The Republic of Nigeria is Africa's leading oil producer and the eighth-largest oil producing country in the world. Petrochemicals are one of the three pillars of industrial development policy in this nation of 120 million
With crude oil reserves estimated at 30 billion barrels, Nigeria accounts for a major share of the crude oil reserves of sub-Saharan Africa. Oil production was started in1958 and today, at roughly two million barrels per day, is the country's major source of revenue. Agriculture is Nigeria's staple economic activity, employing approximately 70% of the working population. Principal crops include yams, maize, cassava, banana, rice, beans, sugar cane, citrus fruits, cocoa, palm produce, groundnuts, rubber, cotton and timber. Nigeria is trying to expand farm output substantially to fight malnutrition and improve living standards. Nigeria's mineral resources are another, increasingly important aspect in her economy, notably as foreign currency earners. Nigeria produces iron, tin, columbite (which is used in the making of special steels), limestone, coal, natural gas and oil.
Major industrial projects are now in place, such as the Agbara complex in Ogun State, planned to become West Africa's biggest industrial park, with facilities for a large number of industrial businesses. Steel-making, key to fast industrial growth, has been launched on a nationwide scale to meet growing demand for steel and to exploit the country's iron ore and coal resources. Among the new installations are a huge integrated steel works at Ajaokuta in Kogi state, blast furnaces at Aladja in Delta state, rolling mills in Oshogbo, Katsina and Jos. The fastest growing manufacturing sectors include: synthetic and textile fabrics, refined petroleum products, soft drinks and food processing, cements, paints and allied products, roofing sheets , radio, TV, soaps and detergents.
Information on Nigeria
The Republic of Nigeria, created in 1963, consists of 36 states and a Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Lagos remains the country's economic center. Nigeria's legal system is based on English common law. Its currency is the Naira (N), which is divided into 100 kobo units. Almost square in shape, this tropical country covers an area of 23,768 km - nearly twice the size of France or three times that of the United Kingdom. It is bounded by the Republic of Benin to the west, Niger Republic to the north, Chad to the northeast, Cameroon to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the south.
120 million people speaking many languages
With a population of 120 million (1998 estimate), Nigeria is both the most populated and the most densely populated country in Africa. Some 75% of the population lives in a rural environment and 55% of all Nigerians are under 20 years old. The country's official language is English but 400 different languages and dialects can be counted. The three dominant linguistic groups are the Hausa, the Ibo and the Yoruba. The main religions are Islam (in the north), Christianity (the Yorubas, Ibos, Ibibios, Efiks and a number of coastal states) and Traditional African Religion (spread throughout the country).