LANDSCAPE AND CLIMATE
Nigeria is the largest country on the west coast of Africa. Benin lies to the west, Niger to the north, Chad to the northeast, and Cameroon to the east. To the south is 800 km of Atlantic coastline. This part of the ocean is known as the Gulf of Guinea. The Bight of Benin and the Bight of Bonny are huge bays on the coast of Nigeria. Lake Chad is in the northeastern corner of the country.

The Niger River enters Nigeria from Mali through Niger and flows southeast. The river and its tributary, the Benue River, join in central Nigeria, dividing the country into three sections. The northern third consists mainly of desert, which rises to savanna-covered hills and a central agricultural plateau. The southeastern and southwestern thirds consist of savanna and rain forests. Along the coastline are thick mangrove swamps.

On the eastern frontier is a mountainous area known as the Cameroon Highlands. It includes the country's highest point.

Nigeria's climate varies according to the region. It is equatorial in the south, tropical in the central area and semi-arid in the north. Because of its location just north of the equator, the average temperature in Nigeria is 32C.

In most parts of Nigeria, the dry season extends from November to March. During the dry, harmattan season, winds carrying tiny particles of sand from the Sahara desert create a hazy cloud in the atmosphere, especially in the north. The rainy season is from April to September in the north and from March to November in the south. Northern Nigeria experiences periodic droughts.

More than half of Nigeria's land surface is pastures, forests and woodlands. About one third is arable land. Oil palm, cocoa and timber grow abundantly in the western region. The natural resources of Nigeria are petroleum, tin, columbite (used to make stainless steel), iron ore, coal, limestone, lead, zinc and natural gas.
   Summary Fact Sheet

Official Name: Federal Republic of Nigeria
Capital: Abuja (moved from Lagos in 1991)
Type of Government: Military government
Population: 107 million
Area: 923,770 sq. km
Major Ethnic Groups: Edo, Fulani, Hausa, Ibibio, Ibo, Ijaw Kanuri, Tiv, Yoruba
Languages: English (official), Fulani, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba
Religions: Islam, Christianity, traditional religions
Unit of Currency: Naira
National Flag: Three equal vertical bands of green, white and green
Date of Independence: October 1, 2021