macrohistory & world report

Federal Republic of Nigeria

Map of Nigeria

Nigeria (capital Abuja) and neighboring states

World Factbook as of Novewmber 2014: Following an April 2014 statistical "rebasing" exercise, Nigeria has emerged as Africa's largest economy, with 2013 GDP estimated at US$ 502 billion. Oil has been a dominant source of government revenues since the 1970s. Regulatory constraints and security risks have limited new investment in oil and natural gas, and Nigeria's oil production contracted in 2012 and 2013. Nevertheless, the Nigerian economy has continued to grow at a rapid 6-8% per annum (pre-rebasing), driven by growth in agriculture, telecommunications, and services, and the medium-term outlook for Nigeria is good, assuming oil output stabilizes and oil prices remain strong."

Economic growth rate
2013: 6.2%
2012: 6.6%
2011: 7.4%

Labor force in agriculture
1999: 70%

Unemployment rate
2011: 21%

Public debt
2011: 17.6%

Oil exports
2009: 2.102 million barrels per day (ranks 9th)

Export commodities:
Petroleum and petroleum products 95%, cocoa, rubber

Export partners
2010: US 37.4%, India 10.5%, Brazil 7.8%, Spain 6.9%

Export/import ratio
2011: exports $ 101.1 billion, imports $67.36 billion.

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 50thxxx among 140 countries (lower rank number is less equal).

Health expenditures
2009: 5.8%


Living in an urban area:
2010: 50%
2008: 48%

Muslim 50%. Christian 40%. Indigenous beliefs 10%

Ethnic groups
Nigeria, 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%

Net migration rate
2012: A net loss of 0.22 persons per 1,000 population per year

Literacy, Age 15 and Older
2010: males 72.1%, females 50.4%

Education expectancy
2005: 10 years for boys, 8 years for girls

In Nigeria prisons are crowded and the accused might have to wait ten years for their trial to conclude.


Western Africa. 853 kilometers of coastline. A little more than twice the size of California.


January 2013: President Goodluck Jonathan has a civilian, democratic background and degrees in Hydrobiology and Fisheries biology, and a Ph.D. degree in Zoology.

President elected by popular vote for a four-year term.

Capital: Abuja.

Recent History

Independence from Britain in 1960.

Mar 2008: The BBC reports of frustrated scientists leaving Nigeria, taking job offers from the United States – a brain drain. The article describes a complaint that "the electricity can stop unexpectedly for several hours at a time – which can ruin experiments, damage sensitive equipment and destroy refrigerated samples." Government interest is lacking for even the low-level funding that would make efficient what little scientific work is being done.

May 31, 2010: In Britain's The Observer, John Vidal yesterday wrote of frequent oil spills in Nigeria's oil rich delta region. He quoted the writer Ben IIari, a member of the Ogoni people, as follows: "This kind of spill happens all the time in the delta." Vidal wrote that "according to Nigerian academics, writers and environment groups [pause], oil companies have acted with such impunity and recklessness that much of the region has been devastated by leaks." Vidal continued: "This has gone on for 50 years in Nigeria. People ... are amazed that the president of the US can be making speeches daily, because in Nigeria people there would not hear a whimper ... It is impossible to know how much oil is spilled in the Niger delta each year because the companies and the government keep that secret." He describes the Niger delta as "the world capital of oil pollution" and that [L]ife expectancy in its rural communities, half of which have no access to clean water, has fallen to little more that 40 years over the past two generations."

May 7, 2010: Goodluck Jonathan rises from Vice President to President, following the death from illness of President Umara Yar'Adua. Ethnic violence over the oil producing Niger Delta region and inadequate infrastructures are some of the current issues in the country.r of Bayelsa State.

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.