Nigeria is a Western Africa country bordering the Gulf of Guinea; Niger and Chad (north), Benin (west) and Cameroon (east). Abuja is its Federal Capital Territory and the conventional long form is the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The largest ethnic group in Nigeria are Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba. Approximately half of the population of Nigeria are Muslim and Christian. A small minority practice indigenous religion. The area near the Cross River and Benue is believed to be the Bantu homeland and Bantu migrated across most of southern and central Africa between the 1st and 2nd millennium BC.
Nigeria is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and one of the “Next Eleven” economies in Africa. Nigeria’s economy is one of the fastest-growing in the world and evidence show it will continue to accelerate. It is the largest exporter of crude oil in Africa, this its economy relies mostly upon. As a major regional power, Nigeria dominates West Africa. Its population is the largest in Africa and the eighth-largest population in the world. The population of Nigeria is estimated at 205,220,128 million (2020).
- 1 History
- 2 Independence
- 3 Post-Independence
- 4 Military Era
- 5 Nigerian Civil War
- 6 Democratic Era
- 7 Government and Politics
- 8 Nigerian Currency
- 9 Geography
- 10 Sports
- 11 Population Growth Rate, Birth & Death Rate
- 12 Coronavirus Disease Pandemic
- 13 Language
- 14 Ethnic Groups
- 15 Religion
- 16 Communication
- 17 Transportation
- 18 Economy
- 19 Conclusion
If you’re looking for information about Nigeria, below are history and some interesting facts about Nigeria. You can explore more…………
The Nok culture (c. 500 BCE– c. 200 CE) is the oldest organized society in Nigeria. The Nok people of central Nigeria were Agriculturalists making tools and weapon of Iron known for their Terracotta heads and figures. The Nok people grow wider to area of south Jos Plateau. They extend southern Kaduna state (south-eastward) to Katsina-Ala and then to the south of the Benue River. This reveals a well-established culture of the people even as of today.
There are many features of Nok art that can be traced in later developments of Nigerian art produced in such places as Igbo Ukwu, Ife, Esie, and Benin City.
Empires and Kingdoms
Two notable Northern Empires arose in CE 100-1000 and 11th Century, Hausa-Bokwoi and Kanem-Borno. The holy war (Jihad) by the Fulani Emirs against the Hausa state of Gobir in the 19th century resulted in new empires and city-states in the spread of Islam.
As at 9th century CE, there is evidence of a well-structured society with wide-ranging economic relationships in Igbo Ugwu. Igbo Ugwu is near the southwestern city of Onitsha. The present-day Aguata Local Government Area, Anambra State. The oldest kingdom in Nigeria is the Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo people in southwestern Nigeria that dated from the 9th century until 1911.
From 1100 to 1500, Yoruba kingdoms of Ife and Oyo were at their height in the country’s southwest. Ife thrives well between the 11th and 15th centuries they developed as a major power in forested areas of west of Niger and south of Hausaland. Oyo is founded in the 14th century, in the savanna to the north of the forest. It gradually supplanted the older kingdom of Ife.
The Kingdom of Benin lasted from the 15th to the 19th century and extends as far as the city of Eko. Portuguese arrived kingdom of Benin in the 15th century. Benin transverses the Edo-speaking peoples to the north and south, to the area eastward to the Niger, then along the coast to Lagos and even into present-day Ghana. Portuguese exerted considerable influence on eastern Yorubaland and maintained trading connections with Oyo.
The Hausa and Borno kingdom are also kingdoms meet by Portuguese on their arrival into the country.
Read also: Top Tourist Attractions places in Nigeria
Portuguese adventurers landed in Nigeria southeast along the Gulf of Guinea in 1472. Some adventurers lived in towns ruled by kings with nobility and courtiers, very much like the medieval societies they left behind them.
In 15th century, the Benin Kingdom began to trade with the Portuguese. Portuguese merchants who came to Nigeria traded with Nigerians from trading posts they set up along the coast. They did trade by barter with materials like copper, bracelets and brass for such items as pepper, beads cloth, and slaves – all as part of internal trade in Nigerian. They also sell slaves in exchange for firearms, the art of writing and the Christian religion.
Domestic slavery was common in Nigeria before European slave buyers arrived, there were trading humans. Black slaves were bought by Arabs and exported across the Saharan desert to the Mediterranean and Near East.
In 18th Century, the British replaced the Portuguese as leaders of the slave trade. Nigerian slave-trading elites were greatly perturbed by the news that legislators sitting in parliament in London had decided to end their source of livelihood. However, Americans continued to demand for slaves and the business continued to thrive well. For as long as there was a demand for slave labour in America, the supply was always available.
British efforts to suppress the slave trade made it even more profitable because the price of slaves rose in the Americas. The demand for slaves created numerous wars that plagued Yorubaland for half a century.
In 1807, Houses of Parliament in London pass bill prohibiting British subjects from involving in the slave trade. This legislation indirectly was one of the reasons for the collapse of Oyo empire. The lively slave trade to the Americas continued until the 1860s.
A long successive struggle entangled with the struggle against the slave trade gave rise to the overthrow of the reigning Oba and the rejection of a treaty with Britain. Britain was bent on stopping traffic in slaves generated by the Yoruba wars and responded to this frustration by annexing the port of Lagos in 1861. Wars were fought by the states of what became Nigeria against the British in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
By 1900, most of the Nigeria southern fallen to the British through conquests and treaty negotiations. But the British also had their eyes set to the north, on the Sokoto Caliphate. The Caliphate, founded by Usman dan Fodio in 1804 was the largest state in West Africa by the turn of the century.
After much resistant and a protracted war, Sokoto was subjected under full British control in 1906 and was renamed Northern Protectorate. Although the British abolished the Caliphate, the existence of its formidable administrative structures encouraged the British to implement a system of indirect rule (with which they had experimented in India). Indirect rule offered a degree of political autonomy to local rulers, in this case, the Sultan of Sokoto and the Emirs under his suzerainty.
In the Southern Province, on the other hand, the British combined direct and indirect rule, which varied in accordance with political and economic expedience. The Niger area became the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria in 1914.
The modern economy developed more rapidly in the south than the north. In 1936, Slavery finally ended in northern Nigeria.
After the Second World War, the British moved Nigeria toward self-government as the need for nationalism and independence increases.
The Yoruba were closer to Britain who occupied Lagos in 1861 and by 1900 Britain had control of Nigeria. In 1954, Nigerian became a federation after the 1951 constitution gave a balance of power to Nigerians.
Nigerian Colonial Masters
The Nigeria colonial Master include people like;
Sir Frederick Lord Lugard ( 1900 – 1919)
Sir Hugh Clifford (1919 – 1925)
Sir Creamer Thompson (1925 -1931)
Sir Donald Cameroon (1931-1935)
Sir Bernard Bourdilion (1935 –1943)
Sir Anthony Richard (1943 – 1948)
Sir John McPherson (1948 – 1958)
Sir James Robertson (1958 – 1960)
After World War II, the British noticed that the independence drive had started to gain grounds.
In 1954, Nigerian became a federation after the 1951 constitution gave a balance of power to Nigerians. Lady Flora Shaw, wife to Lord Federick Lugard coined the name ‘Nigeria’ on her post to TIMES newspaper describing the ‘river Niger.
Led by the Northern people’s congress largely Hausa and Muslims, and Nigeria council of Nigerian citizens Igbos and Christians, the Federation of Nigeria gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960.
Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa became the country’s first prime minister of Nigeria. And Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe became the first indigenous Governor General and also the first Ceremonial President of Nigeria.
After the Independence, there was a coalition of parties, the Nigerian People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroons (NCMC).
The Action Group (AG) was the major opposition party. The party was dominated by mainly the Yoruba and Obafemi Awolowo was the leader.
In 1963, Nigeria declared itself as The Federal Republic of Nigeria. Nigeria has to leave the British when it became the Federal Republic. Southern Cameroon moved to the Republic of Cameroon and northern Cameroon remain part of Nigeria. At this point, northern Nigeria was far bigger than the southern part.
The 1965 election throw the Action Group out of power in the western region in favour of the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP). NNDP was a group of conservatives from the Yoruba group and was backed by the Federal Government.
The first military president of Nigeria is General Ibrahim Babangida.
The first coup which led to the death of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in January 1966 established the first military rule with Major General Aguiyi Ironsi an Army commander as the leader of the new administration.
July 1966, Northern troops struck back with another coup killing Aguiyi Ironsi. Lt-Colonel Yakubu Gowon assumed office. He replaced the four regions with 12 states and restored a federal state. He promised to bring back democracy by including civilians to the government.
Nigerian Civil War
The Nigerian Civil War started on 15 January 1966 when a group of military officers, majorly of the Igbo ethnic group, overthrew Nigeria’s first democratic government.
Their grievances included alleged corruption among public officials, the government’s failure to ensure equitable distribution of economic resources, and alleged attempts by northern elites to entrench the political hegemony of the Northern Region against the rest of the federation.
By the end of that red day, 22 top political leaders lost their lives. An overwhelming majority of them were northerners, including the Prime Minister Sir Tafawu Balewa, the Premier of the Northern Region Sir Ahmad Bello and their wives.
The top-ranking northern military officers were also eliminated, along with the Premier of the Western Region (of the Yoruba ethnic group).
Moreover, the coup plotters handed over power to General Johnson Aguysi Ironsi, the Commander of the Nigerian Army, who was also Igbo. The dominance of Igbo officers in the coup, the assassination of the top northern politicians and the transfer of power to an Igbo general, raised the suspicion among northerners that the major reason of the coup was to eliminate their leaders.
General Aguyi Ironsi’s failure to prosecute the coup plotters and his foisting of a unitary system of governance—which Igbo politicians had sought at the time of independence as a way to gain political advantage further ignite the suspicion of an orchestrated effort to impose Igbo dominance over the rest of the country.
In response to this, in July 1966 a group of northern officers organized a countercoup. This countercoup turned out to be brutal, and this time, Igbos were hit badly. Many top-ranking Igbo officers, including the General Aguyi Ironsi, were assassinated.
A new military government was led by Lieutenant Colonel (later General) Yakubu Gowon. A Christian from the middle belt, Gowon, was widely expected to be a unifier. However, his inability to stop the massacre of Igbos angered Igbo elites. This gave rise to the declaration of secession of the Igbo-majority Eastern Region, renamed now as Biafra, from the Nigerian federation.
The military governor of Eastern Nigeria during the Aguyi Ironsi’s regime, Colonel Chukwuemeka Ojukwu became the Head of State of the Republic of Biafra. He tried establishing the infrastructure for a sovereign nation, including the minting of currency and establishing diplomatic relations with other nations.
In other to prevent the breakup of Nigeria, the Federal Government immediately declared war on Biafra. By mid-1967, Nigeria is already into full-blown civil war between Biafra and the rest of the union. With its massive air power and a large army, the Federal Government captured the oil facilities and critical port city, Port Harcourt in the east, upon which the Biafran
In 1983, a military coup put to an ended democratic government abruptly. In 1998, A democratic government took over Nigeria again with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as the first civilian president under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
In 2007, elections brought Umaru Yar’Adua of the People’s Democratic Party to power in elections deemed by the international community to be largely flawed.
After Yar’Adua died in 2010, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan became the president. At that time Jonathan expressed that his agenda would be on reducing corruption in the country and electoral reform.
In 2015, Muhammadu Buhari of All People’s Progressive Party was sworn in as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the 15th head of state after winning the general election.
Till Date – Muhammadu Buhari of All People’s Progressive Party is still the president of Nigeria.
Government and Politics
Nigeria mimics its federal republic from the United States. The president of the country exercises executive power and there is a bicameral legislature, authority shared between two separate houses (upper and lower houses), or chambers, that work together to make law. Muhammadu Buhari is the current president. The president is in charge of both state and the national executive. He is elected to a four-year term in office no more than two times.
Nigeria is made up of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), 109 senatorial districts, 360 federal constituencies, 990 state constituencies, 774 local government Areas (LGAs) and 8810 wards.
Throughout history, religious persecution, tribalism, and ethnocentrism have played a crucial part in Nigeria’s politics. Different tribes and ethnicity group in Nigeria have attempted to shift the federal government’s power to their own favour. Active secessionist movements have also emerged. The major ethnic groups, the Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba, have been the dominant ones in Nigeria’s politics.
The country’s political parties are currently not religious. It is pan-national. The All Progressives Congress (APC) holds 217 seats in House of representative and 65 in the Senate. All People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which holds 115 House and 43 Senate seats.
Political Zones in Nigeria
There are six political zones in Nigeria. They include North-central, North East, South West, South East, South-South and North West.
Benue, Niger, Kogi, Kwara, Nassarawa and Plateau are parts of North-central. The North East include Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe. The South West are Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo. The South East include Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo. South-South include Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers. And North West include Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kastina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara.
Constitution, legal system and Legislature
The Nigeria constitution was adopted 5th May 1999 and effective from 29th May 1999
Executive – The Head of Government is President: Mahammad Buhari, Vice President: Yemi Osinbajo.
Legal system – The country’s legal system is based on the English common law, Islamic law (in 12 northern states) and traditional law.
Legislature – The Legislature system is Bicameral. The National Assembly consists of the Senate (109 seats, 3 from each state plus 1 from Abuja; Members are elected by vote to serve four-year terms and House of Representatives (360 seats; members elected by vote to also serve for four-year terms).
Judiciary system in Nigeria is Supreme Court, Federal Court of Appeal, High Court, Magistrate Court and Customary Court.
The Official currency of Nigeria is Naira and kobo. The formal Federal Commissioner of Finance Chief Obafemi Awolowo invented the name of the Nigerian money.
The Naira was introduced in 1973 to replace the British pounds sterling. The Naira Sign is “₦” and the symbol of Kobo is K. The current denominations of the Nigerian currency include Coins of 50 kobos (not available anymore) and banknotes are split into ₦5, ₦10, ₦20, ₦50, ₦100, ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1,000
The Central Bank of Nigeria is the only agency of Government-authorized to issue the Nigerian currency. It also ensures the volume of money supplied in the economy maintain a stable price and monetary equilibrium.
The Nigerian Naira has gone through a lot of devaluation. As of today, the naira officially exchanges with the United States of American dollar at the rate of ₦360 to one dollar.
With the price of a country’s currency against other country’s currency, it is easy to shows how the economy of that country has improved or worsened over the years.
Nigeria total area size (923,768sq.km) is approximately twice the size of the U.S. state of California. It borders Niger, Chad, Benin, and Cameroon. Chappal Waddi is the highest point at 2,419 meters. The Benue and Niger are the two main rivers which meet and empty into the Niger Delta.
Nigeria biodiversity and the areas around Calabar contain the most diverse population of butterflies. The only wild location to find drill monkey is Southeast Nigeria and Cameroon.
The landscape is varied with the far south is defined by tropical rainforest. The Obudu Plateau is in the southeast. The southwest and southeast have coastal plains. There is a mangrove swamp in the south as well but the freshwater swamp is north of this.
The valleys of the Niger and Benue Rivers are the most expansive topographical region. Southwest of the Niger is rugged highlands. The Mambila Plateau, the highest in Nigeria, is southeast of the Benue. There is a rich rainforest near the Cameroon border on the coast and between the far north and far south is savannah. This area has three categories which are the Guinean forest-savanna mosaic, plains of tall grass, and Sahel savannah. There is a desert-like climate in the Sahel. Lake Chad is in the dry, north-east part of the country.
Nigeria has a Land area of 923,768 sq.km and Water 13,000 sq.km. Total boundaries area is 4,047km. Border countries: Benin 773km, Cameroon 1,690km, Niger 1,497km, Chad 87km.
The Nigerian’s Continental Shelf is 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation. The exclusive economic zone is 200NM and Territorial sea is12NM.
In Nigeria, Climatic condition Varies; Equatorial in South, Tropical in centre and arid in north.
Southern lowlands merge into central hills and Plateaus: mountains in the South-East, plains in the North
Nigerian’s Natural resources are petroleum, tin ore, coal, limestone, lead, zinc, natural gas, niobium and arable land. 38.97%. of the Nigerian land is Arable land, 3.46% is for Permanent crops and 57.57% are for Others uses
Nigeria has Soil degradation, rapid deforestation, Desertification, Urban Air and Water pollution, Oil pollution, Rapid Urbanization as their common environmental issues.
Football is the most popular sport in Nigeria. The Nigeria national team is known as the Super Eagles. The team has gone for the World Cup competition four times. And they have won the African Cup of Nations twice. FIFA ranks Nigeria as the 16th best football nation in Africa and the 44th-highest team in the world.
Fact: In 1969, the Nigerian Civil War was halted for 48 hours as both sides signed a ceasefire deal in order to allow Nigerians peacefully to watch Pele play with Santos FC in the country.
Fact: In 1996, Nigeria won Summer Olympics – Men’s tournament by beating Argentina.
Population Growth Rate, Birth & Death Rate
In 2020, the Population growth rate in Nigeria is 2.24%. The population’s Birth rate is 37.01 births/1,000 population while Death rate is 11.42 deaths/1,000 population.
The net migration rate for Nigeria in 2020 is -0.295 per 1000 population, a 2.64% population decline from 2019. The net migration rate for Nigeria in 2019 was -0.303 per 1000 population, a 2.26% population decline from 2018.
In 2020, 52.0% of the total population of Nigeria live in urban areas and cities. The rate of urbanization is 0.82% annual rate of change from 2017 – 2018.
Infant Mortality Rate
The infant mortality rate in Nigeria as of 2019 Nigeria is 60.662 deaths per 1000 live births, a 2.38% decline from 2018.
Life expectancy at birth
The current life expectancy for Nigeria in 2020 is 55.8 years. Male life expectancy is 54.8 while that of the female is 56.8years
Total fertility rate in Nigeria
The total fertility rate for Nigeria in 2020 is 5.281 children born per woman, a 1.27% decline from 2019. The fertility rate for Nigeria in 2019 was 5.349 children born per woman, a 1.26% decline from 2018. The rate is expected to increase by the end of 2021.
The first confirmed case of coronavirus disease in Nigeria was announced on 27 February 2020, when an Italian citizen in Lagos tested positive to the virus.
As of May 12th 2020, Nigeria already recorded a total confirmed case of coronavirus disease of 4641 cases with 902 discharged and 150 deaths. Lagos Nigeria recorded the highest confirmed case of the disease in Nigeria.
There are 521 known languages in Nigeria of which 510 are living languages. In some areas, ethnic groups speak more than one language. The Hausa language, Yoruba language and Ibo language are major languages. English is the official language. This language is used in education and government.
Nigeria has three main language families, which are Niger-Congo languages, Afro-Asiatic, and Nilo-Saharan. Most used languages rural areas are the indigenous languages. Pidgin English is also widely used.
Nigeria made up of over 250 ethnic groups and over 510 spoken languages. This is responsible for the wide range of customs and traditions in the country that gives it impressive cultural diversity. The largest ethnic groups in the country are the Hausa and Fulani, which is 29% of the country’s population. There is also the Yoruba and Igbo (Ibo), which have 21% and 18% of the population, respectively.
Other large Southeastern ethnicities include the Ibibio 3.5%, the Efik, the Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, and the Annang, while the Urhobo-Isoko, Edo and Itsekiri live in the country’s Midwest. Tiv (or Tiiv) are a Bantoid ethnic group. They constitute approximately 3.5% of Nigeria’s total population. There are minor group Ebira, Nupe,
Few Americans, East Indian, British, Chinese, Japanese, Syrian, Greek, and Lebanese immigrants also live in Nigeria.
Nigeria is almost half Islamic and a half Christian follower. Traditional religions are also followed. Most Muslims reside in the north and Christians mostly are in the south.
Most Muslims are Sunni, but minorities of Shia and Sufi are present. A few northern states use Sharia law as a secular legal system.
Of the Christians, approximately half are Roman Catholic and the other half are Protestant.
There are around 170 million mobile phone subscriptions in Nigeria. Out of the 170 million phone users in Nigeria, only around 10% to 20% of them use a smartphone. Smartphone usage is set to grow to around 60% by 2025, presenting strong growth opportunities for both feature phones and smartphone manufacturers.
The transportation involve Road transportation, Railway, Water and Air
Nigeria record about 195,000 km road network out of which about 32,000 km are federal roads and 31,000km state roads. Only about 60,000km are paved.
Nigerian Railway Corporation operates 3,505 km railway network (2,178 mi) of single-track lines 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge, as well as 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) from Abuja to Kaduna
In terms of airports, Nigeria has 31 airports. 26 of the airports are operated by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and 5 are functional international airports. There is also a state-owned airport located in Akwa Ibom State.
Nigeria has a large resource base of waterways spanning 10,000 kilometres; about 3,800 kilometres is navigable seasonally. Twenty-eight of the 36 States in Nigeria can be accessed through the water. 8,600 km consists of Niger and Benue Rivers and smaller rivers and creeks.
Port and terminals
Nigerian ports are categorized into two types – the Western Port and the Eastern Port. The categorization is used to identify the location of ports in Nigeria.
The Western Port made up of Apapa Port Complex and the Tin-can Island Port Complex, both in Lagos. These two ports have five terminals, with each terminal designed and approved to handle specified cargo contained in the lease agreement ranging from bulk, general cargo and many more.
The Eastern Port made up of Rivers Port, Onne Port, Calabar Port and Delta Ports. The Rivers Port has two terminals that control liquid, dry and bulk cargoes.
Nigeria scores 57.3 in economic freedom. This makes the economy the 111th freest in the 2019 Index. The overall score has reduced by 1.2 points, with a steep drop in fiscal health and lower scores on judicial effectiveness and trade freedom outweighing improvements in government integrity, business freedom, and labour freedom. Nigeria ranks 14th among 47 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region with its overall score above the regional average but below the world average.
Although Nigerian governments have often pledged to enlarge its private sector through free-market reforms and even proposing privatization of the oil sector, however, the implementation of such policies has often been very slow.
Nigeria’s economy is mixed. It combines private and state enterprise. It is an emerging market. The World Bank classifies it as a middle-income country. The country is endowed natural resources. it has a well-developed financial, communications, and legal sectors and a stock exchange that is second to the largest in Africa. It is the U.S.’ largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa and provides a fifth of its oil. The U.S. is Nigeria’s largest foreign investor.
Nigeria has an abundant oil reserve, gas, hydro and solar resource, and it already has the capacity to generate 12,522 megawatts (MW) of electric power from existing plants.
The industries in Nigeria are into Crude oil, tin, columbite, palm oil, peanuts, cotton, rubber, wood, hides and skins, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food products, footwear, chemicals, fertilizer, printing, ceramics and steel production.
The country aimed to provide two new-build pipelines, Niger–Benin (a crude oil pipeline) and Zinder–Torodi a (petroleum products pipeline). Niger–Benin pipelines have a length of 1,980km. The Zinder–Torodi pipeline has a length of 1,070km. Operation of these pipelines will begin by 2023.
Nigeria Pipelines Condensate: 124km; gas 4,045km; liquid petroleum gas 64km; oil 4,441km; and refined products 3,940km (2013).
Oil and Gas production
Nigeria earns $504m from crude oil, gas export. Crude oil export sales contributed $383.89 million, an equivalent of 76.10 per cent of the dollar transactions compared with $396.94 million contributions in the previous month; while export gas sales amounted to $120.55 million in the month according to NNPC.
This article about Nigeria is open for correction. There are many facts and interesting things about Nigeria. If you have facts or what you think people should know about Nigeria, don’t hesitate to add it to this article using the comment box below or go to our question and answer section and drop it. You will be rewarded abundantly.
We’ll update this article once there is a need to do so.