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Tuesday 25th June
Nigeria Information - Page 2
A number of states and kingdoms were formed from the eleventh century onwards. These included the Hausa states, the Yoruba city-states and the Benin kingdom.

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach Nigeria (1472).

In the early nineteenth century an Islamic state was founded in the north, and between the 1830s and 1886 a civil war took place in the south (Yorubaland).

An increase in British trade on the coast led to the annexation of Lagos by Britain in 1861. Over the next fifty years or so, until the beginning of the First World War, Britain extended the [British] Protectorate of Nigeria. In 1922 part of the former German colony of Kamerun was added to Nigeria under a League of Nations mandate.

Independence was achieved in 1960. However, in 1967 civil war broke out when three eastern states formed the Republic of Biafra; the leaders surrendered in 1970. Over the years military rule followed periods of unrest. Military rule ended in 1999.

The industrial sector produces a significant percentage of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

2006 saw record oil prices but ten years later Naira currency was floated to try to stave off a financial crisis caused by low oil prices.

Other industries are coal, tin, columbite, timber, rubber, cotton, steel, small commercial ship construction and repair, cement, construction materials, chemicals, fertilizer, ceramics, printing, footwear, textiles and food products.

In the agricultural sector many people are subsistence farmers. Food products are cassava, cocoa, maize, millet, rice, peanuts, palm oil, sorghum and yams. Livestock is reared and there is a fishing industry. (2016)

Art in Nigeria dates back to the early Nok civilization; examples of terracotta and iron artifacts have been excavated by archaeologists. Ancient sculptures were made from bronze and other metals. Benin bronzes are known throughout the world. Ebony and ivory are also traditional materials used for carvings.

Music and dance are an integral part of Nigerian culture. Today, music in Nigeria is very diverse with a variety of styles including traditional music, gospel music, and juju and reggae. In the 1980s Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, the well known Nigerian musician, collaborated with Roy Ayers, the American jazz vibraphone player. Together they produced the album, Music of Many Colours.

In the literary world, Chinua Achebe is one of Nigeria's best known writers and Wole Soyinka was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1986. Ken Saro-Wiwa (1941-1995) was also a well known Nigerian writer. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie won the Orange Prize for fiction in 2007.

Football, basketball and cricket are played. Other sports include athletics, boxing and traditional wrestling.

Regattas take place on rivers. There are also facilities for sports such as swimming and tennis.

All religious holidays are celebrated. Holidays include Worker's Day - 1 May and Independence Day - 1 October.

News from Nigeria is available from Newslink.

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