Nigeria : History

Nigeria is a large, densely populated West African country on the Gulf of Guinea. Its neighbours are Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroon. Nigeria’s coast is low-lying with lagoons and sandy beaches. There is a high plateau of extinct volcanoes in the centre of the country and a mountainous area along its border with Cameroon. 

Key facts

  • Region: Africa
  • Population: 196 million (2018) 
  • Area: 924,000 square kilometres 
  • Capital: Abuja
  • Joined Commonwealth: 1960, following independence from Britain; membership suspended 1995-99 
  • Commonwealth Youth Index: 36 out of 49 countries 

Secretariat support for Nigeria 

Tackling corruption 

In May 2018, the Secretariat helped Nigeria share new ideas to stop corruption with other countries in the Africa region. It also helped senior officials from Nigeria’s government, judiciary and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission build skills to prevent, investigate and prosecute corruption. 

The Secretariat provided Nigeria with policy advice on public finance and managing risks. As a result, the government made progress in transparency, fairness and value for money when buying goods and services. 


In 2017, the Secretariat provided Nigeria with a report on the possible impact of the UK leaving the European Union on trade between the two countries. The government was therefore able to prepare for potential economic disruption. 

Natural resources 

The Secretariat advised Nigeria’s mining sector on contracts and the international rules that govern seabed mining. It also helped the government to prepare to negotiate with the International Seabed Authority (ISA).  

Blue Charter 

Nigeria is a member of the Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance and Mangrove Ecosystems and Livelihoods Action Groups. 

Connectivity Agenda 

Nigeria is a member of the Physical and Digital Connectivity clusters of the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda. The Connectivity Agenda is a platform for countries to exchange best practices and experiences to trade and investment and undertake domestic reform. 

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