Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Nigeria, with a land mass of 923,768 sq.km, is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, the seventh most populous country in the world, and the most populous country in the world in which the majority of the population is black. By 2011, there are about 162 million Nigerians, home and abroad.
There are over 200 ethnic groups, and the three largest and most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. A number of foreigners from China, the United States, Japan, Lebanon, India, Greece e.t.c. also live in Nigeria.
Key sectors of the economy
Nigeria is the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8th largest exporter, and has the 10th largest proven reserves. (The country joined OPEC in 1971). Petroleum plays a large role in the Nigerian economy, accounting for 40% of GDP and 80% of Government earnings. However, agitation for better resource control in the Niger Delta, its main oil producing region, has led to disruptions in oil production and currently prevents the country from exporting at 100% capacity.
Agriculture used to be the principal foreign exchange earner of Nigeria. At one time, Nigeria was the world’s largest exporter of groundnuts, cocoa, and palm oil and a significant producer of coconuts, citrus fruits, maize, pearl millet, cassava, yams and sugar cane. About 60% of Nigerians work in the agricultural sector, and Nigeria has vast areas of underutilized arable land.
Nigeria has one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world, major emerging market operators (like MTN, Etisalat, Zain and Globacom) basing their largest and most profitable centres in the country. The government has recently begun expanding this infrastructure to space based communications. Nigeria has a space satellite which is monitored at the Nigerian National Space Research and Development Agency Headquarters in Abuja.
Nigeria also has a wide array of underexploited mineral resources which include natural gas, coal, bauxite, tantalite, gold, tin, iron ore, limestone, niobium, lead and zinc. Despite huge deposits of these natural resources, the mining industry in Nigeria is still in its infancy.
Financial service sector:
The country has a highly developed financial services sector, with a mix of local and international banks, asset management companies, brokerage houses, insurance companies and brokers, private equity funds and investment banks.
It also has a manufacturing industry which includes leather and textiles (centred Kano, Abeokuta, Onitsha, and Lagos), car manufacturing (for the French car manufacturer Peugeot as well as for the English truck manufacturer Bedford, now a subsidiary of General Motors), t-shirts, plastics and processed food.
The country has recently made a considerable amount of revenue from home made Nigerian Movies which are sold locally and internationally. These movies are popular in other African countries and among African immigrants in Europe.
Nigeria’s construction industry is currently worth around US$ 69bn and employs 5% of Nigeria’s 170m population. Along with a growing economy, new government policies and an expanding middle class this has led to massive investments in the industry.
Hospitality and Tourism:
The Nigerian hospitality industry is growing rapidly, and is set to overtake the rest of Africa as the fastest-growing over the next five years, with a projected compound annual gain in room revenue of 10.5%.