Nigeria is known as the Giant of Africa – it's the country with the highest population on the continent.
The Niger River has one of the world's largest deltas. Here you will see oxbow lakes, river meander belts and levees – natural embankments. Large freshwater swamps give way to brackish mangrove thickets near the coast.
The country has many natural resources, notably deposits of oil and natural gas.
The Nigerian economy is also one of the largest in Africa, based on the petroleum industry.
Daily meals for Nigerians consist of seafood, beef, poultry and goat dishes. In the south they often make soup with tomatoes, onions, red peppers and other vegetables such as okra. Rice is eaten throughout the country. People in the north also grow grains such as millet.
The local video-film industry is known as Nollywood. It turns out a vast amount of film, with studios in several cities, including Lagos.
Some 510 languages are spoken in Nigeria, including Yoruba, Igbo, Fula, Hausa, Edo, Ibibio, Tiv and English.
Wole Soyinka won the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature, the first African to receive the award. Other famous Nigerian writers are Ben Okri and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Popular sports are football, boxing, athletics and tennis.
Nigeria joined the Commonwealth in 1960.
The country made its debut, as a British Protectorate, in the Auckland 1950 Commonwealth Games, where it won Silver in the Men's High Jump. Nigerians have won medals in every Games they have taken part in, notably in Athletics and Boxing. At the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, Nigeria took home 33 medals, including 11 Gold.
Nigerians also excel in Para-Sports, including power lifting.