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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.The country is viewed as a multinational state as it is inhabited by over 500 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba; these ethnic groups speak over 500 different languages and are identified with a wide variety of cultures. 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 practise religions indigenous to Nigeria, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities.This name was coined in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who later married Lord Lugard, a British colonial administrator.The origin of the name Niger, which originally applied only to the middle reaches of the Niger River, is uncertain.Nri and Aguleri, where the Igbo creation myth originates, are in the territory of the Umeuri clan.Members of the clan trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king-figure Eri.
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.
Nigeria is a member of the MINT group of countries, which are widely seen as the globe's next "BRIC-like" economies.
It is also listed among the "Next Eleven" economies set to become among the biggest in the world.
Benin's power lasted between the 15th and 19th centuries.
Their dominance reached as far as the city of Eko (an Edo name later changed to Lagos by the Portuguese) and further.