Country Profile, The Land and People
150 million (estimate)
Three-tier structure – A Federal Government, 36 State Governments, 774 Local Government Administrations
Main Indigenous Languages:
Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba
Christianity, Islam, Traditional
Main Commercial/Industrial Cities:
Lagos, Onitsha, Kano, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Aba, Maiduguri, Jos, Kaduna, Warri, Benin, Nnewi
Major Industrial Complexes:
Refineries and Petrochemicals: Kaduna, Warri, Port Harcourt, Eleme. Iron and Steel: Ajaokuta, Warri, Oshogbo, Katsina, Jos. Fertilizer: Onne- Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Minna, Kano Liquified Natural Gas: Bonny Aluminium Smelter: Ikot Abasi, Port Harcourt
Lagos (Apapa, Tin-can Island), Warri, Port Harcourt, Onne Deep Sea and Hub Port, Calabar (EPZ)
Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Enugu, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Ilorin, Jos, Owerri, Calabar, Yola, Sokoto
Over 15,000 km of intercity all-weather paved roads, including dual carriage express trunks.
2 main lines (South-West to North-East; South-East to North-West) inter-linked and terminatory at Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kaura Namoda, Maiduguri, and Nguru. Major junctions at Kaduna, Kafanchan, Zaria. Gauge: 1067mm; Total length 3505 route km.
Hydro-electric: Kainji, Jebba, Shiroro. Thermal and Gas: Egbin (Lagos), Ughelli, Afam, Sapele, National grid for electricity distribution; National pipeline network with regional depots for petroleum products distribution; National network (pipeline) for distribution of gas (under construction)
NAIRA and KOBO N1.00 = l00k (one naira = hundred kobos)
Nigeria is situated in the West African region and lies between longitudes 3 degrees and 14 degrees and latitudes 4 degrees and 140 degrees. It has a landmass of 923,768 sq. km.. It is bordered to the north by the
Republics of Niger and Tchad. It shares borders to the west with the Republic of Benin, while the Republic of Cameroun shares the eastern borders right down to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean which forms the southern limits of Nigerian Territory. The about 800km of coastline confers on the country the potentials of maritime power. The land is in abundance in Nigeria for agricultural, industrial and commercial activities
Temperatures across the country are relatively high with a very narrow variation in seasonal and diurnal ranges (22-36t). There are two basic seasons; the wet season which lasts from April to October; and the dry season which lasts from November till March. The dry season commences with Harmattan, a dry chilly spell that lasts till February and is associated with lower temperatures, a dusty and hazy atmosphere brought about by the North-Easterly winds blowing from the Arabian peninsular across the Sahara; the second half of the dry season, February – March, is the hottest period of the year when temperatures range from 33 to 38 degrees centigrade. The extremes of the wet season are felt on the southeastern coast where annual rainfall might reach a high of 330cm; while the extremes of the dry season, in aridity and high temperatures, are felt in the Northern third of the country.
In line with the rainfall distribution, a wetter south and a drier northern half, there are two broad vegetation types: Forests and Savanna. There are three variants of each, running as near parallel bands east to west across the country. Forests Savanna Saline water swamp Guinea Savanna Fresh water swamp Sudan Savanna Tropical (high) evergreen Sahel Savanna.
There is also the mountain vegetation of the isolated high plateau regions on the far eastern extremes of the country (Jos, Mambilla, Obudu).
The savanna, especially Guinea and Sudan, are the major grains, grasses, tubers, vegetable and cotton growing regions.
The Tropical evergreen rain forest belt bears timber production and forest development, production of cassava; and plantation growing of fruit trees – citrus, oil palm, cocoa, rubber, among others.
Nigeria is famous for its huge population of about 220 million people – the largest national population on the African continent. This population is made up of about 374 pure ethnic stocks. Three of them, Hausa, Ibo, and Yoruba are the major groups and constitute over 40 percent of the population. In fact, about 10 ethnic linguistic groups constitute more than 80% of the population: the other large groups are Tiv, Ibibio, Ijaw, Kanuri, Nupe, Gwari, Igala, Jukun, Idoma, Fulani, Edo, Urhobo, and Ijaw. The gender divide of Nigeria’s population, as indicated by the last census in 1991, reflects an unusual in-balance in favour of male dominance; 51% male: 49% female.
However, the more critical population indices concern
- High growth rate – 3.2%; this is affected by decreased infant mortality and high fertility.
- High school-age population – over 47% are 15 years and below
- The high child dependency ratio – one dependent to one worker for the working-age group 25-65.
- Large workforce – working-age group 15-59 is over 40 percent of the population.
Due to a massive expansion in the education sector in the last two decades, the coloration and quality of the Nigerian workforce have changed to include a large corps of highly trained personnel in mechanical, civil, electrical, electronics, chemical, and petroleum engineering and biotechnics. There are at present over 30 Federal and State Universities, some of them specialist -Technology and Agriculture. In addition, there are at least 20 Federal and State Polytechnics. Over 70,000 graduates in various disciplines from these institutions every year. Disciplines, apart from pure sciences, engineering and technologies, include social sciences, business studies (management, banking, and finance), architecture, environment, and urban management studies. Also, a sizeable Nigerian population has been and is being trained outside the country, in some of the best colleges in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, Japan, and China.
Every year, about 2,000 of these Nigerians return home to seek employment or accommodation within the economy.
For the less skilled and unskilled labour, the country depends on the primary and secondary school systems whose annual enrolments are over 3.5 million and 1.5 million, respectively.
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