Country Background Information – Nigeria


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  • Lagos

    Nigeria has the highest population in Africa. Forty-eight (48%) of its population lives in urban areas, a 9% increase over the last 10 years. However, over a third of people in urban areas are living below the national poverty line.

    Source: Flickr / Robert

  • women

    Gender inequality is a major issue in Nigeria. In 2007, 64% of boys and 58% of girls of primary school age were in school.

    Source: Flickr / Mark Fischer

  • drilling granite

    Nigeria is the 10th largest producer of oil in the world. Its oil and gas sector accounts for about 35% of GDP, while petroleum exports revenue represents over 90% of total exports revenue.

    Source: Flickr / e.r.w.i.n.

  • Makoko village

    Situated on a lagoon in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, is Makoko – a floating slum village. This community was a result of population explosion and migration of people into the cities. It has about 250,000 residents. The government is working with them to regenerate the area.

    Source: Flickr / Rainer Wozny, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

  • market

    Agriculture and food production is the main source of livelihood and largest economic sector in Nigeria, despite the prominence of the oil industry. Its main crops are rice and cassava, with a heavy reliance on rainfall.

    Source: Flickr / Andrew Moore

  • Cifatake village

    Up to 80% of people living in rural areas live below the National poverty line. Nigeria has the 7th lowest life expectancy of countries worldwide.

    Source: Flickr / Rainer Wozny, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

  • rainforest

    Nigeria’s unique rainforest is amongst the richest in Africa. The country is also home to numerous important game reserves, such as the Yankari and Kainji national parks.

    Source: Flickr / Shiraz Chakera

  • infrastructure

    Despite its relatively fast development, infrastructure in Nigeria remains inadequate. Nigeria spends about US$4 billion (1.9% of GDP) per year for infrastructure development, however, the Asian Development Bank recommends that for a developing country to sustain growth, it has to spend at least 6% of its GDP on infrastructure.

    Source: Flickr / Jollof Malt

  • cocoa

    Cocoa is the main agricultural export of Nigeria. However, production has been declining in the last five years. Apart from policy challenges, cocoa production is sensitive to increase in temperature and reduced rainfall.

    Source: Flickr / Jollof Malt

  • desertification

    Around two-thirds of the total land area of Nigeria is experiencing desertification. Desertification happens because of high temperatures and low rainfall which results in land being unable to support vegetation or the growth of plants.

    Source: Flickr / Jeff Attaway

Further Materials (higher level learners) – Nigeria

  • Behind the rise of Boko Haram – ecological disaster, oil crisis, spy games from the Guardian.
  • Nigeria’s position on climate change before the 2015 Paris COP.
  • Nigeria’s self-assessment of its vulnerability to climate change, submitted to the UNFCC in 2014
  • World Bank report into Nigerian development.
  • Nigerian government climate change site  
  • RGS resource on climate change in Nigeria
  • Projections on climate change in Nigeria
  • An article looking at the link between climate and school attendance in Nigeria.
  • General Information

  • Background Information from the UN
  • A good overview from the World Bank.
  • World Bank Africa Climate Business Plan
  • World Bank Climate Change Action Plan 2016-2020
  • CCAFS big facts
  • 2050 calculator tool for the UK
  • A history of climate change negotiations and another one.
  • A guide to COP21 in Paris from the Guardian.