Nigeria is sometimes called the “Giant of Africa,” because it is one of Africa’s largest countries and it has the most people of any country in Africa. Nigeria sits on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. It borders Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
The Niger River Delta is one of the largest deltas in the world. Around the delta are marshes, swamps and oil fields. Nigeria also has thousands of acres of savannah. Here, grasslands stretch for as far as the eye can see. Nigeria also has mountains and rainforests. The country was once home to cheetahs, elephants, tigers and other animals. Many of these animals are gone now.
Nigeria once belonged to Great Britain. Today, it is independent, but it has many problems. Different religious and ethnic groups fight each other. Over half the people in Nigeria live in poverty. Government leaders are greedy and corrupt. Despite these problems, Nigeria is the most wealthy and powerful country in Western Africa. Oil, cocoa and rubber are its major exports.
- 166.6 million people live in Nigeria.
- The country has 356,359 square miles of land.
- English is the official language, but there are more than 250 languages spoken in Nigeria.
- Islam and Christianity are the major religions in Nigeria. Tribal people keep their native beliefs.
- The life expectancy in Nigeria is 53 years.
- Delta: a triangular piece of land formed when a river splits into smaller rivers; a system of rivers
- Savannah: grassland
- Ethnic: a group that share specific historical, religious and cultural traditions
- Corrupt: dishonest
Visit National Geographic Kids to learn more about Nigeria.
Question: Do the people in Nigeria have modern living conditions?
Answer: Some parts of Nigeria have modern homes and cities. Many cities, though, are growing quickly. The cities don’t have enough roads for traffic. Electricity for lights, cooking and air conditioning, often turns off.