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BACKGROUND PAPER:

CLIMATE CHANGE NEGOTIATIONS

Nigeria

MA GABRIELLEN C. QUIJADA
MARIA CHERRYLEN C. QUIJADA
Delegates

The country of Nigeria, is found in West Africa. It is a member of the Commonwealth of

Nations and its 2 southern edge is coastline along the Atlantic Ocean (called the Gulf of Guinea),
and it borders four other countriesCameroon to the southeast, Chad to the northeast, Niger to
the north, and Benin to the west. As the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria has an area of
923,768 sq km (356,669 sq mi), slightly more than twice the size of California. Its name is
derived from that of its major river, the Niger.
4

Much of Nigeria consists of a low plateau cut by rivers, especially the Niger and Benue.

Most of the country is suitable for agriculture. Its major economic resources are its massive
petroleum and natural-gas deposits.
5

Nigeria can be divided into four distinct geographical regions. Along the coast is a belt

of mangrove forests and swamps, stretching some 16 km (some 10 mi) inland in most places.
This region is cut by numerous lagoons and creeks. In the Niger delta region, the coastal belt
extends some 100 km (some 60 mi) inland. Beyond the coast is a broad, hilly, forested belt,
which gradually rises to the rocky terrain of the Jos Plateau. Beyond this plateau is a region of
savanna, which stretches to a semi-desert zone in the extreme North. A great plain, marked by
occasional outcroppings of granite, the savanna region is Nigerias main agricultural area. In the
East is the Adamawa Massif, which borders Cameroon and in which is Nigerias highest point,
Chappal Waddi, 2419 m (7936 ft) high.

1 Coleman, D. Y. (2015). Nigeria: 2015 Country Review. Nigeria Country Review, 1-323.
2 Retrieved from http://exploringafrica.matrix.msu.edu/teachers/curriculum/m25/activity1.php
3.Ibid 1
4-5. Nigeria, Federal Republic of. (2014). Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, 1p. 1.

The Niger Region and its tributariesprincipally the Benue, Kaduna, and Sokoto rivers

drain most of Nigeria. In the North East, the rivers drain into Lake Chad. Navigation is
restricted by rapids and seasonal fluctuations in depth.
7

Nigeria has two distinct climatic zones. Along the coast the equatorial maritime air mass

influences the climate, which is characterized by high humidity and heavy rainfall. To the North
the tropical continental air mass brings dry, dusty winds (harmattan) from the Sahara; the
temperature varies considerably with the season, as does rainfall, which is far less than in the
South.
Iron-ore deposits are widespread in the savanna region of Nigeria, as are salt deposits.
Tin and columbite are found in the plateau area. Great deposits of petroleum and natural gas
are located in the Niger delta and offshore in the bights of Benin and Biafra.
Vegetation zones in Nigeria parallel the climatic zones. In the South, the well-watered
zone is partly covered by dense tropical forests that contain hardwoods such as mahogany and
obeche. 8Oil palms are particularly plentiful. In the plateau and savanna regions, forests give
way to grasslands and such hardy trees as the baobab and the tamarind. In the extreme North
East, semi-desert vegetation prevails. Crocodiles and snakes are found in the swamps and rain
forest zones. Most large animals have disappeared from heavily populated areas. Some
antelope, camels, and hyenas live in the North.
9

With more than 250 ethnic groups, Nigeria is a complex linguistic, social, and
cultural mosaic.

6 The World Bank, Global Development Finance, Country Tables. 1999 to present. Washington, D.C.:
7The World Bank. The World Bank Group, World Development Indicators. 1999 to present. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.
8-9 Ibid 6

More than half the population consists of the Hausa and Fulani peoples of the North, the
Yoruba of the South West, and the Igbo of the South East. Other ethnic groups include the Edo,
Ijaw, and Ibibio of the South, the Nupe and Tiv of the central part of the country, and the Kanuri
of the North East.
10

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. The size and distribution of the

population is a matter of controversy, however. Partly because some areas are relatively
inaccessible, data collection raises problems. And since census numbers are used for political
redistricting, distribution of federal funds, even civil service hiring, the various regions, and the
Christian-dominated south and the Muslim-dominated north as a whole, have a vested interest
in the population distribution. Southerners and other groups have frequently challenged census
results. Thus, for example, the results of the first pre-independence census in 1963 were
withdrawn, and 1973 census figures were discredited and never published. Results of a census
in 2006, also disputed, showed a total population of 140,431,790. Nigeria has an estimated
average density of 178 persons per sq km (460 per sq mi). An estimated 52% of the people live
in urban areas.
11

Lagos, Nigerias largest city, has an estimated population of 11,000,000. Other large

cities include Benin City (1,055,000), Ibadan (3,000,000), Kaduna (1,375,000), Kano
(3,330,000), Maiduguri (854,000), Ogbomosho (941,000), Port Harcourt (972,000), and Zaria
(847,000). In December 1991 the capital moved from the coastal city of Lagos to Abuja
(1,900,000) in the centrally located Federal Capital Territory.
About 50% of Nigerias people are Muslim, most of whom live in the Hausa, Fulani, and
Kanuri areas in the North. Some 40% of the Nigerians are Christians, with Roman Catholicism

centered in the South East and Methodism and Anglicanism being most influential in the South
West. Traditional religions are practiced by the remainder of the population.
10 The World Bank, Global Development Finance, Country Tables. 1999 to present. Washington, D.C.:
11 The World Bank. The World Bank Group, World Development Indicators. 1999 to present. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.

Islamic law has been imposed in a number of states, including some with relatively large
Christian populations.
Education and Culture.

12

Within the boundaries of modern Nigeria are some of the

earliest educational and artistic traditions in West Africa. Superimposed on these are the
influences of British colonial rule and European missionary educational systems. During the
1970s an increasingly self-confident federal government sought to rapidly modernize Nigeria,
using Western education as a major tool. Revenue from the sale of crude petroleum helped to
finance such modernization.
Old Koranic schools are widespread throughout the North, and missionaries brought
Western education to the coastal areas as early as the 1830s. In 1976 free primary education
was established throughout Nigeria. Today, the majority of Nigeria's adults can read and write.
Under a new educational system introduced in 1982, primary schooling (officially compulsory)
takes six years to complete. Secondary schooling is organized in two successive phases of
three years each. Western higher education, begun in 1948 with the founding of University
College (now the University of Ibadan), has spread throughout the country. Other major
institutions include Ahmadu Bello University (1962), in Zaria; the Obafemi Awolowo University
(founded as the University of Ife, 1961), in Ife; the University of Lagos (1962); and the University
of Nigeria (1960), in Nsukka. British-style universities have been augmented by a growing
system of American-influenced teachers colleges and technical colleges.

Economic.

13

Nigeria traditionally was an agricultural country, and, at independence in

1960, it provided the bulk of its own food needs and exported a variety of agricultural goods,
notably palm oil, cacao, rubber, and peanuts.
12Nigeria: Economic background. (2005). (). New York: The Economist Intelligence Unit N.A., Incorporated. Retrieved from
http://search.proquest.com/docview/466714850?accountid=50192
13Coleman, D. Y. (2015). Nigeria: 2015 Country Review. Nigeria Country Review, 1-323.

By the 1970s, however, petroleum had supplanted cash crops as the major source of
foreign exchange.
14

The agricultural sector was unable to keep up with population growth and Nigeria

became a net importer of food. Nigeria is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC) and it became the worlds eighth largest exporter of oil. However, oil
revenues were squandered through mismanagement and corruption, and little effort was made
to diversify the economy. Political instability, inadequate infrastructure, and heavy foreign debt,
added to the countrys problems.
In the early 2000s, the federal government took steps to modernize the banking system,
curb inflation, privatize oil refineries, and undertake other programs to bolster the economy. In
2005 Nigeria won approval for a debt relief package. However, poverty remained widespread.
15

Influenced by rising petroleum revenues, Nigerias gross domestic product (GDP)

increased by an annual average of 9% during 196580. As petroleum prices and revenues


declined, the steep drop in petroleum income, coupled with a continued rise in population, led to
economic stagnation in the 1980s and early 90s; inflation averaged nearly 20% annually, and
the countrys foreign debt more than tripled. In the early 2000s, as the country started benefiting
again from high oil prices on the world market and from some economic reforms, GDP revived.

16

About 60% of the countrys labor force is engaged in agriculture. Most Nigerians are

subsistence farmers, producing sorghum, millet, and cattle in the North and maize, rice, and
yams in the S. Cassava, legumes, and tomatoes are raised throughout Nigeria, as are poultry,
goats, and sheep. By the 1970s, however, petroleum had supplanted cash crops as the major
source of foreign exchange.
15 Ibid 13
16 Ibid 14

17

Large amounts of plantains and sugarcane also are produced. Palm oil, an export crop

to Europe as early as the 19th century, as well as cacao and peanuts, both leading export
products in the 1950s and the 60s, were neglected after the oil boom of the 1970s. Cotton,
raised in the N, began to be grown for domestic use in the early part of the 20th century. Most of
Nigerias agricultural goods are grown on small family farms. Large plantations were
discouraged until the 1950s, but since then they have been significant in the production of
rubber, palm oil, and cacao.
Forests cover much of Nigeria. Much of Nigerias annual fish catch comes from the
countrys rivers and lakes, with most of the rest being taken from the Gulf of Guinea.
Nigeria is one of the worlds leading producers of crude petroleum.

18

Nigerian oil has a

low sulfur content, making it particularly attractive to American and European buyers seeking to
reduce air pollution. Much natural gas also is recovered. Tin and columbite are mined in the Jos
Plateau area, and coal is produced in the Onitsha region. Limestone, iron ore, lead, and zinc
also are mined.
19

Scattered throughout Nigeria are small family businesses producing traditional craft

goodspottery, carvings, ornamental cloth, and leather goodsand more modern consumer
goods, such as bricks and other building materials, milled grain, and beverages. Large-scale

enterprises, which include motor-vehicle assembly plants, petroleum refineries, and factories
producing textiles, rubber goods, aluminum, iron and steel, and petrochemicals, have been
established, mostly in the S, in the 1970s. But the manufacturing sector employs only 2% of the
workforce.
Much of Nigerias electricity is produced each year in hydroelectric facilities, and almost
all the rest is generated in thermal plants.
15 Ibid 14
16-17 The World Bank Group, World Development Indicators. 1999 to present. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.
18-19 Coleman, D. Y. (2015). Nigeria: 2015 Country Review. Nigeria Country Review, 1-323.

Commerce and Industry. The national currency of Nigeria is the naira, which is divided
into 100 kobo. 20Currency and banking are supervised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (1958). A
number of European and American banks have offices in Nigeria; however, since 1976, all
banks operating in the country have been required to have ownership that is at least 60%
Nigerian. In the mid-1990s the government responded to a severe downturn in the banking
sector by detaining hundreds of bank directors, managers, and debtors; 26 failed banks were
liquidated in January 1998.
Much of the internal trade of Nigeria revolves around the sale of foodstuffs and
domestically produced consumer goods. 21Open-air markets, operated by women, and small
general stores, some owned by Lebanese, are widespread. Modern department stores are
found in the large cities. Lagos, Onitsha, Aba, Kano, and Ibadan are major commercial centers.
22

Sales of crude petroleum and petroleum products accounted for more than 90%

of Nigeria's export earnings. Major imports include chemical products, electronics, food
products, machinery, petroleum products, and transportation equipment. Nigeria's most
important trade partners are Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, South Korea, the United
Kingdom, and the United States.

23

Nigeria depends heavily on its nationwide network of roads. In the late 1970s

expressways linking Lagos to Ibadan and Benin City were built. But many of the country's roads
are unpaved and rutted. Few Nigerians own an automobile. Buses and taxisoften jammed
with passengersoperate along the main roads. Railroads have declined in importance
because of competition from Nigerias road system. The main seaports are at Lagos, Port
Harcourt, and the Delta Port complex, including Warri, Burutu, and Sapele. International airports
are located at Abuja, Lagos, Kano, and Port Harcourt; smaller airfields serve other major cities.
20-23 Coleman, D. Y. (2015). Nigeria: 2015 Country Review. Nigeria Country Review, 1-323.

Government.24 The central reality of Nigerias political life since independence in 1960
has been the rivalry and suspicion between the traditional, Muslim, Hausa and Fulani
domination in the north and the modern, Westernized south led by Yoruba and Igbo politicians.
Following military rule during 196679, civilian government was restored on Oct. 1, 1979, under
a new constitution that established Nigeria as a federal democratic state. This constitution was
suspended following a military coup on Dec. 31, 1983.

25

Promulgation of another new

constitution in 1989 was expected to pave the way for a return to civilian rule in the early 1990s.
In November 1993, however, after yet another military coup, civilian elected officials were
dismissed, political activity was outlawed, and parts of the 1979 constitution were restored
pending a new constitutional conference. A constitution drafted in 1995 was never implemented;
instead, the military regime continued to rule by decree. Since the restoration of civilian
government in May 1999, a new constitution based on the 1979 model has been the law of the
land.
International Organizations.

26

In addition to the Commonwealth of Nations and the UN,

Nigeria is a member of the African Union, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries,
the World Trade Organization, the Economic Community of West African States, and the
Organization of the Islamic Conference, and is an African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) state of

the European Union. The countrys membership in the Commonwealth of Nations was
suspended in 1995 because of human rights abuses but reinstated in 1999 when constitutional
government was restored.

24-25 Nigeria, Federal Republic of. (2014). Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, 1p. 1.
26 World Bank

Energy And Development. As one of the world's largest oil producers, Nigeria's economy
is heavily dependent on the oil sector. The country has long been hobbled by political instability,
corruption, inadequate infrastructure and poor macroeconomic management, with more than
half of its population still living in poverty.

27

Nigeria emerged from repressive military rule to

leadership by an elected civilian government in May 1999. The country has undertaken
structural reforms, including measures to: tackle public sector corruption, improve the
transparency of public policies, and improve the business environment.
These reforms have made Nigeria better prepared to deal with the global economic
crisis, having averted the boom-bust pattern that characterized previous oil price cycles. Central
to this success is the oil-price based fiscal rule, which broke the link between public spending
and oil prices and created a substantial cushion of oil savings.

28

Nevertheless, the global crisis

had a significant impact on Nigeria's economy, with lower oil prices putting pressure on the fiscal
and external accounts. Infrastructure has been the primary obstacle to the country's growth. In
August 2010, government officials unveiled a power sector blueprint that included privatization
of the state-run electricity generation and distribution facilities.

29

The government also has been working to develop stronger public-private partnerships

for roads. In May 2011, the Nigerian Senate approved the Nigeria Sovereign Investment
Authority Bill, which seeks to establish a sovereign wealth fund to manage excess profits from
the country's sale of crude oil. The move to establish a so-called sovereign wealth fund was
being made as an effort to preserve and increase its oil revenue. By October 2011,Wall Street
giants such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were courting top Nigerian officials in
hopes of getting a stake in a portfolio that could end up being worth tens of billions of dollars.
27-29 Nigeria: Economic background. (2005). (). New York: The Economist Intelligence Unit N.A., Incorporated. Retrieved from
http://search.proquest.com/docview/466714850?accountid=50192

Coleman, D. Y. (2015). Nigeria: 2015 Country Review. Nigeria Country Review, 1-323.
Chukwu, P. U., Ibrahim, I. U., Ojosu, J. O., & Iortyer, H. A. (2014). Sustainable energy future for nigeria: The role of engineers.Journal of Sustainable
Development Studies, 6(2), 242-259. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1705545946?accountid=50192
30

Still, in late October 2011, Nigeria's governors appealed to the Supreme Court to block

the federal government's planned removal of $1 billion from the country's crude oil savings to
set up the sovereign wealth fund and it remained to be seen if it would ever actually come to
fruition. Overall, for the year, economic growth remained strong and a modest fiscal
consolidation took place. In July 2012, Nigeria's state-oil company said it was owed $7 billion in
government fuel import subsidies. There was concern that the debts would clean out savings.
Nigeria's Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi was quoted by Reuters as saying that risks
from high government spending, worsening security problems and lower oil output were
"ominous."
Also in late July 2012, Nigeria's central bank (CBN) left its benchmark interest rate on
hold at 12 percent but took steps to tighten liquidity to support the weakening local naira
currency, which has been impacted by declining oil prices and global risk aversion. Some
members of Nigeria's parliament went as far as to say that President Goodluck Jonathan could
be impeached if the government didn't implement all the projects in the 2012 budget prior to
lawmakers returning from their recess in September. Severe floods affected agricultural
output in 2012 but the economy remained resilient. Meanwhile, there was no doubt that

Nigeria's financial sector was growing fast, as banks tapped into GDP growth of 7
percent.
Total banking assets almost doubled in two years to about US$132.1 billion as of
December 2012. It's important to note, though, that bank lending is mainly to government or
multinationals rather than to domestic businesses or retail customers. Bank profits in 2013 were
being squeezed and banks were seeking a new way to make money. Meanwhile, the country
was suffering from a housing shortage of some 17 million units with limited housing financing.
There were only 20,000 mortgages in the country in 2013, according to Ministry of Finance data
cited by Reuters.
30 Ibid 29

31

In October 2013, Fitch Ratings affirmed Nigeria's long-term foreign and local currency

IDRs and senior unsecured bond ratings at 'BB-' and 'BB' respectively with a stable outlook.
While GDP growth slowed in the first half of 2013, the non-oil economy still grew by 7.6 percent.
In November 2013, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan refused to present the 2014 budget
to the national assembly because of a dispute between his team and lawmakers on how to
control spending. Lawmakers had indicated they would increase spending in the 2014 budget,
ahead of presidential and parliamentary polls in 2015, but the houses could not agree on the
exact amount. Fiscal authorities pursued countercyclical policies in 2011-2013, significantly
reducing the budget deficit. Real GDP growth was projected to have been strong in 2013
due to continued strong performance in the non-oil sector.
32

Inflation declined by the end of the year, supported by lower food price, fiscal

consolidation, and a tight monetary policy stance. Economic growth was expected to improve
further in 2014, driven by agriculture, trade, and services. In April 2014, Bloomberg reported that
Nigeria's economy had surpassed South Africa's as the largest on the continent after Nigeria

overhauled its GDP data for the first time in two decades. The revised data made Nigeria the
26th-biggest economy in the world. However, the country still lagged in income per capita,
ranking 121 with $2,688 for each citizen, according to Finance Minister Ngozi OkonjoIweala.
33

In late October 2014, Nigeria's central bank cut the limit on banks' foreign currency

borrowings to 75 percent of shareholders' funds from 200 percent, according to Reuters.


Nigerian banks had raised over $1.1 billion over the course of the year by issuing Eurobonds
and other types of debt instruments as lenders clamored to take advantage of loose monetary
policies by global central banks trying to shore up their capital bases. The local currency was
down by nearly 4 percent against the dollar as of late October 2014.
31-32 Ibid 30
33Coleman, D. Y. (2015). Nigeria: 2015 Country Review. Nigeria Country Review, 1-323. Bloomberg

34

Also in October 2014, Nigeria's finance minister said he expected the country's

economic growth for 2015 to reach 6.75 percent, an improvement compared to 2014 despite the
risks posed by falling global oil prices to government revenues, according to a Reuters article.
35

Economic Performance Reforms initiated earlier this decade have put Nigeria in a position of

strength in the face of the global economic crisis, but the crisis has adversely affected the
economy through lower oil prices. Following strong growth from 2006 to 2008, real GDP slowed
in 2009 reflecting weaker demand from the public sector and decelerating credit extension to
the private sector. Real GDP growth was strong from 2010 to 2012.
36

According to CountryWatch estimated calculations for 2013: Real GDP growth rate

was: 6.7 percent. The fiscal deficit/surplus as percent of GDP (%) was: -1.4 percent . Inflation
was measured at: 11 percent.

34 Reuters2015
35 Ibid 33
36 Countrywatch 2015. Copyright 2015. World Almanac.