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Nigeria

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Official nameFederal Republic of Nigeria
Form of governmentfederal republic with two legislatures (Senate [109]; House of Representatives [360])
Head of state and governmentPresident
CapitalAbuja
Official languageEnglish
Official religionnone
Monetary unitNigerian naira (₦)
Population estimate(2007) 144,077,000
Total area (sq mi)356,669
Total area (sq km)923,768

Main

The presidential palace, Abuja, Nigeria.[Credits : M. Bertinetti—IGDA/DeA Picture Library]country located on the western coast of Africa. Nigeria has a diverse geography, with climates ranging from arid to humid equatorial. However, Nigeria’s most diverse feature is its people. Hundreds of languages are spoken in the country, including Yoruba, Igbo, Fula, Hausa, Edo, Ibibio, Tiv, and English. The country has abundant natural resources, notably large deposits of petroleum and natural gas.

The new national capital is Abuja, in the Federal Capital Territory, which was created by decree in 1976. Lagos, the former capital, retains its standing as the country’s leading commercial and industrial city.

Modern Nigeria dates from 1914, when the British Protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria were joined. The country became independent on Oct. 1, 1960, and in 1963 adopted a republican constitution but elected to stay a member of the Commonwealth. The First Republic was replaced by the military, which ruled for 13 years. The Second Republic lasted from 1979 to 1983, followed by another 15 years of military rule.

Land

Nigeria is bordered to the north by Niger, to the east by Chad and Cameroon, to the south by the Gulf of Guinea of the Atlantic Ocean, and to the west by Benin. Nigeria is not only large in area—larger than the U.S. state of Texas—but also Africa’s most populous country.

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Nigeria

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