Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa. It is the most populous country in Africa, and one of the world's most ethnically and linguistically diverse nations; covering an area of 923,769 square kilometers, with a population of over 211 million. It borders Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. Its southern coast is on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. Nigeria is a federal republic comprising 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja, is located. Lagos, one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, is the largest city in Nigeria and second largest in Africa.
Nigeria has been home to several indigenous pre-colonial states and kingdoms since the second millennium BC, with the Nok civilization in the 15th century BC marking the first internal unification in the country. The modern state originated with British colonialization in the 19th century, taking its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914 by Lord Lugard.