Facts About Nigeria: Discover the Intriguing Wonders You Never Knew Existed!

Nigeria is one of the most populous countries in Africa, as well as a creative hotspot. Many people are familiar with the basics of this country, but numerous interesting facts about Nigeria contribute to its uniqueness.

Friendly folks with a dynamic energy who express themselves through a variety of creative activities can be found here.

You’ve come to the right site if you want to discover more about this African country called Nigeria. Here are some cultural and historical facts about Nigeria that you should know. Let’s dive in!

Here are Some Interesting Facts About Nigeria

  • Nigeria is a country rich in culture and has over two hundred and fifty (250) ethnic groups. The country speaks over 500 languages which makes it one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world.
  • The current population of Nigeria stands at over 200 million and is equivalent to 2.78% of the entire world’s population. Nigeria also ranks number six (6) in the list of countries in terms of population.
  • 1 in 7 black people in the world is a Nigerian. Given that Nigeria is the most populated black nation in Africa, they are the largest African immigrant group in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Japan.
  • Nigeria is located in West Africa and is bordered to the north by Niger, to the east by Cameroon and Chad, to the west by the Benin Republic, and to the south by the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Nigeria covers 356,668sq miles which is about 923,768sq kilometers in land mass. It was named after the Niger River. Nigeria is the world’s 32nd largest country and the 14th Africa’s largest state.
  • Nigeria is a federal republic with three tiers of government (federal, state and local government) and three arms of government (judiciary, executive and legislative).
  • Nigeria has 774 local governments, 6 council areas, 36 states plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
  • Nigeria has 6 geopolitical zones: North Central, North East, North West, South West, South East, and South-South.
  • Lagos state is the smallest state in Nigeria. It is about 3,345km², yet it happens to be the most densely populated state in the whole country with over 12.5 million people.
  • Niger State is the largest state in Nigeria. It is about 76,363km² in land mass with a population of over 6.5 million people. It was created on the 3rd day of February, 1976.
  • Wole Soyinka born on 13th July 1934 in Abeokuta, Ogun State happens to be the first Nobel Laureate in Nigeria which he won in 1986.
  • Nigeria is among Africa’s three largest oil producers, producing over 1.2 million barrels of oil per day (bpd). The other two countries are Libya and Angola.
  • The highest point in Nigeria is Chabbal Waddi, also known as the “mountain of death”. It is located in Taraba state at 7,936ft, near the border with Cameroon, at the edge of the Gashaka-Gumti forest reserve.
  • River Niger which is regarded as the longest river in Nigeria, flows through Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Guinea and Benin. It is about 4,180 km long making it the third longest river in Africa after the river Nile and Congo.
  • The name Nigeria was coined in the late 19th century after the Niger River by British journalist Flora Shaw, who later married Lord Frederick Lugard.
  • Nigeria has two major seasons: dry and rainy seasons. The rainy season lasts from March to October while the dry season usually lasts from November to February.
  • Aliko Dangote who is a Nigerian is regarded as the richest man in Nigeria and Africa. He is the founder and chairman of the continent’s largest cement producer, Dangote Cement.
  • Nigeria became an independent nation on 1st October 1960, with Tafawa Balewa as the prime minister and Nnamdi Azikiwe as the ceremonial head of state/governor-general.
  • In Nigeria, Oil (also known as black gold) was first discovered in 1956, in Oloibiri of Bayelsa state. Nigeria ranks number 10 in the world for oil reserves.
  • The Northern and Southern protectorates were amalgamated in January 1914 by British colonial governor, Frederick Lugard.
  • Nigeria became a republic in October 1963 after three years of gaining independence. Nnamdi Azikiwe became her first president.
  • Folorunsho Alakija is the richest woman in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of over $1 billion.
  • The Nigerian movie industry, Nollywood, is the second largest in the world in terms of production. Nollywood releases over 2400 movies every year with a financial value of over $6.4 billion.
  • Nigeria joined the World Bank on March 30th, 1961. So far, Nigeria has borrowed a total of $33.66 billion from the World Bank.
  • The largest city in Africa is in Nigeria: Lagos.
  • The Calabar carnival is acclaimed as the biggest street party in Africa and is also the biggest festival in Nigeria where people from different parts of the world come to experience fun and hospitality.
  • The first woman to drive a car in Nigeria was Mrs Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, the mother of Fela Kuti.
  • Oba Sir Adesoji Aderemi, 49th Ooni of the Ice, was the first African governor in the British Empire and Commonwealth. He was sworn into office in July 1960.
  • A British expatriate, Lilian Jean Williams, wrote Nigeria’s first National anthem which was adopted upon her independence.
  • Nigeria’s national basketball team made it to the Olympics in 2012, and the country has sent several players to the NBA, including Hakeem Olajuwon.
  • Nigerian immigrants are the smartest group of newcomers to the US. About 60% of Nigerians living in the United States have a college degree. This is a lot more than the average in the United States.
  • Jelani Aliyu, the designer of the iconic Chevrolet Volt, is an extremely skilled Nigerian from Sokoto State.
  • Pounded Yam is one of the most popular meals when it comes to delicacies. Nigerians eat it with soups like Egusi, Okra, Ogbono, and Vegetable soup. A popular dish is jollof rice, a tomato, and rice stew.
  • Nollywood, Nigeria’s film industry, is the world’s second-largest feature film producer. The Nigerian film industry produces more than 1,000 films every year on average. This figure is far lower than the number of films produced in the Bollywood and Hollywood film industries.
  • An Anambra Waxbill can only be found in Southern Nigeria. The Anambra waxbill is a type of estrildid finch that can only be found in Southern Nigeria. This bird is about 12cm long and can form flocks of 20 or more birds. Only about five sightings of this species have been documented in Nigeria, and it is frequently found in long grasses along bodies of water such as lagoon sandbanks, marshes, swamps, and rivers. These amazing creatures mostly feed on grass seeds from seed heads.
  • Nigeria has one of the largest butterfly species populations on the planet. The biodiversity of Nigeria contributes to the profusion of its flora and wildlife. Butterflies are one of the insects you’ll observe in Nigeria. There are already over 1000 recognized butterfly species in the country, and the number will continue to grow as new butterfly species are discovered.
  • In 1472, the Portuguese arrived in Nigeria. The British began invading southern Nigeria in 1880. By 1903, the North had been conquered.
  • Wole Soyinka is a Nobel laureate from Nigeria who wrote ‘Telephone Conversation!’
  • Yoruba and their lineages have the world’s highest percentage of twinning (getting twins).
  • According to the 2006 Census, Nigerians are the most educated ethnic or racial group in America.
  • Malam Umaru Altine, a northern Fulani man, was the first elected Mayor of Enugu in the east, and he was re-elected for a second term.
  • The Colonial Cantonments Proclamation of 1914 established ‘foreign quarters,’ ‘Sabon Gari,’ formalizing Nigeria’s Sabon Garuruwa system of ‘foreigner’ residential segregation.
  • Amaros was the name given to repatriated Brazilian and Cuban slaves, who are now known as the ‘Aguda’ people of Lagos. Deportees from Portugal’s valiant “Malê Revolt” live in this Brazilian town.
  • Fumilayo Ransome-Kuti, an activist, traveled extensively, notably to the Eastern bloc (Hungary, the USSR, and China, where she met Mao Zedong). These contacts enraged Nigeria, the United Kingdom, and the United States. America labeled her a communist and denied her a visa.

Facts about Nigeria

  • Fumilayo Ransome-Kuti, renowned Fela’s mother, was one of the commissioners in Britain who negotiated Nigeria’s independence.
  • In 1966, a devious Igbo-owned bakery allegedly manufactured a loaf of bread with a label depicting Nzeogwu as the Saint in the ‘Saint George and the Dragon’ medieval tale, killing Sardauna, the ‘dragon,’ and this labeled bread sparked violent anti-Igbo riots.
  • Idris Aloma (1571-1603). On a pilgrimage, the King of Kanem-Bornu found guns. He returned with cannons and Turks to train his army on how to use them.
  • In 1975, a brand-new automobile cost N2000. Reports In 1975 stated that a ticket to London cost less than N100.
  • In 1976, 75 kobo equaled one British pound and 60 kobo equaled one US dollar.
  • According to history, at the start of Babangida’s presidency in 1985, a dollar was worth about 90 kobo.
  • Nigeria received its first World Bank loan in 1977.
  • During Obasanjo’s first term and Babangida’s government, the naira was weakened.
  • General Buhari and Idiagbon opposed IMF attempts to deflate Nigeria’s currency.
  • Usman dan Fodio (1754-1817) was a traditional Islamic scientist, philosopher, and theologian who produced more than 100 volumes on society, culture, religion, governance, and politics. He could only announce Jihad after being appointed as Gudu’s leader. In Islam, you can only declare Jihad if you are an established Muslim leader.
  • Dan Fodio’s colonization jihad was rejected by the Borno Empire. Al-Hajj Muhammad al-Amîn ibn Muhammad al-Kânemî defended his Empire not just militarily, but also via religious, theological, legal, and political discussions, questioning why a Muslim Empire should colonize another.
  • According to Kano legend, a strong warrior princess named Magajiya Maimuna led her cavalry from Zaria to conquer Kumbwada.
  • Akwa Ibom: King Jaja of Opobo (1821-1891) built the city-state of Opobo in 1867 and exported palm oil to Britain without the assistance of British middlemen.
  • Nigeria is home to Africa’s oldest dye pit. The oldest dye pit in Africa is Kofar Mata, which was established in Kano in the 15th century. The dye pit still stands as a reminder of the traditional tie and dye process that used to take place in the region. All of the processes utilized in the pit are centuries old, and one family passes them on to the next.
  • Many people believe that the left hand is filthy. This is common in most Islamic or African countries, including Nigeria. The left hand is regarded as filthy in the culture, mostly because it is employed for cleaning bodily faeces. As a result, never use your left hand in a handshake; it is considered impolite. The majority of people will not shake hands or eat with their left hand. Keep in mind that not everyone in the country regards the left hand to be filthy. To avoid offending people, it is still advisable to perform everything with your right hand.
  • The majority of Nigerians live in poverty because they lack access to basic resources and requirements. You will also observe a clear disparity between the rich and the impoverished. Some of the world’s wealthiest people reside here, while the poorest do not have access to power or running water.
  • The agricultural sector employs the greatest number of people in the country. In the street markets, countless farmers are selling fresh veggies. As a result, the utilization of vegetables is prevalent in the country’s cuisine.

In conclusion, Nigeria is a beautiful country with a diverse multi-ethnic culture. There is still plenty to learn about Nigeria, particularly from Nollywood. However, visiting to experience it firsthand and learn about its distinct culture is the best option. There will be many wonderful stories that you may tell your friends and relatives back home. This is what distinguishes an African holiday. Ensure you keep up with us, to get more updates about Nigeria.

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