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Originally a collection of African states whose wealth came from trans-Saharan (and trans-Atlantic) trade, it became a British colony in 1861, divided into two British Protectorates in 1898, and then merged in 1914 to form the colony of Nigeria. A federal system of government was created in 1954 and independence achieved in 1960. Find out more about Nigeria with these Country Guides.
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Nigeria Timeline -- Part 1: Prehistory to Colonization
A chronology of key events in Nigeria's history

Nigeria Timeline -- Part 2: Colonization to the Biafran Secession
A chronology of key events in Nigeria's history

Nigeria Timeline -- Part 3: End of Biafran Secession to President Obasanjo
A chronology of key events in Nigeria's history

Nigeria Timeline -- Part 4: President Obasanjo to Present Day
A chronology of key events in Nigeria's history

Nigeria - Library of Congress Country Studies
The Library of Congress Country Study for Nigeria provides an excellent and fairly detailed history of the country. This information was originally compiled for the US Department of Army in case of potential deployment -- examining the historical, social, economic, and political background the country. (The only problem with this site is the awkwardness of navigating so many pages.)

Background Notes: Nigeria
A useful potted history is included with these US Department of State Background Notes on Nigeria. Also included is a range of political, economic, and geographical data, as well as information on its people, defence, and relations with the US.

Nigeria History from Lonely Planet
A quirky, colloquial presentation of Nigeria’s history presented by LonelyPlanet.com. Makes awfully good reading and may galvanise your interest in Africa’s regional history. Not only suitable for travellers.

Nigeria - a Country Profile from the BBC
An extremely brief historical overview accompanies this BBC Country Profile of Nigeria. Of particular interest are the simplified regional map (see where the country is in Africa), a photograph of Nigeria’s current Chief of State, and details about the countries media.

Timeline for Nigeria from the BBC
A chronology of important events in the history of Nigeria given by year (and for more recent events by month also).

CIA World Fact Book: Nigeria
A useful map and a range of geographical, political, and economic facts which are mostly up-to-date. Unfortunately this country profile lacks historical information (except for independence date), but the population statistics are probably the best available.

Nigeria's Chief of State and Cabinet Ministers
Updated weekly, this list of Nigeria's Chief of State and Cabinet Ministers is provided by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America.

A great map showing pre-colonial peoples, and the particular domination of the region by the Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani and Hausa. Also includes a brief description of pre- and post-colonial history and more information about these particular peoples.

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