Nigeria has a population composed of over 250 ethnic groups. It has a history that goes back at least 11,000 years; a wide variety of landscapes, from tropical rainforests to beautiful white-sand beaches; and abundant oil and gas reserves. However, Nigeria has many problems. In 1999, after almost three decades of military rule, the country returned to civilian, democratic government, but it will take time to reverse the damage inflicted by corrupt military regimes in the past. There is an enormous gap between rich and poor, with 80 per cent of the country's oil and gas revenues going to 1 per cent of its population. At the start of the twenty-first century, Nigeria still has a long way to go in order to meet the unrealized ambitions of its people.
Ali is a former teacher of humanities and education officer for Oxfam. She has written a number of books for young people as well as course material for teachers.