The modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, and took its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914.
The British set up administrative and legal structures whilst practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms.
Benin's power lasted between the 15th and 19th centuries.Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean.It comprises 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja is located.Being the most populous country with high fertility rate, Nigeria has the third-largest youth population in the world, after India and China, with more than 90 million children under age 18.The country is viewed as a multinational state as it is inhabited by over 500 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba; these ethnic groups speak over 500 different languages and are identified with a wide variety of cultures. Nigeria is divided roughly in half between Christians, who live mostly in the southern part of the country, and Muslims, who live mostly in the north.
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