Guide to Nigeria


Background on Nigeria

Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa. It is the most populous country in Africa. It is geographically situated between the Sahel to the north and the Gulf of Guinea to the south in the Atlantic Ocean. It covers an area of 923,769 square kilometers (356,669 sq mi), with a population of over 211 million. Nigeria borders Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. Nigeria is a federal republic comprising 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja, is located. The largest city in Nigeria is Lagos, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world and the second-largest in Africa.

Nigeria has been home to several indigenous pre-colonial states and kingdoms since the second millennium BC, with the Nok civilization in the 15th century BC marking the first internal unification in the country. The modern state originated with British colonialization in the 19th century, taking its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914 by Lord Lugard. The British set up administrative and legal structures while practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms in the Nigeria region. Nigeria became a formally independent federation on October 1, 1960. It experienced a civil war from 1967 to 1970, followed by a succession of democratically elected civilian governments and military dictatorships, until achieving a stable democracy in the 1999 presidential election; the 2015 election was the first time an incumbent president had lost re-election.

Nigeria is a multinational state inhabited by more than 250 ethnic groups speaking 500 distinct languages, all identifying with a wide variety of cultures. The three largest ethnic groups are the Hausa in the north, Yoruba in the west, and Igbo in the east, together comprising over 60% of the total population. The official language is English, chosen to facilitate linguistic unity at the national level. Nigeria's constitution ensures freedom of religion, and it is home to some of the world's largest Muslim and Christian populations, simultaneously. Nigeria is divided roughly in half between Muslims, who live mostly in the north, and Christians, who live mostly in the south; indigenous religions, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities, are in the minority.

Nigeria is a federal republic modelled after the United States, with executive power exercised by the President. The president is both head of state and head of the federal government; the president is elected by popular vote to a maximum of two four-year terms.

Source: Nigeria - Wikipedia

Agriculture and the Nigerian economy

Agriculture in Nigeria is a branch of the economy in Nigeria, providing employment for about 35% of the population as of 2020. As reported by the FAO, agriculture remains the foundation of the Nigerian economy, despite the presence of oil in the country. It is the main source of livelihood for most Nigerians. The Agricultural sector is made up of four sub-sectors: Crop Production, Livestock, Forestry and Fishing.

Nigeria has a total agricultural area of 70.8m hectares. This is distributed among the arable land area of 34 million hectares, 6.5 million hectares for permanent crops, and 30.3 million hectares of meadows and pastures. Maize, cassava, guinea corn and yam are the major crops among households in Nigeria and 70 per cent of households practice crop farming. In the south-south, of Nigeria, 7.3 per cent of households practice fishing, while 69.3 percent of households own or raise livestock in the northwest, Nigeria.

In the third quarter of 2019, the sector grew by 14.88% year-on-year in nominal terms with a decline of 3.44% points from the third quarter of 2018. The largest driver of the sector remains Crop Production as it accounts for 91.6% of the sector in the third quarter of 2019 with a quarterly growth which stood at 44.12%. The agriculture sector contributed 29.25% to the overall real GDP during the third quarter of 2019.

The sector is being transformed by commercialization at the small, medium and large-scale enterprise levels. On the other hand, the Nigerian Agricultural sector has encountered several challenges ranging from an obsolete land tenure system that limits access to land (1.8 ha/farming household), to a very low level of irrigation development (less than 1 percent of cropped land under irrigation), limited adoption of research findings and technologies, high cost of farm inputs, poor access to credit, inefficient fertilizer procurement and distribution, insufficient storage facilities and poor access to markets and more recently, changes in average temperatures, rainfall, climate extremes and infestation of pests and diseases causing organisms precipitated by climate change pose a great challenge to agriculture. This is coupled with a high dependence on rainfed agriculture which has made the Agricultural Production System highly vulnerable to adverse seasonal variations. These have all contributed to low agricultural productivity (average of 1.2 metric tons of cereals/ha) with high postharvest losses and waste in Nigeria.

Major crops include beans, rice, sesame, cashew nuts, cassava, cocoa beans, groundnuts, gum arabic, kolanut, maize (corn), melon, millet, palm kernels, palm oil, plantains, rice, rubber, sorghum, soybeans, bananas, and yams.

In the past, Nigeria was famous for the export of groundnut and palm kernel oil. But over the years, the rate of exportation of this product has reduced. A few years back local Nigerian companies have commenced exporting groundnuts, cashew nuts, sesame seeds, moringa seeds, Ginger, cocoa etc. The country's agricultural products fall into two main groups: food crops produced for home consumption, and cash crops sold for profits and also exported abroad. Prior to the Nigerian civil war, the country was self-sufficient in food, but this increased steeply after 1973. Bread made from American wheat replaced domestic crops as the cheapest staple food. Between 1980 and 2016, yam production increased from more than 5 million tonnes to 44 million tonnes.

Source: Agriculture in Nigeria - Wikipedia

Abuja: Main Conference Location

Abuja is the capital and eighth-most populous city of Nigeria.  Located in the centre of the country within the Federal Capital Territory, it is a planned city built mainly in the 1980s based on a master plan by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. It replaced Lagos, the country's most populous city, as the capital on 12 December 1991.

Abuja's geography is defined by Aso Rock, a 400-metre (1,300 ft) monolith left by water erosion. The Presidential Complex, National Assembly, Supreme Court and much of the city extend to the south of the rock. Zuma Rock, a 792-metre (2,598 ft) monolith, lies just north of the city on the expressway to Kaduna.

At the 2006 census, the city of Abuja had a population of 776,298 making it one of the ten most populous cities in Nigeria (placing eighth as of 2006). According to the United Nations, Abuja grew by 139.7% between 2000 and 2010, making it the fastest-growing city in the world.  As of 2015, the city is experiencing an annual growth of at least 35%, retaining its position as the fastest-growing city on the African continent and one of the fastest-growing in the world. As of 2016, the metropolitan area of Abuja is estimated at six million persons, placing it behind only Lagos as the most populous metro area in Nigeria.

Major religious sites include the Nigerian National Mosque and the Nigerian National Christian Centre. The city is served by the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. Abuja is known for being one of the few purpose-built capital cities in Africa, as well as being one of the wealthiest.

Abuja is Nigeria's administrative and political capital. It is also a key capital on the African continent due to Nigeria's geo-political influence in regional affairs.  Abuja is also a conference centre and hosts various meetings annually, such as the 2003 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting and the 2014 World Economic Forum (Africa) meetings.

Source: Abuja - Wikipedia


The local currency of Nigeria is the naira (sign: ; code: NGN) is the currency of Nigeria. Click here to view the exchange from USD TO NGN.


To receive accurate and up-to-date information on general health information for travellers to Nigeria, please click here.

Please make sure to check if a Covid vaccination and yellow fever vaccination cards will be required for your travel to Nigeria.


Abuja under the Köppen climate classification features a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen: Aw). The FCT experiences three weather conditions annually. This includes a warm, humid rainy season and a blistering dry season.[82] In between the two, there is a brief interlude of harmattan occasioned by the northeast trade wind, with the main feature of dust haze and dryness.

Source: Abuja - Wikipedia