It is bordered on the west by Benin, on the north by Niger and Chad, and on the east by Cameroon.Nigeria covers an area of 356,669 square miles (923,768 square kilometers), or about twice the size of California.Nigeria has three main environmental regions: savanna, tropical forests, and coastal wetlands.

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The dry, open grasslands of the savanna make cereal farming and herding a way of life for the Hausa and the Fulani.

The wet tropical forests to the south are good for farming fruits and vegetables—main income producers for the Yoruba, Igbo, and others in this area.

Other smaller groups include the Fulani, Ijaw, Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv, and Edo.

Prior to their conquest by Europeans, these ethnic groups had separate and independent histories.

The Niger and Benue Rivers come together in the center of the country, creating a "Y" that splits Nigeria into three separate sections.

In general, this "Y" marks the boundaries of the three major ethnic groups, with the Hausa in the north, the Yoruba in the southwest, and the Igbo in the southeast.

Today it is often used in ethnically mixed urban areas as a common form of communication among people who have not had formal education in English. Because there is little feeling of national unity among Nigeria's people, there is little in terms of national symbolism.

What exists was usually created or unveiled by the government as representative of the nation. The flag is divided vertically into three equal parts; the center section is white, flanked by two green sections.

She referred to the area as Nigeria, after the Niger River, which dominates much of the country's landscape. More than 250 ethnic tribes call present-day Nigeria home.

The three largest and most dominant ethnic groups are the Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo (pronounced ee-bo).

With regard to ethnic breakdown, the Hausa-Fulani make up 29 percent of the population, followed by the Yoruba with 21 percent, the Igbo with 18 percent, the Ijaw with 10 percent, the Kanuri with 4 percent, the Ibibio with 3.5 percent, and the Tiv with 2.5 percent.