The entity called Nigeria became a nation following the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates in 1914. It gained independence from the UK on 1 October 1960. It runs a federal form of government. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with more than 170 million people (the eight largest country in the world). It is in West Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Benin and Cameroon. It is a nation made of more than 250 ethnic groups, 380 languages, and a diverse range of cultural and religious beliefs and practices.


Following an April 2014 statistical "rebasing" exercise, Nigeria has emerged as Africa's largest economy, with 2013 GDP estimated at US$ 502 billion. Oil has been a dominant source of government revenues since the 1970s. Nigeria’s GDP per capita is $2,800 (2013 est.), 5.3% of which is on health expenditure.