In a country with more than 250 individual tribal languages, English is the only language common to most people.
Unofficially, the country's second language is Hausa.
Prior to colonization, these languages were the unifying languages of the southwest and southeast, respectively, regardless of ethnicity.
Other smaller groups include the Fulani, Ijaw, Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv, and Edo.
Prior to their conquest by Europeans, these ethnic groups had separate and independent histories.
Politically, Nigeria is divided into thirty-six states.
The nation's capital was moved from Lagos, the country's largest city, to Abuja on 12 December 1991.
Though there is archaeological evidence that societies have been living in Nigeria for more than twenty-five hundred years, the borders of modern Nigeria were not created until the British consolidated their colonial power over the area in 1914.
The name Nigeria was suggested by British journalist Flora Shaw in the 1890s.
She referred to the area as Nigeria, after the Niger River, which dominates much of the country's landscape. More than 250 ethnic tribes call present-day Nigeria home.
The three largest and most dominant ethnic groups are the Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo (pronounced ee-bo).
The dry, open grasslands of the savanna make cereal farming and herding a way of life for the Hausa and the Fulani.