Living among creeks, lagoons, and salt marshes makes fishing and the salt trade part of everyday life in the area.
The Niger and Benue Rivers come together in the center of the country, creating a "Y" that splits Nigeria into three separate sections.
The name Nigeria was suggested by British journalist Flora Shaw in the 1890s.
She referred to the area as Nigeria, after the Niger River, which dominates much of the country's landscape. More than 250 ethnic tribes call present-day Nigeria home.
In July 2000, Nigeria's population was estimated at more than 123 million people.
The nation's capital was moved from Lagos, the country's largest city, to Abuja on 12 December 1991.
Abuja is in a federal territory that is not part of any state.
The three largest and most dominant ethnic groups are the Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo (pronounced ee-bo).
Other smaller groups include the Fulani, Ijaw, Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv, and Edo.