Sunday Mba scored on a left-footed volley off a rebound in the 40th minute in a match that attracted a crowd estimated at 87,000.
Burkina Faso fell short of what would have been a surprising triumph in its first final, having progressed beyond the group stage for only the second time. The Burkinabes still exceeded all expectations by just making the final.
“Football is football. You have to be great when you win and humble when you lose,” Burkina Faso coach Paul Put said. “Congratulations to Nigeria and also to my players. I’m very proud.”
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi became only the second man to win the tournament as player and coach after Mahmoud El Gohary achieved the feat for Egypt in 1959 and 1998.
It was Nigeria’s third African title and their first since Keshi captained them to victory in 1994.
Nigeria’s win means they will take part in the Confederations Cup in Brazil in June where they will face Oceania champions Tahiti, South American champions Uruguay and world champions Spain in the World Cup warm-up tournament.