"Nigeria, Africa's largest producer of oil and its largest democracy, is one of the U.S. government's key strategic partners on the continent. It is Africa's most populous country, with over 150 million people, roughly half Muslim and half Christian, and its second-largest economy. Diplomatic relations with Nigeria, which is regularly the fourth- or fifth-largest oil exporter to the United States, are strong, and the country is a major recipient of U.S. foreign assistance. After 16 years of military rule, Nigeria made the transition to civilian governance in 1999, and the country emerged as a powerful actor in African politics. The government has mediated disputes in several African countries, and the country ranks fourth among troop contributors to U.N. peacekeeping missions. [...] The Obama Administration has been supportive of Nigeria's recent reform initiatives, including anti-corruption efforts, economic and electoral reforms, energy sector privatization, and programs to promote peace and development in the Niger Delta. In 2010, the Administration established a U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission, a strategic dialogue to address these and other issues of mutual concern. Congress regularly monitors political developments in Nigeria and has expressed concerns with corruption and human rights abuses. Congress also provides oversight for over $600 million in U.S. foreign assistance programs in the country."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33964