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The official language of Nigeria is Nigerian English, chosen to facilitate linguistic unity at the national level.
Cities in the area became regional centres in a broad network of trade routes that spanned western, central and northern Africa.
Nigeria is a founding member of the African Union and a member of many other international organizations, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations and OPEC.
The name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country.
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).
The territory controlled by the resultant state included much of modern-day northern and central Nigeria; it lasted until the 1903 break-up of the Empire into various European colonies.