UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Due to its size and diversity, Nigeria has different climate zones. In the coastal area, where Lagos is located, temperatures range from the mid-70s to the low 90s during most of the year. Rainfall is heaviest in this area, averaging 70 inches per year. The rainy season is fairly distinct throughout Nigeria. Along the coast, the heaviest rains fall during May to October. Humidity is high most of the year but declines during the winter months. In the central plateau, where Abuja is located, temperatures can climb to over 100(F) between March and June. Abuja's climate is generally hot and humid during the rainy season of June to September and rainfall in the area averages 50 inches per year. The humidity decreases considerably during the coolest months of December and January, when night temperatures are often in the 60s. The climate in northern Nigeria is drier, averaging as low as 20 inches of rain per year in the far north.
A distinctive feature of Nigerian weather is the harmattan, a dry northeasterly wind that carries sand from the Sahara south as far as Nigeria's coast during the months of December through February. The effects of the harmattan are felt strongest in the northern part of the country and decrease gradually the further south one goes. Visually, the harmattan creates a haze that on certain days can almost block the views of the surrounding hills in the Abuja region. Many people experience eye, nose and throat problems during this time of year.
English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani
Nigeria, which is Africa's most populous country, is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups; the following are the most populous and politically influential: Hausa and Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, Tiv 2.5%
Independence Day (National Day), 1 October (1960)
10 00 N, 8 00 E
Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Benin and Cameroon