Capital: Abuja (pop. est. 1.6 million). Other cities–Lagos (11.4 million), Kano (3.3 million), Ibadan (3.3 million), Benin City (1.2 million), Port Harcourt (1.2 million), Maiduguri (1.1 million), Zaria (1.0 million).


Population: (2011 est.): 160 million

People Groups: groups (250): Africa’s most populous country, is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups; the following are the most populous and politically influential: Hausa and Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, Tiv 2.5%

Languages: : English (official), Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Fulani, Kanuri, others.

Religions: Muslim 50%, Christian 40%, indigenous beliefs 10%. The dominant ethnic group in the northern two-thirds of the country is the Hausa-Fulani, most of whom are Muslim. Other major ethnic groups of the north are the Nupe, Tiv, and Kanuri. The Yoruba people are predominant in the southwest. About half of the Yorubas are Christian and half Muslim. The predominantly Catholic Igbo are the largest ethnic group in the southeast. There are a number of megachurches, high power televangelists and self styled prophets and prosperity gospel preachers.


Government: Type: Federal republic .

Executive— The president heads the executive branch.

Legislative— The 1999 constitution provides for a bicameral National Assembly consisting of a 360-member House of Representatives and a 109-member Senate.

Judicial The judiciary includes a Supreme Court and lower courts

Living Conditions: literacy: 68%, Per capita GDP (2010): $1,224. Infant mortality 91.54 deaths/1,000 live births, life expectancy at birth 47.56 years, Children under the age of 5 years underweight 26.7% (2008). About half the population is urban. Poverty (less than $1 per day) is around 61%, in spite of oil production.


History: In the 17th through 19th centuries, European traders established coastal ports for the increasing traffic in slaves destined for the Americas. Commodity trade, especially in palm oil and timber, replaced slave trade in the 19th century, particularly under anti-slavery actions by the British Navy. In the early 19th century the Fulani leader, Usman dan Fodio, promulgated Islam and brought most areas in the north under the loose administrative control of an empire centered in Sokoto.

In 1900, the Royal Nigeria Company’s territory came under the control of the British Government, which moved to consolidate its hold over the area of modern Nigeria. In 1914, the area was formally united as the “Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.

The United Kingdom administered northern and southern Nigeria separately, as northern leaders retained their religion-based administrative structures under an “indirect rule” arrangement with colonial authorities. Western influence and education proceeded more rapidly in the south than in the north, with the social, cultural, and political consequences still evident today. Following World War II, Nigerian nationalism and demands for independence resulted in successive constitutions legislated by the British Government moving Nigeria toward representative self-government.

Since being granted independence in 1960, Nigeria has gone through a series of coups, a 16 year period of military rule, a civil war of independence with Biafra and highly questionable elections. President Goodluck Jonathan took over in 2011 after the fairest elections yet and is striving to rebuild the country where dependence on oil has caused neglect of infrastructure.

The radical Islamic sect Boko Haram has carried out attacks on police and government buildings as well as churches in many places and is held responsible for at least 620 deaths this year alone.


Pray for:

  • 1. President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian head of state.
  • An openness to CPM.
  • Those believers being persecuted for their faith.
  • Wisdom for Christian leaders.

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