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Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: Nigeria

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British influence and control over what would become Nigeria grew through the 19th century. A series of constitutions after World War II granted Nigeria greater autonomy; independence came in 1960. Following nearly 16 years of military rule, a new constitution was adopted in 1999, and a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed. The government continues to face the daunting task of reforming a petroleum-based economy, whose revenues have been squandered through corruption and mismanagement, and institutionalizing democracy. In addition, Nigeria continues to experience longstanding ethnic and religious tensions. Although both the 2003 and 2007 presidential elections were marred by significant irregularities and violence, Nigeria is currently experiencing its longest period of civilian rule since independence. The general elections of April 2007 marked the first civilian-to-civilian transfer of power in the country's history. (from the CIA)


Economic Overview

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 diversify the economy away from its overdependence on the capital-intensive oil sector, which provides 20% of gdp, 95% of foreign exchange earnings, and about 80% 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. following the signing of an imf stand-by agreement in august 2000, nigeria received a debt-restructuring deal from the paris club and a $1 billion credit from the imf, both contingent on economic reforms. nigeria pulled out of its imf program in april 2002, after failing to meet spending and exchange rate targets, making it ineligible for additional debt forgiveness from the paris club. in the last year the government has begun showing the political will to implement the market-oriented reforms urged by the imf, such as to modernize the banking system, to curb inflation by blocking excessive wage demands, and to resolve regional disputes over the distribution of earnings from the oil industry. in 2003, the government began deregulating fuel prices, announced the privatization of the country's four oil refineries, and instituted the national economic empowerment development strategy, a domestically designed and run program modeled on the imf's poverty reduction and growth facility for fiscal and monetary management. in november 2005, abuja won paris club approval for a debt-relief deal that eliminated $18 billion of debt in exchange for $12 billion in payments - a total package worth $30 billion of nigeria's total $37 billion external debt. the deal requires nigeria to be subject to stringent imf reviews. gdp rose strongly in 2007, based largely on increased oil exports and high global crude prices. newly-elected president yar'adua has pledged to continue the economic reforms of his predecessor and the proposed budget for 2008 reflects the administrations emphasis on infrastructure improvements. infrastructure is the main impediment to growth. the government is working toward developing stronger public-private partnerships for electricity and roads.

Environmental Issues

Soil degradation; rapid deforestation; urban air and water pollution; desertification; oil pollution - water, air, and soil; has suffered serious damage from oil spills; loss of arable land; rapid urbanization

Government Type

Federal republic


146,255,312 note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to aids; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (july 2008 est.)


Western africa, bordering the gulf of guinea, between benin and cameroon


Total: 923,768 sq km land: 910,768 sq km water: 13,000 sq km

Slightly more than twice the size of california

Country Aliases

Conventional long form: federal republic of nigeria conventional short form: nigeria


Name: abuja geographic coordinates: 9 12 n, 7 11 e time difference: utc+1 (6 hours ahead of washington, dc during standard time)

Military Service

18 years of age for voluntary military service (2007)

International Disputes

Joint border commission with cameroon reviewed 2002 icj ruling on the entire boundary and bilaterally resolved differences, including june 2006 greentree agreement that immediately cedes sovereignty of the bakassi peninsula to cameroon with a phase-out of nigerian control within two years while resolving patriation issues; the icj ruled on an equidistance settlement of cameroon-equatorial guinea-nigeria maritime boundary in the gulf of guinea, but imprecisely defined coordinates in the icj decision and a sovereignty dispute between equatorial guinea and cameroon over an island at the mouth of the ntem river all contribute to the delay in implementation; only nigeria and cameroon have heeded the lake chad commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty which also includes the chad-niger and niger-nigeria boundaries

Sources: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

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