Federal Republic of Nigeria
Reference work entry


  • Capital: Abuja

  • Population estimate, 2015: 182.20 m.

  • GNI per capita, 2014: (PPP$) 5,341

  • HDI/world rank, 2014: 0.514/152

  • Internet domain extension: .ng

Civil Aviation

Lagos (Murtala Muhammed) is the major airport, and there are also international airports at Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt. After the former national carrier, Air Nigeria, ceased operations in 2012, the country’s largest airline is now Arik Air. In 2012 Murtala Muhammed International Airport handled 7,186,595 passengers and 167,702 tonnes of freight.


Lying wholly within the tropics, temperatures everywhere are high. Rainfall varies greatly, but decreases from the coast to the interior. The main rains occur from April to Oct. Lagos, Jan. 81 °F (27.2 °C), July 78 °F (25.6 °C). Annual rainfall 72″ (1,836 mm). Ibadan, Jan. 80 °F (26.7 °C), July 76 °F (24.4 °C). Annual rainfall 45″ (1,120 mm). Kano, Jan. 70 °F (21.1 °C), July 79 °F (26.1 °C). Annual rainfall 35″ (869 mm). Port Harcourt, Jan. 79 °F (26 °C), July 77 °F (25 °C). Annual rainfall 100″ (2,497 mm).

Constitution and Government

The constitution was promulgated on 5 May 1999, and entered into force on 29 May. Nigeria is a federation, comprising 36 states and a federal capital territory. The constitution includes provisions for the creation of new states and for boundary adjustments of existing states. The legislative powers are vested in a National Assembly, comprising a Senate and a House of Representatives. The 109-member Senate consists of three senators from each state and one from the federal capital territory, who are elected for a term of 4 years. The House of Representatives comprises 360 members, representing constituencies of nearly equal population as far as possible, who are elected for a 4-year term. The President is elected for a term of 4 years and must receive not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the federal capital territory. A president may not serve more than two consecutive 4-year terms. In 2006 Olusegun Obasanjo sought to alter the constitution to allow him to run for a third term, but he failed to win backing for the amendment.


The unit of currency is the naira (NGN) of 100 kobo.


In 2013 defence expenditure totalled US$2,143 m., equivalent to US$12 per capita and representing 0.8% of GDP.


Agriculture and fishing contributed 35.5% to GDP in 2009; followed by crude petroleum and mining, 28.5%; trade and hotels, 16.2%; and finance and real estate, 6.1%.


The labour force in 2013 was 54,199,000 (41,222,000 in 2003). 56.2% of the population aged 15–64 was economically active in 2013. In the same year 7.5% of the population was unemployed. Nigeria had 0.70 m. people living in slavery according to the Walk Free Foundation’s 2013 Global Slavery Index, the fourth highest total of any country.


In 2008 there were 28 paid-for daily newspapers with a combined circulation of 510,000 and 61 paid-for weeklies. The dailies with the highest circulation figures are The Sun and ThisDay.


In 2005 there were 3,505 route-km of track (1,067 mm gauge). There are plans to convert the entire network to 1,435 mm gauge. Passenger-km travelled in 2008 came to 773 m. and freight tonne-km to 41 m.


Muslims and Christians both constitute about 49% of the population; traditional animist beliefs are also widespread. Northern Nigeria is mainly Muslim; southern Nigeria is predominantly Christian and western Nigeria is evenly divided between Christians, Muslims and animists. Far more Nigerians consider their religion to be of prime importance rather than their nationality. In Feb. 2016 the Roman Catholic church had three cardinals.


The road network covered 193,200 km in 2004, including 15,688 km of main roads. In 2007 there were 4,560,000 passenger cars in use and 3,040,000 motorcycles and mopeds. There were 17,797 road accidents with 9,390 fatalities in 2007.


In Jan. 2009 there were 107 ships of 300 GT or over registered, totalling 427,000 GT. The principal ports are Lagos and Port Harcourt. There is an extensive network of inland waterways.

Social Statistics

2008 estimates: births, 6,050,000; deaths, 2,420,000. Rates, 2008 estimates (per 1,000 population): births, 40; deaths, 16. Infant mortality, 2010, 88 (per 1,000 live births). Annual population growth rate, 2005–10, 2.7%. Life expectancy at birth, 2013, was 52.2 years for males and 52.8 years for females. Fertility rate, 2008, 5.3 children per woman.


In 2010 there were 1,050,000 main (fixed) telephone lines. In the same year mobile phone subscribers numbered 87,298,000 (551.0 per 1,000 persons), up from 18,587,000 in 2005. Nigeria has now surpassed South Africa as the continent’s largest mobile phone market. The largest mobile phone company is MTN Nigeria Communications. In 2012, 32.8% of the population were internet users. In June 2012 there were 5.1 m. Facebook users.

Territory and Population

Nigeria is bounded in the north by Niger, east by Chad and Cameroon, south by the Gulf of Guinea and west by Benin. It has an area of 923,768 km2 (356,667 sq. miles). Census population, 2006, 140,431,790 (69,086,302 females); population density, 152.0 per km2. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country. In 2011, 50.5% of the population were urban.


In 2010 there were 1,555,000 international tourist arrivals, excluding same-day visitors (up from 1,414,000 in 2009); spending by tourists in 2010 totalled US$576 m.

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© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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