Nigeria, the most
populous nation in Africa and the eighth most populous nation in
the world with 158 million citizens, is situated in west Africa
with a coast line on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders
with Benin to its west, Chad and Cameroon to its east and Niger to
Following a series of
moves towards greater autonomy, Nigeria finally gained
its independence from the British on the 1st October
1960 and became the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1963.
As ever, political instability ensued with coups and counter coups
many of which were due to various
ethnic groups wanting
independence from a country they held little allegiance to and,
even today, Nigeria suffers from ongoing ethnic, tribal and
religious tensions that regularly spill out into open conflict.
Despite this, after the formation of a new constitution in 1999 ushering in the
first civilian government after sixteen years of military rule, the elections of
2007 proved to be the first transition of power from one civilian government to
another without the military since independence.
most of which bypasses the population into the hands of wealthy oil companies
resulting in the establishment of a group called MEND (Movement for the
Emancipation of the Niger Delta) which is committed to taking the oil
industry back for the local Nigerian people and using revenues to help clear up
the environmental disaster in the Delta, Nigeria remains one of the poorest countries
in the world with 64% of its population living under the poverty line. Nigeria
is in 152nd place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 when ranked in
terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards
of a country with a life expectancy of around 47years.
three out of every hundred citizens and there are nearly ten million orphans in
the country. Malnutrition affects just under a third of all children, one in
five of whom die before their fifth birthday; the reason in part for this is not
just poverty but because only around 1% of Nigerian children are immunised
against basic childhood illness, and, due to corruption and incompetence, the
Nigerian government spends less per capita than virtually any other country in
Africa on healthcare.