Home

Nigeria vs. Benin

Introduction

NigeriaBenin
BackgroundBritish influence and control over what would become Nigeria and Africa's most populous country grew through the 19th century. A series of constitutions after World War II granted Nigeria greater autonomy. After independence in 1960, politics were marked by coups and mostly military rule, until the death of a military head of state in 1998 allowed for a political transition. In 1999, a new constitution was adopted and a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed. The government continues to face the daunting task of institutionalizing democracy and reforming a petroleum-based economy, whose revenues have been squandered through corruption and mismanagement. In addition, Nigeria continues to experience longstanding ethnic and religious tensions. Although both the 2003 and 2007 presidential elections were marred by significant irregularities and violence, Nigeria is currently experiencing its longest period of civilian rule since independence. The general elections of April 2007 marked the first civilian-to-civilian transfer of power in the country's history and the elections of 2011 were generally regarded as credible. The 2015 election is considered the most well run in Nigeria since the return to civilian rule, with the umbrella opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, defeating the long-ruling People's Democratic Party that had governed since 1999.
Present day Benin was the site of Dahomey, a West African kingdom that rose to prominence in about 1600 and over the next two and a half centuries became a regional power, largely based on its slave trade. Coastal areas of Dahomey began to be controlled by the French in the second half of the 19th century; the entire kingdom was conquered by 1894. French Dahomey achieved independence in 1960; it changed its name to the Republic of Benin in 1975.
A succession of military governments ended in 1972 with the rise to power of Mathieu KEREKOU and the establishment of a government based on Marxist-Leninist principles. A move to representative government began in 1989. Two years later, free elections ushered in former Prime Minister Nicephore SOGLO as president, marking the first successful transfer of power in Africa from a dictatorship to a democracy. KEREKOU was returned to power by elections held in 1996 and 2001, though some irregularities were alleged. KEREKOU stepped down at the end of his second term in 2006 and was succeeded by Thomas YAYI Boni, a political outsider and independent, who won a second five-year term in March 2011. Patrice TALON, a wealthy businessman, took office in 2016 after campaigning to restore public confidence in the government.

Geography

NigeriaBenin
LocationWestern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Benin and Cameroon
Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Benin, between Nigeria and Togo
Geographic coordinates10 00 N, 8 00 E
9 30 N, 2 15 E
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 923,768 sq km
land: 910,768 sq km
water: 13,000 sq km
total: 112,622 sq km
land: 110,622 sq km
water: 2,000 sq km
Area - comparativeabout six times the size of Georgia; slightly more than twice the size of California
slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
Land boundariestotal: 4,477 km
border countries (4): Benin 809 km, Cameroon 1,975 km, Chad 85 km, Niger 1,608 km
total: 2,123 km
border countries (4): Burkina Faso 386 km, Niger 277 km, Nigeria 809 km, Togo 651 km
Coastline853 km
121 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 200 nm
Climatevaries; equatorial in south, tropical in center, arid in north
tropical; hot, humid in south; semiarid in north
Terrainsouthern lowlands merge into central hills and plateaus; mountains in southeast, plains in north
mostly flat to undulating plain; some hills and low mountains
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 380 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Chappal Waddi 2,419 m
mean elevation: 273 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mont Sokbaro 658 m
Natural resourcesnatural gas, petroleum, tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, niobium, lead, zinc, arable land
small offshore oil deposits, limestone, marble, timber
Land useagricultural land: 78%
arable land 37.3%; permanent crops 7.4%; permanent pasture 33.3%
forest: 9.5%
other: 12.5% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 31.3%
arable land 22.9%; permanent crops 3.5%; permanent pasture 4.9%
forest: 40%
other: 28.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land2,930 sq km (2012)
230 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsperiodic droughts; flooding
hot, dry, dusty harmattan wind may affect north from December to March
Environment - current issuessoil degradation; rapid deforestation; urban air and water pollution; desertification; oil pollution - water, air, and soil; has suffered serious damage from oil spills; loss of arable land; rapid urbanization
inadequate supplies of potable water; poaching threatens wildlife populations; deforestation; desertification
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notethe Niger River enters the country in the northwest and flows southward through tropical rain forests and swamps to its delta in the Gulf of Guinea
sandbanks create difficult access to a coast with no natural harbors, river mouths, or islands

Demographics

NigeriaBenin
Population186,053,386
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
10,741,458
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 42.79% (male 40,744,956/female 38,870,303)
15-24 years: 19.48% (male 18,514,466/female 17,729,351)
25-54 years: 30.65% (male 29,259,621/female 27,768,368)
55-64 years: 3.96% (male 3,595,293/female 3,769,986)
65 years and over: 3.12% (male 2,754,040/female 3,047,002) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 43.04% (male 2,358,838/female 2,264,204)
15-24 years: 20.32% (male 1,110,607/female 1,072,196)
25-54 years: 30.24% (male 1,641,547/female 1,606,185)
55-64 years: 3.56% (male 165,496/female 217,192)
65 years and over: 2.84% (male 120,629/female 184,564) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 18.3 years
male: 18.2 years
female: 18.4 years (2016 est.)
total: 18 years
male: 17.7 years
female: 18.4 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate2.44% (2016 est.)
2.75% (2016 est.)
Birth rate37.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
35.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate12.7 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
8 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.76 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 71.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 76 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 66.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 54.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 57.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 51 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 53.4 years
male: 52.4 years
female: 54.5 years (2016 est.)
total population: 61.9 years
male: 60.5 years
female: 63.3 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate5.13 children born/woman (2016 est.)
4.86 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate3.17% (2014 est.)
1.06% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Nigerian(s)
adjective: Nigerian
noun: Beninese (singular and plural)
adjective: Beninese
Ethnic groupsNigeria, Africa's most populous country, is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups; the most populous and politically influential are: Hausa and the Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, Tiv 2.5%
Fon and related 38.4%, Adja and related 15.1%, Yoruba and related 12%, Bariba and related 9.6%, Fulani and related 8.6%, Ottamari and related 6.1%, Yoa-Lokpa and related 4.3%, Dendi and related 2.9%, other 0.9%, foreigner 1.9% (2013 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS3,391,600 (2014 est.)
69,100 (2015 est.)
ReligionsMuslim 50%, Christian 40%, indigenous beliefs 10%
Muslim 27.7%, Catholic 25.5%, Protestant 13.5% (Celestial 6.7%, Methodist 3.4%, other Protestant 3.4%), Vodoun 11.6%, other Christian 9.5%, other traditional religions 2.6%, other 2.6%, none 5.8% (2013 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths174,300 (2014 est.)
2,800 (2015 est.)
LanguagesEnglish (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani, over 500 additional indigenous languages
French (official), Fon and Yoruba (most common vernaculars in south), tribal languages (at least six major ones in north)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 59.6%
male: 69.2%
female: 49.7% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 38.4%
male: 49.9%
female: 27.3% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
water contact diseases: leptospirosis and schistosomiasis
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and yellow fever
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 9 years
male: 9 years
female: 8 years (2011)
total: 12 years
male: 14 years
female: 11 years (2013)
Education expendituresNA
4.3% of GDP (2014)
Urbanizationurban population: 47.8% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 4.66% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 44% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.67% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 80.8% of population
rural: 57.3% of population
total: 68.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 19.2% of population
rural: 42.7% of population
total: 31.5% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 85.2% of population
rural: 72.1% of population
total: 77.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 14.8% of population
rural: 27.9% of population
total: 22.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 32.8% of population
rural: 25.4% of population
total: 29% of population
unimproved:
urban: 67.2% of population
rural: 74.6% of population
total: 71% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 35.6% of population
rural: 7.3% of population
total: 19.7% of population
unimproved:
urban: 64.4% of population
rural: 92.7% of population
total: 80.3% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationLagos 13.123 million; Kano 3.587 million; Ibadan 3.16 million; ABUJA (capital) 2.44 million; Port Harcourt 2.343 million; Benin City 1.496 million (2015)
PORTO-NOVO (capital) 268,000 (2014); COTONOU (seat of government) 682,000; Abomey-Calavi 757,000 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate814 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
405 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight19.8% (2014)
18% (2014)
Health expenditures3.7% of GDP (2014)
4.6% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density0.38 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
0.15 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate9.7% (2014)
8.1% (2014)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 11,396,823
percentage: 29% (2007 est.)
total number: 1,020,981
percentage: 46% (2006 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth20.3 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2013 est.)
20.3 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2011/12 est.)
Demographic profileNigeria’s population is projected to grow from more than 186 million people in 2016 to 392 million in 2050, becoming the world’s fourth most populous country. Nigeria’s sustained high population growth rate will continue for the foreseeable future because of population momentum and its high birth rate. Abuja has not successfully implemented family planning programs to reduce and space births because of a lack of political will, government financing, and the availability and affordability of services and products, as well as a cultural preference for large families. Increased educational attainment, especially among women, and improvements in health care are needed to encourage and to better enable parents to opt for smaller families.
Nigeria needs to harness the potential of its burgeoning youth population in order to boost economic development, reduce widespread poverty, and channel large numbers of unemployed youth into productive activities and away from ongoing religious and ethnic violence. While most movement of Nigerians is internal, significant emigration regionally and to the West provides an outlet for Nigerians looking for economic opportunities, seeking asylum, and increasingly pursuing higher education. Immigration largely of West Africans continues to be insufficient to offset emigration and the loss of highly skilled workers. Nigeria also is a major source, transit, and destination country for forced labor and sex trafficking.
Benin has a youthful age structure – almost 65% of the population is under the age of 25 – which is bolstered by high fertility and population growth rates. Benin’s total fertility has been falling over time but remains high, declining from almost 7 children per women in 1990 to 4.8 in 2016. Benin’s low contraceptive use and high unmet need for contraception contribute to the sustained high fertility rate. Although the majority of Beninese women use skilled health care personnel for antenatal care and delivery, the high rate of maternal mortality indicates the need for more access to high quality obstetric care.
Poverty, unemployment, increased living costs, and dwindling resources increasingly drive the Beninese to migrate. An estimated 4.4 million, more than 40%, of Beninese live abroad. Virtually all Beninese emigrants move to West African countries, particularly Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire. Of the less than 1% of Beninese emigrants who settle in Europe, the vast majority live in France, Benin’s former colonial ruler.
With about 40% of the population living below the poverty line, many desperate parents resort to sending their children to work in wealthy households as domestic servants (a common practice known as vidomegon), mines, quarries, or agriculture domestically or in Nigeria and other neighboring countries, often under brutal conditions. Unlike in other West African countries, where rural people move to the coast, farmers from Benin’s densely populated southern and northwestern regions move to the historically sparsely populated central region to pursue agriculture. Immigrants from West African countries came to Benin in increasing numbers between 1992 and 2002 because of its political stability and porous borders.
Contraceptive prevalence rate15.1% (2013)
17.9% (2014)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 87.7
youth dependency ratio: 82.6
elderly dependency ratio: 5.1
potential support ratio: 19.5 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 82
youth dependency ratio: 76.7
elderly dependency ratio: 5.3
potential support ratio: 19 (2015 est.)

Government

NigeriaBenin
Country name"conventional long form: Federal Republic of Nigeria
conventional short form: Nigeria
etymology: named for the Niger River that flows through the west of the country to the Atlantic Ocean; from a native term ""Ni Gir"" meaning ""River Gir""
"
conventional long form: Republic of Benin
conventional short form: Benin
local long form: Republique du Benin
local short form: Benin
former: Dahomey
etymology: named for the Bight of Benin, the body of water on which the country lies
Government typefederal presidential republic
presidential republic
Capitalname: Abuja
geographic coordinates: 9 05 N, 7 32 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Porto-Novo (official capital); Cotonou (seat of government)
geographic coordinates: 6 29 N, 2 37 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions36 states and 1 territory*; Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Federal Capital Territory*, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara
12 departments; Alibori, Atacora, Atlantique, Borgou, Collines, Couffo, Donga, Littoral, Mono, Oueme, Plateau, Zou
Independence1 October 1960 (from the UK)
1 August 1960 (from France)
National holidayIndependence Day (National Day), 1 October (1960)
Independence Day, 1 August (1960)
Constitutionseveral previous; latest adopted 5 May 1999, effective 29 May 1999; amended several times, last in 2012 (2016)
previous 1946, 1958 (preindependence); latest adopted by referendum 2 December 1990, promulgated 11 December 1990 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law (in 12 northern states), and traditional law
civil law system modeled largely on the French system and some customary law
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch"chief of state: President Maj. Gen. (ret.) Muhammadu BUHARI (since 29 May 2015); Vice President Oluyemi ""Yemi"" OSINBAJO (since 29 May 2015); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Maj.Gen. (ret.) Muhammadu BUHARI (since 29 May 2015); Vice President Oluyemi ""Yemi"" OSINBAJO (since 29 May 2015)
cabinet: Federal Executive Council appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by 'qualified' majority popular vote and at least 25% of the votes cast in 24 of Nigeria's 36 states; president elected for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 28-29 March 2015 (next to be held in February 2019)
election results: Muhammadu BUHARI elected president; percent of vote - Muhammadu BUHARI (APC) 54%, Goodluck JONATHAN (PDP) 45%, other 1%
"
chief of state: President Patrice TALON (since 6 April 2016); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Patrice TALON (since 6 April 2016); Prime Minister (vacant)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); last held on 6 March and 20 March 2016 (next to be held in 2021)
election results: Patrice TALON elected president; first round percent of vote - Lionel ZINSOU (FCBE) 28.4%, Patrice TALON (independent) 24.8%, Sebastien AJAVON (independent) 23.0%, Abdoulaye Bio TCHANE (ABT) 8.8%, Pascal KOUPAKI (NC) 5.9%, other 9.1%; second round percent of vote - Patrice TALON 65.4%, Lionel ZINSOU 34.6%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (109 seats - 3 each for the 36 states and 1 for Abuja; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms) and the House of Representatives (360 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 28-29 March 2015 (next to be held in February 2019); House of Representatives - last held on 28-29 March 2015 (next to be held in 2019)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - APC 60, PDP 49; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - APC 225, PDP 125, other 10l; note - in the Senate seats by party as of 19 April 2017: APC 66, PDB 43; with continuing defections to the ruling APC, this is a moving target in the House of Represenatives
description: unicameral National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (83 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 26 April 2015 (next to be held in April 2019)
election results: percent of vote by party - FCBE 30.2%, UN 14.4%, PRD 10.6%, AND 7.6%, RB-RP 7.1%, other 30.1%; seats by party - FCBE 33, UN 13, PRD 10, AND 5, RB-RP 7, other 15
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 15 justices)
judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, a 23-member independent body of federal and state judicial officials; judge appointments confirmed by the Senate; judges serve until age 70
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; Federal High Court; High Court of the Federal Capital Territory; Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory; Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory; state court system similar in structure to federal system
"highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of the court president and 3 chamber presidents organized into an administrative division, judicial chamber, and chamber of accounts); Constitutional Court or Cour Constitutionnelle (consists of 7 members including the court president); High Court of Justice (consists of the Constitutional Court members, 6 members appointed by the National Assembly, and the Supreme Court president); note - jurisdiction of the High Court of Justice is limited to cases of high treason by the national president or members of the government while in office
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president and judges appointed by the national president upon the advice of the National Assembly; judges appointed for single renewable 5-year terms; Constitutional Court members - 4 appointed by the National Assembly and 3 by the national president; members appointed for single renewable 5-year terms; High Court of Justice ""other"" members elected by the National Assembly; member tenure NA
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; district courts; village courts; Assize courts
"
Political parties and leadersAccord Party or ACC [Mohammad Lawal MALADO]
All Progressives Congress or APC [John Odigie OYEGUN]
All Progressives Grand Alliance or APGA [Victor C. UMEH]
Democratic Peoples Party or DPP [Biodun OGUNBIYI]
Labor Party or LP [Alhai Abdulkadir ABDULSALAM]
Peoples Democratic Party or PDP [Ali Modu SHERIFF]
Alliance for a Triumphant Benin or ABT [Abdoulaye BIO TCHANE]
African Movement for Development and Progress or MADEP [Sefou FAGBOHOUN]
Benin Renaissance or RB [Lehady SOGLO]
Cowrie Force for an Emerging Benin or FCBE [Yayi BONI]
Democratic Renewal Party or PRD [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI]
New Consciousness Rally or NC [Pascal KOUPAKI]
Patriotic Awakening or RP [Janvier YAHOUEDEOU]
Social Democrat Party or PSD [Emmanuel GOLOU]
Sun Alliance or AS [Sacca LAFIA]
Union Makes the Nation or UN [Adrien HOUNGBEDJI] (alliance superceded Alliance for Dynamic Democracy or ADD)
United Democratic Forces or FDU [Mathurin NAGO]
note: approximately 20 additional minor parties
Political pressure groups and leadersAcademic Staff Union for Universities or ASUU
Campaign for Democracy or CD
Civil Liberties Organization or CLO
Committee for the Defense of Human Rights or CDHR
Constitutional Right Project or CRP
Human Right Africa
National Association of Democratic Lawyers or NADL
National Association of Nigerian Students or NANS
Nigerian Bar Association or NBA
Nigerian Labor Congress or NLC
Nigerian Medical Association or NMA
Universal Defenders of Democracy or UDD
other: the press
other: economic groups; environmentalists; political groups; teachers' unions and other educational groups
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, C, CD, D-8, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ACP, AfDB, AU, CD, ECOWAS, Entente, FAO, FZ, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WADB (regional), WAEMU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Hakeem Toyin BALOGUN (since 27 August 2015)
chancery: 3519 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 986-8400
FAX: [1] (202) 362-6541
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, New York
chief of mission: Ambassador Hector POSSET (since 18 January 2017)
chancery: 2124 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 232-6656
FAX: [1] (202) 265-1996
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Stuart SYMINGTON (since 1 December 2016)
embassy: Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive, Central District Area, Abuja
mailing address: P. O. Box 5760, Garki, Abuja
telephone: [234] (9) 461-4000
FAX: [234] (9) 461-4036
consulate(s): Lagos
chief of mission: Ambassador Lucy TAMLYN (since 8 November 2015)
embassy: Caporal Bernard Anani, 01 BP 2012, Cotonou
mailing address: 01 B. P. 2012, Cotonou
telephone: [229] 21-30-06-50
FAX: [229] 21-30-03-84
Flag descriptionthree equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and green; the color green represents the forests and abundant natural wealth of the country, white stands for peace and unity
two equal horizontal bands of yellow (top) and red (bottom) with a vertical green band on the hoist side; green symbolizes hope and revival, yellow wealth, and red courage
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia
National anthem"name: ""Arise Oh Compatriots, Nigeria's Call Obey""
lyrics/music: John A. ILECHUKWU, Eme Etim AKPAN, B. A. OGUNNAIKE, Sotu OMOIGUI and P. O. ADERIBIGBE/Benedict Elide ODIASE
note: adopted 1978; lyrics are a mixture of the five top entries in a national contest
"
"name: ""L'Aube Nouvelle"" (The Dawn of a New Day)
lyrics/music: Gilbert Jean DAGNON
note: adopted 1960
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)eagle; national colors: green, white
leopard; national colors: green, yellow, red
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Nigeria
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 15 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Benin
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Economy

NigeriaBenin
Economy - overviewNigeria is one of Sub Saharan Africa’s largest economies and relies heavily on oil as its main source of foreign exchange earnings and government revenues. Following the 2008-9 global financial crises, the banking sector was effectively recapitalized and regulation enhanced. Since then, Nigeria’s economic growth has been driven by growth in agriculture, telecommunications, and services. Economic diversification and strong growth have not translated into a significant decline in poverty levels, however - over 62% of Nigeria's 170 million people still live in extreme poverty.

Despite its strong fundamentals, oil-rich Nigeria has been hobbled by inadequate power supply, lack of infrastructure, delays in the passage of legislative reforms, an inefficient property registration system, restrictive trade policies, an inconsistent regulatory environment, a slow and ineffective judicial system, unreliable dispute resolution mechanisms, insecurity, and pervasive corruption. Regulatory constraints and security risks have limited new investment in oil and natural gas, and Nigeria's oil production has contracted every year since 2012.

President BUHARI, elected in March 2015, has established a cabinet of economic ministers that includes several technocrats, and he has announced plans to increase transparency, diversify the economy away from oil, and improve fiscal management, but his reliance on the Central Bank governor has led to overwhelmingly protectionist policies aimed at defending the naira from further devaluation. President BUHARI ran on an anti-corruption platform, and has made some headway in alleviating corruption, such as an implementation of a Treasury Single Account that allows the government to better manage its resources. The government also is working to develop stronger public-private partnerships for roads, agriculture, and power.

Partly because of lower oil prices, Nigeria entered a recession in 2016. However, the medium-term outlook for Nigeria is positive, assuming oil output stabilizes and oil prices recover.
The free market economy of Benin has grown consecutively for three years, averaging about 5% annually since 2014, but its close trade links to Nigeria expose Benin to risks from volatile commodity prices. Cotton is a key export commodity; high prices supported export earnings, but prices have fallen. Inflation has subsided and remain just 1% over the past several years.

During the first 6 months of President TALON’s administration, electrical supply, which has hampered Benin’s economic growth, has increased and blackouts have been reduced. Private foreign direct investment is small, and foreign aid accounts for the majority of investment in infrastructure projects.

Benin’s 2001 privatization policy continues in telecommunications, water, electricity, and agriculture. Benin has appealed for international assistance to mitigate piracy against commercial shipping in its territory. Pilferage has significantly gone down as the Port of Cotonou is still making progress towards implementing the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code in an effort to remain competitive. Projects included in Benin's $307 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact (2006-2011) were designed to increase investment and private sector activity by improving key institutional and physical infrastructure. The four projects focused on access to land, access to financial services, access to justice, and access to markets (including modernization of the port). The Port of Cotonou is the largest component of Benin’s economy with revenues projected to account for more than 40% of Benin’s national budget.

Realizing its economic potential requires further efforts to infrastructure upgrades, stemming corruption, and expanding access to foreign markets in Nigeria and neighboring landlocked countries. In September 2015, Benin signed a MCC second Compact for $375 million that is designed to strengthen the national utility service provider, attract private sector investment, fund infrastructure investments in electricity generation and distribution, and develop off-grid electrification for poor and unserved households. In order to raise growth, Benin plans to attract more foreign investment, place more emphasis on tourism, facilitate the development of new food processing systems and agricultural products, encourage new information and communication technology, and establish Independent Power Producers (IPP).
GDP (purchasing power parity)$1.089 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.108 trillion (2015 est.)
$1.08 trillion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$24.31 billion (2016 est.)
$23.24 billion (2015 est.)
$22.14 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate-1.7% (2016 est.)
2.7% (2015 est.)
6.3% (2014 est.)
4.6% (2016 est.)
5% (2015 est.)
6.5% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$5,900 (2016 est.)
$6,200 (2015 est.)
$6,200 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$2,200 (2016 est.)
$2,100 (2015 est.)
$2,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 21.1%
industry: 19.4%
services: 59.5% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 22.9%
industry: 24.9%
services: 52.2% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line70% (2010 est.)
36.2% (2011 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.8%
highest 10%: 38.2% (2010 est.)
lowest 10%: 3.1%
highest 10%: 29% (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)15.3% (2016 est.)
9% (2015 est.)
1% (2016 est.)
0.3% (2015 est.)
Labor force58.8 million (2016 est.)
3.662 million (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate13.9% (2016 est.)
23.9% (2016 est.)
NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index48.8 (2013)
50.6 (1997)
36.5 (2003)
Budgetrevenues: $11.4 billion
expenditures: $21.21 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $1.5 billion
expenditures: $1.939 billion (2016 est.)
Industriescrude oil, coal, tin, columbite; rubber products, wood; hides and skins, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food products, footwear, chemicals, fertilizer, printing, ceramics, steel
textiles, food processing, construction materials, cement
Industrial production growth rate-4.7% (2016 est.)
4.2% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscocoa, peanuts, cotton, palm oil, corn, rice, sorghum, millet, cassava (manioc, tapioca), yams, rubber; cattle, sheep, goats, pigs; timber; fish
cotton, corn, cassava (manioc, tapioca), yams, beans, palm oil, peanuts, cashews; livestock
Exports$33.27 billion (2016 est.)
$45.89 billion (2015 est.)
$1.713 billion (2016 est.)
$1.841 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiespetroleum and petroleum products 95%, cocoa, rubber (2012 est.)
cotton, cashews, shea butter, textiles, palm products, seafood
Exports - partnersIndia 17%, Netherlands 8.9%, Spain 8.5%, Brazil 8.5%, South Africa 5.6%, France 5.4%, Japan 4.7%, Cote dIvoire 4.3%, Ghana 4.2% (2015)
India 25.1%, Gabon 14.4%, China 7.1%, Niger 5.9%, Bangladesh 4.9%, Nigeria 4.8%, Vietnam 4.2% (2015)
Imports$36.4 billion (2016 est.)
$52.33 billion (2015 est.)
$2.591 billion (2016 est.)
$2.727 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery, chemicals, transport equipment, manufactured goods, food and live animals
foodstuffs, capital goods, petroleum products
Imports - partnersChina 25.9%, US 6.5%, Netherlands 6.1%, India 4.3% (2015)
China 42.2%, US 8.9%, India 5.7%, Malaysia 4.8%, Thailand 4.3%, France 4% (2015)
Debt - external$39.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$32.27 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.34 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.115 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesnairas (NGN) per US dollar -
305 (2016 est.)
192.73 (2015 est.)
192.73 (2014 est.)
158.55 (2013 est.)
156.81 (2012 est.)
Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -
605.7 (2016 est.)
591.45 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
510.53 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt13.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
11.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
40.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
37.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$23.47 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$29.07 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$645.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$731.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance$2.619 billion (2016 est.)
-$15.76 billion (2015 est.)
-$615 million (2016 est.)
-$697 million (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$415.1 billion (2016 est.)
$8.93 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$53.07 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$63.47 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$80.61 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$NA
Central bank discount rate4.25% (31 December 2010)
6% (31 December 2009)
4.25% (31 December 2010)
4.25% (31 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate18% (31 December 2016 est.)
16.85% (31 December 2015 est.)
NA%
Stock of domestic credit$80.77 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$111.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.639 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.631 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$33.51 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$43.62 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.215 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.172 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$71.38 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$101.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$4.165 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$3.61 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues2.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
16.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-2.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
-4.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 8.1%
male: NA
female: NA (2014 est.)
total: 2.4%
male: 1.5%
female: 3.1% (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 79%
government consumption: 7.2%
investment in fixed capital: 14.2%
investment in inventories: 0.7%
exports of goods and services: 9%
imports of goods and services: -10.1% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 68%
government consumption: 14.2%
investment in fixed capital: 26.3%
investment in inventories: 0.5%
exports of goods and services: 24.3%
imports of goods and services: -33.3% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving13.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
12.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
16% of GDP (2014 est.)
16.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
16.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
16.3% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

NigeriaBenin
Electricity - production29 billion kWh (2014 est.)
200 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption24 billion kWh (2014 est.)
1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2013 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2013 est.)
1.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Oil - production2.317 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports2.231 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves37 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
8 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves5.111 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
1.133 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production43.84 billion cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption18.84 billion cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports25 billion cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity12.52 million kW (2015 est.)
163,000 kW (2015 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels83.5% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
99.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants15% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
0.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources1.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production110,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption277,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
41,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports22,480 bbl/day (2013 est.)
4,914 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports187,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
44,950 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy97 million Mt (2013 est.)
5 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 95,500,000
electrification - total population: 45%
electrification - urban areas: 55%
electrification - rural areas: 37% (2013)
population without electricity: 7,300,000
electrification - total population: 29%
electrification - urban areas: 57%
electrification - rural areas: 9% (2013)

Telecommunications

NigeriaBenin
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 187,155
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 194,666
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 150.83 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 83 (July 2015 est.)
total: 9.318 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 89 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: further expansion and modernization of the fixed-line telephone network is needed; network quality remains a problem
domestic: fixed-line subscribership remains only about 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular services growing rapidly, in part responding to the shortcomings of the fixed-line network; multiple cellular providers operate nationally with subscribership base over 80 per 100 persons
international: country code - 234; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) (2015)
general assessment: inadequate system of open-wire, microwave radio relay, and cellular connections; fixed-line network characterized by aging, deteriorating equipment
domestic: fixed-line teledensity only about 2 per 100 persons; spurred by the presence of multiple mobile-cellular providers, cellular telephone subscribership has increased rapidly, approaching 90 per 100 persons in 2015
international: country code - 229; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; long distance fiber-optic links with Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria; satellite earth stations - 7 (Intelsat-Atlantic Ocean) (2015)
Internet country code.ng
.bj
Internet userstotal: 86.138 million
percent of population: 47.4% (July 2015 est.)
total: 709,000
percent of population: 6.8% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast medianearly 70 federal government-controlled national and regional TV stations; all 36 states operate TV stations; several private TV stations operational; cable and satellite TV subscription services are available; network of federal government-controlled national, regional, and state radio stations; roughly 40 state government-owned radio stations typically carry their own programs except for news broadcasts; about 20 private radio stations; transmissions of international broadcasters are available (2007)
state-run Office de Radiodiffusion et de Television du Benin (ORTB) operates a TV station providing a wide broadcast reach; several privately owned TV stations broadcast from Cotonou; satellite TV subscription service is available; state-owned radio, under ORTB control, includes a national station supplemented by a number of regional stations; substantial number of privately owned radio broadcast stations; transmissions of a few international broadcasters are available on FM in Cotonou (2016)

Transportation

NigeriaBenin
Railwaystotal: 3,798 km
standard gauge: 293 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 3,505 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
total: 438 km
narrow gauge: 438 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 193,200 km
paved: 28,980 km
unpaved: 164,220 km (2004)
total: 16,000 km
paved: 1,400 km
unpaved: 14,600 km (2006)
Waterways8,600 km (Niger and Benue Rivers and smaller rivers and creeks) (2011)
150 km (seasonal navigation on River Niger along northern border) (2011)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Bonny Inshore Terminal, Calabar, Lagos
LNG terminal(s) (export): Bonny Island
major seaport(s): Cotonou
LNG terminal(s) (import): Cotonou
Airports54 (2013)
6 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 40
over 3,047 m: 10
2,438 to 3,047 m: 12
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 3 (2013)
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 14
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 3 (2013)
total: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)

Military

NigeriaBenin
Military branchesNigerian Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force (2013)
Benin Armed Forces (Forces Armees Beninoises, FAB): Army (l'Arme de Terre), Benin Navy (Forces Navales Beninois, FNB), Benin Air Force (Force Aerienne du Benin, FAB) (2013)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
18-35 years of age for selective compulsory and voluntary military service; a higher education diploma is required; both sexes are eligible for military service; conscript tour of duty - 18 months (2013)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP0.42% of GDP (2015)
0.41% of GDP (2014)
0.47% of GDP (2013)
0.5% of GDP (2012)
0.58% of GDP (2011)
1.1% of GDP (2015)
0.96% of GDP (2014)
0.94% of GDP (2013)
0.96% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

NigeriaBenin
Disputes - internationalJoint Border Commission with Cameroon reviewed 2002 ICJ ruling on the entire boundary and bilaterally resolved differences, including June 2006 Greentree Agreement that immediately cedes sovereignty of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon with a phaseout of Nigerian control within two years while resolving patriation issues; the ICJ ruled on an equidistance settlement of Cameroon-Equatorial Guinea-Nigeria maritime boundary in the Gulf of Guinea, but imprecisely defined coordinates in the ICJ decision and a sovereignty dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon over an island at the mouth of the Ntem River all contribute to the delay in implementation; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries; location of Benin-Niger-Nigeria tripoint is unresolved
talks continue between Benin and Togo on funding the Adjrala hydroelectric dam on the Mona River; Benin retains a border dispute with Burkina Faso near the town of Koualou; location of Benin-Niger-Nigeria tripoint is unresolved
Illicit drugsa transit point for heroin and cocaine intended for European, East Asian, and North American markets; consumer of amphetamines; safe haven for Nigerian narcotraffickers operating worldwide; major money-laundering center; massive corruption and criminal activity; Nigeria has improved some anti-money-laundering controls, resulting in its removal from the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF's) Noncooperative Countries and Territories List in June 2006; Nigeria's anti-money-laundering regime continues to be monitored by FATF
transshipment point used by traffickers for cocaine destined for Western Europe; vulnerable to money laundering due to poorly enforced financial regulations (2008)

Source: CIA Factbook