Nigeria is a leading petroleum producer and exporter. It is the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8th largest exporter. Nigeria also has one of the world’s largest proven natural gas and petroleum reserves and is a founding member of OPEC.
Tremendous investment opportunity exists in the solid minerals sector. Mineral resources that are present in Nigeria but not yet fully exploited are coal and tin. Other natural resources in the country include iron ore, limestone, niobium, lead, zinc, and arable land. Agricultural products include groundnuts, palm oil, cocoa, coconut, citrus fruits, maize, millet, cassava, yams and sugar cane. Nigeria also has a booming leather and textile industry, with industries located in Kano, Abeokuta, Kaduna, Onitsha, and Lagos.
Like many Third World nations, Nigeria has accumulated a significant foreign debt. However many of the projects financed by these debts were inefficient, bedevilled by corruption or failed to live up to expectations. Nigeria defaulted on its debt as arrears and penalty interest accumulated and increased the size of the debt. However, after a long campaign by the Nigeria authorities, in October 2005 Nigeria and its Paris Club creditors reached an agreement that helped saw Nigeria’s debt reduced by approximately 60%. Nigeria will use part of its oil windfall to pay the residual 40%. This deal will free up at least $1.15 billion annually for poverty reduction programmes. As of April 2006, Nigeria became the first African Country to fully pay off her debt (estimated $30billion) owed to the Paris Club.
Nigeria also has significant production and manufacturing facilities such as factories for Peugeot the French car marker, Bedford the English truck manufacturer, now a subsidiary of General Motors, and also manufactures t-shirts and processed food.
With a population estimated at 137,253,133 million peoples, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the tenth largest by population, in the world. It is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups, the major groups being Hausa- Fulani. Yoruba, Igbo, Ijaw, Kanuri, Ibibio and Tiv. The north of Nigeria is predominantly Muslim while Christians form the majority in the South East. There are also a number of traditional African Religions.
Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa and the most populous country on the African continent. Nigeria shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, Niger in the north, and borders the Gulf of Guinea in the south. Since 1991, its capital has been the centrally located city of Abuja; previously, the Nigerian government was headquartered in Lagos.
The people of Nigeria have an extensive history, and based on archaeological evidence, human habitation of the area dates back to at least 9000 BC. The Benue Cross River area is thought to be the original homeland of the Bantu migrants who spread across most of central and southern Africa in waves between the 1st millennium BC and the 2nd millennium AD. However, the Nigerian state came into being on October 1, 1960 when Nigeria declared its independence from the British and at present consists of 36 states and the federal capital territory. Nigeria re-achieved democracy in 1999 after a sixteen year interruption by a series of military rulers. From 1966 until 1999, Nigeria had been ruled (except the short lived second republic, 1979 1983) by military rulers who seized power in coup d’états and counter coups. Today Nigeria is a democratic country with tremendous market and investment opportunities.
Geography: Nigeria Lies within three climatic and geographic types equatorial in the southern reaches, tropical in the central area and arid in the north fringe giving rise to rainforest, savannah and desert vegetations respectively. Nigeria is bisected by rivers Niger and Benue which merge at Lokoja, then cascade southwards to form the tributaries and creeks of the Niger Delta.