Official Name Federal Republic of Nigeria
Total area 923,768 sq km
Population 174,507,539 (July 2013 est.)
Capital City Abuja



Nigeria is a federal republic consisting of 36 states. The country is located in West Africa and shares borders with Benin, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. There are over 500 ethnic groups in Nigeria, the three largest ethnic groups being the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.

A series of constitutions after World War II granted Nigeria greater autonomy from British control. The country gained independence in 1960. After nearly 16 years of military rule, a peaceful transition to civilian government was accomplished in 1999. Nigeria continues to experience ethnic and religious tensions.


Nigeria is an oil-rich country, which has suffered political instability, corruption, poor infrastructure, and weak economic management. Nigeria’s economy was over-dependent on the oil sector, which provides 95% of foreign exchange earnings and around 80% of budgetary incomes. However, it began pursuing economic reforms in 2008.

GDP rose strongly in 2007-12 because of growth in non-oil sectors and robust global crude oil prices. Lack of infrastructure and slow implementation of reforms are key impediments to growth. The government is working toward developing stronger public-private partnerships for roads, agriculture, and power. Nigeria’s financial sector was hurt by the global financial and economic crises, but the Central Bank governor has taken measures to restructure and strengthen the sector to include imposing mandatory higher minimum capital requirements.


In Nigeria, the average life expectancy is low, and there is an approximate 20% mortality rate of children die below the age of 5.

The 2011 UNAIDS Report shows that Nigeria has the second highest number of new HIV infections in the world and lacks the necessary HIV-related investments to combat the disease, which affects about 3.6% of the adult population in Nigeria.

Nigeria’s health care system suffers shortages of doctors, mainly due to the emigration of highly-skilled medical professionals. The government has identified that retaining these expensively trained professionals as an important goal.

Major infectious diseases:
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne disease: malaria and yellow fever
Respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
Aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: one of the most highly endemic areas for Lassa fever
Water contact disease: leptospirosis and shistosomiasis

Malaria Status

In Nigeria, malaria is a major public health concern and is transmitted all over the country. It is responsible for 60% of outpatient visits and 30% of hospitalizations among children under five years of age. Nearly a quarter of all malaria cases in Africa occur in Nigeria, a country with a population of 170 million people. Due to this, there are more malaria-related deaths in Nigeria than in any other country. In addition, it has one of the world’s highest rates of mortality for children under five; roughly one in six children die before they turn five years old.

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