Meaning of NIGERIA in English

officially Federal Republic of Nigeria country situated on the southern coast of western Africa, extending about 650 miles (1,050 km) from north to south and 700 miles (1,130 km) east to west. Nigeria is the most populous African nation. Facing the Bight of Benin (southwest) and the Bight of Biafra (southeast), both of the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria is bordered by Niger on the north, Lake Chad on the northeast, Cameroon on the east, and Benin on the west. The national capital is the new town of Abuja, located in the Federal Capital Territory. Area 356,669 square miles (923,768 square km). Pop. (1993 est.) 91,549,000. officially Federal Republic of Nigeria country located on the coast of western Africa. It has an area of 356,669 square miles (923,768 square km). It is bordered to the north by Niger, the east by Chad and Cameroon, the south by the Gulf of Guinea, and to the west by Benin. Nigeria is not only large in sizeit is larger than the U.S. state of Texasit is also Africa's most populous country. Nigeria has a diverse geography, with climates ranging from arid to humid equatorial. However, Nigeria's most diverse feature is its people. More than 400 languages are spoken, including Yoruba, Igbo, Fula, Hausa, Edo, Ibibio, Tiv, and English. The country has abundant natural resources, notably large deposits of petroleum and natural gas. Additional reading Geography A general overview is Harold D. Nelson (ed.), Nigeria, 4th ed. (1982). Reuben K. Udo, Geographical Regions of Nigeria (1970); K.M. Barbour et al., Nigeria in Maps (1982); and K.M. Buchanan and J.C. Pugh, Land and People in Nigeria (1955, reissued 1966), are standard geographic texts. Akin L. Mabogunje, Urbanization in Nigeria (1968), contains detailed studies of Lagos and Ibadan. W.T.W. Morgan, Nigeria (1983), is a good survey of the physical and cultural environment. Toyin Falola and S.A. Olanrewaju (eds.), Transport Systems in Nigeria (1986), presents information on the transport network; and Toyin Falola and Tola Pearce (eds.), Child Health in Nigeria: The Impact of a Depressed Economy (1994), is valuable on the health conditions. Ekpo Eyo, Two Thousand Years, Nigerian Art (1977), traces the development of this aspect of Nigeria's culture.Accounts of the economy up to World War II can be found in Daryll Forde and Richenda Scott, The Native Economies of Nigeria (1964); and Gerald K. Helleiner, Peasant Agriculture, Government, and Economic Growth in Nigeria (1966); while Susan M. Martin, Palm Oil and Protest: An Economic History of the Ngwa Region, South-eastern Nigeria, 18001980 (1988), continues the story to the oil boom. Two studies that cover the post-1940 era are R.O. Ekundare, An Economic History of Nigeria (1973); and Toyin Falola, Decolonization and Development Planning in Nigeria (1996); with Tom Forrest, Politics and Economic Development (1993), continuing the discussion into the early 1990s. Also useful are Scott R. Pearson, Petroleum and the Nigerian Economy (1970); Sayre P. Schatz, Nigerian Capitalism (1977); and, in the wider perspective of political economy, Gavin Williams (ed.), Nigeria (1976); and I. William Zartman (ed.), The Political Economy of Nigeria (1983).On politics, James S. Coleman, Nigeria: Background to Nationalism (1958); and Richard L. Sklar, Nigerian Political Parties (1963), are dated but remain indispensable. Also useful are K.W.J. Post, The Nigerian Federal Election of 1959 (1963); John P. Mackintosh (ed.), Nigerian Government and Politics: Prelude to the Revolution (1966); and Larry Diamond, Class, Ethnicity, and Democracy in Nigeria: The Failure of the First Republic (1988). Constitutional development can be followed in B.O. Nwabueze, A Constitutional History of Nigeria (1982). Studies of public administration include Billy Dudley, An Introduction to Nigerian Government and Politics (1982); and 'Ladipo Adamolekun, Politics and Administration in Nigeria (1986). History General overviews include Toyin Falola, The History of Nigeria (1999); Michael Crowder, The Story of Nigeria, 4th ed. rev. (1978); Obaro Ikime (ed.), Groundwork of Nigerian History (1980); Elizabeth Isichei, A History of Nigeria (1983); and Toyin Falola et. al., History of Nigeria, 3 vol. (198992). Regional and special studies include R.A. Adeleye, Power and Diplomacy in Northern Nigeria, 18041906: The Sokoto Caliphate and Its Enemies (1971); E.A. Ayandele, The Missionary Impact on Modern Nigeria, 18421914 (1966); A.E. Afigbo, The Warrant Chiefs: Indirect Rule in Southeastern Nigeria, 18911929 (1972); and G.O. Olusanya, The Second World War and Politics in Nigeria, 19391953 (1973). The colonial period is analyzed in Toyin Falola (ed.), Nigeria and Britain: Exploitation or Development (1987). The Biafran war is covered in John de St. Jorre, The Nigerian Civil War (1972). On the Second Republic, Richard A. Joseph, Democracy and Prebendal Politics in Nigeria (1987); Toyin Falola and Julius Ihonvbere, The Rise & Fall of Nigeria's Second Republic, 197984 (1985); Anthony Kirk-Greene and Douglas Rimmer, Nigeria Since 1970 (1981); William D. Graf, The Nigerian State (1988); Stephen Wright, Nigeria: Struggle for Stability and Status (1998); and Eghosa E. Osaghae, Nigeria Since Independence: Crippled Giant (1998), are very informative. See also A. Oyewole, Historical Dictionary of Nigeria (1987). More recent history is adequately covered in Toyin Falola and Pat Williams, Religious Impact on the Nation State: The Nigerian Predicament (1995); Toyin Falola and Hassan Matthew Kukah, Religious Militancy and Self Assertion: Islam and Politics in Nigeria (1996); and Toyin Falola, Religious Violence in Nigeria: The Crisis of Religious Politics and Secular Ideologies (1998). Toyin O. Falola Administration and social conditions Government Nigeria officially became a republic in 1963. The constitution promulgated in 1979 created a system of government in which the president, who is directly elected, exercised power as the chief executive and head of state. It also provided for a National Assembly, which consisted of the Senate and the House of Representatives. After a military coup on December 31, 1983, parts of the constitution were modified or suspended, the National Assembly was replaced by a Supreme Military Council (SMC), and military governors headed each state. Following another coup in 1985, the SMC was renamed the Armed Forces Ruling Council, a new post of vice president was created in 1990, and a Constitution Review Committee was established to revise the 1979 constitution. The constitution promulgated in 1989 made only minor revisions to the 1979 documentnotably extending the president's term to six yearsbut the existing government was dissolved after a military takeover in November 1993, and the 1979 constitution was restored. A Provisional Ruling Council took control of the government, but by 1998 its chairman, Abdulsalam Abubakar, was preparing for a return to civilian rule. Elections for the National Assembly and the presidency were held in early 1999. The National Assembly consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Each state elects 10 members to the House of Representatives (a total of 360 members) who are elected to four-year terms; the 109 members of the Senate are elected to four-year terms, with three members from each state and one member from the Federal Capital Territory. There are two tiers of governmentstate and localbelow the federal level. Nigeria is divided into 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory at Abuja; the constitution also includes a provision that more states can be created as needed. The functions of the government at the local level were usurped by the state government until 1988, when the federal government decided to fund local government organizations directly and allowed them for the first time to function effectively. Justice The Nigerian legal and judicial system contains three codes of law: customary law, Nigerian statute law (following English law), and Shari'ah (Islamic law). Customary laws, administered by native, or customary, courts, are usually presided over by traditional rulers, who generally hear cases about family problems such as divorce. Qadis (judges) apply Shari'ah law based on the Maliki Islamic code; training for this system is done in special schools. Nigerian statute law includes much of the British colonial legislation, most of which has been revised. State legislatures may pass laws on matters not included in the Exclusive Legislative List, which includes such areas as defense, foreign policy, and miningall of which are the province of the federal government. Federal law prevails whenever federal legislation conflicts with state legislation. In addition to Nigerian statutes, English law is used in the magistrates' and all higher courts. Each state has a High Court, which is presided over by a chief judge. The Supreme Court, under the chairmanship of the chief justice of Nigeria, is the highest court. The Nigeria Police Force, established by the federal constitution, is headed by the inspector general of police, who is appointed by the president. The general inefficiency of the force is attributable in part to the low level of education and the low morale of police recruits, who are poorly housed and very poorly paid, and to the lack of modern equipment. Corruption is widespread. Cultural life Traditional culture Nigeria's rich and varied cultural heritage derives from the mixture of its different ethnic groups with Arabic and western European cultural influences. Secret societies, such as Ekpo and Ekpe among the peoples of the southeast, were formerly used as instruments of government, while other institutions were associated with matrimony. According to the Fulani custom of sharo (test of young manhood), rival suitors underwent the ordeal of caning as a means of eliminating those who were less persistent, while in Ibibio territory girls approaching marriageable age were confined for several years in bride-fattening rooms before they were given to their husbands. These and other customs were discouraged by colonial administrators and missionaries. Some of the more adaptable cultural institutions have been revived since independence; these include Ekpo and Ekong societies for young boys in parts of the southeast and the Ogboni society found in the Yoruba and Edo areas of southern Nigeria. Music and dance are integral to Nigerian culture, and each ethnic group has its own specialties. Traditional instruments include various types of flutes, trumpets, musical bows, xylophones, and wooden clappers, as well as many varieties of drums. Music is used to celebrate rulers and to accompany public assemblies, weddings and funerals, festivals, and storytelling. At one time the Edo of the Kingdom of Benin distinguished between urban music that was performed at the palace and less complex music that was played in rural areas. Dance also has many varieties: Ishan stilt dancers in colourful costumes twist themselves in the air; while one Tiv dance, called ajo, features male dancers who work in pairs, and another involves teams of women who perform a dance called icough by composing songs about current events. Dance for the Ubakala shows their value system, helps resolve conflicts, and also institutes changes. Ekiti Yoruba dancers wear head masks so heavy that they can only do processional dances. The Hausa, who do not consider dancing to be a craft, divide their dances into the categories of social dancing and ceremonial borii dances. The arts The Institutes of African Studies at the Universities of Ibadan and Ife have done much to reawaken interest in traditional folk dancing and poetry, as have the School of Fine Arts and the School of Drama at Zaria and Ibadan. The Nigerian Institute of Music, founded at Onitsha in 1949, promotes the various forms of indigenous music. Nigerian musician Hubert Ogunde incorporated traditional instruments into his musical dramas of the 1940s. After radio and television stations were established in all state capitals, they began broadcasting programs featuring traditional music and dance, folk operas, and storytelling; these programs are now available in some 25 languages. Many ancient folk songs have been revived by popular singers using modern musical instruments; the resulting sounds are so different that villagers can hardly identify with the songs they inherited from their ancestors. National museums generally are found in large cities, usually state capitals. The national museum and the zoo at Jos are major tourist attractions. Movie theatres, showing mostly Indian and American films, are popular among the urban middle- and low-income groups. Nigerian contemporary music, which combines Western popular music with indigenous forms, has been exported throughout the world and has had wide influence. Notable musicians include King Sunny Ade, who performs a style called juju that combines the sounds of several guitars, vocals, and talking drums; and the late, politically charged Fela Anikulapo Kuti, whose music is characterized by short songs and extended instrumental pieces. Each musician organized a large band with a horn section, a variety of drummers, and many guitar players. Nigerian literature is known throughout the world. Wole Soyinka, who won the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature, was the first black African to receive the award. Other Nigerian writers with a worldwide audience include Chinua Achebe, Buchi Emecheta, Flora Nwapa, and Amos Tutuola.

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