Abuja

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Abuja (äbōō´jə), city and federal capital territory (2006 provisional pop. 1,405,201), central Nigeria. Plans to move the capital from Lagos were approved in 1976, and a 3,000-sq mi (7,770-sq km) capital territory was created near the old town of Abuja (renamed Suleja). The site was chosen for its location near the center of the country, its good climate, and small population. The planned city of Abuja is located in the center of the federal capital territory. Construction was carried on throughout the 1980s and Abuja officially became Nigeria's capital in 1991.

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Abuja Nigeria's administrative capital since December 1991. The new city was designed by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, and work began in 1976. Government offices began moving in the 1980s to relieve pressure on the infrastructure of Lagos. Pop. (1996 est.) 350,000.