Nigeria the ‘giant of Africa’ is the seventh most populous nation in the world. Located in the southern coastal part of West Africa with Abuja as its capital city. It is one of the liveliest places in Africa that continues to attract visitors from different parts of the world.
Nigeria’s journey as an independent nation may have begun on October 1, 1960, but its history dates back far before the colonial era. Many aspects of modern life in Nigeria were established in the 16th century during the colonial era but by the middle of the 20th century the desire for Africans to end all forms of foreign control and influence grew. Most countries were fighting for the right to take charge of their political, social and economic affairs which eventually led to Nigeria to be granted independence on 1 October 1960 under a constitution with parliamentary government and a favourable degree of autonomy for the country. Nigeria marked total independence from Britain when it became a federal republic after a new constitution was adopted on 1 October 1963 with Nnamdi Azikiwe as its first president.
Nigeria comprises of unique people, culture and ethnicity with over 500 ethnic groups of which the three largest are Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa brought together by circumstances and colonialism. Nigeria comprises of 36 states with beautiful beaches, ultra-modern city centres, houses built with opulent luxury, great architecture, scenic attraction sites, universities, museums, national parks, zoos, hotels, resorts and many other amenities. Her culture and tradition had its influence ranging from the pre-colonial era to the legacy of tribal conflict and the slave ports before its independence in 1960.
Below are some amazing facts about Nigeria
IT IS THE MOST POPULOUS COUNTRY IN AFRICA
Almost 200 million people live here, which makes Nigeria one of the most populous countries in the world. By 2019, it is ranked as the 7th most populated country in the world.
The majority of the people are either Muslims or Christians with 50% and 40% of the total population.
OVER 500 INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES ARE SPOKEN THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY
Nigeria doesn’t only have many people living within its borders, but it’s also multicultural. In fact, it’s also one of the most diverse countries in the world in terms of indigenous languages spoken on a regular basis.
In total, experts estimate that more than 500 different languages are spoken. Some of the major languages are Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, even though English serves as the official language.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS VERY POPULAR IN NIGERIA
As one of the most industrialized African countries, perhaps this is not one of the most surprising facts about Nigeria, nonetheless, it’s interesting. About 75% of the total population uses social media on a regular basis.
What’s unique for the Nigerian population is that the majority uses a smartphone rather than a computer or laptop.
HOME TO THE RICHEST MAN IN AFRICA
Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian businessman with a net worth of at least 10.6 billion USD. When Forbes listed the 100 richest people in the world, he was included on the list.
He was born in Kano and established The Dangote Group in 1977.
THERE ARE MORE THAN 250 ETHNIC GROUPS
As you already know, there are many different languages spoken here, which totally makes sense when you realize that there are over 250 ethnic groups with a distinct culture and traditions.
OIL IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST EXPORTS OF THE COUNTRY
Nigeria is a large producer of Crude oil with an average of 2,5 million barrels a day. They have a massive reserve of petroleum, and it plays a vital role in the Nigerian economy.
LAGOS IS THE LARGEST CITY, BUT IT’S NOT THE CAPITAL
Abuja is the capital of Nigeria. It was built in the 1980s and was planned to replace Lagos as the Nigerian capital even before it was built. It’s the country’s political and administrative center.
Abuja is one of the fastest growing cities in the world with a population of around 6 million people in its metropolitan area. Lagos, however, is the largest Nigerian city with a population of more than 21 million people.
THE MOVIE INDUSTRY IS KNOWN AS NOLLYWOOD
Nollywood is the nickname for the Nigerian Movie Industry, and it’s even bigger than Hollywood. It is estimated to be second in the world, only to Bollywood in India.
About 200 movies are produced every week, which means that Nollywood produces more than 10 000 movies per year!
THE LIFE EXPECTANCY IS JUST 55.2 YEARS
Life expectancy is generally lower on the African continent, and unfortunately, Nigeria is not an exception. The main reason for the low life expectancy is poverty.
Many Nigerians are poor and some of them die young due to diseases that could’ve been treated. Child mortality is also quite high. Some other reasons include toxic drinking water and diseases like cholera and malaria.
This is one of the sad facts about Nigeria, and while things get better for some Nigerians, the rapid population growth is expected to bring further problems for the poorest.
NIGERIA IS A MEMBER OF THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH
Lagos was invaded by the British in 1851 and became a British protectorate in 1901. The colonial rule lasted until 1960 when Nigeria finally attained their independence.
However, although it’s an independent state it remained part of the British Commonwealth, just like Canada, New Zealand and Australia for example.
In addition to that, Nigeria is also a member of the African Union.
SOME FACTS ABOUT NIGERIA
- The Nigerian flag was designed by Taiwo Akinkunmi in 1959
- The Eagle is the Nigerian national animal
- Football is the national sport
- The highest point is Chappal Waddi at 7936 ft (2,419 meters above the sea)
- The name Nigeria is derived from Niger, which is the longest river in West Africa