Nigeria - At a glance


Nigeria at a glance

Location Between tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, on Gulf of Guinea

Neighbouring countries Benin, Niger, Chad, Cameroon

Area 923,768km2

Altitude Rising to 2,419m at Chappal Waddi, on Cameroonian border

Terrain Southern lowlands merge into hills and plateaux in centre; mountains in southeast; plains in north.

Climate Tropical in south; arid in north.

Status Federal republic

Government Bicameral presidential system

President Goodluck Jonathan

Capital Abuja (moved from Lagos in 1991); population 1.4 million approx

Other major cities Lagos (population 9 million officially; more likely to be 13–17 million), Kano (9.3 million approx), Port Harcourt (3.5 million approx)

Administrative regions 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory

Population 155,215,573 (2011 est)

Birth rate 35.51 births per 1,000 population (2011 est)

Life expectancy at birth 47.56 years (2011)

Age structure 0–14 years, 40.9%; 15–64 years, 55.9%; over 65, 3.1% (2011 est)

GDP per head US$2,600 per annum (2011)

Economy Oil provides 20% of GDP and 95% of foreign exchange earnings

Official language English

Major local languages Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Edo, Efik, Kanuri

Religion Muslim 50%, Christian 40%, indigenous 10%

Currency Nigerian naira (N). For up-to-date rates, go to www.xe.com.

International airports Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano

International telephone code +234

Time GMT +1

Electricity 220 volts at 50Hz; three-pin British-style plug

Weights and measures Metric

Flag Two vertical bands of green (representing forests and agriculture) divided by a band of white (representing peace)

National motto Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress

Public holidays 1 January, 1 May, 1 October; Christian and Muslim holy days

Back to the top

Nigeria articles

View all

The ‘Super Eagles’

The last 50 years of Nigerian international football history explored.

Read more...

The Biafran War

Lizzie Williams gives a brief history of this vicious civil war.

Read more...

Kano Durbar

Durbars are colourful festivals known for their horsemen wearing bright red turbans and copper armour.

Read more...

Related guides and other books

View all