Nigeria faces the formidable challenge of reducing poverty and inequality. Over half of the population (54.4%) is living in poverty and, according to a UNESCO report; over 10 million children are still out of school.
Nigeria is the largest and the most populous country in Africa with a population of about 140 million people, with diverse ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. The major ethnic groups in the country are the Hausa/Fulani in the North, the Yoruba in the South-West, Igbo in the South-East and Ijaw in the South-South. In between these big ethnic groups are some 250 other smaller but very important ethnic groups speaking more than 300 languages and dialects. Although reliable statistical figures are not available, Nigerians are mostly a religious people with Christianity, Islam and the traditional African religions dominating. The level of literacy among male and female population varies between 40.9 and 82.6% among male while that of female ranges between 14.6 and 74.7% With regard to adult population aged between 15 and above, the level of literacy ranges between 14.6 and 62.8% for female while that of male ranges between 40.9 and 81.3%
Source: National Report of Nigeria – March 2008