oa Africa Insight - Country profiles - Nigeria

Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



Nigeria is the most populous country on the African continent. About one in every five Africans is a Nigerian. The Nigerian population exhibits extreme ethnic diversity, there being as many as 300 ethnic groups each possessing a distinct language, social customs and beliefs, though only four account for over sixty per cent of the population. The emergence of the various groups is the result of a long process of cultural differentiation. It is possible that this process was intensified by the geographical variations, environmental and climatic, as well as the waves of migration from the north. Added to this is the ""accidental"" nature of its geography in the process of its creation as a British colony.

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