The official name of Nigeria is Federal Republic of Nigeria.The capital city is Abuja. The nigerian government is federal republic, independent since 1960.The civilian constitution of the Second Republic, with a US-style president,senate and house of representatives, was suspended when the military took overon December 31, 1983.
The population is more than 100 millions of people. More than50% of them are Christians, and less than 45% are Muslims. The officiallanguage of Negeria is English, but there also exist a variety of locallanguages.
The coastline, much of it bordered by mangrove swamp, isintersected by numerious creeks; thesoutheast coast, dominated by the Niger river delta, is the location of theoffshore oil reserves. Inland lies an area of tropical rain forest nd bush.Savannah and woodland cover much of the central upland area; the Jos plateau isthe watershed of hundreds of streams and rivers flowing as far as Lake Chad andthe Niger and Benue rivers. The far north, bordering with Sahara, is mainlysavannah. Spectacular highlands line the eastern border with Cameroon. Thehighest point is Vogel peak of 2040 meters, and total area is over 924000 sqkm.
Democratically elected governments have so far proved unequalto the task of managing this unruly nation of more than 100 millions people;civilians have ruled for a total of only 10 years since independence in 1960.The most recent civilian government, that of President Shehu Shagari, lastedfour years before the military took power again in 1983. The idealistic andrigid General Muhammadu Buhari was in turn replaced in a bloodless coup twoyears later by the more genial and pragmatic General Ibrahim Babangida.
Babangida’s task was made more complex by the collapse of oilprices in early 1986. Oil earnings, which accounted over 97% of export revenue,were halved to $6.1bn in just one year.
Oil production started in the late 1950s, rising steadily tpapeak of 2.4m barrels a day at the start of 1980s. Agriculture was neglectedand construction boomed as the oil money flowed in. Cocoa exports were halved,cotton and groundnut exports all but ceased and the public developed a tastefor new imported foods. Foreign contractors lined up to build the oilrefineries, steel works and vehicle assembly lines that were to ensureNigeria’s industrial future.
By the mid-1980s Nigeria was saddled with foreign debt of$26bn with few of its investments in industry or infrastructure starting to paytheir way. The Babangida government lost little time in introducing drasticpolicy changes. Inessential and many essential imports were banned,agricultural marketing was put into private hands, a foreign exchange auctionsystem was introduced, resulting in a rapid devaluation of the overvaluednaira, and an extensive programme of privatization was announced. Thegovernment’s econoic measures were generally in accordance with IMFrecommendations although negotiations about conditional fund loans had brokendown. The realtionship between Nigeria and its creditors has been a rocky one,but many foreign aid donors have been sympathetic to its aims and large loansfrom bodies like the World Bank havve helped ease the path to reform.
The new policies soon started to show results. Cash-cropexports revived, as did production of traditional food crops. Industry bore thebrunt of recession and the constraints of inports, and was working at barely30% of capacity in 1988. For the Nigerian in he street, economic adjustment hasmeant high unemployment, rising inflation and a general decline in livingstandarts.
With its economic reforms under way, the Babangida governmentis talking of a return to civilian ruke in 1992. To this end, it has set out acomplex timetable of regional and legislatie elections, from which all formerpoliticians have been excluded.