Nigeria is a large country in the continent of Africa with a population of about 203,452,505 people. It is the seventh most populous country in the world with its highly diverse population and residents belonging to various ethnicities.
Nigeria is also known for its savannas, plains, swamps, mountains, and steamy jungles. Almost 200 languages are spoken in the country too
Art and music are a prevalent part of the Nigerian culture and society. Ethnic, political, and religious differences and conflicts have impacted the economic growth of the country as well as put a strain in the societal well-being of the country.
Today we have compiled a list of amazing facts about Nigeria that will intrigue you to visit the country whenever you have the chance to go to Africa.
Here Are Some Interesting Facts About Nigeria That You May Not Have Heard About Before
1. Nigeria was formed in the early 20th century
The country known as Nigeria today was formed in the early 20th century in 1914 when colonial authorities in the region brought together the North and South Protectorates of Nigeria to form the completely merged Protectorate and Colony of Nigeria.
The amalgamation brought together around 400 ethnic groups and tribes together to form the largest British colony of the time. The country’s name Nigeria was also taken from colonial sources.
2. Nigeria remained under military rule for about 29 years
A group of young UK-army trained majors overthrew Nigeria’s democracy in a tyrannical military takeover in 1966.
The years saw a succession of power to more and more repressive military governments. This repressive succession continued until 1999, when democracy was restored to the people of Nigeria after 29 years.
The effects of the revolution are the Biafra movement, a group of young military officers wielding large influence in the country’s political space, corruption regarding Nigeria’s natural resources, and a fear in the people’s heart for a possible coup by the army in case of a political crisis.
3. A civil war took place in Nigeria in 1967
After two coups and nation-wide turmoil in the country, a million Igbos, Nigeria’s most populous ethnic group belonging to the eastern region of the country, moved back to the south-east region of Nigeria.
The Republic of Biafra withdrew in 1967. After the Nigerian government declared war and fought for almost thirty months, Biafra surrendered, and the conflict was resolved in January 1970.
4. Over 200 languages are spoken in the country
Not only does Nigeria have a lot of people living within its borders but it is also a large multicultural land.
It is known to be one of the most diverse countries in the world due the number of indigenous languages spoken in the region daily.
Reports vary but some experts believe that more than 500 languages are spoken in the country and some of which are English (which is a popular language), Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo.
English is also the official language of Nigeria. Music and art have been a part of the tribal roots of Nigerian people which is why it is still prevalent in modern society today.
5. Nigerians love using social media
It must come as no surprise to learn that a country full of youths loves to spend time on social media to engage with one another.
Nigeria is one of the most industrialized countries in Africa which is why it must come as no surprise that almost 75% of the total population of Nigeria uses social media regularly.
It is an interesting fact that most Nigerians who use the internet and social media use a smartphone instead of a computer or laptop.
6. The richest man in Africa resides in Nigeria
The richest man in Africa has a net worth of around 10.6 billion USD. He was a part of the Forbes richest people in the world list.
The richest man in Africa is a Nigerian businessman who is called Aliko Dangote. Dangote was born in Kano and established The Dangote Group in 1977.
7. Nigeria is home to more than 250 ethnic groups
Nigeria is home to a massive number of people belonging to many cultures and religions, speaking different languages.
It may come as no surprise to learn that there are over 250 ethnic groups with unique and special cultures and traditions.
8. The country is famous for its large monoliths
The country of Nigeria is famous for its monolithic, huge granitic rocks, which look similar to the Uluru rock found in Australia.
The Zuma rock is one of Nigeria’s popular landmarks. The large monolith towers near the city of Abuja and has a circumference of about 3.1 kilometer. A picture of the Zuma rock is shown on the 100 naira note.
9. Oil is Nigeria’s biggest export
Nigeria’s biggest export is crude oil with an average of almost 2.5 million barrels of oil per day. It is an oil rich company with large petroleum reserves in the country which add significantly to its economy.
Additionally, palm oil also plays a great part in the Nigerian exports.
10. The largest city in Nigeria, Lagos, is not the capital
Lagos is one of the largest cities in the country of Nigeria, but the capital of the country is Abuja.
The city of Abuja was built in the 1980s and it was planned for Abuja to replace Lagos as the capital even before it was built.
Abuja is the political and administrative mecca of Nigeria where most of the important decisions of the country are made.
Abuja is one the world’s fastest growing cities in the world and has a population of about six million people in the metropolis.
Lagos has a population of about twenty-one million people and is known to be one of the most populated cities on the planet.
11. Nigerians have a movie industry known as Nollywood
The movie industry in Nigeria is known as Nollywood. It is estimated to be even bigger than Hollywood and comes second only to Bollywood, the movie industry in India named after the city of Bombay (Mumbai).
Almost 200 Nigerian movies are produced in the Nollywood industry each week, which means that around 10,000 movies are produced every year in Nigeria’s Nollywood.
12. Nigeria has a low life expectancy
Nigeria is a poor country with at least 60% of Nigerians living under the poverty line. Life expectancy is low on the African continent and same is the case with the country of Nigeria. The most prominent reason for this is poverty.
Most Nigerians are poor and often die young due to not getting the proper care for treatable diseases. The child mortality rate is high as well. Common causes of death include malaria, cholera, and drinking toxic water.
While the country is developing at a fast pace, the population boom may bring more problems for the people who are already living under the poverty line.
13. The country is a part of the British commonwealth
The city of Lagos was invaded by the British in 1851 and was a British protectorate in 1901. British colonial rule in the region lasted until 1960 when Nigeria finally became independent.
Even after regaining its independence Nigeria still continues to be a part of the British commonwealth countries similar to New Zealand, Canada, and Australia. In addition to that, Nigeria is also a part of the African Union.
14. Nigeria is home to two UNESCO world heritage sites
Nigeria is home to two UNESCO world heritage sites. These cultural sites are called the Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove and the Sukur Cultural Landscape.
The Osun-Osogbo forest has holy shrines and the grove is the center for a massive festival celebrated by the Yoruba people every year in August. This festival has been celebrated for more than 700 years in the region.
Nigeria: A New Beginning
Nigeria has long been known as the giant of Africa for its abundant resources, exploding population, and cultural influence. In this informational documentary; PenresaTV takes you on a journey to discover the vast potential of the nation’s thriving industries and wondrous beauty.
Nigeria is a diverse country with people with different cultures, languages, ethnicities, and religion. It is one of the most quickly developing countries and has the seventh largest population in the world.
The country of Nigeria is also known for its colorful and bright festivals that are celebrated every year by different ethnic groups in the country. Crude oil is the biggest export of Nigeria with almost 2.5 million barrels exported to different countries of the world every day.
Many people in Nigeria live before the poverty line but it doesn’t stop them from keeping out of touch from the world. Most of the youth in the country have smartphones and use social media to keep in touch with one another.
Nigeria is a beautiful country with everything to offer: beautiful landscapes, rich urban life, and diverse locals.
Hi I’m Jay. I grew up in Seattle, Washington and live in Los Angeles, California. I have travelled to 23 countries so far and planning to go explore more countries soon! My Favorite trips so far have been to Israel, Japan, Rome, Iceland and Australia. I started this site to share my love of travel with everyone and build a community of like-minded, free thinking, free exploring people.