Nigeria is a country in West Africa, formally the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is Africa’s most populous country, with 923,769 square kilometers (356,669 square miles) of land between the Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered on the north by Niger, the northeast by Chad, the east by Cameroon, and the west by Benin. Nigeria is a federal republic made up of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, which is home to the country’s capital, Abuja. Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city and the second-largest in Africa, is one of the world’s most populous metropolises.
Nigeria Presidents and the Years they served
- Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa from 1960 to 1966
- Chief Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe served from October 1, 1963 to January 16, 1966
- Major General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi Ironsi from January 16, 1966, to July 29, 1966
- General Yakubu Gowonaugust from 1, 1966 to July 29, 1975
- General Murtala Ramat Mohammed from July 29, 1975, to February 13, 1976
- General Olusegun Aremu Okikiola Matthew Obasanjo from February 13, 1976, to October 1, 1979
- Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari from October 1, 1979, to December 31, 1983
- Major-General Muhammadu Buhari served from December 31, 1983, to August 27, 1985
- General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida from August 27, 1985 to August 27, 1993
- Chief Ernest Adekunle Oladeinde Shonekan from August 26, 1993 to November 17, 1993
- General Sani Abacha from November 17, 1993, to June 8, 1998
- General Abdulsalami Alhaji Abubakar served from June 9, 1998 to May 29, 1999
- General Olusegun Aremu Okikiola Matthew Obasanjo (Rtd) from May 29, 1999 to 29 May, 2007
- Umaru Musa Yar’adua from 29 May, 2007 to 5 May, 2010
- Goodluck Ebele Jonathan from 6 May 2010 to 29 May 2015
- Muhammadu Buhari from 29 May 2015 to Date
Tourism in Nigeria
Because of the country’s diverse ethnic groups, Nigerian tourism is primarily focused on events, but it also features rain forests, savannah, waterfalls, and other natural attractions.
Abuja has a number of parks and green spaces. Millennium Park, the largest, was built by architect Manfredi Nicoletti and opened in December 2003. Lagos is increasingly becoming a prominent tourism destination, thanks to the re-modernization project completed by Governor Raji Babatunde Fashola’s administration. Lagos is in the process of becoming a global city. The 2009 Eyo carnival (an annual celebration held in Iperu Remo, Ogun State) marked a significant step toward world city designation. Lagos is currently known for being a business-oriented and fast-paced city. Lagos has emerged as a significant center of African and black cultural identity.
Lagos is home to numerous festivals. Festac Food Fair, held yearly in Festac Town, Eyo Festival, Lagos Black Heritage Carnival, Lagos Carnival, and others are just a few of the festivities. The festivals offer dance and song entertainment to visitors visiting Lagos, making their stay more exciting.
Elegushi Beach and Alpha Beach are two of Lagos’s sandy beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. Lagos also features a number of private beach resorts, such as Inagbe Grand Beach Resort and some on the outskirts. Lagos has a combination of local hotels like Eko Hotels and Suites and Federal Palace Hotel, as well as franchises of multinational chains like Intercontinental Hotel, Sheraton, and Four Points by Hilton, with prices ranging from three to five stars. The Cathedral Church of Christ, Tafawa Balewa Square, Festac Town, the Nike Art Gallery, Freedom Park, and the Nike Art Gallery are all worth visiting.
Nigeria’s mixed economy is the largest in Africa, ranking 26th in nominal GDP and 25th in PPP. It is a lower-middle-income country with abundant natural resources, well-developed financial, legal, communications, and transportation industries, as well as the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Years of military control, corruption, and incompetence have hampered the country’s economic progress. Nigeria has successfully regained its economic potential thanks to the restoration of democracy and following economic reforms.
Agriculture generates employment in Nigeria because it is the country’s main source of foreign exchange. Beans, sesame, cashew nuts, cassava, cocoa beans, groundnuts, gum arabic, kolanut, maize (corn), melon, millet, palm kernels, palm oil, plantains, rice, rubber, sorghum, soybeans, and yams are some of the most important crops. Cocoa is the world’s most valuable non-oil currency. Rubber is the second-highest earner of foreign currency after oil.
Remittances sent home by Nigerians living abroad are the country’s second-largest source of foreign exchange revenues, after petroleum.
Nigeria is home to about 250 different ethnic groups. By right of initial occupancy and inheritance, each inhabits a region that it considers to be its own. Aliens are still regarded as aliens if they are not members of a dominant group but have lived and worked in the group’s territory for decades. Although such foreigners may not have actual ownership of land in most rural regions, large numbers of individuals have relocated from one ethnic territory to another in quest of farmland. The Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba, and Igbo are the three largest ethnic groups in the country.
The Hausa, one of the country’s most populous ethnicities, has merged with the Fulani, a minor group whose members conquered Hausaland in the early nineteenth century; both are Muslim. Town-dwelling Fulanis openly intermarry with Hausas and other ethnic groups, and they maintain power over Hausa towns’ governance. Rural Fulani herders speak Fula rather than Hausa, and they normally do not intermarry.
The Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria is a vast and politically powerful ethnic group. Their ancestral home is Ile-Ife, and their progenitor is the deity Oduduwa. The majority of Yoruba people are farmers, yet they reside in cities far from their farmland. Each Yoruba subgroup is headed by a supreme chief, known as an oba, who is usually backed up by a council of chiefs. The most powerful monarchs are the ooni (oni) of Ile-Ife, who is the Yoruba’s spiritual leader, and the Alaafin (Alaafin) of Oyo, who is really the Yoruba’s traditional political figure.
The Igbo of southeastern Nigeria, the third-largest ethnic group, live in small, decentralized, democratic villages. The village is the greatest political unit, and instead of a chief, it is administered by a council of elders (selected by merit, not heredity). A smaller percentage lives in large cities and is culturally more similar to the Edo of Benin City (in Edo state) than to the Igbo east of the lower Niger River.
The Ibibio, who reside near the Igbo and share many cultural aspects with them, and the Edo, who founded the significant pre-colonial kingdom of Benin, are both less numerous. The Tiv and the Nupe are the major ethnic groups in the middle belt, which has the highest concentration of ethnic groups (over 180). Both are established farmers, but although Nupe society is hierarchical, Tiv society is decentralized.
Nigeria, with a population of around 212 million people, is one of Africa’s most densely populated countries. It is also Africa’s largest and world’s sixth most populous country.
Nigeria’s educational system follows the 6-3-3-4 formula: one year of pre-primary education, six years of primary school, three years of junior secondary education, three years of senior secondary education, and four years of university education.
Before Nigeria adopted the approach in 1989, it had been successfully implemented in China, Germany, and Ghana.
However, it was never fully implemented in Nigeria. Despite the fact that successive governments have theoretically supported the policy’s goals, none have been able to put it into practice.
Nigeria’s educational system is beset by infrastructural degradation, negligence, resource waste, and deplorable working conditions. Over ten million youngsters are out of school in the country. That is the highest point on the planet. Another 27 million students are failing miserably in school. Hundreds of millions of Nigerians are illiterate, with around 60 million – or 30% — illiterate.
Nigeria’s languages are divided into three categories: Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan, and Afro-Asian. The Kwa subgroup, spoken in the country’s far southwest corner; the Ijoid branch, being spoken in Niger Delta region; the Atlantic subgroup, which includes Fula; the extended Benue-Congo subgroup, consisting of; Tiv, Jukun, Edo, Igbo, Igala, Idoma, Nupe, Gwari, Yoruba, and the Cross River basin languages like Efik, Ibibio, Anang, and Ekoi; Kanuri is the most common Nilo-Saharan language spoken in Nigeria, however, Bagirmi and Zerma speakers can also be found. Hausa, Margi, and Bade, for example, are part of the Afro-Asiatic language group.
Although some groups (such as the Fulani and Tiv) are recent immigrants, contemporary linguistic study suggests that the vast majority of Nigerian languages—particularly the Kwa subgroup—have been spoken in about the same regions for over 4,000 years.
From 1951 until 1967, Hausa was the main language of the northern states. Despite the fact that English is Nigeria’s official language, it is the most generally spoken. Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Fula, and English Creole are also extensively spoken in addition to English. Most of those languages are just written versions of their spoken counterparts.
Traditional customs are followed by some Nigerians, while others practice Christianity and Islam. While many traditional religions have a supreme god (named Olorun Olodumare in Yoruba, Chukwu in Igbo, Osalobua in Edo, and Abasi Ibom in Ibibio), the deity is worshipped through a variety of intermediaries or lesser gods.
Although there is an ongoing struggle between Muslims and Christians, as well as between them and practitioners of traditional religions, the constitution guarantees religious freedom. Muslims and Christians live and work together. The northern states have the highest concentration of Muslims. Islam is practiced by three-quarters of the population, and it is also the main faith in a few southern states. In the eastern states, Christians account for more than three-quarters of the population.
Roman Catholics, Methodists, Anglicans, and Baptists are the four main Christian denominations. Drumming and dance are frequently included in Christian church services, a tradition that has since been adopted by established churches in an effort to prevent losing members. Another point of contention has been how Islam and Christianity have handled the ancient practice of polygamy. While Christianity forbids it, Islam allows men to have up to four wives. Breakaway Christian sects, on the other hand, frequently put no restrictions on the practice.