Nigeria By | Saturday, September 8   2012 at  16:10

Full Name
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Origins: ‘Nigeria’ means ‘Niger Area’ and was coined by Flora Shaw, the wife of the former British Governor of the area, Fredrick Lugard

Current Leader
Goodluck Jonathan

Overview
One of the world’s largest oil producers
Former British colony
Attained independence on the October 1, 1960
It is the most populous country in Africa
Nigeria has had over five military coups

Form of Government
Federal Republic
Chief of State is the President who is elected every 4 years
The President is eligible for a second term

Government structure
Chief of State (President), Head of Government (President), Cabinet: Federal Executive Council

Military Statistics
Manpower fit for service: Male - 31,929,204, Female - 30,638,979
Expenditures: 1.5% GDP
Branches: Army, Navy and Air Force

Former Rulers
1960 – 1966 Abubakar Tafawa Balewa - Prime Minister (chief executive)
1960 – 1966 Nnamdi Azikiwe - President (non-executive)
1966 Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi - Head of State
1966 -1975 Yakubu Gowon - Head of State
1975 – 1976 Murtala Mohammed - Head of State
1976 – 1979 Olusegun Obasanjo - Head of State
1979 – 1983 Shehu Shagari - President
1983 – 1985 Muhammadu Buhari – Head of State
1985 – 1993 Ibrahim Babangida - President
1993 Ernest Shonekan - Interim President
1993 – 1998 Sani Abacha – President
1998 – 1999 Abdulsalami Abubakar – President
1999 – 2007 Olusegun Obasanjo - President
2007 – May 2010 Umaru Yar'Adua – President

May 2007 - Present: Goodluck Jonathan

Capital
Abuja
Altitude: 1,358ft
Population: 174,138 people

Population
Size: 162,471,000 (2011)
Life expectancy: 46.9 years
Gender Make-Up: Female – 49.02%, Male – 50.98

GDP per capita

$2,532 (2011)

$2,369 (2010)

Geography
Area - 923,768sqkm
Land boundaries - Benin 773km, Cameroon 1,690km, Chad 87km, Niger 1,497km

Major Languages
English, Yoruba, Ibo, Hausa

Religious portfolio
Muslim 50%, Christian 40%, Indigenous beliefs 10%

National Make-up
More than 250 cultural groups, the following and the most populous and influential;
Hausa and Fulani 29%,Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, Tiv 2.5%

Natural Resources
Natural gas, Petroleum, Tin, Iron ore, Coal, Limestone, Niobium, Lead, Zinc, Arable land

Main exports
Petroleum, Petroleum products, Cocoa, Rubber

Land Use
Arable land: 33.02%
Permanent crops: 3.14%
Other: 63.84%

Monetary Unit/Currency
Nigerian Naira

Dialling Code
+234

Internet Code
.ng

Transport
Main port: Port of Lagos
Airport: Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS), located 22km northwest of Lagos

Modern issues

Environmental
Nigeria successfully launched two Earth observation satellites which could be used to monitor weather in a region seasonally ravaged by disasters

Soil degradation
Rapid deforestation
Urban air and water pollution
Desertification
Oil pollution in the water, air, and soil
Loss of arable land
Rapid urbanisation

Political
Mr. Jonathan won elections in April 2011 in elections judged by analysts to be perhaps the country’s fairest ever. However, they still resulted in violence which saw an estimated 500 people killed and thousands displaced from their homes in northern Nigeria after the main opposition Congress for Progressive Change party denounced the result as fraudulent.

Mr. Jonathan was applauded for sacking the country's anti-corruption chief saying it was long overdue after complaints were lodged over her handling of high profile corruption cases

Economic
Being an oil producer creates problems; conflict in the Niger Delta, pollution, overdependence on the oil sector
Attacks on oil installations and their employees have cut Nigeria's output by a third in the past three years and helped raise oil prices
Recently, the Nigerian Government had to withdraw funds from reserve oil accounts due to the global economic crisis
The government is currently trying to push bills through the national assembly in order to allocate more oil revenue directly to villages in the Delta region

Social
Religious conflict between the Muslims and Christians -There have been waves of deadly killings which are blamed on Islamist sect Boko Haram
Conflict over cultural minorities and those that control the oil production
Widespread corruption in government and private sector
Electricity: Weak industrial sector, and therefore jobs and businesses, are collapsing due to erratic power supplies – however, donors are unwilling to give loans as they fear the money will end up in the wrong places
Health: there is a mass exodus of medically trained people to the US and Europe, hospitals and health facilities often suffer from lack of essential appropriate drugs.

Foreign Affairs
International Court of Justice settled the Gulf of Guinea dispute through an equidistance maritime boundary settlement for Cameroon-Equatorial Guinea-Nigeria
Has a strong bilateral relationship with the UK and there is a large population of Nigerians living in the UK
With Western condemnation of Nigeria’s military regimes, Nigeria and China have grown closer – Nigeria is a major source of Chinese petroleum and Nigeria relies on China for its own development

The Major Conflicts

1966 Coup
When: 1966
Who: Igbo officers VS Federal Government
Why: The officers claimed the government was Hausa-Fulani dominated
Outcome: the coup was not successful, however, Major-General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, from the Eastern Region, took power when the government collapsed

1966 ‘Revenge’ Coup
When: 1966
Who: Lt-Col Yakubu Gowon VS Aguiyi-Ironsi’s Government
Why: Northern officers wanted control
Outcome: Ironsi was killed and Gen Yakubu Gowon took power

Conflict over the Biafra
When: 1967
Who: Ibos of the Eastern region VS Federal Government
Why: The Eastern region was seeking to gain independence from the federal government and create the Republic of Biafra, Colonel Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu refused to accept Gen Gowon’s authority and after months of political impasse, declared an independent republic of Biafra in May 1967
Outcome: Federal forces forced a Biafran surrender in 1970, it is estimated that 1 million people died during this conflict

1983 Coup
When: 1983
Who: Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (with military) VS Alhaji Shehu Shagari Civilian Government
Why: There was no confidence in the civilian regime
Outcome: Even though Buhari succeeded in the coup, the economic crisis and civilian criticism of the military undermined Buhari's position, and in August 1985 a group of officers under Major General Ibrahim Babangida removed Buhari from power

Conflict in the Niger Delta
When: 1995 - Present
Who: Militants in the Niger Delta (in particular the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) since 2006) VS The Nigerian Government and oil companies
Why: The oil industry has been a major cause of pollution in the area, which displaces people living near the delta from their homes and reduces their ability to fish. Also, many of the communities in the area are not benefiting from the lucrative oil resources.
Outcome: Mend was notorious for the kidnap of oil workers and the movement’s demands are getting more politicised. There are now groups emerging that have been ‘inspired’ by Mend and continue guerilla tactics in the region which make it difficult for ceasefire agreements to be reached

What to see?
The Sallah Festival: Muslim celebrations in the towns of Kano, Katsina, Maiduguri and Zaria, festivities last for several days with horseback processions, musicians and dancers
The seven Olumirin Waterfalls
The Cross River National Park: Starts at the town of Ikom, on the road to Cameroon, which has curious carved monoliths set in circles, believed to be ancient monuments assembled in reverence to ancestors –in the park there is a variety of wildlife

Sports
Popular Sports
Football; has attained several gold medals at the international level
Track and Field
Boxing
Basketball

Famous sportsmen and sportswomen
Nwankwo Christian Nwosu Kanu: Professional footballer and Unicef ambassador
•Augustine Azuka “Jay-Jay’’ Okocha member of 1994 Africa Cup of Nations soccer champions squad

Quirks
It is widely believed that the areas surrounding Calabar, Cross River State, contain the world's largest diversity of butterflies
Nigeria has the highest rate of twin births in the world, compared to any other country - The centre of this twin zone is Igbo-Ora, a town in South-West Nigeria