nearly 16 years of military rule, a new constitution was adopted
in 1999, and a peaceful transition to civilian government was
completed. The president faces the daunting task of rebuilding
a petroleum-based economy, whose revenues have been squandered
through corruption and mismanagement, and institutionalizing
democracy. In addition, the OBASANJO administration must defuse
longstanding ethnic and religious tensions, if it is to build
a sound foundation for economic growth and political stability.Location: Western Africa,
bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Benin and Cameroon Climate: Varies; equatorial
in south, tropical in center, arid in north Borders: Benin 773 km,
Cameroon 1,690 km, Chad 87 km, Niger 1,497 km More... Nigeria
has borders with Niger to the north, Chad (across Lake Chad)
to the northeast, Cameroon to the east and Benin to the west.
To the south, the Gulf of Guinea is indented by the Bight of
Benin and the Bight of Biafra. The country#8217;s topography
and vegetation vary considerably. The coastal region is a low-lying
area of lagoons, sandy beaches and mangrove swamps, which merges
into an area of rainforest where palm trees grow to over 30m
(100ft). From here, the landscape changes to savannah and open
woodland, rising to the Central Jos Plateau at 1800m (6000ft).
The northern part of the country is desert and semi-desert, marking
the southern extent of the Sahara.
The official language is English. A variation of English (Pidgin English) is
also spoken. The three main Nigerian languages are Yoruba, Ibo (also spelt
Igbo) and Hausa; another 400 languages are also spoken in the country.