World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Africa

Nigeria Travelling Guide
Nigeria Travelling Guide

General background: Following nearly 16 years of military rule, a new constitution was adopted in 1999, and a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed. The president faces the daunting task of rebuilding a petroleum-based economy, whose revenues have been squandered through corruption and mismanagement, and institutionalizing democracy. In addition, the OBASANJO administration must defuse longstanding ethnic and religious tensions, if it is to build a sound foundation for economic growth and political stability.

Area comparative: Slightly more than twice the size of California.

Climate: Varies; equatorial in south, tropical in center, arid in north

Terrain: Southern lowlands merge into central hills and plateaus; mountains in southeast, plains in north

Population: 129,934,911

Ethnic groups: Nigeria, which is 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%

Religions: Muslim 50%, Christian 40%, indigenous beliefs 10%

Language: English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani

Government type: Republic transitioning from military to civilian rule.

Capital: Abuja; note - on 12 December 1991 the capital was officially transferred from Lagos to Abuja; most federal government offices have now made the move to Abuja.

Legal system: Based on English common law, Islamic Shariah law (only in some northern states), and traditional law.

Economic overview: The oil-rich Nigerian economy, long hobbled by political instability, corruption, and poor macroeconomic management, is undergoing substantial economic reform under the new civilian administration. Nigeria's former military rulers failed to diversify the economy away from over-dependence on the capital-intensive oil sector, which provides 20% of GDP, 95% of foreign exchange earnings, and about 65% of budgetary revenues. The largely subsistence agricultural sector has failed to keep up with rapid population growth, and Nigeria, once a large net exporter of food, now must import food. Following the signing of an IMF stand-by agreement in August 2000, Nigeria received a debt-restructuring deal from the Paris Club and a $1 billion credit from the IMF, both contingents on economic reforms. The agreement was allowed to expire by the IMF in November 2001, however, and Nigeria appears unlikely to receive substantial multilateral assistance in 2002. Nonetheless, increases in foreign oil investment and oil production should push growth over 4% in 2002.

Communication/Telephone system: An inadequate system, further limited by poor maintenance.

Places of interest: Nigeria is constantly pounding to the rhythms of traditional African juju music, Afrobeat and reggae. It's not the most pleasant or relaxing place to visit, but if you're looking for a challenge it's the place to be.

Travel tips: Street crime, robberies and muggings occur throughout the country, often in broad daylight.