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Jamhuriyar Taraiyar Nijeriya (Haussa)
Njíkötá Óchíchìiwù Naíjíríà (Igbo)
Àpapọ̀ Olómìnira ilẹ̀ Nàìjíríà (Yoruba)
Federal Republic of Nigeria (English)
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Flag of Nigeria
Nigerian coat of arms
flag coat of arms
Motto : "Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress"
engl. for "unity and faith, peace and progress"
Official language English , Hausa , Igbo , Yoruba
Capital Abuja
Form of government Federal Republic
Government system Presidential system
Head of state , also head of government President
Muhammadu Buhari
surface 923,768 ( 31st ) km²
population 214,028,302 (estimate July 2020)
Population density 231 inhabitants per km²
Population development   + 2.44% (2016)
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nominal)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 398.2 billion ( 31st )
  • $ 1,168.8 billion ( 24. )
  • 2,033 USD ( 145. )
  • 5,967 USD ( 137. )
Human Development Index 0.532 ( 152nd ) (2017)
currency Naira (NGN)
independence October 1, 1960
(from the UK )
National anthem Arise Oh Compatriots, Nigeria's Call Obey
National holiday October 1st (Independence Day)
Time zone UTC + 1
License Plate NGR
ISO 3166 NG , NGA, 566
Internet TLD .ng
Telephone code +234
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Nigeria [ niˈgeːʁi̯a ] (officially English Federal Republic of Nigeria [ naɪ̯ˈdʒɪ (ə) ɹɪ̯ə ] - Federal Republic of Nigeria ) is a federal state in West Africa that borders the Atlantic Ocean and the countries of Benin , Niger , Chad and Cameroon . With over 200 million inhabitants (2018) it is by far the most populous country in Africa and the country with the seventh largest population worldwide. Between 1989 and 2019, the country's population doubled. Nigeria's capital is Abuja , its largest city by far is Lagos with around 22 million inhabitants; other megacities are Ibadan , Benin City , Kano , Port Harcourt and Kaduna .

The country was home to numerous states and kingdoms in pre-colonial times. The current state is based on the drawing of borders by the British when they colonized Nigeria in the 19th century. In 1960 Nigeria became independent and, after a civil war from 1967 to 1970, switched for decades between democratically elected governments and military governments. In 1999 Nigeria was democratized again, although the elections from the 2010s onwards are classified as reasonably fair.

Nigeria is a country with great cultural diversity: numerous West African religions are practiced and 514 different languages ​​and idioms are spoken. The three largest ethnic groups are the Igbo , Yoruba and Hausa . English is the official language and a widely used lingua franca . Often violent ethnic conflicts prevail between the Muslim north and the predominantly Christian - animist south.

Since 2014, Nigeria has been the largest economy in Africa, ahead of South Africa. It is viewed as an emerging market by the World Bank .


Nigeria is located in West Africa on the Atlantic Ocean and covers an area of ​​923,768 square kilometers with an east-west and north-south extension of 1200 and 1100 kilometers respectively. A distinctive feature of the country are the southeast running Niger River and its southwest running tributary Benue , which converge in Nigeria and flow into the Gulf of Guinea in the Niger Delta . The Niger Delta is one of the largest river deltas on earth and extends over an area of ​​around 70,000 km². That is roughly the size of Bavaria .

The approximately 850 km long coastal strip on the Gulf of Guinea is characterized by lagoons (in the west, for example, the lagoon of Lagos ) and mangrove swamps . It reaches its greatest extent in the Niger Delta. The inland belt of tropical rainforest, which used to be almost 100 kilometers wide , has been largely cleared and replaced by secondary forest . Further north there is a region called the Middle Belt , in which the wet savannah of Sudan extends, to which the dry savannah of the Sahel joins. The Jos Plateau in eastern Nigeria , a highland up to 1,829 meters high, forms its own vegetation zone .

The highest point in Nigeria is Mount Chappal Waddi , located in the mountainous region near the border with Cameroon, at an altitude of 2,419 meters . The only known volcanic area in Nigeria is the Biu Plateau .


Climate zones of Nigeria

Nigeria is influenced by two climate zones: tropical, humid and hot climate in the south with a prolific rainy season , which lasts from April to October. The humidity is high all year round, between 85 and 95 percent. The mean temperatures in southern Nigeria are around 30 ° C. It usually cools only a little at night. In northern Nigeria there is a desert climate with higher temperatures and less precipitation than in the south. The rainy season of the West African monsoons lasts from June to September and the dry season with periods of drought lasts from November to March; the Harmattan brings dry, hot air from the Sahara during this time . Temperatures in the north can rise to 50 degrees. However, the humidity here is much lower and more pleasant. The temperature differences are up to 20 degrees between day and night. The rainy season is less pronounced in northern Nigeria.


Nigeria is divided into two main catchment areas - that of Lake Chad and that of Niger. The Niger catchment area takes up about 63% of the country. The main tributary of the Niger is the Benue, whose tributaries extend beyond Cameroon to Chad and the Scharieinzu area.

The Chad Basin is fed from the northeastern quarter of Nigeria. The abdominal plateau forms the watershed between the river systems of the Niger / Benue and the Komadugu Yobe . The flat plains in northeast Nigeria belong geographically to the Chad Basin , in which the El Beid river forms the border with Cameroon, from the Mandara Mountains to Lake Chad . The Komadugu Yobe river system creates the internationally important Hadejia-Nguru wetlands and Ox-bow lakes around Lake Nguru during the rainy season . Other rivers in the northeast are the Ngadda and the Yedseram , both of which flow through the Sambisa swamps and thereby form a river system.

There are also numerous coastal rivers.

Catchment area distribution of the country in percent

Catchment area Square kilometre Percent of the country's area
Niger 584,404 63.3
Lake Chad 179,300 19.4
Cross River 40,300 4.4
Ogun 22,540 2.4
Ouémé (Okpara) 9,700 1.1
Imo 9,100 1.0
Osun 9,014 1.0
More coastal rivers 69,410 7.5
NigeriaNigeria Nigeria overall 923,768 100


Climate and vegetation zones

Nigeria comprises five different vegetation zones in which a rich flora and fauna could develop. This ranges from the extensive mangrove forests in the coastal regions to the tropical rainforests in the mountain regions to the savannas of the Sudan and the Sahel. This natural wealth is a product of the different climatic conditions, which gave rise to a multitude of different ecosystems . Precipitation is very unevenly distributed and is characterized by a sharp meridional gradient . In the north of the country there is between 400 and 600 mm of precipitation, in the rainy season of the West African monsoons from June to September. This precipitation supports the development of the biomes in the Sahel zone in the northeast, which takes up about 10% of the land area of ​​Nigeria. It is determined by extensive grass savannahs interspersed with extensive dry forests, the dominant tree species of which belong to the genus of acacia ( Acacia sp. ). The WWF calls this vegetation zone the Sahel-Acacia-Savannah ecoregion .

South of the Sahel is the savannah landscape of Sudan, which has an annual rainfall of between 600 and 1600 mm. This vegetation zone covers approx. 70% of the country's area, it includes various ecosystems that cover large parts of the Nigerian part of the Upper Guinea Swell up to the Adamaua highlands . The flora in this vegetation zone is characterized by loosened and extensive forests, which are interspersed with bush forests and undergrowth with long-stemmed grasses and broad-leaved herbs. Gallery forests spread along the rivers . This vegetation zone is referred to by WWF as the ecoregion of the Western Sudan Savannah . The Western Sudan savannah is home to a large number of different animal species, many of which are endemic to this savannah landscape. Larger populations of the bushbuck ( Tragelaphus scriptus ), the warthog ( Phacochoerus africanus ), the steppe monitor ( Varanus exanthematicus ), the anubis baboon ( Papio anubis ) and the robe baboon ( Papio hamadryas ) live in this ecoregion. The once large populations of African mammals, such as the elephant, only survive in the protected zones. The Guinea savannah forms a transition zone between the savannas of Sudan and the rainforest areas; it is characterized by a denser tree population and very high grass savannas. It is limited to the states of Ondo, Edo, Anambra, Oyo, Kaduna and Enugu.

South of the savannah landscape of Sudan and the Guinea savanna are the rainforest areas. Together with the coastal regions, these occupy around 20% of Nigeria's land area. It includes the windward side of the Upper Guinea threshold, extends to the coastal regions and is on average approx. 100 km wide. In this region the precipitation is between 1600 and 2500 mm, whereby in some coastal and high mountain regions over 4000 mm can be reached. In the high mountain regions with high levels of precipitation, a mountain rainforest forms and thus forms the fourth vegetation zone in Nigeria. However, the extent of the primary rainforest has decreased by approx. 90% in the last 100 years. Untouched rainforest areas can only be found on the Obudu and Mambilla plateau and in the Oban hills .

The coastal regions form the fifth vegetation zone in Nigeria and include the Niger Delta and the extensive mangrove forests, various forms of lagoon and coastal landscapes. The mangrove forests in Nigeria extend over an area of ​​11,134 km² (according to US-AID 9723 km²) along a 708 km long coastline. However, the extent of the mangrove forests has decreased significantly in the last 50 years due to the strong population increase and economic activities such as oil production. Nevertheless, the coastal regions of Nigeria are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth.


More than 1,340 terrestrial vertebrate species are known to exist in Nigeria, including 274 mammal , 885 bird , 109 amphibian and 135 reptile species . These include the northernmost species of gorilla in Africa, the critically endangered Cross River gorilla ( Gorilla gorilla diehli ). Other almost endemic primate species are the Niger Delta red colobus ( Piliocolobus epieni ), Nigeria-moustached guenon ( Cercopithecus sclateri ) and the white-throated guenon ( Cercopithecus erythrogaster ). Furthermore, around 20,000 species of insects (including over 1,000 species of butterflies in both sectors of the Cross River National Park alone), 77 species of molluscs and five species of echinoderms are known in Nigeria. Approximately 247 species of fish are documented in Nigeria's inland waters and 648 species of fish in the marine oceanic coastal waters.

The flora of Nigeria is naturally rich in species, so 848 algae and 5103 vascular plant species are documented. However, only a fraction of these are endemic to Nigeria. Originally from Nigeria native seedlings are sorghum ( Sorghum bicolor ), cowpea ( Vigna unguiculata ), the West African rice Oryza sativa , Bambara groundnut ( Vigna subterranea ) Erdbohnen ( Macrotyloma geocarpum ) and the African yam bean ( Sphenostylis stenocarpa ). The 1992 biodiversity study still lists 3423 fungal, 500 virus and 55 bacterial species, but little is known about this aspect of biodiversity .

Nature reserves

The size of the protected areas in Nigeria corresponds to approx. 3.22 percent of the land area, the core zones of which are the eight national nature reserves of the Chad Basin National Park , the Cross River National Park , the Gashaka-Gumti National Park , the Kainji National Park , the Kamuku National Park , Okomu National Park , Old Oyo National Park and Yankari National Park . Other classifications of nature reserves are the Game Reserves , Forest Reserves and the Sacred Coves . Three cross-border biosphere corridors could be created together with Cameroon, these connect the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary and Mbe Mountains Community Wildlife Sanctuary with the Okwangwo sector of the Cross River National Park and the Takamanda National Park , as well as the Oban sector of the Nigerian National Park with the Korup National Park . The third biosphere corridor connects the Chad Basin National Park with the Waza National Park . Nigeria has been a signatory to the Ramsar Convention since 2001 . In 2008, a total of eleven protected areas of the wetlands of international importance were designated: Apoi Creek Forest Reserve , Baturiya Wetlands Game Reserve , Dagona Sanctuary Lake , Foge Islands , Lake Chad Wetlands in Nigeria , Lower Kaduna-Middle Niger Floodplain , Lake Maladumba , Nguru Lake (and Marma Channel) complex , Oguta Lake , Pandam and Wase Lakes Wildlife Park and the Upper Orashi Forest Reserve .

environmental issues

Elephants in Yankari National Park

Serious damage occurred in the Niger Delta from oil production that has been going on for more than 50 years . Water and air as well as food are contaminated. According to a study published in August 2011 by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), up to one million people are threatened by serious environmental pollution. The rehabilitation of the contaminated areas in the settlement area of ​​the Ogoni ethnic group alone will take up to 30 years and in the first five years of the proposed clean-up operation alone will cost a billion US dollars.

Over the past few years, numerous people have been killed again and again in oil pipeline explosions. An explosion in a pipeline near Abule Egba on December 26, 2006 killed around 500 people, and an explosion in the Iljegun pipeline on May 16, 2008 killed around 40. In May 2010, over 3,000 barrels of oil leaked from a pipeline in Akwa Ibom within seven days and destroyed one of the largest mangrove forests on earth.


Development of the population of Nigeria
year population
1950 037,860,000
1960 045,138,000
1970 055,981,000
1980 073,461,000
1990 095,270,000
2000 122,352,000
2010 158,578,000
2015 181,182,000
2030 approx. 264 million
2050 approx. 411 million

The last census was from March 21-28, 2006; it resulted in a total population of 140 million. The penultimate census from 1997 showed a population of 88.9 million. For 2016 the population is estimated at around 190 million. Nigeria's population is expected to double again to around 400 million by the middle of the century. In 2016, 48.6% of the population lived in cities.

The life expectancy is 51.2 years in 2015 for men and 52.6 years for women, which is world's one of the lowest life expectancies. The birth rate per 1,000 people is 45.4. The death rate per 1,000 people is 15.4. The fertility per woman averages over 6 children. The average age in 2016 was 18.3 years and was one of the lowest in the world.

Nigeria has a large diaspora population. Large groups of expatriate Nigerians reside in the United States (280,000), the United Kingdom (210,000) and Italy (60,000). The country is therefore experiencing a strong brain drain . Due to the various conflicts in the country, people from Nigeria have also fled to the neighboring states of Cameroon, Niger and Chad.

46% of the population live below the national poverty line , according to the poverty line of the World Bank it is 53.5% in absolute poverty of less than 2 dollars per day (as of 2009).

Ethnic groups

More than 250 ethnic groups live in Nigeria. The largest and most politically influential peoples in Nigeria are the Hausa and Fulbe (Muslims) living in the north , who together make up 29 percent of the population and are summarized in the Hausa-Fulani group, the Yoruba with 21 percent in the southwest and the Igbo (Christian) with 18 percent in the south. There are also other ethnic groups, including the Ijaw (10%) in the south, the Kanuri (4%) in the northeast, the Ibibio (3.5%) in the southeast and the Tiv (2.5%) in the east, as well as numerous smaller ones Peoples like the umon . In 2017, 0.6% of the population was born abroad. The largest groups come from Benin (360,000), Ghana (230,000) and Mali (170,000).

Language families and main languages ​​of Nigeria

Because the government dominated by Hausa or Yoruba and, before 1960, the British colonial power rejected their demands for political participation, individual ethnic minorities defended themselves against political disadvantage or the destruction of their livelihoods, for example through environmentally harmful oil production. In 1964, for example, the suppression of Christian Tiv in northern Nigeria, which is dominated by the Muslim Haussa Fulbe and manifested itself, among other things, in a tax collection that was disadvantageous for the Tiv, in unrest that claimed up to 4,000 deaths.


The main languages ​​spoken are Yoruba , Haussa , Igbo , Fulfulde and Kanuri as well as a three-digit number of other languages ​​- a total of 514 different languages ​​and idioms; of these, Ibibio , Tiv , Ebira , Igala , Edo , Izon , Nupe , Idoma and Efik each have more than a million speakers. However, the official language is the language of the former colonial power Great Britain, English. Other official languages ​​are Igbo, Yoruba and Haussa. The literacy rate is now 59.6% (69.2% for men, 49.7% for women / as of 2015). Illiteracy is particularly widespread in the poor north.

In addition, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba have semi-official positions. At the regional level, however, most states have English as their official language. In Northern Nigeria, the Arabic language is also used for religious, cultural and historical reasons . The Haussa language is also written in Arabic (the so-called Ajami ). The Igbo and Yoruba scripts, on the other hand, are based on the Latin alphabet. In the Niger Delta , where numerous different languages ​​were spoken before the arrival of the Europeans, a new Creole language developed early on, the Nigerian pidgin language , which is based on English. In addition, the French language plays a role due to the geographical situation; all neighboring countries have French as the official language and is widely used as a foreign language in educated circles.


There is a barely manageable diversity of religious communities in Nigeria. In 2003, a Nigerian study found that the population was 50.5% for Muslims and 48.2% for Christians . According to numerous other estimates, around 50% of Nigerians are Muslim, between 40 and 46% are Christians, and the rest of them profess a traditional African religion .


Of the up to 48% Christians, 74% are Protestants, 25% Catholics and 1% belong to other denominations. According to individual Christian estimates, however, Christians should make up a wafer-thin majority in the country with 50.8%. As the umbrella organization of Nigerian Christians , who mainly live in the south of the country, the Christian Council of Nigeria functions within the umbrella organization of the Christian Association of Nigeria .


The Muslims live mainly in the north of the country, but there are also Muslim majorities in the southwestern states of Oyo , Ogun and Osun, which are predominantly inhabited by Yoruba and approach Lagos . Traditionally, Islam in Nigeria is strongly influenced by the Sufi brotherhoods. In the 1940s and 1950s, the Sufi orders of the Qādirīya and Tijānīya experienced strong popularization. In the area of ​​the confluence of the Niger and Benue , the Niass-Tidschānīya, founded by Ibrahim Baye Niass , is particularly widespread. However, Qādirīya and Tijānīya fought each other in the 1950s and 1960s, which also resulted in violent clashes.

Under the influence of Abubakar Gumi , who was appointed Chief Kadi of Northern Nigeria in 1962 and who heavily criticized the practices and religious concepts of the Sufi brotherhoods in books and on the radio, the Islamic identity in Nigeria shifted away from Sufik from 1970 onwards to an explicitly anti-Sufi stance. The Yan Izala organization, founded in March 1978 in Jos , played a particularly important role. Between 1978 and 1980 it engaged in violent clashes with the two Sufi brotherhoods and was recognized as a corporation by the state in 1985. In cities such as Kano took Islamism sharply, and Wahhabi classics from Saudi Arabia witnessed a proliferation. After the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Shiite revolutionary teachings found their way into Nigeria, which further complicated the conflict between the various Islamic groups. A first initiative to overcome the discord among Nigerian Muslims was the so-called Sokoto Accord from 1988.

Because of this special religious imprint, polygamy is widespread in Nigeria . It is estimated that 40 percent of married women in the northeast of the country have at least one other wife with the same man. Most polygamous marriages are statistically conducted by wealthy older men, and fewest by poor young men.

Native religions

Although hardly a tenth of the population belong to traditional religions , the transitions between them and African popular Islam , the Christianity of West African churches and their local variants are fluid. Ancestor cult and fetishism play a major role with both Nigerian Christians and Muslims. In northern Nigeria, the obsession cults of the bori and dodo spirits are among the traditions disdained by the Muslim majority. In the south, the influence of the Yoruba religion can be seen during the festivities in the holy city of Ile-Ife .

Interreligious Conflicts

In the past, there were often disputes between religious groups. Since the democratization of Nigeria in 1999, tendencies towards Islamization have increased across the country. Sharia was introduced in the states in the northern part of the country under pressure from Islamic groups . Since then, thousands of religious pogroms have fallen victim. Islamist groups such as Boko Haram advocate the introduction of Islamic Sharia law throughout Nigeria and the ban on Western education, which repeatedly leads to bloody confrontations with Christians or moderate Muslims. From 1999 to 2004 the conflict is said to have cost around 10,000 lives on both sides. Repeated attacks, such as the attacks on Christian churches in 2011 , resulted in numerous deaths, and seven people were injured in an attack against a Koran school.

Social situation


Life expectancy development in Nigeria
year Life expectancy
in years
year Life expectancy
in years
1960 37.2 1990 46.1
1965 39.3 1995 46.1
1970 41.2 2000 46.4
1975 43.4 2005 48.7
1980 45.5 2010 51.3
1985 46.3 2015 53.0

The sick, the poor and the elderly depend on family help; only government employees benefit from public welfare. Low incomes, the rapidly growing population and the empty treasury led to the failure of all plans to create a health and pension system. Epidemics often claim thousands of victims among the undernourished and poorly supplied rural populations. However, the first outbreak of Ebola fever in Nigeria (in Lagos and Port Harcourt) in the wake of the Ebola fever epidemic in 2014 was contained very quickly.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) was founded in 1993 and expanded into a strong organization by 2009 under the leadership of Dora Akunyili .

Because of the religious ban imposed in northern parts of Nigeria, almost two thirds of the more than 1,250 cases of polio (polio) worldwide were found in Nigeria in 2004 . At the time, authorities suspended vaccinations after Muslim clergymen spread rumors that the vaccine was sterile. This ban also transported polio to neighboring countries. After the WHO removed Nigeria from the list of countries where polio is endemic in 2015, two children with symptoms of paralysis were diagnosed with the polio virus again in August 2016.

Child mortality has been greatly reduced. In 1950 a third of the children died before their 5th birthday, in 2017 it was a tenth.

The drinking water supply in the country is very poor , as in the neighboring states of Niger and Chad . According to WHO and UNICEF, not even every second Nigerian citizen has access to clean drinking water, an official human right of the UN since 2010 .


In Nigeria there is a nine-year compulsory education from 6 to 15 years of age. The school enrollment rate of 93 percent is relatively high compared to neighboring countries. Nevertheless, only around 50 percent of all school-age children now go to school. In 1985 the education budget amounted to 12.2 percent of the gross domestic product . In 2003 expenditure fell to 4.6 percent. Since attending public schools has long since ceased to be a guarantee of learning arithmetic, writing or reading, the number of private educational institutions, especially in the cities of Lagos and Abuja , which try to meet the expectations of the rising middle class, is growing. However, schools and especially universities are in extremely poor condition. In addition, the lack of salary payments, the low motivation of the teachers and the enormous number of strikes, which is why the lessons are sometimes completely absent.

In addition to the western school system, there is the Islamic school system of madrasas in Nigeria . This has experienced strong expansion since the 1970s. A particularly important center of Islamic education is Ilorin , where the Ansaru 'l-Islam Society built a school in 1947 that combines Western and Islamic education. In 1962, a branch institute of al-Azhar University was opened in Ilorin.


In addition to the general forms of crime, three areas of crime repeatedly come into focus of public interest:

  1. Criminal gangs tap into oil pipelines and sell the tapped oil on the black market. Since this very often happens with the approval of the population, there are often crowds of people at the illegal extraction points. Triggered by the formation of sparks, there have been a large number of explosions, some of which have claimed hundreds of lives.
  2. Another well-known form of crime is prepayment fraud , which is also known as the Nigerian fraud scheme (in Germany also known as the “Nigeria Connection”).
  3. Kidnappings are not uncommon in Nigeria . These are usually criminal gangs or rebel organizations. While criminal organizations promise a ransom from the kidnapping, rebel organizations often fight for political demands. Most hostages are released a few days after paying a ransom .


In pre-colonial times, various states existed in what is now Nigeria, for example the Yoruba kingdoms Oyo and Ife in the south, the Kingdom of Benin in the southwest, the Caliphate of Sokoto in the northwest and the Hausa Emirates in the north, but also societies without one central political authority.

In 1861 the colonization of Nigeria by Great Britain began . In 1960 Nigeria gained independence with a federal constitution.

Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa ruled the country until 1966 , while Independence President Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe only held ceremonial functions.

Instability from 1967 to 1970

Starving children of Biafra

After numerous civil unrest, election manipulation and outbreaks of violence, the military took power and ended the First Republic. On May 30, 1967, the Republic of Biafra was proclaimed in southeastern Nigeria , which ended with the Biafra War in 1970. In 1975 the military dictator Yakubu Gowon was overthrown bloodless by General Murtala Mohammed , who was himself killed six months later in a failed coup attempt. His successor was General Olusegun Obasanjo , who continued the democratization program of his predecessor and in 1979 handed over power to the civilly elected President Shehu Shagari . Economically, the 1970s were characterized by a massive oil boom, with Nigeria becoming Africa's largest oil exporter.

Military dictatorships from 1983

At the end of 1983 the Second Republic under Shagari was overthrown, General Muhammadu Buhari seized power, but was replaced shortly afterwards in 1985 by his comrade General Ibrahim Babangida in a palace coup. Babangida ruled until 1993. Corruption and repression rose permanently during his reign, a democratization process leading to the establishment of a III. Republic ended in failure, Babangida canceled the final presidential election. After the murder trial of the domestic political representative "Marcus L'Hoste", he then resigned in August 1993 to a brief transitional government ("Third Republic"), which finally had to give way to the military dictator Sani Abacha in November of the same year . This was followed by one of the most brutal military dictatorships in Nigerian history, which was marked by the execution of the "Ogoni Nine" (including Ken Saro-Wiwa ), whereupon Nigeria was excluded from the Commonwealth of Nations in 1995 with immediate effect .

Democratization 1998

Abacha died in 1998, his successor Abdulsalami Abubakar carried out a hastily put together democratization program within a year, the main aim of which was to return Nigeria to the international community as an equal member. In 1999, the former military president Olusegun Obasanjo was sworn in as the first president of the IV Republic and in 2003 he was confirmed for a second term in a controversial election. The IV. Republic was able to repair the damage caused by the Abacha dictatorship through an active foreign policy (for example, through its re-entry into the Commonwealth), but was exposed to strong domestic political unrest that continues to this day.


President Goodluck Jonathan (2010-2015)
Muhammadu Buhari, winner of the 2015 presidential election
Yemi Osinbajo, Christian Vice President since 2015

Political conditions

In the country report Freedom in the World 2017 by the US non-governmental organization Freedom House , the country's political system is rated as “partially free”. In the “political rights” category, Nigeria received a grade of 3, and in respect of civil rights, the country received a grade of 5 (grade 1 was the best and 7 the worst). In Nigeria there are largely free elections, but the rule of law is insufficiently guaranteed. The widespread corruption also undermines the functioning of democratic institutions.

According to the American-style constitution of 1989, which did not enter into force until May 17, 1999, Nigeria has a presidential system of government with a Senate (109 members) and a House of Representatives (360 members). In addition, the constitution ensures a multi-party system and elections every four years. The President has wide-ranging powers and is both head of state and head of government and commander of the army. In the event of the President's death or resignation, the Vice-President shall take his place without election.

The penultimate election , in which Umaru Yar'Adua was elected president with 70% of the vote, took place in April 2007. In November 2009 Umaru Yar'Adua fell ill with pericarditis (inflammation of the pericardium ) and was treated in Saudi Arabia . The business of office at this time was carried out by Vice President Goodluck Jonathan ; the presumption of incapacity for office led to a domestic political crisis. The Nigerian parliament appointed Jonathan as incumbent president on February 9, 2010, and on March 17, he dissolved the government. Shortly after Yar'Adua's death on May 5, 2010, Jonathan was sworn in as President; in the 2011 presidential election he was re-elected for another four years. The 2015 presidential election in Nigeria was won by the opposition candidate, Muhammadu Buhari . The Nigeria expert Heinrich Bergstresser had previously stated that it would be a political and cultural advance in Nigeria if it were possible to democratically elect an incumbent from office. In 2019 Buhari was re-elected.


Since the ban on political parties was lifted under Sani Abacha in 1998, a wide variety of parties has developed. In the 2003 elections , the conservative-liberal People's Democratic Party (PDP) , founded in 1998, emerged as the strongest party. Other parties are the conservative All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP; emerged from the All People's Party ), the liberal Alliance for Democracy (AD) and the likewise liberal Action Congress (AC).

Judicial system

As in many federal states, there is a complex legal system characterized by pluralism in both civil and criminal law. In addition to federal law, each of the 36 states has its own legal framework. In addition to Anglo-Saxon law from common law, there is Muslim law and, in the civil law area, there are also ethnically defined customary law bases. Law is pronounced according to place of residence, ethnic attribution and religious affiliation. With regard to criminal law, the constitution has provided since 1999 that laws must be passed by a legislative assembly and put down in writing in English. The Muslim criminal codes of the north are not the same in every state and they differentiate between sentences and offenses according to religious affiliation (for example alcohol consumption and distribution). At the international level, Nigeria is bound by international human rights standards and was a signatory to the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam .

Human rights

According to Amnesty International, the situation of prisoners in prisons is by no means satisfactory. Inhuman or degrading treatment at police stations and in prisons is therefore the order of the day. The prisons are still overcrowded. Because of the poor hygienic conditions and poor nutrition, inmates in many cases develop tuberculosis , HIV and other serious infectious diseases. Therefore the mortality rate in the institutions is very high. General medical care for prisoners is poor and political prisoners are refused medical treatment even if they are seriously ill. Torture and mistreatment of political prisoners, but also of suspects, by soldiers or by the police are more the rule than the exception in Nigeria, according to human rights organizations . The victims are tortured or ill-treated as soon as they are arrested, also with the aim of extracting confessions from them.

The number of executions in Nigeria remains high, especially in the north of the country. More than 1200 death sentences have been carried out since 1983. In 1997 alone, 33 people were executed and 43 sentenced to death in Nigeria. Around 800 people sentenced to death were still in custody in 1997. In the Muslim north of Nigeria, the death penalty can also be used against minors, since Islamic law, the Sharia , has been in force there since the turn of the millennium . 17-year-old Chidiebere Onuoha, who was shot in public in front of thousands of onlookers in July 1997, was one of those already executed. However , Nigeria has signed and has since ratified the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment .

The lives of many children in Nigeria are marked by poverty, illness and deprivation. Many are forced to work . Around 13% of all children under the age of 14 do work. Many of them are recruited by militant groups and gangs or even abducted to other countries to go to war as child soldiers . The situation of girls is also a particular problem. They are often victims of sexual violence in the armies and rebel groups. Many children in the country are AIDS orphans.

The situation of homosexuals in Nigeria is particularly difficult: the local Sharia criminal law already provides for the death penalty by stoning for homosexuals in the twelve northern states of Nigeria. In other parts you have to go to jail for life.

International political observers fear that the anti-gay law currently in the legislative process entitled The Prohibition of Relationships Between Persons of the Same Sex, Celebration of Marriage by Them, and for Other Matters Connected Therewith , Nigeria's international commitments and agreements entered into with the United Nations , the Commonwealth and the African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights . Activities in non-governmental or civil society groups that campaign for gay equality should automatically be punished with five years in prison.

Peter Tatchell of the LGBT and Human Rights Campaign called the proposed law the most repressive law in the world. It tightened the 19th century penal code, Chapter 42, Section 214, which was introduced during the British colonial era. The bill also violates the Nigerian Constitution.

Women's movement

The Yan'Taru movement, an Islamic religious movement, was founded 150 years ago in Nigeria under the leadership of the poet Nana Asma'u . Its aim was to pass on religious and everyday knowledge from women to women. Today there are a number of secular and religious women who campaign for women's rights as activists or academics. The most important women's organizations include a. Women In Nigeria , the National Council of Women's Societies , the Women's Aid Collective, and the Federation of Muslim Women's Association in Nigeria . Important names of the women's movement are, for example, Ayesha Imam and Joy Ezeilo.

Foreign policy

Relations with neighboring West African states are shaped by close cooperation within the framework of the regional organization. The borders are largely open to ECOWAS citizens due to the freedom of establishment and the relatively free movement of goods and people. Many Nigerians live in the ECOWAS countries and many people from the other ECOWAS countries live and work in Nigeria. There is cooperation with Niger and Chad to secure the borders in the Lake Chad region. Nigeria is working closely with the countries in the region to fight Islamist terrorists (Boko Haram).

Relations with the neighbors in the Gulf of Guinea , Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe are good. They are primarily shaped by questions relating to the use of oil and gas reserves. With Sao Tomé and Principe there is a common economic zone for the development of raw material deposits in the sea area between the two countries.

After the foreign policy isolation during the military rule in the 1990s, Nigeria became more involved in international organizations again under Obasanjo's tenure. Nigeria is now a leader in all of Africa.

In the group of developing countries, Nigeria plays an important role as spokesman for African issues. This is the basis for the continued claim to a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council in connection with its reform. In 2010/2011 and 2014/2015 Nigeria was a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council; Nigeria is applying for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council in 2018/2020 .

According to many observers, Nigeria is the most powerful state in West Africa. Accordingly, it holds the chairmanship of ECOMOG , the security apparatus of ECOWAS . It is also a member of numerous international organizations, including:

In addition, Nigeria is striving for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council , in which no African country has so far been permanently represented

  • NEPAD (which was founded on the initiative of Nigeria)
  • OPEC (since 1971)
  • OIC (since 1986).

Nigeria is a member of the International Cocoa Organization .

In 2008, a violent border conflict with Cameroon that had existed since 1981 was finally resolved.


Despite the political stability, the security situation in Nigeria is considered insufficient. Boko Haram has been responsible for numerous serious attacks with thousands of deaths since mid-2010. Since then, according to various independent estimates, between 20,000 and 30,000 people have been killed in this conflict. The United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, counts around 1.8 million internally displaced persons and around 200,000 Nigerian refugees in neighboring countries who fled the fighting in northeastern Nigeria.

In February 2015, the states affected by Boko Haram agreed to set up an 8,700-strong Multinational Joint Task Force to jointly combat Boko Haram . By October 2015, Boko Haram could be expelled from all of the cities it controlled and from almost all rural districts in northeastern Nigeria, without the Nigerian security authorities having succeeded in completely securing these areas and protecting them from further attacks by Islamists. With suicide attacks in the cities and attacks on individual places, especially in rural areas, the Islamists remain active.

In central Nigeria, conflicts between Muslim Hausa Fulani shepherds and local Christian farmers flared up again, particularly in the states of Kaduna, Plateau, Taraba and Benue. In individual cases, these clashes resulted in several hundred deaths. The conflict over land and resources is increasing due to the continuing desertification in northern Nigeria, population growth and the generally tense economic situation.

In the Niger Delta, there were violent attacks on the oil infrastructure by militant groups. An amnesty program launched by the Nigerian government was then extended to the end of 2017. After initially seeming to focus more on military solutions, the government is now ready to negotiate with interest groups from the Niger Delta. A ceasefire was agreed in August 2016, which continues - with a few interruptions. The situation remains fragile, however.


Nigeria has a professional army of 77,100 men (army 80.4%; navy 7.3%; air force 12.3%). In 2017, Nigeria spent just under 0.4 percent of its economic output or 1.6 billion US dollars on its armed forces.

Air Marshal Paul Dike has been Chief of Defense Staff since 2008 . The Defense Staff also includes the Chiefs of the Army Staff Major General A. B. Dambazau , the Air Force Staff Air Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin and the Naval Staff Rear Admiral Isaiah Iko Ibrahim .

The Air Force has machines of the type MiG-21 (versions MF , UM and bis ), F-7NI (Chinese version of the MiG-21), L-39, Alpha Jet as fighter jets, ATR 42 MP for monitoring the coast, Dornier Do 228 , Aeritalia G.222 and a C-130H Hercules as transport machines as well as helicopters of the type A109 and Mil Mi-24 or Mi-35 in service.

Militant movements

Particularly since the end of the military dictatorship in 1999, numerous vigilante groups, protection troops, militias, secret societies and gangs have formed, some of which see themselves as ethnic, partly religious and partly political movements.


Administrative division of Nigeria

Nigeria has been divided into states since 1967. In several reforms, the number of states has been increased from twelve to 36 today (since 1996). Before the reorganization in 1967, Nigeria was divided into regions, before independence in 1960 it was divided into provinces.

Cities in Nigeria

In addition to the federal states, there is the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) around Abuja. On the second level, the states are divided into a total of 774 Local Government Areas (LGA). The south of the country in particular is characterized by very strong urbanization and a relatively large number of cities. According to a 2015 estimate, there are 20 cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants in Nigeria, including ten cities with a population of over a million . By far the most populous agglomeration is Lagos with 13.340 million inhabitants. Other cities are Kano (4,030,000 inhabitants), Ibadan (3,060,000 inhabitants), Abuja (2,710,000 inhabitants) and Port Harcourt (2,010,000 inhabitants).


Market in Lagos

According to a recalculation of the national gross domestic product (GDP) from 2013 carried out in April 2014 , which since then correctly takes into account internet and mobile phone sales as well as the film industry, Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa with the equivalent of 372 billion euros, ahead of the Republic of South Africa. In 2016, after a recalculation, it was back in second place behind South Africa. In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Nigeria ranks 125th out of 137 countries (2017-2018). In 2017, Nigeria ranked 115th out of 180 countries in the Economic Freedom Index .

Economic growth is very high even by West African standards. But the comparatively high GDP per capita (2011) of around 1450 US dollars is extremely unevenly distributed. Corruption is another serious problem . In addition, the economy is poorly diversified and heavily dependent on crude oil exports.

The flourishing areas include the metropolis of Lagos and, more recently, the capital Abuja. Other economic centers are the port city of Port Harcourt and Kano in the north. Since the south of the country is more developed, many people from other parts of the country move to the southern part of the country for economic reasons.

The unemployment rate was 13.4% in 2017. Overall, the country had a working population of 60 million in 2017, most of them in the informal sector. Underemployment and youth unemployment are problems. A total of 29 industrial unions are united in the umbrella organization Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC). There are also executive and professional unions.


In 1956 the first oil was discovered in the south, and from 1958 has been prepared by the Group Shell-BP oil exported to Britain. When Nigeria gained independence, the main industry was still agriculture . 80% of the country's income came from the agricultural sector, later around 70% of export goods came from agriculture. Up until the 1950s, peanuts were the main crop; in the 1970s, cocoa cultivation was almost the only important product for the world market . In contrast to other countries in Africa, they were not produced on a large scale on plantations , but grown by small farmers . At that time the country could still export food .

In the 1970s, the oil crisis led to a collapse in growth and an economic crisis; the country has been heavily in debt since the 1980s. In 1999, however, some significant diamond deposits were discovered in southern Nigeria. The government immediately began intensive mining of the gemstones. Since 1999 Nigeria has become Africa's fourth largest diamond exporter after South Africa , Namibia and Sierra Leone . In addition, Nigeria has had a space agency, the National Space Research and Development Agency, since 1999 . Compared to 2006, foreign investment increased sevenfold in 2007 to 2 billion US dollars. In 2007 economic growth was 8.26% again, but the inflation rate was 7%. In 2007 the NSE Index was the world's seventh most successful stock market index . The economy was able to record strong growth in the next few years until the oil price collapsed in 2014. In 2016, economic output fell by −1.5% for the first time since the 1990s.


Due to the rampant corruption in Nigeria, the economic upturn is almost completely bypassing the local population. In the Corruption Perceptions Index 2010 of the organization Transparency International, Nigeria ranks 134th out of 178 countries, with the 178th place occupied by the most corrupt state. To counter this problem, the government agency Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was founded in 2002 , which has the task of fighting and punishing forms of white-collar crime such as advance fraud and money laundering .

Nevertheless, fraud and kickbacks are still widespread today. The political leadership has been enriching itself for decades through corruption, while the majority of the population has been impoverished: More than half of the population lives in extreme poverty and has to get by on less than one US dollar a day. Due to the high population growth of 2.3% to 3% annually, this trend is likely to intensify.

economic sectors

The main focus is on crude oil production . About 88% of the country's export earnings and 80% of the state's revenue come from oil production. Nigeria is one of the largest oil producers within the OPEC countries. The crude oil production began shortly after the discovery of the oil field in the Niger Delta . Since the economy is now one-sidedly oriented towards the export of crude oil and agriculture and industry are neglected, the country now has to import food. Furthermore, the environmental pollution associated with intensive oil production in parts of the country is also causing massive damage to the traditionally important primary economic sector .

Mainly peanuts and cocoa are grown . Nigeria is also the world's largest producer of cassava and yams and the second largest of sorghum , ginger and sweet potatoes . Agriculture, however, can neither feed its own population nor contribute significantly to export profits, although half of the population is dependent on agriculture. The north, in particular, is more agricultural than the country itself. The Guaranty Trust Bank became the first sub-Saharan bank to be listed on the London and Frankfurt stock exchanges in 2007 . The agricultural sector generated just under 20% of the gross domestic product in 2016.

The service sector accounted for 60% of the gross domestic product in 2016. Due to its young and large population, Nigeria is a consumer market of considerable size.

Foreign trade

Since Nigeria primarily exports crude oil, the trade balance is heavily dependent on the development of the oil price.

The most important trading partners include China, the USA, India, the member states of the European Union (especially France, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany), Great Britain, Brazil and South Africa. China remains at the forefront of the countries of origin of imports to Nigeria. In the meantime India has replaced the USA as the main buyer of Nigerian oil. The volume of trade between Germany and Nigeria in 2015 was around EUR 2.9 billion (2014: EUR 5.4 billion). This means that Nigeria is still Germany's second most important trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa. Goods to the value of around EUR 1.0 billion were exported from Germany in 2015 (2014: EUR 1.4 billion), v. a. Machines, vehicles and chemical products. The value of German imports (especially crude oil) fell to EUR 1.9 billion in 2015 (2014: EUR 3.95 billion). a. is due to the drop in the price of crude oil.

Key figures

Change in gross domestic product (GDP), real World Bank
year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Change in% yoy 8.2 6.8 6.3 6.9 7.8 4.9 4.3 5.4 6.3 2.7 −1.6 0.8 1.9
Development of GDP (nominal), World Bank
absolute (in billion USD) per inhabitant (in thousands of USD)
year 2016 2017 2018 year 2016 2017 2018
GDP in billions of dollars 405 376 397 GDP per inhabitant (in thousands of dollars) 2.2 2.0 2.0
Development of foreign trade (GTAI) in billion US dollars
and its year-on-year change in percent
2016 2017 2018
Billion USD % yoy Billion USD % yoy Billion USD % yoy
import 35.2 +4.0 28.9 −17.9 36.5 +26.1
export 32.9 −32.1 40.7 +23.8 52.9 +29.9
balance −2.3 +11.8 +16.4
Nigeria's main trading partner (2018), source: GTAI
Export (in percent) to Import (in percent) of
IndiaIndia India 15.9 China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 19.4
NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands 10.7 NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands 11.4
SpainSpain Spain 10.1 Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea 10.8
FranceFrance France 7.9 BelgiumBelgium Belgium 8.5
South AfricaSouth Africa South Africa 6.4 United StatesUnited States United States 7.3
United StatesUnited States United States 6.1 IndiaIndia India 5.2
IndonesiaIndonesia Indonesia 4.2 FranceFrance France 2.9
United NationsU.N. other states 38.7 United NationsU.N. other states 34.5

State budget

The state budget included expenditures in 2016 of the equivalent of 21.2 billion US dollars , which were income equivalent to 11.4 billion US dollar against. This results in a budget deficit of 2.4% of gross domestic product (GDP).
The national debt in 2016 was $ 75.5 billion, or 18.6% of GDP. Around 70 percent of tax revenues come from the oil sector. Only a small part of the population in Nigeria pays taxes. The state also loses billions in revenue every year through corruption. The state 's government bonds are rated B by the rating agency Standard & Poor’s (as of November 2018). Due to its low credit rating, Nigeria has to pay high interest rates on new debt.

In 2009, the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of gross domestic product) was in the following areas:


In the Logistics Performance Index , which is compiled by the World Bank and measures the quality of the infrastructure, Nigeria ranked 110th out of 160 countries in 2018.

Road traffic

Street overlooking Zuma Rock , a landmark in Abuja, FCT

Until 1972 there was left-hand traffic in Nigeria.

The oil boom of the 1970s made it possible to expand the road network, so that Nigeria can be considered the best-developed state in sub-Saharan Africa for traffic . At least all state capitals are connected to the trunk road network; Highly frequented routes are connected by expressways, for example Lagos and Ibadan (expressway A5), Lagos and Benin City (A 121), Onitsha and Enugu (A 232) or Kano and Kaduna (A 2). The road network has a length of approximately 200,000 km, of which 60,000 km are paved.

The fact that in 1991 around 90% of goods and people were transported by road shows that car traffic has become very important in Nigerian transport. Poorly surfaced roads, excessive driving speeds and missing or scarce traffic signs lead to a large number of traffic accidents, especially in the south-east of the country . In 1988 alone, more than 9,000 people lost their lives on the Nigerian streets. In 2013 the number of road deaths was 35,621. For comparison: In Germany there were 3,540 deaths in road traffic in the same year.


The rail network operated by the Nigerian Railway Corporation amounts to 3505 km. It is built in Cape Gauge (1067 mm) and is generally in good shape after it was repaired with Chinese help. However, the number of operational rail vehicles is very limited.

The Nigerian government now plans to invest 8.3 billion US dollars in modernizing the railways. This also includes the plan to convert all main lines to standard gauge (1435 mm), which should not be more expensive than raising the Cape gauge to the appropriate technical level. Top speeds of 120–150 km / h for passenger trains and 80 km / h for freight trains are planned. The first project is the Lagos – Kano line. A cross-border route into Niger is also planned.

The Lagos – Calabar railway line is being built with Chinese investments .

Air traffic

There are 22 airports in Nigeria with paved runways. 21 other runways are mainly used by the air force or oil companies. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria is responsible for operating the airports . Rising costs for aircraft have led to a dismantling of the domestic flight network in recent decades. In 2009 a total of 12,526,464 passengers flew a total of 221,272 flights in Nigeria. 3,012,726 of the passengers flew abroad from the eleven international airports. A total of 82% of the passengers flew from the four largest airports Ikeja / Lagos , Abuja , Kano and Port Harcourt . Lagos once again occupies a prominent position among these. This airport alone handled a total of 5,644,572 passengers in 2009.

The state airline Nigeria Airways was hopelessly over-indebted in 2003 and was bought by the British Virgin Group ; since June 28, 2005 it flew under the name Virgin Nigeria Airways. At the end of 2008, the Virgin Group announced the withdrawal from the airline, so that since September 2009 the airline has been operating as Nigerian Eagle Airlines . Arik Air, founded in 2004, is now one of the largest airline in Nigeria . It has a fleet of over 20 aircraft and serves national and international destinations.

On 29 October 2006, the crash of a called Boeing 737-200 airline ADC Airlines near the airport in Abuja around 100 lives. Among the passengers was Mohammadu Maccido , the Sultan of Sokoto. In the years before, there had been several plane crashes in Nigeria with many hundreds of deaths.

On June 3, 2012, Dana Air flight 9J-992 of the Nigerian airline Dana Air crashed from Abuja to Lagos on a densely populated district of Lagos. There were 147 passengers and 6 crew members on board. There were no survivors.

Ports, waterways


For every 1000 inhabitants there are on average:

  • in 2003 51 televisions,
  • 4.2 landline telephone connections in 2011, only 2.5 landline telephone connections in 2012 (with the number of mobile telephone connections increasing by 90 per 1000 inhabitants in the same period), and
  • in 2004 6.3 computers.

According to Internet World Stats , there were over 86 million internet users in Nigeria in 2016 (46.1%). According to the World Bank, around every third inhabitant used the Internet in 2012 (32.9%).

Since the mid-1990s, there has been an upswing in the mobile communications sector with a steadily growing number of mobile phones . In 2012 there were around 68 mobile phone contracts for every 100 residents. Three network operators have increasing area coverage and roaming contracts with all major European networks.

Power supply

In 2005, 22.53 billion kWh of electrical energy were generated, of which 7.87 billion from hydropower plants and 14.66 billion from thermal power plants . However, only 40% of households have access to electrical energy; these are mainly in urban areas. Electricity generation fluctuates strongly, which is due to the unreliability of the power plants and the frequently interrupted supply of primary energy. In 2008, out of a total of 111 generators installed in power plants, 58 generators were in a non-functional condition, which corresponds to a rate of more than 50%. Power outages are the order of the day, so many households often have to make do with their own diesel- powered power generation units, which increases energy costs. The measures taken by the Nigerian government have so far been mainly of an organizational nature: the National Electric Power Authority , the former state monopoly, has been transformed into the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), which in turn has been split into 18 companies that are pending privatization. In addition, a regulatory authority was created to supervise private companies. However, privatization has not been particularly successful so far, as investors consider Nigeria to be a very risky market.

As of 2008, 39% of the electricity demand is covered by gas-fired power plants , 35% by hydropower plants and 24% by oil-fired power plants. The mains voltage for end customers is 240 V with a mains frequency of 50 Hz. Technically, the power network at the transmission network level consists of a high-voltage network with a nominal voltage of 330  kV and a line length of 2200 km. The voltage level of 132 kV with a line length of 809 km is used as a distribution network , primarily in metropolitan areas. Since the lines and power transformers are usually overloaded, the average transmission losses are very high at 30% to 35%. State of the art would be losses of 6%. Since the power grid is practically permanently in a disrupted state , there are constant voltage drops and blackouts .

Water supply

The control of the public water supply in Nigeria is in the care of the states and thus differs from state to state. In particular in the northeast, which belongs to the Sahel zone , there is a high water shortage . A public water supply network, as is common in industrialized countries , usually does not exist in Nigeria. Instead, many households collect their drinking and industrial water in water tanks which, for example, are pumped full of groundwater , collect rainwater or are topped up by a water tanker . Poor people take the water at a central water supply point and carry it home in buckets .


Emir of Kano
Durbar Festival

Nigerian culture is not only interspersed with traditions and cultural influences of the numerous ethnic groups , but also shaped by Islamic-Arab influences in the north and European influences in the south.

  • National Day: October 1st (Independence Day from Great Britain in 1960)
  • Sights: Rich artistic heritage, especially sculptures and wood carvings from Benin and Ife
  • Film: Films and soaps from Nollywood are broadcast across Africa. Some Nigerian screenwriters have been able to sell their scripts to Hollywood.
  • Sport: The country became internationally known in terms of sport, especially through the Nigerian national soccer team .


Perhaps Nigeria's most famous musician is the inventor of the Afrobeat Fela Anikulapo Kuti , who gave legendary concerts with his band “Africa 70” in the “Shrine” in Lagos. Other characteristic styles of music include Jùjú , Apala , Fuji or Sakara .

In the field of pop music, Nigerian musicians living in Europe such as Sade Adu and Dr. Alban was very successful in the 1980s and 1990s. In Germany, Nneka is one of the most famous Nigerian pop musicians. One of the very few Nigerian artists who live in Nigeria and have had commercial success in Germany is D'Banj . In the summer of 2012, he even hit the German and British single charts with Oliver Twist . Wizkid reached number 1 alongside Drake in 2016 .


In the 2017 press freedom list published by Reporters Without Borders , Nigeria was ranked 122nd out of 180 countries. According to the report of the non-governmental organization, the press freedom situation in the country is "difficult". Journalists in Nigeria face violence and intimidation. The situation is particularly bad for journalists in the country's crisis regions.

Around 25 national daily newspapers appear in Nigeria with a total circulation of around 1.7 million copies. Most of them, like Thisday , The Guardian or Vanguard , are in English, but there are also newspapers in Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo. The government body responsible for information, Nigeriafirst, is comparable to the press and information office of the federal government .

Private broadcasting is controlled by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission ( NBC ). Reporting on sensitive topics is often hindered.


Nigeria was a major center of English-language African literature as early as the 1960s. It has a literary scene that - unlike that of many other West African countries - has been made known to an international audience beyond the borders of the country and has been partially translated into German. Well-known authors include Wole Soyinka , who was the first representative of African literature to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986 , and the novelist Chinua Achebe ( Things Fall Apart ), winner of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade . In addition to his literary work, the writer Ken Saro-Wiwa became known, who was hanged in November 1995 by the military government under Sani Abacha.

Other important authors are Amos Tutuola ( The Palm-Wine Drinkard ), Chris Abani , Cyprian Ekwensi , Buchi Emecheta , Ben Okri , Christopher Okigbo , John Pepper Clark and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie .


  • Fatima L. Adamu: Women's struggle and the politics of difference in Nigeria. 2006 ( PDF )
  • Heinrich Bergstresser, Sibylle Pohly-Bergstresser: Nigeria. (= Current regional customers; Beck'sche Reihe; Vol. 839.) Beck, Munich 1991, ISBN 3-406-33185-8 .
  • Heinrich Bergstresser: Nigeria: Power and powerlessness in the Gulf of Guinea . Brandes & Apsel Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2010, ISBN 978-3-86099-672-0 .
  • Tom Burgis: The Curse of Wealth - Warlords, Corporations, Smugglers and the Looting of Africa , Westend, Frankfurt 2016, ISBN 978-3-86489-148-9
  • Wolf-Ulrich Cropp: Black Drums. (= Regional geography Nigeria ) Frederking & Thaler-Verlag, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-89405-008-X .
  • Eckart Diezemann: Nigeria. Country and people. Arts and Culture. Description of places with a detailed Lagos part. Practical advice. Goldstadt travel guide, Pforzheim 1990, ISBN 3-87269-204-6 .
  • Kenneth Onwuka Dike: Trade and politics in the Niger Delta, 1830–1885. An introduction to the economic and political history of Nigeria. Clarendon Press, Oxford 1956 ( Table of Contents )
  • Hassan Tai Ejibunu: Nigeria's Delta Crisis: Root Causes and Peacelessness ( Memento of November 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ). - EPU Research Papers: Issue 07/07, Stadtschlaining 2007.
  • Wolfgang Gieler : Nigeria between military and civil rule. An analysis of political developments since independence 1960–1990. Lit, Münster 1993, ISBN 3-89473-975-4 (plus dissertation, University of Münster, 1991).
  • John Iliffe : Obasanjo , Nigeria and the World. James Curry Publisher, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England 2011 ISBN 978-1-84701-027-8 .
  • Sani Musa: The Nigerian Political Economy in Transition. Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Bonn 2006 ( PDF )
  • Nigeria yearbook. Political and economic developments in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Duehrkohp and Radicke, Göttingen 2000–2003 ( ISSN  1617-3554 )
  • Eberhard Stahn: Nigeria. Travel guide with regional studies. 4th edition. Mai, Dreieich 1995, ISBN 3-87936-220-3 .
  • Muhammad Sani Umar: "Changing Islamic Identity in Nigeria from the 1960s to the 1980s: From Sufism to Anti-Sufism" in Louis Brenner (ed.): Muslim Identity and Social Change in Sub-Saharan Africa . Hurst & Company, London, 1993. pp. 154-178.

See also

Portal: Nigeria  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Nigeria

Web links

Commons : Nigeria  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Nigeria  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikimedia Atlas: Nigeria  geographical and historical maps

Individual evidence

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  3. ^ World Economic Outlook
  4. United Nations Development Program ( UNDP )
  5. Elections in Nigeria: Pointing the way for all of Africa. Retrieved February 23, 2019 .
  6. The exact population of Lagos is difficult to calculate, as Lagos consists of 16 individual towns that together with four other districts make up the state of Lagos. According to the Foreign Office, the population is eighteen million; see Federal Foreign Office as of September 2018, accessed on January 12, 2019.
  7. C. Okoko Ogba, Pius B. Utang: Vulnerability And Adaptations Of Nigeria's Niger Delta Coast Settlements To Sea Level Rise (PDF, 3.1 MB, English).
  8. The Biu-Plateau on the website of the Global Volcanism Program (English)
  9. Gbolagade Lameed: SPECIES DIVERSITY AND RICHNESS OF WILD BIRDS IN DAGONAWATERFOWL SANCTUARY, NIGERIA In: African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. Volume 5, No. 10, October 2011, pp. 855–866 ISSN  1996-0786 © 2011 Academic Journals (English)
  10. CHAD BASIN NATIONAL PARK ( memento of October 2, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) on the Nigeria Park Service website (English)
  12. Fleuves Transfrontaliers Africains - Bilan Global. Office International De L'eau, accessed January 7, 2020 .
  13. ^ Sahelian Acacia savanna - Ecoregions. In: World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved November 9, 2016 .
  14. "Boundaries of Lake Chad Region" UNEP publication, PDF, 8.41 MB (English)
  15. Vegetation of Nigeria on Nigeriaonline (English)
  16. WWF: Western Africa: Stretching form Nigeria to Senegal (English)
  17. WWF: Western Africa: Southern Nigeria, extending into Benin (English)
  18. Nigeria on BirdLife International (PDF, 2.8 MB, English)
  19. WWF Western Africa: Southern Nigeria (English)
  20. Elijah I. Ohimain: Environmental Impacts of oil mining activities in the Niger Delta Mangrove Ecosystem Publication for the eighth International Congress on Mining Activities , Environment and Water Quality, Johannesburg, South Africa 2002 (PDF, 175 kB, English)
  21. Overview of Nigeria Park Service ( Memento from November 27, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (English)
  23. Cross River National Park ( Memento from March 15, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) on Nigeria National Park Service (English)
  24. Park Management Program Chad Basin National Park ( Memento from October 20, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) on Nigeria National Park Service (English)
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