the government began deregulating fuel prices, announced the privatization of the country's four oil refineries, and instituted the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy, a domestically designed and run program modeled on the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility for fiscal and monetary management. GDP rose strongly in 2005, based largely on increased oil exports and high global crude prices. In November 2005, Abuja won Paris Club approval for a historic debt-relief deal that by March 2006 should eliminate $30 billion worth of Nigeria's total $37 billion external debt. The deal first requires that Nigeria repay roughly $12 billion in arrears to its bilateral creditors. Nigeria would then be allowed to buy back its remaining debt stock at a discount. The deal also commits Nigeria to more intensified IMF reviews.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$132.9 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$76.46 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

5.6% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,000 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 26.8%
industry: 48.8%
services: 24.4% (2005 est.)

Labor force:

57.21 million (2005 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 70%
industry: 10%
services: 20% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate:

2.9% (2005 est.)

Population below poverty line:

60% (2000 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 1.6%
highest 10%: 40.8% (1996-97)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

50.6 (1996-97)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

15.6% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):

23.1% of GDP (2005 est.)


revenues: $12.86 billion
expenditures: $13.54 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Public debt:

11.2% of GDP (2005 est.)

Agriculture - products:

cocoa, peanuts, palm oil, corn, rice, sorghum, millet, cassava (tapioca), yams, rubber; cattle, sheep, goats, pigs; timber; fish


crude oil, coal, tin, columbite; palm oil, peanuts, cotton, rubber, wood; hides and skins, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food products, footwear, chemicals, fertilizer, printing, ceramics, steel, small commercial ship construction and repair

Industrial production growth rate:

2.4% (2005 est.)

Electricity - production:

15.59 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - consumption:

14.46 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - exports:

40 million kWh (2003)

Oil - production:

2.451 million bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - consumption:

310,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:

36 billion bbl (2005 est.)

Natural gas - production:

19.2 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:

7.41 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - exports:

7.83 billion cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:

4.502 trillion cu m (2005)

Current account balance:

$9.622 billion (2005 est.)


$52.16 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities:

petroleum and petroleum products 95%, cocoa, rubber

Exports - partners:

US 46.8%, Brazil 10.5%, Spain 7% (2004)


$25.95 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery, chemicals, transport equipment, manufactured goods, food and live animals

Imports - partners:

China 9.2%, US 8.2%, UK 7.6%, Netherlands 5.7%, France 5.4%, Germany 4.7% (2004)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$30.16 billion (2005 est.)

Debt - external:

$37.49 billion (2005 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:

IMF, $250 million (1998)

Currency (code):

naira (NGN)

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Telephones - main lines in use:

1,027,500 (2004)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

9,147,200 (2004)

Telephone system:

general assessment: an inadequate system, further limited by poor maintenance; major expansion is required and a start has been made
domestic: intercity traffic is carried by coaxial cable, microwave radio relay, a domestic communications satellite system with 19 earth stations, and a coastal submarine cable; mobile cellular facilities and the Internet are available
international: country code - 234; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean); fiber optic submarine cable (SAT-3/WASC) provides connectivity to Europe and Asia

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 83, FM 36, shortwave 11 (2001)

Television broadcast stations:

3 (the government controls 2 of the broadcasting stations and 15 repeater stations) (2002)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

1,535 (2005)

Internet users:

1,769,700 (2005)


70 (2005)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 36
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 12
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 3 (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 34
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 18 (2005)


1 (2005)


condensate 105 km; gas 1,896 km; oil 3,638 km; refined products 3,626 km (2004)


total: 3,557 km
narrow gauge: 3,505 km 1.067-m gauge
standard gauge: 52 km 1.435-m gauge (2004)


total: 194,394 km
paved: 60,068 km
unpaved: 134,326 km (1999)


8,600 km (Niger and Benue rivers and smaller rivers and creeks) (2005)

Merchant marine:

total: 49 ships (1000 GRT or over) 263,452 GRT/452,012 DWT
by type: barge carrier 1, cargo 5, chemical tanker 7, liquefied gas 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 33, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 3 (Norway 1, Pakistan 1, Singapore 1)
registered in other countries: 26 (The Bahamas 2, Bermuda 10, Cambodia 2, Comoros 2, Panama 6, Seychelles 1, unknown 3) (2005)

Ports and terminals:

Bonny Inshore Terminal, Calabar, Lagos, Port Harcourt

Military branches:

Army, Navy, Air Force

Disputes - international:

ICJ ruled in 2002 on the entire Cameroon-Nigeria land and maritime boundary but the parties formed a Joint Border Commission to resolve differences bilaterally and have commenced with demarcation in less-contested sections of the boundary, starting in Lake Chad in the north; Nigeria initially rejected cession of the Bakassi Peninsula, then agreed, but has yet to withdraw its forces while much of the indigenous population opposes cession; the ICJ ruled on an equidistance settlement of Cameroon-Equatorial Guinea-Nigeria maritime boundary in the Gulf of Guinea, but imprecisely defined coordinates in the ICJ decision, the unresolved Bakasi allocation, and a sovereignty dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon over an island at the mouth of the Ntem River all contribute to the delay in implementation; a joint task force was established in 2004 that resolved disputes over and redrew the maritime and the 870-km land boundary with Benin on the Okpara River; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

IDPs: 200,000 - 250,000 (communal violence between Christians and Muslims since President OBASANJO's election in 1999) (2005)

Illicit drugs:

a transit point for heroin and cocaine intended for European, East Asian, and North American markets; safehaven for Nigerian narcotraffickers operating worldwide; major money-laundering center; massive corruption and criminal activity; remains on Financial Action Task Force Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories List for continued failure to address deficiencies in money-laundering control regime