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Tuesday 24th October
Nigeria Information - Page 1
Geography
The Federal Republic of Nigeria is in West Africa. It is bordered by Benin, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic).

Abuja is the capital city. Lagos is the former capital.

The terrain of Nigeria is varied: lowlands in the south, mountains in the southeast, central hills and plateaux, and plains in the north. The Niger is the principal river.

The climate is equatorial in the south, tropical in the central region and semi-arid in the north.

Environment
The Osun Sacred Grove, in the forest outside the city of Osogbo, is on the World Heritage List. The Grove is one of the last sacred groves of the Yoruba.

National Parks in Nigeria include the Chad Basin National Park, Cross River National Park, Gashaki-Gumpti National Park, Lake Kainji National Park, Kamuku National Park, Okomu National Park, Old Oyo National Park and Yankari National Park. There are also a number of Game Reserves.

Animals found in the protected areas are antelopes, baboons, buffaloes, chimpanzees, crocodiles, elephants, leopards, lions and snakes. Around nine hundred species of birds live in Nigeria.

Architecture
Ancient buildings in Nigeria include the Chief Ogiamen's House and the City Wall and Moat in Benin City, and the Emir's Palace and City Wall in Kano. The Gobirau Minaret, in Katsina, is the tallest mud-brick building in Nigeria.

The Sukur Cultural Landscape, with the Palace of the Hidi (Chief), is on the World Heritage List. The site is situated on a hill overlooking terraced fields.

Lagos has a particularly modern skyline. A property boom fuelled by the production of oil led to an increase in construction.

Population
The population of Nigeria was estimated at 146,255,300 in 2008.

Languages
English is the official language. Other languages spoken include Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo (Ibo).

Religion
Around half of the people in Nigeria are Muslims and a significant number are Christians. Indigenous beliefs are also followed.

Food
There are regional variations in Nigerian cuisine.

Soups, such as pepper soup and vegetable soup, are popular. Other dishes include meat and vegetable stews. Gari, crushed and dried cassava, is a traditional food.

Maize, rice and groundnuts (peanuts) are grown. Vegetables include beans, carrots, okra, onions, peas, peppers, tomatoes, plantains, sweet potatoes and yams. Palm oil is used in cooking.

Fruits are bananas, citrus fruit, coconuts, mangoes, papayas, pineapples, tamarinds and watermelons.

Tea is a favourite drink. Beer and palm wine are produced locally. Muslims do not drink alcohol.

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