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Asunto:NoticiasdelCeHu 893/03 - Geography of Nigeria
Fecha:Miercoles, 2 de Julio, 2003  01:26:21 (-0300)
Autor:Humboldt <humboldt>

Ataque radial

NCeHu 893/03



Formal Name: Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Short Form: Nigeria.

Term for Nationals: Nigerian(s).

Capital: Abuja.

Date of Independence: October 1, 1960.

Size: 923,768 square kilometers.

Boundaries: Southern limits set by Gulf of Guinea (bights of Benin and Biafra); inland frontiers shared with Cameroon (east), Chad (northeast), Niger (north), and Benin (west). No demarcation reached regarding Nigeria-Chad-Niger- Cameroon boundary in Lake Chad, leading to disputes.

Topography: Five major geographic divisions: low coastal zone along Gulf of Guinea; succeeded northward by hills and low plateaus; Niger-Benue river valley; broad stepped plateau stretching to northern border with highest elevations over 1,200 meters; mountainous zone along eastern border, which includes country's highest point (2,042 meters).

Climate: Tropical with variations governed by interaction of moist southwest monsoon and dry northeast winds. Mean maximum temperatures of 30-32ºC (south), 33-35ºC (north). High humidity in south February-November, June-September in north; low humidity during dry season. Annual rainfall decreases northward; about 2,000 millimeters in coastal zone (Niger Delta averages over 3,550 millimeters); 500 to 750 millimeters in north.

Population: Population and growth estimates varied widely. World Bank estimated 1990 population at 119 million; however, 1991 preliminary census figures published in 1992 gave population total of 88.5 million. Growth rate in 1990 estimated about 3.3 percent; 28 percent of population urban in 1985.

Ethnic Groups: 250 to 400 or more recognized groups, many divided into subgroups of considerable social and political importance. Most important ethnolinguistic categories: Hausa and Fulani in north, Yoruba in southwest, and Igbo in southeast, all internally subdivided. Next major groups: Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv, and Ijaw.

Languages: Number of languages estimated at 350 to 400, many with dialects. Most important: Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo. Hausa major language in north. English official language used in government, large-scale business, mass media, and education beyond primary school. Several other languages also recognized for primary education. Classical Arabic of religious significance in north.

Religion: In last officially accepted census (1963), about 47 percent of population self-identified as Muslims (chiefly adherents of Sunni Islam), nearly 35 percent as Christians, and more than 18 percent as other (almost entirely adherents of indigenous religions). Majority of north Muslim; south mainly non-Muslim, primarily Christian; middle belt mixed faiths. Mission-related Christian churches (Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist, and others), African independent churches, and Aladura Church present.

Education: Universal primary education (six-year program) responsibility of state and local governments. Great increase in enrollments (about 12 million in government primary schools, additional millions in Muslim and Christian private schools in 1985). Responsibility for secondary education shared by federal and state governments; also some private schools; 3.7 million in government secondary schools in 1985. In 1990 between 150,000 and 200,000 in thirty-five colleges, universities, and higher technical schools.

Health: Major prevalent diseases included cerebrospinal meningitis, yellow fever, Lassa fever, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), malaria, guinea worm, schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, and malnutrition among young children. Medical establishments owned by federal, state, and local governments and private groups. Shortage of medical facilities and physicians in rural areas. Primary Health Care Plan launched in late 1980s, including expanded immunization campaign.

Gross National Product (GNP): US$30.0 billion, 1989; US$230 per capita, 1990.

Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing: Agriculture represented 39.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 1988. In 1990, 34 million hectares, or 42 percent of arable land under cultivation; 18 million hectares of pastureland; 20 million hectares of forests. 1991 drought forced substantial increase in food imports. Cash crops: cocoa, palm oil, rubber, cotton, peanuts. Major food crops: cassava, yams, taro, sweet potatoes, sorghum, millet, corn, rice. Livestock: cattle, goats, sheep, horses, camels, pigs, poultry, representing 2.0 percent of GDP. Forests used extensively, and government engaged in afforestation projects. Fisheries catch did not meet domestic needs; modernization projects underway.

Industry: Constituted 10.0 percent of GDP in 1988. Primary processing industries: palm oil, peanuts, rubber, petroleum, wood, hides and skins. Manufacturing industries: food products, textiles, cement, building materials, footwear, chemical products, ceramics, small appliances.

Mining, Petroleum, and Energy: Main items mined: coal, tin, columbite for domestic use. Nigeria world's sixth largest oil exporter; domestic consumption 250,000 barrels per day; 11 percent of extracted oil refined domestically. Natural gas constituted more than 20 percent of commercial energy sources in 1990. Emphasis on expanding hydroelectric power (14 percent of energy consumed in 1980s) and oil- and gas-generated electricity.

Exports: Petroleum, cocoa.

Imports: Machinery, transportation equipment, chemicals, manufactured goods, food, live animals.

Major Trading Partners: United States, Britain, other European Economic Community countries, Japan, Canada. Nigeria had negative trade balance.

Currency: Naira (N); 1 naira = 100 kobo; average exchange rate in 1990: N8.04 per US$1.00.

Roads: In 1990, 108,000 kilometers of roads, of which 30,000 kilometers paved, 25,000 kilometers gravel; rest unimproved earth. Most state capitals and large towns accessible by paved road.

Railroads: In 1990, 3,500 kilometers of narrow-gauge (1.067 meter) track. Nigerian Railway Corporation declared bankruptcy in 1988 and system in serious operational difficulties.

Civil Aviation: Three airports handled international flights: Murtala Muhammad International at Lagos, Aminu Kano International at Kano, and Port Harcourt. Twenty-nine other airports with paved runways. Nigeria Airways parastatal with domestic and international flights.

Ports: Three major complexes: Lagos (including Apapa and Tin Can Island), which handled majority of cargo, Delta (including Warri and Sapele on Niger River), and Rivers (including Port Harcourt); Calabar (on Cross River), major eastern port. Crude oil exported through Bonny, near Port Harcourt, and Burutu, near Warri.

Communications: Telecommunications being expanded in 1990; domestic satellite system linked all major urban areas; good international telecommunications system. Also 65 AM radio stations and various television stations.