Нигерия English

Нигерия English

The official name of
Nigeria is Federal Republic of Nigeria. The capital city is Abuja. The nigerian
government  is federal republic, independent since 1960. The civilian
constitution of the Second Republic, with a US-style president, senate and
house of representatives, was suspended when the military took over on December
31, 1983.

The population is more
than 100 millions of people. More than 50% of them are Christians, and less
than 45% are Muslims. The official language of Negeria is English, but there
also exist a variety of local languages.

The coastline, much of it
bordered by mangrove swamp, is intersected  by numerious creeks; the southeast
coast, dominated by the Niger river delta, is the location of the offshore oil
reserves. Inland lies an area of tropical rain forest nd bush. Savannah and
woodland cover much of the central upland area; the Jos plateau is the
watershed of hundreds of streams and rivers flowing as far as Lake Chad and the
Niger and Benue rivers. The far north, bordering with Sahara, is mainly
savannah. Spectacular highlands line the eastern border with Cameroon. The
highest point is Vogel peak of 2040 meters, and total area is over 924000 sq
km.

Democratically elected
governments have so far proved unequal to the task of managing this unruly
nation of more than 100 millions people; civilians have ruled for a total of
only 10 years since independence in 1960. The most recent civilian government,
that of President Shehu Shagari, lasted four years before the military took
power again in 1983. The idealistic and rigid General Muhammadu Buhari was in
turn replaced in a bloodless coup two years later by the more genial and
pragmatic General Ibrahim Babangida.

Babangida’s task was made
more complex by the collapse of oil prices in early 1986. Oil earnings, which
accounted over 97% of export revenue, were halved to $6.1bn in just one year.

Oil production started in
the late 1950s, rising steadily tp apeak of 2.4m barrels a day at the start of
1980s. Agriculture was neglected and construction boomed as the oil money
flowed in. Cocoa exports were halved, cotton and groundnut exports all but ceased
and the public developed a taste for new imported foods. Foreign contractors
lined up to build the oil refineries, steel works and vehicle assembly lines
that were to ensure Nigeria’s industrial future.

By the mid-1980s Nigeria
was saddled with foreign debt of $26bn with few of its investments in industry
or infrastructure starting to pay their way. The Babangida government lost
little time in introducing drastic policy changes. Inessential and many essential
imports were banned, agricultural marketing was put into private hands, a
foreign exchange auction system was introduced, resulting in a rapid
devaluation of the overvalued naira, and an extensive programme of
privatization was announced. The government’s econoic measures were generally
in accordance with IMF recommendations although negotiations about conditional
fund loans had broken down. The realtionship between Nigeria and its creditors
has been a rocky one, but many foreign aid donors have been sympathetic to its
aims and large loans from bodies like the World Bank havve helped ease the path
to reform.

The new policies soon
started to show results. Cash-crop exports revived, as did production of traditional
food crops. Industry bore the brunt of recession and the constraints of
inports, and was working at barely 30% of capacity in 1988. For the Nigerian in
he street, economic adjustment has meant high unemployment, rising inflation
and a general decline in living standarts.

With its economic reforms
under way, the Babangida government is talking of a return to civilian ruke in
1992. To this end, it has set out a complex timetable of regional and
legislatie elections, from which all former politicians have been excluded.

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