Nigeria Population and Economy 1973

Nigeria Population and Economy 1973

Threer Africa

Nigeria is administratively divided into 30 states (nine of which were created in 1991) and a federal district. The new capital, Abuja, inaugurated in 1982, has definitively replaced Lagos since December 1991 in the role of federal capital and seat of government; in 1991 the population of the Federal Territory numbered 378,671 residents.

According to NEXTICLE.NET, the 1973 census registered 79,759,000 residents, but this result was not considered reliable by the United Nations Statistical Office which, in that same year, estimated the population at 59,607,000 residents. At the last census in November 1991 the population rose to 88,514,501 residents with a density of 95.8 residents / km 2, which makes Nigeria the most populous state in all of Africa.

As a result of the prolongation of average life (life expectancy at birth rose to 52 years in 1991) and the reduction in infant mortality (which is still 98 ‰), the annual rate of increase has risen from 2, 7% in 1970-73 to 3.2% in 1975-78 and 3.3% in 1985-90. Despite the sharp increase in the youth population, educational institutions have managed to reduce illiteracy to 49% (80% in 1977). The strong immigration currents from neighboring countries, which intensified with the development of industrial activities induced by the exploitation of oil resources, influence the annual growth coefficient. The serious crisis that broke out following the collapse of exports forced the government to expel as many as 2 million illegal immigrants in 1983,

The population tends to thicken in the southern regions of the country, where ports and industries have developed and oil fields are being exploited. The highest density occurs in the region of the former capital; areas of exodus are mainly the north-western and north-eastern arid regions. Urban settlement reached 36% of the population (1991). Maximum city is Lagos, whose urban agglomeration has now exceeded 3 million residents. The uncontrolled development that took place after independence created severe congestion, both in construction and in traffic. Ibadan, in the state of Oyo, has also exceeded one million residents. (1,172,000 in 1988). As early as 1975, 27 cities had more than 100,000 residents; today there are 44. Ethnic balances are also evolving, in which the Yoruba now equalize the Hausa (21%), followed by the Ibo (18%) and the Fulani (11%). Islam (45%) is gaining ground in the Center-North and Christianity (38%) in the South. Clashes, even bloody, have occurred several times in the North between Muslim and Christian fanatics (in Kano in 1980 there were over 2,000 deaths ). Higher education has had a notable increase and is now held by 24 universities (16 federal and 8 state).

Economic conditions. – With the signing of the Lagos Treaty, Nigeria became the leader of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), hosting the General Secretariat and the Arbitration Court in Lagos. Of this Community, Nigeria, which counts half the population and two thirds of the GDP, is the largest contributor, participating in the Fund for Cooperation, Compensation and Development with a share of 32%. Nigeria is also among the signatory countries of the Lomè Conventions with the European Community and is part of the Association of African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP), while its entry into the Niger Basin Authority dates back to 1982, of which part of the 8 states crossed by the great river.

The economy, very developed after the start of oil extraction, following the 1973 oil crisis has undergone various shocks that have compromised the political stability of the state and progressively aggravated foreign debt (33.3 billion of US dollars in 1991). The liberal economic program, inaugurated in 1979 by President Shagari with the advent of the Second Republic, had to be revised several times, but finally, with the transition to the Third Republic (1985), it prevailed over socialist experiments. In 1977 some indigenization decrees were issued, which ensured the state control of some foreign companies, while the nationalization of numerous agricultural properties dates back to 1978,

Agriculture still occupies 44.6% of the active population (according to a 1991 estimate) but, after the advent of oil, it contributes modestly (37%) to the formation of GDP.

Under the pressure of demographic pressure and with the benefit of conspicuous government investments, agriculture has expanded the cultivated areas (from 23.6% in 1973 to 33.9% in 1990), especially to the detriment of forest areas (from 27.9 % to 13.2%). Meadows and pastures occupy about 45% of the country. Among the food crops, production increases include sorghum (48 million q in 1991) and millet (42 million q) in the northern regions, rice (31 million q), maize (19 million q) and cassava (200 million q) in the southern regions. Particular varieties of wheat have been adopted in the highlands.

Commercial agriculture has undergone a certain downsizing, to make room for food crops and due to the growing difficulties in placing products on the world market. The production of cocoa (1,150,000 q in 1991), coffee (40,000 q), cotton (270,000 q of fiber and 520,000 q of seeds) is down; stationary are those of tobacco (90,000 q), peanuts (12.1 million q), nuts and palm oil; progress has instead been made in plantations of coconut palm, sugar cane, soy, sesame and tomato. Some commercial products, such as peanuts and cane sugar, are placed on the domestic market.

To meet the growing demand for meat, cattle (14,500,000 head), sheep (24,000,000 head) and goat (36,000,000 head) farms have been strengthened in the central-northern regions, while pig farms are gaining ground in non-Islamic southern regions. The skins feed a conspicuous export.

The transformations carried out in the coastal regions and along the rivers have reduced fishery products (316,300 t in 1990), so much so that Nigeria must now import significant quantities of dried fish.

To make room for arable crops and to profit from the export of valuable timber, Nigeria destroyed a large part of its forests. The state of decay in which the deforested land has remained has increased the extent of uncultivated and unproductive land. Timber production reached incredible volumes (107,732,000 m 3 in 1990). Rubber production has remained constant in the western section of the Niger Delta.

The extraction of oil has had various ups and downs. After reaching a peak of 112 million tonnes in 1974, it suffered a first collapse due to the contraction in world demand and the quantitative restrictions imposed by OPEC, of ​​which the country is a part. A new record was reached in 1979, coinciding with the Iranian crisis, with 115 million t (8th place worldwide), but then a new crisis brought production to 62 million t in 1987 and 86.5 million t in 1990, with revenues eroded by the depreciation of the US dollar. As a result, Nigeria had to give up many planned investments and found it difficult to honor its foreign debts. The Port Harcourt refineries were joined by those of Warri (1978) and Kaduna, while the extraction of natural gas was intensified (confirmed resources 2.3) to power the Afam thermoelectric plant and the industrial area of ​​Trans-Amadi (Port Harcourt).

As a result of the global economic recession, other mining productions have also decreased, such as Enugu coal, Jos plateau tin and columbite. Other resources are awaiting enhancement. Nigeria has coped with the growing demand for electricity by building new thermoelectric power plants and managing since 1973 to increase production by more than 3 times (9.9 billion kWh in 1989, of which only 22.3% was water).

Industrialization continued in both heavy industries (Ajaokuta steel, Port Harcourt aluminum metallurgy, Jos pond) and light industries (food, wood, textiles). The increase in the assembly of motor vehicles was significant (from 4500 units in 1972 to 13,000 in 1987) and in the production of cement. New factories have been opened for the production of cigarettes, tires and paper. The economic contribution of tourism is still modest.

Foreign trade is marked by an abundant surplus, but is subject to fluctuations in the volume and value of oil exports, which in 1987 represented 95.2% of the total. Mining (tin and columbite) and agricultural products (rubber, cocoa, palm nuts, skins and leather), as well as precious woods, are still worthy of mention. The processed products (wood, petroleum derivatives, foodstuffs) have little weight. Most of the trade takes place with EEC countries, especially Great Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands. The largest trading partner, however, is the United States (47% of exports in 1987), while Japan occupies a prominent place in imports.

Nigeria has strengthened its merchant navy (496,000 tonnes in 1990, compared to 121,000 in 1974) and its commercial ports (Apapa and Tin Can are the new ports of call in Lagos), while oil shipments are mainly carried out in Bonny and Burutu.. Land communications are still carried out with some difficulty both on the river routes (6400 km on the Niger and Benue rivers), and on the road ones (124,000 km of roads only partially paved). The vehicle fleet has had an enormous increase (from 104,500 in 1972 to 1,378,900 in 1986, only half of which are cars) with a density of 1 vehicle for every 86 residents. No progress has been made in railway construction (3,505 km in 1987).

Nigeria Population and Economy 1973