Nigeria is currently experiencing its longest period of civilian rule since it gained independence in 1960. After 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. Poverty is an issue impacting most of the population; about 70 percent of Nigerians live below the poverty line. Nearly 70 percent of the people are literate, though most children stop schooling at age 9.
- Nearly 44 million Nigerians use the internet and 73.1 million own cell phones.
- Nigeria is Africa's most populous country and is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups. Because it was a British colony, its official language is English.
- The country has a mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic Law and traditional law. About half of the population is Muslim, 40 percent is Christian and 10 percent hold indigenous beliefs.
(Source: CIA World Fact Book)