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Nigeria

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Federal Republic of Nigeria

Jamhuriyar Taraiyar Nijeriya (Hausa)
Ȯha nke Ohaneze Naíjíríà (Igbo)
Àpapọ̀ Olómìnira ilẹ̀ Nàìjíríà (Yoruba)
Flag
Motto: "Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress"
Anthem: "Arise, O Compatriots"
Location of  Nigeria  (dark blue)– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)– in the African Union  (light blue)  —  [Legend]
Location of  Nigeria  (dark blue)

– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)
– in the African Union  (light blue)  —  [Legend]

Capital Abuja
Largest city Lagos
Official languages English
Recognised national languages Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba
Recognised regional languages Edo, Efik, Fulani, Idoma, Ijaw Kanuri[1]
Demonym Nigerian
Government Presidential Federal republic
 -  President Muhammadu Bahari
 -  Vice President Yemi Osi­bnajo
Independence from the United Kingdom
 -  Unification of Southern and Northern Nigeria 1914 
 -  Declared and recognized 1 October 1960 
 -  Republic declared 1 October 1963 
Area
 -  Total 923,768 km2 (32nd)
356,667
 sq mi
 -  Water (%) 1.4
Population
 -  2011 estimate 167 million [2] (7th)
 -  Density 180.7/km2 (71st)
426.8/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $408.342 billion[3]
 -  Per capita $2,445
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $267.779 billion[3]
 -  Per capita $1,603
Gini (2003) 43.7
medium
HDI (2010) Increase 0.423[4]
Error: Invalid HDI value · 142nd
Currency Naira (₦) (NGN)
Time zone WAT (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+1)
Drives on the right
Calling code +234
Internet TLD .ng
1The GDP estimate is as of 2011 provided by IMF; the total and per capita ranks are however based on 2011 GDP figures of Nigeria and new population figures for Nigeria. 2English language is the official language of Nigeria, but is the second most spoken language in all states of the federation after regional and local indigenous languages [5]

Nigeria is most populated Afrikan Nation of the world, a nation with over 500 different languages and a population 1/36th the world, at 167 million strong. Nigerians from this point spread out around the world, they can be found in all Nations on earth. Nigeria is one of the Top 10 world oil producers, extremely resourceful land and according to studies presented on the BBC. Officially named the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is located in West Africa and is the most populous country in Africa and the largest Afrikan Nation on Earth. Nigerias border countries are: the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon to the east, and Niger its north. The south is the Atlantic Ocean Gulf of Guinea. The capital is the centrally-located city of Abuja; prior to its relocation in 1991, the Nigerian government was headquartered in the coastal city Lagos, which is still the business capital.

History

Recent archaeological research has shown that people were already living in south-western Nigeria (specifically Iwo-Eleru) as early as 9000 BC and perhaps earlier at Ugwuelle-Uturu (Okigwe) in south-eastern Nigeria.[1] Microlithic and ceramic industries were developed by savanna pastoralists from at least the 4th millennium BC and were continued by subsequent agricultural communities. In the south, hunting and gathering gave way to subsistence farming in the first millennium BC and the cultivation of staple foods. Primitive iron-West Africa, while Kainji Dam excavations revealed ironworking by the 2nd century BC. The transition from Neolithic times to the Iron Age apparently was achieved without intermediate bronze production. Some scholars speculate the smelting process was transmitted from the Mediterranean by Berbers. Others suggest the technology moved west from the Nile Valley, although the Iron Age in the Niger River valley and the forest region appears to predate the introduction of metallurgy in the upper savanna by more than 800 years. The earliest indentified Nigerian culture is the Nok people who thrived between 500 BC and 200 AD on the Jos Plateau in northeastern Nigeria. Information is lacking from the first millennium AD following the Nok ascendancy, but by the 2nd millennium AD there was active trade from North Africa through the Sahara to the forest with the savanna people acting as intermediaries in exchanges of various goods.

History before 1500

Long before 1500 much of modern-Nigeria was divided into states identified with contemporary ethnic groups. These early states included the Yoruba kingdoms, The Igbo kingdom of Nri, the Edo kingdom of Benin, the Hausa cities, and Nupe. Additionally numerous small states to the west and south of Lake Chad were absorbed or displaced in the course of the expansion of Kanem, which was centered to the northeast of Lake Chad. Borno, initially the western province of Kanem, became independent in the late 14th century. Other states probably existed but the absence of archaeological data do not permit accurate dating. In the southeast, the earliest Igbo state was Nri which emerged in 900 AD. Despite its relatively small size geographically it is considered the cradle of Igbo culture.

Yoruba Kingdoms and Benin

Historically the Yoruba have been the dominant group on the west bank of the Niger. Of mixed origin, they were the product of periodic waves of migrants. The Yoruba were organized in patrilineal groups that occupied village communities and subsisted on agriculture. From about the 11th century adjacent village compounds, called ile, coalesced into numerous territorial city-states in which clan loyalties became subordinate to dynastic chieftains. Urbanization was accompanied by high levels of artistic achievement, particularly in terracotta and ivory sculpture and in the sophisticated metal casting produced at Ife. The Yoruba placated a luxuriant pantheon headed by an impersonal deity, Olorun, and included lesser deities who performed various tasks. Oduduwa was regarded as the creator of the earth and the ancestor of the Yoruba kings. According to myth Oduduwa founded Ife and dispatched his sons to establish other cities, where they reigned as priest-kings. Ife was the center of as many as 400 religious cults whose traditions were manipulated to political advantage by the oni (king).

The Northern Kingdoms of the Savanna

Trade as the key to the emergence of organized communities in the savanna portions of Nigeria. Prehistoric inhabitants adjusting to the encroaching desert were widely scattered by the third millennium BC, when the desiccation of the Sahara began. Trans-Saharan trade routes linked the western Sudan with the Mediterranean since the time of Carthage and with the upper Nile from a much earlier date, establishing avenues of communication and cultural influence that remained open until the end of the 19th century. By these same routes, Islam made its way south into West Africa after the 9th century AD.

By then a string of dynastic states, including the earliest Hausa states, stretched across the western and central Sudan. The most powerful of these states were Ghana, Gao, and Kanem, which were not within the boundaries of modern Nigeria but indirectly influenced the history of the Nigerian savanna. Ghana declined in the 11th century but was succeeded by Mali Empire which consolidated much of the western Sudan in the 13th century. Following the breakup of Mali a local leader named Sonni Ali (1464 -1492) founded the Songhai Empire in the region of middle Niger and the western Sudan and took control of the trans-Saharan trade. Sunni Ali seized Timbuktu in 1468 and Jenne in 1473, building his regime on trade revenues and the cooperation of Muslim merchants. His successor Askiya Mohammad Ture (1493 - 1528) made Islam the official religion, built mosques, and brought Muslim scholars, including al-Maghili (d. c. 1505), the founder of an important tradition of Sudanic African Muslim scholarship, to Gao.[1] Although these western empires had little political influence on the Nigerian savanna before 1500, they had a strong cultural and economic impact that became more pronounced in the 16th century, especially because these states became associated with the spread of Islam and trade. Throughout the 16th century much of northern Nigeria paid homage to Songhai in the west or to Borno, a rival empire in the east.

Kanem-Bornu Empire

Borno's history is closely associated with Kanem, which had achieved imperial status in the Lake Chad basin by the 13th century. Kanem expanded westward to include the area that became Borno. The mai (king) of Kanem and his court accepted Islam in the 11th century, as the western empires also had done. Islam was used to reinforce the political and social structures of the state although many established customs were maintained. Women, for example, continued to exercise considerable political influence.

The mai employed his mounted bodyguard and an inchoate army of nobles to extend Kanem's authority into Borno. By tradition the territory was conferred on the heir to the throne to govern during his apprenticeship. In the 14th century, however, dynastic conflict forced the then-ruling group and its followers to relocate in Borno, where as a result the Kanuri emerged as an ethnic group in the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The civil war that disrupted Kanem in the second half of the 14th century resulted in the independence of Borno.

Borno's prosperity depended on the trans-Sudanic slave trade and the desert trade in salt and livestock. The need to protect its commercial interests compelled Borno to intervene in Kanem, which continued to be a theater of war throughout the fifteenth and into the sixteenth centuries. Despite its relative political weakness in this period, Borno's court and mosques under the patronage of a line of scholarly kings earned fame as centers of Islamic culture and learning.

History of Nigeria (1500-1800)

Savanna states

During the 16th century the Songhai Empire reached its peak, stretching from the Senegal and Gambia rivers and incorporating part of Hausaland in the east. Concurrently the Saifawa Dynasty of Borno conquered Kanem and extended control west to Hausa cities not under Songhai authority. Largely because of Songhai's influence, there was a blossoming of Islamic learning and culture. Songhai collapsed in 1591 when a Moroccan army conquered Gao and Timbuktu. Morocco was unable to control the empire and the various provinces, including the Hausa states, became independent. The collapse undermined Songhai's hegemony over the Hausa states and abruptly altered the course of regional history.

Borno reached its apogee under mai Idris Aloma (ca. 1569-1600) during whose reign Kanem was reconquered. The destruction of Songhai left Borno uncontested and until the 18th century Borno dominated northern Nigeria. Despite Borno's hegemony the Hausa states continued to wrestle for ascendancy. Gradually Borno's position weakened; its inability to check political rivalries between competing Hausa cities was one example of this decline. Another factor was the military threat of the Tuareg centered at Agades who penetrated the northern districts of Borno. The major cause of Borno's decline was a severe drought that struck the Sahel and savanna from in the middle of the 18th century. As a consequence Borno lost many northern territories to the Tuareg whose mobility allowed them to endure the famine more effectively. Borno regained some of its former might in the succeeding decades, but another drought occurred in the 1790s, again weakening the state.

Ecological and political instability provided the background for the jihad of Usman dan Fodio. The military rivalries of the Hausa states strained the regions economic resources at a time when drought and famine undermined farmers and herders. Many Fulani moved into Hausaland and Borno, and their arrival increased tensions because they had no loyalty to the political authorities, who saw them as a source of increased taxation. By the end of the 18th century, some Muslim ulema began articulating the grievances of the common people. Efforts to eliminate or control these religious leaders only heightened the tensions, setting the stage for jihad.


The Ibibio (Efik/Ibibio)Kingdom

The Ibibio Kingdom consists of speakers of the dialects of the Ibibio language (Efik, Ibibio). They inhabit the coastal Southeastern Nigeria and the coastal southwester Cameroon. They believe to have inhabitted the coastal southeastern Nigeria prior to the birth of Christ. Their coastal ports made them the first group in southeastern parts of Nigeria to have contact with European traders and missionaries. A popular weakness of the Ibibio (Efik/Ibibio) people is lack of central political leadership to organize the Efik/Ibibio under the common language that they all speak. The Obong of Calabar has been their well known ancient monarch. Some people have attempted to include the Annang in this category, but the Annang have rejected such classification and have insisted that they are an independednt group.

The Ibibio gods were many, but for them, their mythology recognized a supreme God called Abasi.

One of their major secrete societies, the Ekpe Secrete Society developed one of the major ancient African script, the Nsibidi written script. They produced the first Nigerian Profesor, Professor Eyo Ita, who was the pioneer champion of youth movement in Nigeria for independence. He later became the first Premier of the former Eastern Region of Nigeria, and a member of the Nigerian team that negociated Nigerian independence in Britain.

This Kingdom became one of the original Nigerian twelve states, the Southeastern State of Nigeria which was later split into two states, the Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State.

The Igbo States

The Onitsha Kingdom, which was originally inhabited by Igbos, was founded in the 16th century by migrants from Benin. Later groups like the Igalas and Igbo traders from the hinterland settled in Onitsha in the 18nth century. Another Igbo kingdom to form was the Arochukwu kingdom which emerged after the Aro-Ibibio wars from 1630-1720, and went on to form the Aro Confederacy which dominated midwestern and eastern Nigeria with pockets of influence in Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon.

Igbo gods, like those of the Yoruba, were numerous, but their relationship to one another and human beings was essentially egalitarian, reflecting Igbo society as a whole. A number of oracles and local cults attracted devotees while the central deity, the earth mother and fertility figure Ala, was venerated at shrines throughout Igboland.

The weakness of a popular theory that Igbos were stateless rests on the paucity of historical evidence of pre-colonial Igbo society. There is a huge gap between the archaeological finds of Igbo Ukwu, which reveal a rich material culture in the heart of the Igbo region in the 8th century, and the oral traditions of the 20th century. Benin exercised considerable influence on the western Igbo who adopted many of the political structures familiar to the Yoruba-Benin region. Ofega was the queen.

European Influence

Through wars, the British expanded trade with the Nigerian interior. In 1885 British claims to a West African sphere of influence received international recognition and in the following year the Royal Niger Company was chartered under the leadership of Sir George Taubman Goldie. In 1900 the company's territory came under the control of the British Government, which moved to consolidate its hold over the area of modern Nigeria. On January 1, 1901 Nigeria became a British protectorate, part of the British Empire, the foremost world power at the time.

In 1914 the area was formally united as the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria. Administratively Nigeria remained divided into the northern and southern provinces and Lagos colony. Western education and the development of a modern economy proceeded more rapidly in the south than in the north, with consequences felt in Nigeria's political life ever since. Following World War II, in response to the growth of Nigerian nationalism and demands for independence, successive constitutions legislated by the British Government moved Nigeria toward self-government on a representative and increasingly federal basis. By middle of the 20th century, when the great wave for independence was sweeping across Africa.

Independence

Nigeria was granted full independence in October 1960 under a constitution that provided for a parliamentary government and a substantial measure of self-government for the country's three regions. From 1959 to 1960, Jaja Wachuku was the First black Speaker of the Nigerian Parliament - also called the "House of Representatives". Wachuku replaced Sir Frederick Metcalfe of Great Britain. Notably, as First Speaker of the House, Jaja Wachuku received Nigeria's Instrument of Independence - also known as Freedom Charter, on October 1, 1960 from Princess Alexandra of Kent - HM The Queen of United Kingdom's representative at the Nigerian Independence ceremonies. The federal government was given exclusive powers in defense, foreign relations, and commercial and fiscal policy. The British Monarch was still head of state but legislative power was vested in a bicameral parliament, executive power in a prime minister and cabinet, and judicial authority in a Federal Supreme Court. Political parties, however, tended to reflect the make up of the three main ethnic groups. The NPC (Nigerian people's Congress) represented conservative, Muslim, largely Hausa interests, and dominated the Northern Region. The NCNC (National Convention of Nigerian Citizens), was Igbo- and Christian-dominated, ruling in the Eastern Region, and the AG (Action Group) was a left-leaning party that controlled the Yoruba west. The first post-independence National Government was formed by a conservative alliance of the NCNC and the NPC, with Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, a Hausa, becoming Nigeria's first Prime Minister. The Yoruba-dominated AG became the opposition under its charismatic leader Chief Obafemi Awolowo."

Geography

Nigeria is located in western Africa on the Gulf of Guinea and has a total area of 923,768 km2 (356,669 sq mi),[6] making it the world's 32nd-largest country (after Tanzania). It is comparable in size to Venezuela, and is about twice the size of California. It shares a 4,047 kilometres (2,515 mi) border with Benin (773 km), Niger (1497 km), Chad (87 km), Cameroon (1690 km), and has a coastline of at least 853 km.[7] Nigeria lies between latitudes and 14°N, and longitudes and 15°E.

The highest point in Nigeria is Chappal Waddi at 2,419 m (7,936 ft). The main rivers are the Niger and the Benue River which converge and empty into the Niger Delta, one of the world's largest river deltas and the location of a large area of Central African Mangroves.

Nigeria is also an important center for biodiversity. It is widely believed that the areas surrounding Calabar, Cross River State, contain the world's largest diversity of butterflies. The drill monkey is only found in the wild in Southeast Nigeria and neighbouring Cameroon.

Nigeria has a varied landscape. The far south is defined by its tropical rainforest climate, where annual rainfall is 60 to 80 inches (1,524 to 2,032 mm) a year.[8] In the southeast stand the Obudu Plateau. Coastal plains are found in both the southwest and the southeast.[9] This forest zone's most southerly portion is defined as salt water swamp, also known as a mangrove swamp because of the large amount of mangroves in the area. North of this is fresh water swamp, containing different vegetation from the salt water swamp, and north of that is rain forest.[10][10]

Nigeria's most expansive topographical region is that of the valleys of the Niger and Benue River valleys (which merge into each other and form a "y" shape).[9] To the southwest of the Niger there is "rugged" highland, and to the southeast of the Benue are hills and mountains which forms the Mambilla Plateau,the highest Plateau in Nigeria.This plateau extends to the border with Cameroon, this montane land is part of the Bamenda Highlands in Cameroon. The area near the border with Cameroon close to the coast is rich rainforest and part of the Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests ecoregion, an important centre for biodiversity including the drill monkey which is only found in the wild in this area and across the border in Cameroon. It is widely believed that the areas surrounding Calabar, Cross River State, also in this forest, contain the world's largest diversity of butterflies. The area of southern Nigeria between the Niger and the Cross Rivers has seen its forest more or less disappear to be replaced by grassland (see Cross-Niger transition forests).

Everything in between the far south and the far north, is savannah (insignificant tree cover, with grasses and flowers located between trees), and rainfall is between 20 and 60 inches (508 and 1,524 mm) per year.[8] The savannah zone's three categories are Guinean forest-savanna mosaic, plains of tall grass which are interrupted by trees and the most common across the country: Sudan savannah, similar but with "shorter grasses and shorter trees; and Sahel savannah, comprised patches of grass and sand, found in the northeast.[10] To the north is the Sahel with its almost desert-like climate, where rain is less than 20 inches (508 mm) per year and the Sahara Desert is encroaching.[8] In the dry north-east corner of the country lies Lake Chad, which Nigeria shares with Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Subdivisions

Nigeria is divided into thirty-six states and one Federal Capital Territory, which are further sub-divided into 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs). The plethora of states, of which there were only three at independence, reflect the country's tumultuous history and the difficulties of managing such a heterogeneous national entity at all levels of government.

Nigeria has six cities with a population of over 1 million people (from largest to smallest: Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, and Benin City). Lagos is the largest city in sub-Saharan Africa, with a population of over 8 million in its urban area alone. Population of Nigeria's cities over a million are listed below

Population of major cities

City Population
Lagos 7,937,932
Kano 3,848,885
Ibadan 3,078,400
Kaduna 1,652,844
Port Harcourt 1,320,214
Benin City 1,051,600
Maiduguri 1,044,497
Zaria 1,018,827

However, these figures are regularly disputed in Nigeria.[11]

States of Nigeria, there are a total of 36 states in Nigeria and then Abuja, the federal capital territory.

States:

  1. Abuja
  2. Anambra
  3. Enugu
  4. Akwa Ibom
  5. Adamawa
  6. Abia
  7. Bauchi
  8. Bayelsa
  9. Benue
  10. Borno
  11. Cross River
  12. Delta
  13. Ebonyi
  1. Edo
  2. Ekiti
  3. Gombe
  4. Imo
  5. Jigawa
  6. Kaduna
  7. Kano
  8. Katsina
  9. Kebbi
  10. Kogi
  11. Kwara
  12. Lagos
  13. Nasarawa
  1. Niger
  2. Ogun
  3. Ondo
  4. Osun
  5. Oyo
  6. Plateau
  7. Rivers
  8. Sokoto
  9. Taraba
  10. Yobe
  11. Zamfara

Federal Capital Territory: Abuja


Key sectors

Obafemi Awolowo University Palm farm, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Nigeria is the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8th largest exporter, and has the 10th largest proven reserves. (The country joined OPEC in 1971). Petroleum plays a large role in the Nigerian economy, accounting for 40% of GDP and 80% of Government earnings. However, agitation for better resource control in the Niger Delta, its main oil producing region, has led to disruptions in oil production and currently prevents the country from exporting at 100% capacity.[12]

Nigeria has one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world, major emerging market operators (like MTN, Etisalat, Zain and Globacom) basing their largest and most profitable centres in the country.[13] The government has recently begun expanding this infrastructure to space based communications. Nigeria has a space satellite which is monitored at the Nigerian National Space Research and Development Agency Headquarters in Abuja.

The country has a highly developed financial services sector, with a mix of local and international banks, asset management companies, brokerage houses, insurance companies and brokers, private equity funds and investment banks.[14]

Nigeria also has a wide array of underexploited mineral resources which include natural gas, coal, bauxite, tantalite, gold, tin, iron ore, limestone, niobium, lead and zinc.[15] Despite huge deposits of these natural resources, the mining industry in Nigeria is still in its infancy.

Agriculture used to be the principal foreign exchange earner of Nigeria.[16] At one time, Nigeria was the world's largest exporter of groundnuts, cocoa, and palm oil and a significant producer of coconuts, citrus fruits, maize, pearl millet, cassava, yams and sugar cane. About 60% of Nigerians work in the agricultural sector, and Nigeria has vast areas of underutilized arable land.[17]

It also has a manufacturing industry which includes leather and textiles (centred Kano, Abeokuta, Onitsha, and Lagos), car manufacturing (for the French car manufacturer Peugeot as well as for the English truck manufacturer Bedford, now a subsidiary of General Motors), t-shirts, plastics and processed food.

The country has recently made considerable amount of revenue from home made Nigerian Movies which are sold locally and Internationally. These movies are popular in other African countries and among African immigrants in Europe.

Science and technology

Three satellites have been launched by the Nigerian government into space. The Nigeriasat-1 was the first satellite to be built under the Nigerian government sponsorship. The satellite was launched from Russia on 27 September 2003. Nigeriasat-1 was part of the world-wide Disaster Monitoring Constellation System.[18] The primary objectives of the Nigeriasat-1 were: to give early warning signals of environmental disaster; to help detect and control desertification in the northern part of Nigeria; to assist in demographic planning; to establish the relationship between malaria vectors and the environment that breeds malaria and to give early warning signals on future outbreaks of meningitis using remote sensing technology; to provide the technology needed to bring education to all parts of the country through distant learning; and to aid in conflict resolution and border disputes by mapping out state and International borders.

NigeriaSat-2, Nigeria's second satellite, was built as a high-resolution earth satellite by Surrey Space Technology Limited, a United Kingdom-based satellite technology company. It has 2.5-metre resolution panchromatic (very high resolution), 5-metre multispectral (high resolution, NIR red, green and red bands), and 32-metre multispectral (medium resolution, NIR red, green and red bands) antennas, with a ground receiving station in Abuja. The NigeriaSat-2 spacecraft alone was built at a cost of over £35 million.[citation needed] This satellite was launched into orbit from a military base in China.[18]

NigComSat-1, a Nigerian satellite built in 2004, was Nigeria's third satellite and Africa's first communication satellite. It was launched on 13 May 2007, aboard a Chinese Long March 3B carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China. The spacecraft was operated by NigComSat and the Nigerian Space Agency, NASRDA. On November 11, 2008, NigComSat-1 failed in orbit after running out of power due to an anomaly in its solar array. It was based on the Chinese DFH-4 satellite bus, and carries a variety of transponders: 4 C-band; 14 Ku-band; 8 Ka-band; and 2 L-band. It was designed to provide coverage to many parts of Africa, and the Ka-band transponders would also cover Italy.

On 10 November 2008 (0900 GMT), the satellite was reportedly switched off for analysis and to avoid a possible collision with other satellites. According to Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, it was put into "emergency mode operation in order to effect mitigation and repairs".[19] The satellite eventually failed after losing power on 11 November 2008.

On March 24, 2009, the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, NigComSat Ltd. and CGWIC signed a further contract for the in-orbit delivery of the NigComSat-1R satellite. NigComSat-1R was also a DFH-4 satellite, and is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2011 as a replacement for the failed NigComSat-1.[20]

Demographics

Population density in Nigeria
Population in Nigeria [21]
Year Million
1971 55.1
1980 71.1
1990 94.5
2000 124.8
2004 138.0
2008 151.3

Population in Nigeria increased from 1990 to 2008 with 57 million and 60 % growth in population.[21] Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa but exactly how populous is a subject of speculation. The United Nations estimates that the population in 2009 was at 154,729,000, distributed as 51.7% rural and 48.3% urban, and with a population density of 167.5 people per square kilometer. National census results in the past few decades have been disputed. The results of the most recent census were released in December 2006 and gave a population of 140,003,542. The only breakdown available was by gender: males numbered 71,709,859, females numbered 68,293,08.

According to the United Nations, Nigeria has been undergoing explosive population growth and one of the highest growth and fertility rates in the world. By their projections, Nigeria is one of eight countries expected to account collectively for half of the world's total population increase from 2005–2050.[22] By 2100 the UN estimates that the Nigerian population will be no less than 730 million.[23] In 1950, Nigeria had only 33 million people.[24]

According to current data, one out of every four Africans is Nigerian.[25] Presently, Nigeria is the seventh most populous country in the world, and even conservative estimates conclude that more than 20% of the world's black population lives in Nigeria. 2006 estimates claim 42.3% of the population is between 0–14 years of age, while 54.6% is between 15–65; the birth rate is significantly higher than the death rate, at 40.4 and 16.9 per 1000 people respectively.[26]

Health, health care, and general living conditions in Nigeria are poor. Life expectancy is 47 years (average male/female) and just over half the population has access to potable water and appropriate sanitation; the percentage is of children under five has gone up rather than down between 1990 and 2003 and infant mortality is 97.1 deaths per 1000 live births.[26] HIV/AIDS rate in Nigeria is much lower compared to the other African nations such as Kenya or South Africa whose prevalence (percentage) rates are in the double digits. In 2003, the HIV prevalence rate among 20 to 29 year-olds was 5.6%.[27] Nigeria suffers from periodic outbreaks of cholera, malaria, and sleeping sickness. It is the only country in Africa to have never eradicated polio, which it periodically exports to other African countries. A 2004 vaccination drive, spearheaded by the W.H.O. to combat polio and malaria, met with some opposition in the north,[28] but polio was cut 98% between 2009 and 2010.

Education is in a state of neglect. After the 1970s oil boom, tertiary education was improved so that it would reach every subregion of Nigeria. Education is provided free by the government, but the attendance rate for secondary education is only 29% (32% for males, 27% for females). The education system has been described as "dysfunctional" largely because of decaying institutional infrastructure. 68% of the population is literate, and the rate for men (75.7%) is higher than that for women (60.6%).[26]

Nigeria's largest city is Lagos. Lagos has grown from about 300,000 in 1950[29] to an estimated 15 million today, and the Nigerian government estimates that city will have expanded to 25 million residents by 2015.[30]

Traditional beliefs

Alongside the main religious sect is the traditional belief system that without contradicting civil law, manages to also govern ethics and morality amongst much of the population.

THE IGBE RELIGION IN SOUTHERN NIGERIA

The word religion can be defining as the people beliefs to a deity. The word Igbe is coined out from the Urhobo word that means literally dancing. Furthermore, Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.[1] Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature.This religious group as been in practice since the late 1900s. It has an average population of more than 20, 000 people which are mostly from the Urhobo speaking tribe of Delta state in Nigeria. The Igbe religion belief in the worship of a deity called the Orise which mean God almighty also coined from the Nkwani speaking people of the state. The Igbe religion is organized eternally with the following grade of people and positions. Though, the Igbe religion does not have world recognition but is practice is very common with the Urhobo people of the Niger-Delta people of Nigeria.

POSITION OF OFFICERS IN THE IGBE RELIGION KINGDOM

1. Oku (King): this is the head of any denomination and he is given the authority to crane Olori without questioning. But this head pay a tribute to the general Oku either in Ogono or Ukokori all in Ughelli North LGA. Of Delta state Nigeria.

2. Ovieya (Queen): this is the female head of any denomination and she is given the authority to crane Olori without questioning. But this head pay a tribute to the general Oku either in Ogono or Ukokori all in Ughelli South LGA. Of delta state Nigeria

3. Olori (Men head): this is the men head and the headiest of this group is like the Elder quorum president in the Mormon Church that can preside if the Bishop is not in service. If the Uko or the Ovieya is not in service the Olori Okpako is allowed to offer prayer and even pour liberation.

4. Igbe-ehele: these are other group of men that are holding the lesser authority but are to act under the authority of the Olori but are not permitted to act when the Olori is there.

5. Onigbe: this is the head of women in the group and the are Onigbe because they are regarded as the mother of the gathering.

6. Akpile: this is the chorister group in the group.

7. Oyinko: this is the protocol officer and the Public Relation Officer

8. Igbedjobo: the persons in this group in the kingdom are the seers and the revelators within the kingdom. SONGS AND HYNMS

The Igbe religion as I explain does not sing hymns but native Urhobo songs which are locally sings with members particularly during their Igbe service. The choir leader call the Akpile will raise the song and allow others to chorus it. But, their pattens of singing are not organized because they are locally branded.

Healing and sanctification pattern

Physiological healing is the restoration of damaged living tissue, organs and biological system to normal function. It is the process by which the cells in the body regenerate and repair to reduce the size of a damaged or necrotic area. Healing incorporates both the removal of necrotic tissue (demolition), and the replacement of this issue (www.wikipedia.com). The core fanatics of the Igbe religion does not beliefs in the taking of the orthodox medicines or the locally made types but always make use of white native chalk that is locally made and the drinking of drinks poured as libation for the healing. This exercise most be repeated daily particularly for the sick. Based on their pattern of faith many of their faithful are heal and they are equally sanctify with the use of soft drinks like Coke and Fanta brand of COCA-COLA.


Traditional religion among the Yorubas

Temple of Ọṣun in Oṣogbo, Nigeria.
Main article: Yoruba religion

In the city-states of Yorubaland and its neighbors, a more reserved way of life remains, one that expresses a theology that links local beliefs to a central citadel government and its sovereignty over a hinterland of communities through the monarch. The seat of the king (oba) is responsible for the welfare of its juriisdiction, in return for confirmation of the legitimacy of the oba's rule over his subjects.

Practices

In addition to ensuring access to, and the continual fertility of, both land and people, seasonal carnivals act as a spectacle for "tourism" contributing to regional productivity.

"Society in general has more gradually and selectively expanded to accommodate new influences, it is fairly certain that they will continue to assert their distinctive cultural identity in creative and often ingenious ways".[31]


Notes

Shaw, T.& Daniells, S. G. H. 1984. Excavations At Iwo-Eleru, Ondo State, Nigeria. West African Journal of Archsmelting furnaces at Taruga dating from the 4th century BC provide the oldest evidence of metalworking in aeology. Vol.14

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