- Photo Credit: connectnigeria.com
- Photo Credit: fascinatingnigeriamagazine.com
- Photo Credit: Devesh Uba
Nigeria is a West African country bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Benin and Cameroon.
With a population of about 192.8 million, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups. The main politically-influential tribes are: Hausa and the Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, and Tiv 2.5%.
Over 50 percent of the people are Christians, who form the majority in southern Nigeria; Muslims account for another 45 percent of the population, largely living in northern Nigeria.
The first inhabitants of Nigeria were thought to have been the Nok people (500 BC–AD 200), subsequently followed by the Kanuri, Hausa, and Fulani peoples. Islam was introduced in the 13th century, and the Empire of Kanem controlled the area from the end of the 11th century to the 14th.
Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria. It officially became the capital on 12 December 1991, replacing Lagos, though the latter remains the country’s most populous city. The Central District is Abuja’s principal business zone, where all parastatals and multinational corporations have their offices.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer and the fifth largest in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). According to Income Nigeria, oil has provided 95 percent of the foreign exchange earnings of the country, financing 80 percent of total government revenue for the past three decades.
The West African country has many natural landmarks and wildlife reserves. Protected areas such as Cross River National Park and Yankari National Park have waterfalls, dense rainforests, savannas and rare primate habitats.
One of the most recognisable sites is Zuma Rock, a 725m-tall monolith outside the capital of Abuja which is depicted on the national currency. Other famous tourist attractions include Azumini Blue River Rose, the Long JuJu Shrine of Arochukwu, Yola Municipality, Ogbunike Cave and the Hills of Benue.