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Interesting Facts About Nigeria You did not Know

Updated on August 13, 2015
Facts about Nigeria
Facts about Nigeria

Do you think you know Nigeria very well? Here are some interesting facts you never knew about Nigeria that is so surprising and educative. Here we go;

  • Nigeria got her independence in October 1, 1960 and after 55 years the government has failed her citizens in curbing corruption and alleviating poverty as many have referred to her as a crawling baby at 55.
  • The name Nigeria was allegedly coined in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, the wife of Baron Frederick Lugard, a British colonial administrator who amalgamated the Southern and Northern protectorate to become Nigeria in 1914.
  • In 1950, Nigeria which had only 33 million people is currently now the most populous Black Country in the whole world with an estimated population of about 173,600,000 million people and with a GDP per capita of 3,005.51 US dollars as was provided by 2013 World Bank statistics.
  • Nigeria has three major ethnic groups namely the Hausa/Fulani of the North, Yorubas in the West and the Ibos in the East. The estimated number of minor ethnic groups is about 300 with over 60% percent still located in the North, North Central and North East geo-political zones.

Nigerian Women displaying vast Nigeria cultural attires
Nigerian Women displaying vast Nigeria cultural attires
Bible and Quaran, the Two Holy books used by Christians and Muslims in Nigeria
Bible and Quaran, the Two Holy books used by Christians and Muslims in Nigeria | Source
  • The two major religions in Nigeria are Christianity and Islam. The Hausa-Fulani tribes in the northern region of Nigeria are dominantly Muslims, while Christianity is widely practiced in the southern part of the country since they are more civilized than any other regions of the country. In the West, about half of the Yorubas practice Christianity and the other half are Muslims while the remaining others practice traditional beliefs.
  • There are 521 languages that have been spoken in Nigeria (nine of which are now extinct). A derived language exists called the Nigerian Pidgin English, also called the 'Pidgin' or Broken English is very popular and fast becoming a lingual-franca in the country. The Pidgin English or Nigerian English is widely spoken within the Niger Delta Regions where it was said to originate from, predominately in Warri, Sapele, Port Harcourt, Agenebode, Ewu, and Benin City. This language is also widely used by new breed comedians in Nigeria to entertain their fans and audience.
  • Petrodollars is the first biggest source of foreign exchange earnings for Nigerians closely following in the second position are remittances sent home by Nigerians living abroad.

  • Nigeria has one of the fastest growing telecommunications markets in the world, major emerging market operators (like MTN, Etisalat, Airtel and Globacom) basing their largest and most profitable centers in the country but yet her citizen suffers from drastic unemployment and unbearable poverty.
  • Nigeria is one of the best footballing nations in Africa having won the Africa nations cup three times. In youth football they are the best in the whole world winning the FIFA Under-17 World Cup a record four times.
  • Nigeria is a country comprising thirty-six states and one Federal Capital Territory located in Abuja. The states are further divided various Local Government Areas (LGAs) totaling to 774 in numbers.
  • English is the official language of Nigeria and is extensively used for education, business transactions and for official purposes. The second official language in Nigeria is French.

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Fmr. President Obasanjo and Current President Muhammadu Buhari
Fmr. President Obasanjo and Current President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria is the only country to have her two former military head of state return back to power as a democratic president; Rtd.Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo and now President, Rtd.Gen Muhammadu Buhari

In 2013, Nigeria was ranked 144 in the corruption perception Index table of Transparency International, a global coalition organisation against corruption.

More than $400 billion were stolen from the treasury by Nigeria's leaders between 1960 and 1999.

Nigeria is home to the best crop of indigenous writers and novelist in African Literature with Wole Soyinka becoming the first African to win the Nobel Prize award in Literature. Chinua Achebe is also widely regarded as the father of Africa literature with his novel Things Fall Apart becoming the only book to be translated in more than 50 languages in the world.

Kano, a state in Nigeria is bigger and more populated than two West African countries Benin Republic and Togo.

Chappal Waddi Mountain, Nigeria
Chappal Waddi Mountain, Nigeria
  • Nigeria joined OPEC in 1971 becoming the 12th largest producer of petroleum (with an average of 2,525,000 barrels per day) in the world and the 8th largest exporter, and has the 10th largest proven reserves. Nigeria Crude oil is called one of the best in the world because of its high quality.
  • Nigeria is a country located in western Africa on the Gulf of Guinea and covering a total area of 356,667 square miles (about 923,768 km2) making it the 32nd largest country of the World.
  • Nigeria has the longest and largest river in West Africa called River Niger which covers about 4180 kilometers from its source in the Highlands of Guinea in Southern Guinea and passes out to the Atlantic Ocean through Niger Delta.
  • The highest point in Nigeria is a mountain called Chappal Waddi at 2,419 m (7,936 ft) located in Taraba State, Northern Nigeria near the Cameroonian border.
  • Nigeria has the longest built Bridge in Africa called the Third Mainland Bridge (about 11.8km long) located in the commercial city of Lagos State. The construction of the bridge was carried out by Julius Berger, completed in 1990 and was commissioned by the then Military president General Ibrahim Babangida.

Nollywood, Nigeria movie industry
Nollywood, Nigeria movie industry
  • Nigeria is home to the third largest and most popular movie industry called Nollywood, just tailing behind Bollywood of India and Hollywood of America in 1st and 2nd positions respectively. Nigeria’s Nollywood produces over 200 movies every single and has been widely criticized as being inferior to America’s Hollywood.
  • About 21,000 Nigerian doctors were practicing in the United States alone as at 1995, which is about the same as the number of doctors working in the Nigerian public service
  • During the deadly Ebola outbreak of 2014 that claimed over 8,000 lives in three West African countries, Nigeria was widely praised by the World as she became the first country to effectively contain and successfully eliminate the Ebola threat. This Nigerian unique method of contact tracing employed by Nigeria became an effective method later used by countries, such as the United States of America, Spain and other countries when Ebola threats were discovered.

Facts about Nigeria

NigComSat-1, a Nigerian satellite
NigComSat-1, a Nigerian satellite
GSM Phones
GSM Phones | Source
  • It has been widely claimed that one out of four Africans seen outside the shores of Africa is a Nigeria, making Nigeria the 7th most populous country in the World.
  • The 2015 general election which saw General Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressive Congress (APC) emerge as President is the first time an incumbent president is to be defeated at polls and also the first time that the largest political party in Africa, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is ousted out as the ruling party after 16 years in power.
  • Nigeria made history in April 2006 by becoming the first African Country to completely pay off its debt (estimated $30 billion) owed to the Paris Club.
  • Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications was launched and Nokia GSM phones was introduced for the first to Nigeria in 2001 by Obasanjo-led regime.
  • NigComSat-1, a Nigerian satellite built in 2004, was Nigeria's third satellite and Africa's first communication satellite. It was launched on 13 May, 2007 in China and collapsed on 10 November 2008 after running out of power because of an anomaly in its solar array.


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    • Pacesetter Abbey profile image

      Lawal Abiodun 2 years ago from Houston, Texas.

      Nigeria will always be an outstanding country, all we need is an Honest and Committed leader. I think Buhari is right for the task.

      God Bless Nigeria!

    • Arthur Nwokolo profile image

      Factable News 2 years ago from Lagos

      @mike1404, Thank you for reading my articles and be sure to get more interesting hubs about Africa and especially Nigeria from me.

      @Mma, Thanks and I am happy you learnt something new, please continue to follow my hub for more interesting articles.

    • profile image

      Mma 2 years ago

      wow,very educative.....I have learnt somth

    • mike1404 profile image

      mike1404 2 years ago from New York

      Liked your article. Found it very informative. Keep it up. Will be looking for more work from you, particularly if it involves Africa.