The Federal Republic of Nigeria consists of thirty-six states, and the administrative headquarters and the capital city is Abuja located in the Federal Capital Territory, which is geographically situated in the middle of the country. Effective participation in governance by all adults is assured through the sharing of powers, revenue, and responsibilities between the three tiers of government, i.e. the Federal Government, the State Governments and the various Local and Municipal Councils of the federation.
Much of the country is laced with productive rivers. Nigeria's ecology varies from tropical forest in the south to dry savannah in the far north, yielding a diverse mix of plant and animal life. The broad, mostly level valleys of the Niger and Benue rivers form Nigeria's largest physical region. The Niger enters the country from the northwest, the Benue from the northeast; the two rivers join in Lokoja in the south central region and continue south, where they empty into the Atlantic at the Niger Delta. Together, they form the shape of a Y. Population densities and agricultural development are generally lower in the Niger and Benue valleys than in other areas. North of the Niger Valley, are the high plains of Hausa land, an area of relatively level topography averaging about 800 m above sea level, with isolated granite outcroppings? The Jos Plateau, located close to Nigeria's geographic center, rises steeply above the surrounding plains to an average elevation of about 1,300 m. To the northeast, the plains of Hausa land grade into the basin of Lake Chad; the area is characterized by somewhat lower elevations, level terrain, and sandy soils.
To the northwest, the high plains descend into the Sokoto lowland. Southwest of the Niger Valley (on the left side of the Y) lies the comparatively rugged terrain of the Yoruba highlands. Between the highlands and the ocean runs a coastal plain averaging 80 km in width from the border of Benin to the Niger Delta. The delta, which lies at the base of the Y and separates the south-western coast from the south-eastern coast, is 36,000 sq. km of low-lying, swampy terrain and multiple channels through which the waters of the great river empty into the ocean. Several of the delta's channels and some of the inshore lagoons can be navigated. South-eastern coastal Nigeria (to the right of the Y) consists of low sedimentary plains that are essentially an extension of the south-western coastal plains. In all, the Atlantic coastline extends for 850 km. It is marked by a series of sandbars, backed by lagoons of brackish water that support the growth of mangroves. Large parts of Africa's Bight of Benin and Bight of Biafra fall along the coast. Because of the Guinea Current, which transports and deposits large amounts of sand, the coastline is quite straight and has few good natural harbours. The harbours that do exist must be constantly dredged to remove deposited sand. Inland from the south-eastern coast are progressively higher regions. In some areas, such as the Udi Hills northwest of Enugu, escarpments have been formed by dipping rock strata. Farther east, along Nigeria's border with Cameroon, lie the eastern highlands, made of several distinct ranges and plateaus, including the Mandara Mountains, the Shebeshi Mountains, the Alantika Mountains, and the Mambila Mountains. In the Shebeshi is Dimlang (Vogel Peak), which at 2,042 m is Nigeria's highest point.
Due to a massive expansion in the education sector in the last two decades, the coloration and quality of the Nigerian work force has changed to include a large corps of highly trained personnel in mechanical, civil, electrical, electronics, chemical and petroleum engineering and bio-technics. There are at present over 30 Federal and State Universities, some of them specialist - Technology and Agriculture. In addition there are at least 20 Federal and State Polytechnics. Over 70,000 graduates in various disciplines from these institutions every year. Disciplines, apart from pure sciences, engineering and technologies, include social sciences, business studies (management, banking and finance), architecture, environment and urban management studies. In addition, a sizeable Nigerian population has been and is being trained outside the country, in some of the best colleges in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, Japan and China.
Every year, about 2,000 of these Nigerians return home to seek employment or accommodation within the economy. For the less skilled and unskilled labour, the country depends on the primary and secondary school systems whose annual enrolments are over 3.5 million and 1.5 million, respectively.