Welcome to APGovNigeria!
This website contains all the information you need to know about Nigeria in order to earn a five on your AP Comparative Government exam!
Some basic information to help your understanding of Nigeria.
- Nigeria is one of the top producers of petroleum products in the world.
- Nigeria is among the world’s poorest countries, with 70% of its population living below the poverty line.
- Nigeria's politics are considered paradoxical because though the country does not seem to be on the verge of collapse even after many of the drastic regime shifts, the ethnic and economic problem plaguing the country has it on most lists of countries that could lapse into a bloody civil war sometime in the next decade or two.
- Almost one in every five Africans are Nigerian.
- The country has some of the most fertile soil on the African continent.
- Compared with the rest of Africa, it has a well-educated population, including at least 2 million citizens with university degrees.
- Vast oil and gas deposits have brought Nigeria more money that most other African nations, leading observers to expect that Nigeria will lead the continent in building strong states, democratic regimes, and modern economies.
- Whether run by civilians or the military, the Nigerian government has never lived up to the expectations of the citizens.
- There have been times when there was no viable Nigerian government, in the sense that it was not an entity that could maintain basic law and order, such as during the civil war of 1967-1970 over Biafra.
- Despite all of its resources, Nigeria remains desperately poor. It ranks among the poorest quarter of the countries in the world.
- It has experienced some economic growth, especially during the period of 1965-1980, when Nigeria's Gross National Product grew by about 6.9% per year due to the export of oil.
- From 1980 to 1987 however, the economy shrank by more than 40% because its industries ceased being productive and oil prices collapsed. From 1992-2002, the shrinkage continued at a pace of about half a percent per year. Growth has picked up in this decade, but not enough to make Nigeria anywhere near as well off as other countries.
- About 9% of all Nigerian children do not reach the age of one, with 1.18% dying before their fifth birthday. Many of these deaths are due to malnutrition, diarrhea, or other problems that are easily treatable of preventable in western countries.
- The average Nigerian consumes only 85-90% of the calories required to maintain a healthy life. This has decreased from the 95% average in the 1990s. Only 38% have access to safe drinking water.
- There are about 5000 Nigerians for every doctor.
- About 66% of the population is literate, but barely half of the woman can read or write.
- Nigeria remains a largely rural country, though about about half of its population now lives in cities. Those cities are booming as millions of young people flee the countryside seeing jobs.
- Nigeria has a huge population growth. During the 1980s it averaged a growth rate of over 3% per year. About 45% of the population is under 15, while only 3% is over 65. At the current average growth rate of 2%, the population will double every 36 years. At that rate, Nigeria will have nearly 400 million inhabitants by the middle of the twenty first century.
- In all, Nigeria has about four hundred ethnic groups, each with its own language and customs. The three largest are: the Hausa-Fulani, the largest group who live in the north are mostly orthodox Muslims, the Igbo and the Yoruba, who predominantly follow Christianity. These groups make up for 60-65% of the population.
- The capital was moved from Lagos (in the south) to Abuja (in the middle belt) during the 1980s in an attempt to unite the country. No one group dominates the middle belt.
- About half the country is Muslim, and 40% is Christian. The rest of the population practices religions that antedate the arrival of the Arabs and Europeans.
- More people have been killed by repressive regimes elsewhere. Nonetheless, Nigeria’s politics is highly charged because people have great and growing expectations about what their government could and should do, which are rarely met.
- Corruption is rampant in the government, with officials often rewarding people for personal interests rather than national interests.
- Because of the shifts back and forth between civilian and military rule, Nigeria has very few established institutions to structure political life, no matter who is in power.