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Country of Nigeria Flag

Capital: Abuja

Population: 200,963,599

Brief History of Nigeria:

Over history several kingdoms and societies have developed in the land of Nigeria. To the north were the Hausa kingdoms and the Bornu Empire. In the south the Yoruba kingdom of the Oyo developed around 1400. The Oyo expanded over the next several centuries to cover much of the southwest area. In the 15th and 16th centuries the kingdom of Benin developed in the south central part of Nigeria.

Starting in the 17th century, European traders began to establish coastal ports for trading with the local peoples. At first the primary export was slaves, but this was replaced with palm oil and timber once slavery was abolished by the British. In the 19th century, Fulani leader Usman dan Fodio brought most of northern Nigeria under the control of his empire and converted many to the religion of Islam.

In 1914 Nigeria became a British colony. It would stay a British colony until 1960 when it became an independent country. Much of its history since has been marked with military rule.

Country of Nigeria Map

The Geography of Nigeria

Total Size: 923,768 square km

Size Comparison: slightly more than twice the size of California

Geographical Coordinates: 10 00 N, 8 00 E

World Region or Continent: Africa

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

Geographical Low Point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

Geographical High Point: Chappal Waddi 2,419 m

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

Major cities: Lagos 10.203 million; Kano 3.304 million; Ibadan 2.762 million; ABUJA (capital) 1.857 million; Kaduna 1.519 million (2009)

The People of Nigeria

Type of Government: federal republic

Languages Spoken: English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani

Independence: 1 October 1960 (from UK)

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

Nationality: Nigerian(s)

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

National Symbol: eagle

National Anthem or Song: Arise Oh Compatriots, Nigeria's Call Obey

Economy of Nigeria

Major Industries: 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

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

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

Major Exports: petroleum and petroleum products 95%, cocoa, rubber

Major Imports: machinery, chemicals, transport equipment, manufactured goods, food and live animals

Currency: naira (NGN)

National GDP: $414,000,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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