About Nigeria

Referred to as the “global giant of Africa,” the Federal Republic of Nigeria in West Africa borders Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. The capital is Abuja, while Lagos is the most populous city in the country, as well as one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world. With an estimated 219.5 million people, Nigeria remains the most populous country in Africa and the seventh in the world. With almost 62 percent of the population under the age of 25, Nigeria is also the third largest youth-populated country in the world. Noted for its cultural diversity, the country comprises more than 250 ethnic groups that speak close to 500 different languages. Over 60 percent of the population is linked to the three major ethnic groups: the Yoruba in the west, Hausa-Fulani in the north, and Igbo in the east. English is the official and most widely spoken language. The country is divided nearly in half between Muslims who live predominantly in the north and Christians who live predominantly in the south.

Nigeria gained independence in 1960 and faced post-independence civil unrest from 1970 until 1999, when a stable democracy was finally established. Before the civil war, the country was self-sufficient in food. Since then, the country’s agriculture sector has not kept pace with Nigeria’s rapid population growth, requiring significant food imports. Nigeria’s economy is the 24th largest in the world and the largest economy in Africa, with around $450 billion GDP. Nigeria is considered an emerging lower-middle-income economy, with a gross national income per capita of about $2,097. Religious violence dominated by the Boko Haram insurgency, political instability, income inequality, and ethnic conflict continue to undermine efforts in development. Despite these challenges, the economy continues to grow, significantly reducing poverty levels, and decreasing the number of people living below the poverty line from 61 percent in 2012 to 40 percent in 2020.

Faced with the challenge of “brain drain” due to emigration, Nigeria’s healthcare system persistently contends with a scarcity of doctors. As a result, the country faces many health challenges, resulting in an alarmingly low life expectancy of 55 years. The leading causes of death in Nigeria are neonatal disorders, malaria, diarrheal diseases, lower respiratory infections, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, congenital defects, and meningitis. Non-communicable diseases such as ischemic heart disease and stroke have increased as major causes of death.

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