Nigeria’s media scene is one of the most vibrant in Africa. State radio and TV have near-national coverage and operate at federal and regional levels. All 36 states run at least one radio network and a TV station.
There are hundreds of radio stations and terrestrial TV networks, as well as cable and direct-to-home satellite offerings.
Radio is a key source of information. International broadcasters, including the BBC, are popular. However, rebroadcasts of foreign radios are banned.
Television viewing is concentrated in urban areas. Legislation limits the amount of foreign programming that stations can show, and outlets cannot air foreign news.
The state TV says it reaches more than 90 million viewers. However, privately-owned Galaxy TV, Silver Bird TV and AIT are the market leaders in some cities.
After lurching from one military coup to another, Nigeria now has an elected leadership. But the government faces the growing challenge of preventing Africa’s most populous country from breaking apart along ethnic and religious lines.
Thousands of people have died over the past few years in communal attacks led by the Islamic State-aligned Boko Haram.
Separatist aspirations have also been growing and the imposition of Islamic law in several northern states has embedded divisions and caused thousands of Christians to flee.
Nigeria’s insecurity has added to its economic woes, hindering foreign investment. The former British colony is one of the world’s largest oil producers, but few Nigerians, including those in oil-producing areas, have benefited.
The Republic of Nigeria
Population: 167 million
Major Languages: English (official), Yoruba, Ibo, Hausa
Life expectancy: 52 years (men), 53 years (women)
Currency: Nigerian naira (1 ZAR = 23.3 NGN)
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