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Geography of Nigeria

Population: 152,217,341 (July 2010 estimate)

Capital: Abuja

Bordering Countries: Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger

Land Area: 356,667 square miles (923,768 sq km)

Coastline: 530 miles (853 km)

Highest Point: Chappal Waddi at 7,936 feet (2,419 m)

Nigeria is a country located in West Africa along the Atlantic Ocean"s Gulf of Guinea. Its land borders are with Benin to the west, Cameroon and Chad to the east and Niger to the north.

Nigeria"s main ethnic groups are Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. It is the most populous country in Africa and its economy is considered one of the fastest growing in the world. Nigeria is known for being the regional center of West Africa.

History of Nigeria

Nigeria has a long history that dates back as far as 9000 B.C.E. as shown in archaeological records. The earliest cities in Nigeria were the northern cities of Kano and Katsina that started around 1000 C.E. Around 1400, the Yoruba kingdom of Oyo was founded in the southwest and reach its height from the 17th to the 19th century. Around this same time, European traders began establishing ports for the slave trade to the Americas. In the 19th century this changed to the trading of goods like palm oil and timber.

In 1885, the British claimed a sphere of influence over Nigeria and in 1886, the Royal Niger Company was established. In 1900, the area became controlled by the British government and in 1914 it became the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.

Throughout the mid-1900s and especially after World War II, the people of Nigeria began pushing for independence. In October 1960, it came when it was established as a federation of three regions with a parliamentary government.

In 1963 however, Nigeria proclaimed itself a federal republic and drafted a new constitution.

Throughout the 1960s, Nigeria"s government was unstable as it underwent several government overthrows; its prime minister was assassinated and was engaged in a civil war. Following the civil war, Nigeria focused on economic development and in 1977, after several more years of

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