Nigeria's Key Facts

by World Grain Staff
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Capital: Abuja

Population: 132 million; Hausa and Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10% and over 200 other tribes.

Geography: Central West Africa, bordering Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Government: Federal Republic; President Olusegun OBASANJO (since May 29, 1999)

Economy: Oil-rich Nigeria, long hobbled by political instability, corruption, inadequate infrastructure and poor macroeconomic management, is undertaking some reforms under a new reform-minded administration. Nigeria’s former military rulers failed to move the economy away from its overdependence on the capital-intensive oil sector, which provides 20% of GDP, 95% of foreign exchange earnings and about 65% of budgetary revenues. The largely subsistence agricultural sector has failed to keep up with rapid population growth — Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country — and the country, once a large net exporter of food, now must import food. GDP per capita:U.S.$1,400;Inflation:13.5%;unemployment 2.9% (2005 est.) Currency: Naira

Exports: U.S.$52 billion; petroleum and petroleum products 95%, cocoa, rubber (2005)

Imports: U.S.$26 billion; machinery, chemicals, transport equipment, manufactured goods, food and live animals.

Major crops/agricultural products: Cocoa, peanuts, palm oil, maize, rice, sorghum, millet, cassava (tapioca), yams, rubber

Maize: The biggest grain crop by far is maize. The 2005-06 harvest was 7 million tonnes. Only 800,000 tonnes went to feed milling, but that will certainly increase as chicken becomes a bigger part of the diet of an expanding urban middle class.

Rice: Rice production has jumped from 2.2 million tonnes in 2003-04 to 2.7 million in 2005-06. Even so, the rising demand from urban dwellers can no longer be met by domestic production.

Transportation: Highways, 194,394 km; paved: 60,068 km; unpaved: 134,326 km (1999); Railroad, 3,505 km; narrow gauge: 3,505 km, 1.067-m gauge (2005); Ports and terminals: Bonny Inshore Terminal, Calabar, Lagos, Port Harcourt

Agriculture: 27% of GDP and 70% of the labor force Internet: code .ng; 1,535 hosts and 1.8 million users (2005)