Nigeria Flag

20 Fascinating Facts About Nigeria

20 Fascinating Facts About Nigeria


1. Nigeria is located in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Chad, Cameroon, and Benin.

2. Nigeria has been inhabited since at least 9000 BC with fossil remains uncovered by archaeologists in the region dated to that period.

3. Nigeria takes its name from the Niger River that flows through the west of the country to the Atlantic Ocean. It comes from a regional phrase “Ni Gir” meaning “River Gir”.

Niger River

4. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the world’s 6th most populous.

5. Nigeria has seen its population surge from 95 million in 1990 to 201 million in 2019. It is set to double again to more than 400 million by 2050 when it will overtake the US as the world’s third most populous country. By 2100, it is expected to rise to 733 million.

6. From around the 11th century onwards, several city-states, kingdoms, and empires were formed in Nigeria including the Hausa kingdoms and Borno dynasty in the north and the Oyo and Benin kingdoms in the south.

7. Nigeria has a vertically striped green-white-green flag. The green stands for agriculture and the white for unity and peace.

Nigeria Flag

8. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the transatlantic slave trade saw thousands – possibly millions – of Nigerians forcibly sent to the Americas.

9. As well as the five major languages, over 500 additional indigenous languages are spoken in Nigeria.

10. Nigeria is home to Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man. With a net worth of over $17 billion in 2021, Dangote owns Dangote Cement, the continent’s largest cement producer.

11. Benin City in Nigeria was the center of the Benin kingdom. Beginning in the 15th century, the kingdom gave rise to the first internationally recognized African art form known as the ‘Benin Bronzes’ (elaborately decorated brass and bronze sculptures).

12. In 1897, the city was destroyed by the British, and its treasures were stolen. The majority of those treasures remain locked in the British Museum in London.

13. From 1861, Nigeria was part of the British Empire and was known as the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria from 1861-1914.

14. In 1960, Nigeria gained complete independence, with Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa as its first leader.

Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa

15. From 1967 to 1970, the Nigerian Civil War (also known as the Biafran War) was fought between the Nigerian government and the secessionist state of Biafra. At its height, up to 12,000 people, a day were dying from starvation. An estimated 1-3 million people were killed during the conflict.

16. Until 1991 Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city in Nigeria, was also its capital. Nigeria moved its capital to the planned city of Abuja in 1991 as Abuja was more centrally located, more politically and ethnically neutral, and less congested.

17. Lagos is also Africa’s largest city. In 2012, the population of Lagos surpassed Egypt’s Cairo in size. Its population is estimated to be at least 21 million.

18. The Nigerian film industry is known as Nollywood as it produces around 50 movies per week, second only to India’s Bollywood and more than the USA’s Hollywood. It is also Nigeria’s country’s second-largest employer with more than a million people employed in the industry.

19. The Nigerian town of Igbo Ora is known as the “twins capital of the world” as around 50 sets of twins are born out of every 1,000 births – one of the highest rates of twin births in the world.

20. As of 2020, Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa with an annual GDP of $476 billion.




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