Nigeria’s Neighbouring Countries

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Nigeria has four major borders and these borders lead to four African countries.

The country shares borders with Cameroun in its southern part in Cross River. It is also borders with Chad in North-East and Niger in the North. Additionally, Nigeria is also borders with Republic of Benin in the Southwestern Nigeria. These people have the same ethnic group and similar way of life with the Yorubas.

Nigeria's Neighbouring Countries

Let’s take a look at a brief profile of these countries.

Benin

Also known as the Republic of Benin, it was formerly called Dahomey. The country is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north.

A significant portion of the country’s population lives on the small southern coastline of the Bight of Benin which is a part of the Gulf of Guinea in the northern tropical part of the Atlantic Ocean.

The capital of Benin is Porto-Novo however the economic capital and the seat of government is located in Cotonou which is also the largest city in the country.

As of 2016, the estimated population of Benin was 10.87 million. The country is highly dependent on agriculture, with substantial employment and income arising from subsistence farming.

The official language of Benin is French but the native languages are Fon and Yoruba. The dominant religion in the country is Roman Catholicism. There are Muslims, Vodun and Protestant Christians.

The country was colonized by France but in 1960, the Republic of Benin which was then called Dahomey gained full independence from France. Between 1975 and 1990, the country was called the People’s Republic of Benin. In 1991, it was replaced by the current multi-party Republic of Benin.

Chad

The Republic of Chad is a landlocked country located in Central Africa. The country is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west. In terms of land mass, Chad is the fifth largest country in Africa.

The people of Chad sharing borders with Nigeria also share the same religion, most of them are Muslims. Also, these people share similar ethnic groups and cultural heritage. They are closely related by occupation, cattle rearing, hides and skin production and so many other sociocultural similarities.

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The country is named after the popular Lake Chad. The capital of Chad is N’Djamena and it is the largest city in the country.

The official languages in Chad are Arabic and French. Chad is home to over 200 different ethnic and linguistic groups. 55% of the Chad people are Muslim while 40% are Christians.

The country was colonized by France in 1920 but gained independence in 1960 under the leadership of François Tombalbaye.

Currently, a large portion of the country is poor as a result of high birth rates and a lack of agriculture.

The country exports crude oil and this is the major source of income for the country however the high rate of corruption has led to the inability of the government to develop the country with the revenue from crude oil.

Cameroon

Cameroon is a Central African country that is bordered by Nigeria to the West; Chad to the North-East; the Central African Republic to the East; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon’s coastline lies on the Bight of Biafra, part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean.

The official languages of Cameroon are French and English. The country is extremely geological and cultural diversity and it is often referred to as Africa in Miniature. Some of the natural features include beaches, deserts, mountains, rainforests, and savannas. The highest point of the country at almost 4,100 metres (13,500 ft) is the Mount Cameroon in the Southwest Region of the country, and the largest cities in population-terms are Douala on the Wouri river. Douala is also the economic capital and main seaport while Yaoundé is its political capital.

Based on history, Cameroun has been colonized in the past by Germany, France and Britain. The country eventually gained independence in 1961 to become the Federal Republic of Cameroon.

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However, the federation was abandoned in 1972 and the country was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972 and the Republic of Cameroon in 1984.

A significant portion of Cameroonians are subsistence farmers. The regions close to Nigeria speak English and they are also referred as the people of Bakassi peninsula, which till today has some boundary issues between the two countries. They are mostly Christians and African traditional religion faithfuls.

Niger

Niger is officially known as the Republic of the Niger, it is a landlocked country located in Western Africa and it is named after the Niger River.

The country is bordered by Libya to the northeast, Chad to the east, Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, and Algeria to the northwest.

The borders of Niger and Nigeria do not distinguish the people in any way because these people have had a similar way of life for ages. They are of the same ethnic groups and have the same socioeconomic similarities. They are mostly Muslims; they are farmers whose expertise is deeply rooted in cattle rearing. They have cross border marriages, family ties and way of dressing and geographically the have the same territorial landscape.

Niger has a land area of almost 1,270,000 km2 (490,000 sq mi), making it the largest country in West Africa. However, over 80% of its land area lies in the Sahara Desert.

The country‘s predominantly Islamic population of about 21 million are found in clusters in the far south and west of the country. The capital city of Niger is Niamey and it is located in Niger.

Over the years, Niger has consistently ranked close to the bottom of the United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI). As of 2015, the country was ranked 187th of 188 countries.

A predominant portion of the population lives in rural areas, and has little access to advanced education. As of 2015, 71.3% of Niger’s population cannot read which is one of the lowest literacy rates in the world.

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