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total: 923,770 sq km
land: 910,770 sq km
water: 13,000 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly more than twice the size of California

Coastline: 853 km

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

Natural resources: petroleum, tin, columbite, iron ore, coal, limestone, lead, zinc, natural gas

Environment—current issues: soil degradation; rapid deforestation; desertification; recent droughts in north severely affecting marginal agricultural activities

Population: 110,532,242 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 45% (male 24,871,855; female 24,661,134)
15-64 years: 52% (male 29,420,428; female 28,343,567)
65 years and over: 3% (male 1,627,452; female 1,607,806) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.96% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 42.24 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 12.95 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 70.74 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 53.55 years
male: 52.68 years
female: 54.45 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.09 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Ethnic groups: Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Ibo, Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv, Ijaw

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

Languages: English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Ibo, Fulani

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 57.1%
male: 67.3%
female: 47.3% (1995 est.)

National capital: Abuja
note: on 12 December 1991 the capital was officially moved from Lagos to Abuja; many government offices remain in Lagos pending completion of facilities in Abuja

Independence: 1 October 1960 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 1 October (1960)

Constitution: 1979 constitution still partially in force; plan for 1989 constitution to take effect in 1993 was not implemented; draft 1995 constitution has not been published; the military government rules by decree

Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Political parties and leaders: political party system, which was suspended after the military takeover of 17 November 1993, was reestablished by the Provisional Ruling Council on 30 September 1996 with the registration of five of 15 competing political parties; these were the United Nigeria Congress Party or UNCP [Isa MOHAMMED, chairman]; National Center Party of Nigeria or NCPN [Magaji ABDULLAHI, chairman]; Grassroots Democratic Movement or GDM [Alhaji Gambo LAWAN, chairman]; Committee for National Consensus or CNC [Barnabas GEMADE, chairman]; Democratic Party of Nigeria or DPN [Saleh HASSAN, chairman]

Economy—overview: The oil-rich Nigerian economy continues to be hobbled by political instability, corruption, and poor macroeconomic management. Nigeria's unpopular military rulers have failed to make significant progress in diversifying the economy away from overdependence on the capital intensive oil sector which provides 30% of GDP, 95% of foreign exchange earnings, and about 80% of budgetary revenues. The government's resistance to initiating greater transparency and accountability in managing the country's multibillion dollar oil earnings continues to limit economic growth and prevent an agreement with the IMF and bilateral creditors on debt relief. 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. Agricultural production in 1996 suffered from severe shortages of fertilizer, and production of fertilizer fell even further in 1997.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$132.7 billion (1996 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 3.3% (1996 est.)

Agriculture—products: cocoa, peanuts, palm oil, corn, rice, sorghum, millet, cassava (tapioca), yams, rubber; cattle, sheep, goats, pigs; fishing and forest resources extensively exploited

total value: $15 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: petroleum and petroleum products 95%, cocoa, rubber
partners: US 40%, EU 21% (1995)

total value: $8 billion (c.i.f., 1996)
commodities: machinery, chemicals, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food and animals
partners: EU 50%, US 12%, Japan 7%

Debt—external: $34 billion (1997 est.)

Currency: 1 naira (N) = 100 kobo

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 25,228,197 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 14,461,304 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $685 million (1996 est.)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: less than 1% (1996 est.)

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