Country profile: Nigeria

With a fast growing population of over 180,000,000 and a literacy level of 68%. Nigeria remains the economic hub for business in Africa.



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

Geographic coordinates: 

100 N, 80 E


Total Land Water Coastline
923,768 sq km 910,768 sq km 13,000 sq 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


Center map


Natural Resources

Equatorial in the south, tropical in the center and arid in the north.


Elevation Extremes:

Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

Highest point: Chappal Waddi 2,419 m.

Natural gas, petroleum, tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, niobium, lead, zinc, bitumen, bauxite, arable land, etc.

Land use:

Arable land: 31.29%
Permanent crops: 2.96%
Others: 65.75% (2001)
Irrigated land: 2,330 sq km

Natural Hazards

Major Infectious Diseases

Soil Degradation
Rapid deforestation
Urban air and water pollution
Oil pollution – water, air, and soil;
has suffered serious damage from oil spills; loss of arable land; rapid urbanization.

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 (2004)


Populaion: + 180 million

Age structure

0-14 years:
42.3% (male 27,466,766 / female 27,045,092)

15-64 years:
54.6% (male 35,770,593 / female 34,559,414)

65 years and over:
3.1% (male 1,874,157 / female 2,055,966) (2005 est.)

Median age

Total: 18.63 years
Male: 18.71 years; Female: 18.55 years (2005 est.)

Population Growth Rate: 2.37% (2005 est.)
Birth Rate: 40.65 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death Rate: 17.18 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Net migration Rate: 0.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate

Total: 98.8 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 105.69 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 91.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth

Total population: 46.74 years
Male: 46.21 years; Female: 47.29 years (2005 est.)
Total Fertility Rate: 5.53 children born/woman (2005 est.)

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, Ibibio, Igbo (Ibo), Ijaw, Kanuri, , Tiv, Yoruba


Indigenous beliefs


English (Official)
Igbo (Ibo)


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
Capital: Abuja
Independence: 1 October 1960
Constitution: Federal Constitution of May 1999

Administrative Divisions (36 states and 1 territory)

North West Zone: Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara
North East Zone: Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe,Taraba, Yobe
North Central Zone: Benue, Kaduna, Kogi, Kwara, Nassarawa, Niger, Plateau
South East Zone: Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo
South West Zone: Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo
South South Zone: Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Rivers
Territory: Federal Capital Territory

Legal System

Based on English common law, Islamic Shariah law (in 12 northern states), and Traditional Law.

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal.

Executive Branch

Head of Government: President Muhammadu BUHARI (since 29 May 2015)
Cabinet: Federal Executive Council.
Elections: President is elected by popular vote for no more than two four-year terms; election last held 28 March 2015.

Legislative Branch

Bicameral National Assembly consists of Senate (107 seats, members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms);
House of Representatives (346 seats, members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms).

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 Judicial Advisory Committee).