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The modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, and took its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914.The British set up administrative and legal structures while practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms.Members of the clan trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king-figure Eri.Oyo, at its territorial zenith in the late 17th to early 18th centuries, extended its influence from western Nigeria to modern-day Togo.Nigeria is divided roughly in half between Christians, who live mostly in the southern part of the country, and Muslims, who live mostly in the north.A minority of the population practice religions indigenous to Nigeria, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities.
The federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja, is located.
Nigeria is the world's 20th largest economy as of 2015 However, it currently has a "low" Human Development Index, ranking 152nd in the world.
Nigeria is a member of the MINT group of countries, which are widely seen as the globe's next "BRIC-like" economies.
Their dominance reached as far as the city of Eko (an Edo name later changed to Lagos by the Portuguese) and further.
At the beginning of the 19th century, Usman dan Fodio directed a successful jihad and created and led the centralised Fulani Empire (also known as the Sokoto Caliphate).