British influence and control over what would become Nigeria and Africa’s most populous country grew through the 19th century. A series of constitutions after World War II granted Nigeria greater autonomy; independence came in 1960. Following nearly 16 years of military rule, a new constitution was adopted in 1999, and a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed. The government continues to face the daunting task of reforming a petroleum-based economy, whose revenues have been squandered through corruption and mismanagement, and institutionalizing democracy. Nigeria continues to experience longstanding ethnic and religious tensions. After lurching from one military coup to another, Nigeria now has an elected leadership. But the government faces the growing challenge of preventing Africa’s most populous country from breaking apart along ethnic and religious lines. Thousands of people have died over the past few years in communal attacks led by Boko Haram. Separatist aspirations have also been growing, prompting reminders of the bitter civil war over the breakaway Biafran republic in the late 1960s. Nigeria is today leading mobilization of the region`s armed forces to fight Boko Haram – the greatest threat to Nigeria`s sovereignty presently.
|GDP per capita (2014)||US$ 568.5 billion|
|Population (2013)||173.6 million|
|Surface area||923,768 km2|
|Democracy Ranking (2015 World)||91|
 World Democracy Audit. Available at: http://www.worldaudit.org/democracy.htm. Accessed 30 September 2015.