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Nigeria ( Overview, History and Summary Information )


Encyclopedia » History
Nigeria

OVERVIEW:

Nigeria, a land of diversity, rich cultural and natural potentials, beautiful climate, has for centuries captured travelers and adventurers’ imagination. With over 270 distinct tribes and more than 374 languages, Nigeria draws them to the oil-rich paradise and hardly leaves any visitor disappointed.

Full Country Name:


Federal Republic of Nigeria

Area:


923,768sqkm (landmass – 910,768sqkm; water – 13,000sqkm).
It spans six ecological zones, ranging from the swampy coastal rainforest of the south to the semi-arid fertile grasslands of the north. The land areas are made up of high grounds of average height 1,500m over the eastern region, 600m over the northern region and 300m over the western region. The coastland southern regions are the low-lying areas above sea level and are characterized by creeks and lagoons on both sides of the Niger Delta.


Location:
On the West Coast of Africa, in the tropics between latitude 4’ and 14’ North of the equator, and longitude 3’ and 14’ East of the Greenwich Meridian. Logically, Nigeria is referred to as “Giant and heart of Africa” bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Benin and Cameroon.

Boundaries:
It is bounded on the West by Benin Republic (773km) and Cameroon (1690km) to the east, the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean) to the South, Chad Republic (87km) and Niger Republic (1,497km) to the North.

Land Boundaries:
4,047km

Coastline:
853km

Capital:

Abuja FCT (Federal Capital Territory) note on 12 December 1991 the capital was officially transferred from Lagos to Abuja. The commercial capital remains Lagos. 

Postal and Dialing Code:
+234

Internet Code:
Ng

Nationality Description:
Nigerian

Indepedence Day:
1st October, 1960

Colonial Masters:
Britain

Vegetation:
Reflecting the varied topography and climate typical of the tropics, Nigeria is blessed with a very rich and diverse plant and animal life. There are four broad vegetation belts. The mangrove swamps on the coast, the rainforest, the woodland savannah in the middle belt and the Guinea and Sudan Savannah in the north.

Climate:
Nigeria has two well-defined seasons namely, the rainy season (April – October) during which the moisture-laden south-westerly winds blow from the coast, bringing rains and dry season (November – March) with dry dust-laden north-easternly winds blowing across the country. The climate varies (Equatorial/tropical from the coast to the inland and semi-arid from the inland to the fringes of the Sahara). Rainfall is from about 1500mm in the south to about 500mm in the north. The general temperature is usually high, except in Jos, Plateau, the Mambila Plateau and Obudu Plateau areas where the temperature is relative cool all year round.


Temperature:
Between 18oC and 41oC

Population:
Over 140 million people according to 2006 national population census, making her the most populous black nation in the world. There are more than 250 ethnic groups with diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. About 30% of the population lives in urban areas.

Official Language:
English is the official language. There is also the “Broken English” – “Pidgin English” spoken and understood by almost all Nigerians; non-literates, semi-literates and literates. It is an admixture of the English Language and several indigenous Nigerian Languages.

Main Indigenous Languages:
Yoruba (Southwest), Hausa (North), Igbo (Southeast), Itsekiri (Niger Delta), Urhobo (Niger Delta), Ijaw (Niger Delta), Ibibio (Niger Delta), Tiv (Middle-belt), Nupe (Middle-belt), Kanuri (North), Efik (South-south), Edo (South-south) and Fulani/Fulfulde (North).

Ethnic Groups and Culture:
Nigeria can be described as a multilingual country. There are over 250 ethnic groups inhabiting the entire area called Nigeria. The Yorubas are found within the western region, while the Igbos are found in the eastern part of the country. The Hausas and Kanuris are found in the northern part of the country. However, within the southern part we have the Ijaw, Kalabari, Itsekiri, Urhobo, Bini, and Ibibio etc. We also have the Tivs, Jukuns, Idomas and certain ethnic nationalities who are more discernable in the middle belt.

Popular Local Cuisines:
There are varieties of food amongst each of the major ethnic and sub-ethnic groups. The traditional food of the Hausa/Fulani of the north includes Tuwo Shinkafa (made from mashed rice grain) and Tuwo Masara (made from mashed corn grain) which is served with miyan kuka, ewedu or okro soup. The Yoruba’s traditional delicacies include Iyan (pounded yam) served with vegetable/Egusi (melon soup) and Amala (made from cassava or yam flour) served and eaten with Ewedu, Gbegiri (bean soup), Abula (mixture of ewedu and gbegiri), okro or Egusi soup. Meat of various types also abound. Fish, chicken, beef, pork and bush meat are the varieties from which any one can choose. Among the Urhobo/Isoko/Itsekiri Ukodo (pepper soup yam and/with unripe plantain), starch with banga (palm fruit soup), or owo (starch-palm soup) is preferred. From the people of Cross River and Akwa Ibom States, Edikat-kong is a special dish also served to visitors who have a taste for traditional food. And among the Igbo of Ebonyi, Anambra, Imo and Enugu State, Akpu with okro soup/vegetable melon soup/ugu) and ise-ewu is cherished.
 

Main Religion:
Christianity, Islam, Traditional African modes of Worship

Time:
GMT/UTC plus one hour

Currency/Money:
The currency is expressed in Naira (N) while the coin is in kobo (k). 100k is equal to one naira (N1). The currency denominations are N5, N10, N20, N50, N100, N200, N500 and N1, 000. The coins are in denominations of 10k, 25k, 50k, and N1 coin.

Political System:
Nigeria is a Federation of thirty-six states and a Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. It operates a Presidential System of Government with a National Assembly comprising the Senate and the House of Representatives. The country also runs a three-tier System of Government, namely the Federal, State and Local Governments.

Legislative Branch:
The National Assembly is a bicameral assembly. The Upper House (Senate) has 109 members while the Lower House (House of Representatives) has 360 members.

State and Local Government:
Nigeria has 36 States and 774 Local Governments which are administered by Governors and Chairmen respectively. The States and Local Governments have independent Legislative Assemblies.

Judiciary:
The judiciary systems is divided into three branches namely Supreme Court (Judges appointed by the President) headed by the Chief Justice of the Federation. The Federal Court of Appeal(Judges are appointed by the Federal Government on the advice of the Advisory Judicial Committee) and the Federal High Court. The 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory have judiciaries headed by Chief Judges.

Legal System:
Based on English Common Law, Islamic Sharia Law, (in 12 northern states) and traditional law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservation.

Constitution:
 New constitution adopted May 1999.

Suffrage:
18 years of age, universal.

States:
States are made up of thirty-six (36) and a Federal Capital Territory. They are Abia – Umuahia (God’s Own State), Adamawa – Yola (Land of Beauty), Akwa Ibom – Uyo (Promised Land), Anambra – Awka (Home for All), Bauchi – Bauchi (Pearl of Tourism), Bayelsa – Yenagoa (Pride of the Nation), Benue – Makurdi (Food Basket of the Nation), Borno – Maiduguri (Home of Peace), Cross River – Calabar (The Peoples Paradise), Delta – Asaba (The Big Heart of the Nation), Ebonyi – Abakaliki (Salt of the Nation), Edo – Benin (Heartbeat of the Nation), Ekiti – Ado-Ekiti (Fountain of Knowledge), Enugu – Enugu (Coal City State), Gombe – Gombe (Jewel of the Savanna), Imo – Owerri (Land of Hope/Eastern Heartland), Jigawa – Dutse (The New World), Kaduna – Kaduna (Liberal State), Kano – Kano (Centre of Commerce), Katsina – Katsina (Home of Hospitality), Kebbi – Birnin Kebbi (Land of Equity), Kogi – Lokoja (Confluence State), Kwara – Ilorin (State of Harmony), Lagos – Ikeja (Centre of Excellence), Nassarawa – Lafia (Home of Solid Minerals), Niger – Minna (Power State), Ogun – Abeokuta (Gateway State), Ondo – Akure (Sunshine State), Osun – Osogbo (State of the Living spring), Oyo – Ibadan (Pacesetter State), Plateau – Jos (Home of Peace and Tourism), Rivers – Port Harcourt (Treasure Base of the Nation),Sokoto – Sokoto (Seat of the Caliphate), Taraba – Jalingo (Nature’s Gift to the Nation), Yobe – Damaturu (The Young shall Grow), Zamfara – Gusau (Farming is our Pride), Abuja – Federal Capital Territory (FCT), (Centre of Unity).

Mode of Driving:
Nigeria operates a right hand drive/left hand steer system as in most countries of Europe and America. A driver’s licence must be obtained before driving in Nigeria. Foreigners may be required to produce an international driver’s licence.

Business Hours:
States and Federal Civil Service and Parastatals open Monday to Friday between 8.00am. to 4.00pm.
On Fridays, School and College pupils close at 1.00pm and Muslim workers observe Jumat service between 1.00pm – 2.00pm.
Higher Institutions of learning open Monday to Friday between 8.00am to 6.30pm;
Banks open Monday to Friday between 8.00am to 4.00pm. Few banks operate on Saturday between 10.00am to 1.00pm.
Other Business Offices open Monday to Friday between 8.00am to 5.00/6.00pm. Few private offices open on Saturday and Sunday.
Almost all the Fast food Joints open on Sundays between 10.00am to 9.00pm.
Shopping Centres open Monday to Friday between 8.00am to 6.00pm.
Local Markets open Monday to Saturday between 8.00am to 7.00pm and occasionally extending into late evenings. Some localities have “Night Markets” open Monday to Sunday, 8.00pm to 12 midnight.
Sunday is mostly observed as a day of rest, church services or for visiting family and friends.
Most Traditional Wedding is contracted Thursdays to Sundays.

Natural Resources:
Natural gas, crude oil, columbite, bitumen, tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, niobium, lead, zinc, gold, kaolin, talc, silica, granite, gemstone, tantalite, arable land.

Agricultural Produce:
Cocoa, cashew, oil palm, kola nut,coffe,garlic coconut, ginger, pepper, onion, cassava, yam, fruits, fish, cattle, sheep, goat, poultry, timber, millet, rice, maize, sorghum, groundnut, cotton, plantain etc.

Main Industrial/Commercial Cities:
Lagos, Kano, Onitsha, Ibadan, Aba, Jos, Warri, Maiduguri, Osogbo, Kaduna, Benin, Port Harcourt, Zaria, Ilorin, Sokoto, Enugu, Nnewi, Sapele, Bauchi, Ota and several others.

Banks:
There are twenty four major banks in the country. They are Access Bank Plc, Afribank Nigeria Plc, Bank PHB Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, EcoBank Nigeria Plc, Equatorial Trust Bank Ltd, Fidelity Bank Plc, Fin Bank Plc, First Bank Nigeria Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Nigeria International Bank Limited, Oceanic Bank International Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Spring Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Ltd., Sterling Bank Nigeria Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Unity Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Wema Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc. Most banks have ATM machines.

Hosptials/Health Services:
There are Government Hospitals throughout Nigeria and teaching hospitals in some states. Except for severe emergency cases, these hospitals are geared towards serving the local population. Private hospitals found in major cities and town offer good facilities. Clinics dominate the smaller towns.

Major Means of Transportation:
Aircraft, train, vehicles, motorcycle, canoe, speedboat.

Main Sea Ports:
Lagos (Apapa, Tin Can, Roro), Warri, Port Harcourt, Onne Deep Sea and Hub Port, Sapele and Calabar (Export Processing Zone).

Principal Rivers:
Niger and Benue.

Main Airports:
Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Ilorin, Jos, Kaduna, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Benin, Makurdi, Akure, Ibadan, Owerri, Calabar, Yola and Minna.

Major International Airports:


  • Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
  • Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja
  • Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano
  • Port Harcourt International Airport, Port Harcourt
  • Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar

Major International Airlines in Nigeria:
Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Air Nigeria, Bellview, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Lufthansa, South African Airways, Kenya Airways, Royal Dutch Airways (KLM), Qatar Airways, Turkish Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian Airline, Egypt Air, Air Maroc Airline, Delta Air, Alitalia, Air France, Southern China Airline.

Major Domestic Airlines in Nigeria:
Afrijet, Dana Air, Arik Air, Bellview, Aero Contractors, IRS Airline, Air Nigeria, Chanchangi Airline, Overland and Sosoliso.

Road Networks:
Over 130,000km of tarred roads including Dual Carriage Trunks.

Railways:
Two main lines of south-west to north-east and south-east to north-west inter-linked and terminating at Lagos, Port Harcourt, Maiduguri, Nguru and Jos with major junctions at Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria. (Total route is 3,567km, Gauge: 1067mm).

Inland Waterways:
8,575km consisting of Niger and Benue Rivers and other smaller rivers and creeks.

Electricity:
 The main voltage in Nigeria is 220volts and 400volts. These are for domestic and industrial uses respectively. Where appliances’ electric capacities do not fall within this specification, adapter/voltage converter is needed before plugging such appliances into any sockets. 3 pin 13amps are the common sockets in Nigeria.

Energy Source:
Hydroelectric: Kainji, Jebba, Shiroro
Thermal and Gas: Egbin, Ugheli, Afam and Sapele
Coal: Oji River

Public Holidays in Nigeria:

New Year Day-January 1st
   
Id-el-fitri-Determined by year
   
Id-el-kabir-Determined by year
   
Good Friday-Determined by year
   
Easter Monday-Determined by year
   
May Day-May 1st
   
Children’s Day-May 27
   
Democracy Day-May 29th
   
Id-el-maulud-Determined by year
   
Independence Day-October 1st
   
Christmas Day-December 25th
   
Boxing Day-December 26th

 

For more Nigerian news: http://news.logbaby.com

south east blast - tour Igbo land

 

Article Credit:

Updated 5 Years ago
 

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