Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Nigeria

answers to frequently asked questions about nigeria

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Nigeria

Today, we bring you a compilation of some frequently asked questions about Nigeria, as well as their respective answers.

Nigeria is widely seen as the giant of Africa, basically due to her relatively large population and economic status. The country has a long and illustrious history, which detailed how the various cultural groups came together to become a single entity known as Nigeria. Unfortunately, however, majority of Nigerians are oblivious of these facts. And, in an attempt to bridge this gap, we have come up with this article.

Herein, we’ll be showing you answers to some frequently asked questions about the most populated black nation in the world.

How Old is Nigeria?

As emphasized earlier, Nigeria has a very long history, which dates back centuries or even millennia. In fact, archaeological findings indicate that the land area now known as Nigeria has been inhabited as far back as 1100 BC.

However, as a geopolitical entity, Nigeria came to being only about 100+ years ago, and it became a sovereign state some 60 years later in 1960. Hence, officially, Nigeria is only 58 years old.

Prior to independence 1960, during the colonial era, Nigeria was under the colonial rule of the British Empire, who lorded over the country for close to six decades, before the country finally broke off the shackles and became self-governing.

How Did Nigeria Gain Independence?

This is another frequently asked question about Nigeria. Nigeria’s independence, unlike many others, was achieved through diplomatic means, rather than by brute force or violence.

One global event, which contributed to this grand achievement, was the second world war that started in 1939 and ended in 1945. The war sparked what is to become a “decolonization” era in the history of Britain, as a good number of African countries, including Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria among others gained their independence less than two decades after the war.

After the war, in 1945, when Britain has become seriously weakened, the movement for independence gained momentum in, not only Nigeria, but other African countries. The movement was led by two regional groups – Nigerian Council of Nigerian Citizens; who were predominantly Igbos and Yorubas; and Northern People’s Congress; who were predominantly Hausas.

These two groups lobbied the colonial masters, travelling all the way to the UK to meet with the queen and other important British officials. Fortunately, after about one-and-half-decade of “diplomatic lobbying”, their efforts bore fruit; Britain granted Nigeria autonomy on October 1, 1960. And the country became a self-governing state, headed by Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, as the first President of Nigeria.

Three years down the line, in 1963, the country became a Federal Republic, and consequently adopted the name – Federal Republic of Nigeria (FGN).

How Did the British Control Nigeria and Other British Colonies?

The Brits lost their hegemony after the second world war, which consequently resulted in them losing virtually all there colonies across the globe, particularly in Africa.

For much of the modern era, the British were the so-called World Power, who colonised every continent of the world, including Africa, Asia and even the mighty America. In fact, it is on record that the British have invaded all but 22 countries of the world, at one point or another, in their long and illustrious history. This was what formed the basis of what is today known as the “Commonwealth nations”.

Britain’s success in controlling so many colonies for so long remains a mystery till date. However, many have attributed this to their early advancement in trade, commerce, science and technology, as well as their unrivalled military strength at the time.

Taking the instance of Nigeria; British forces invaded Nigeria and landed on the shores of Lagos in 1861. And about 40 years later, in 1901, Nigeria officially became a British colony, with colonial masters appointed to head key political and economic sectors of the country.

Although, the military presence of the Brits contributed immensely to the half-century long control of Nigeria, a number of traditional rulers and influential personalities, who were able to gain one thing or another from the colonial masters, further strengthened their hold on the Nigerian territory.

This template of “Divide & Rule” was adopted in virtually every other colony, including in India, and other African colonies like South Africa and Ghana.

How Big is Nigeria?

The term “big”, in this context, can be looked at from two angles. One is “population size”, while the other is “land mass”. And to eliminate bias, we’ll be looking at “how big Nigeria is” from both angles.

Nigeria is the fourth biggest country in West Africa, with a land mass of about 923,768 sq.km. The country is behind the likes of neighbouring Niger and Chad, as well as Mali. She occupies the 14th position at the continental stage, and a retrogressive 32nd position at the global stage. So, speaking of land mass, Nigeria is, no doubt, insignificant at both the continental and global stages. Comparatively, Nigeria occupies less than 3% of the total land mass of Africa.

However, despite her relatively insignificant land mass, Nigeria is top-ranked on the population scale. At about 200,000,000 population, Nigeria stands at the 7th position (overtaken by Pakistan at 6th) in the global population ranking.

With this, Nigeria alone (out of 54 countries) makes up approximately 17% of the total population of Africa, which is estimated at slightly above 1.2 billion. The closest country is Ethiopia, whose population has been estimated around 100 million (about half the population of Nigeria).

How Many States Are in Nigeria?

Nigeria has evolved geopolitically, from the colonial days to the post colonial era to date. Today, Nigeria is divided into 6 geopolitical zones, and together, these zones house a total of 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Below is a summary of the 36 states in Nigeria and their respective land areas (km2) and population (estimates):

  1. Abia
  • Capital: Umuahia
  • Land Area: 6320 sq.km
  • Population: 3,200,000
  1. Adamawa
  • Capital: Yola
  • Land Area: 36,917 sq.km
  • Population: 3,600,000
  1. Akwa Ibom
  • Capital: Uyo
  • Land Area: 7,081 sq km
  • Population: 3,400,000
  1. Anambra
  • Capital: Awka
  • Land Area: 4,844 sq.km
  • Population: 4,400,000
  1. Bauchi
  • Capital: Bauchi
  • Land Area: 45,837 sq.km
  • Population: 4,900,000
  1. Bayelsa
  • Capital: Yenagoa
  • Land Area: 10,773 sq.km
  • Population: 1,900,000
  1. Benue
  • Capital: Makurdi
  • Land Area: 34,059 sq.km
  • Population: 4,500,000
  1. Borno
  • Capital: Maiduguri
  • Land Area: 70,898 sq.km
  • Population: 4,400,000
  1. Cross River
  • Capital: Calabar
  • Land Area: 20,156 sq.km
  • Population: 3,000,000
  1. Delta
  • Capital: Asaba
  • Land Area: 17,698 sq.km
  • Population: 4,500,000
  1. Ebonyi
  • Capital: Abakaliki
  • Land Area: 5670 sq.km
  • Population: 2,300,000
  1. Enugu
  • Capital: Enugu
  • Land Area: 7,161 sq.km
  • Population: 3,500,000
  1. Edo
  • Capital: Benin City
  • Land Area: 17,802 sq.km
  • Population: 3,600,000
  1. Ekiti
  • Capital: Ado-Ekiti
  • Land Area: 6353
  • Population: 2,500,000
  1. Gombe
  • Capital: Gombe
  • Land Area: 18768 sq.km
  • Population: 2,600,000
  1. Imo
  • Capital: Owerri
  • Land Area: 5,530 sq.km
  • Population: 4,200,000
  1. Jigawa
  • Capital: Dutse
  • Land Area: 23,154 sq.km
  • Population: 4,700,000
  1. Kaduna
  • Capital: Kaduna
  • Land Area: 46053 sq.km
  • Population: 7,500,000
  1. Kano
  • Capital: Kano
  • Land Area: 20,131 sq.km
  • Population: 12,000,000
  1. Katsina
  • Capital: Katsina
  • Land Area: 24,192 sq.km
  • Population: 6,500,000
  1. Kebbi
  • Capital: Birnin Kebbi
  • Land Area: 36,800 sq.km
  • Population: 3,500,000
  1. Kogi
  • Capital: Lokoja
  • Land Area: 29,833 sq.km
  • Population: 3,700,000
  1. Kwara
  • Capital: Ilorin
  • Land Area: 36,825 sq.km
  • Population: 2,600,000
  1. Lagos
  • Capital: Ikeja
  • Land Area: 3,345
  • Population: 18,000,000
  1. Nasarawa
  • Capital: Lafia
  • Land Area: 27,177 sq.km
  • Population: 2,200,000
  1. Niger
  • Capital: Minna
  • Land Area: 76,363
  • Population: 4,400,000
  1. Ogun

Capital: Abeokuta

Land Area: 16,762

Population: 4,300,000

  1. Ondo
  • Capital: Akure
  • Land Area: 15,500
  • Population: 3,700,000
  1. Osun
  • Capital: Osogbo
  • Land Area: 9,251 sq.km
  • Population: 3,600,000
  1. Oyo
  • Capital: Ibadan
  • Land Area: 28,454 sq.km
  • Population: 6,500,000
  1. Plateau
  • Capital: Jos
  • Land Area: 30,913 sq.km
  • Population: 3,600,000
  1. Rivers
  • Capital: Port Harcourt
  • Land Area: 11,077 sq.km
  • Population: 6,200,000
  1. Sokoto
  • Capital: Sokoto
  • Land Area: 25,973 sq.km
  • Population: 4,200,000
  1. Taraba
  • Capital: Jalingo
  • Land Area: 54,473 sq.km
  • Population: 2,500,000
  1. Yobe
  • Capital: Damaturu
  • Land Area: 45,502 sq.km
  • Population: 2,600,000
  1. Zamfara
  • Capital: Gusau
  • Land Area: 39,762 sq.km
  • Population: 3,650,000

Federal Capital Territory

  • Capital: Abuja
  • Land Area: 7,315 sq.km
  • Population: 2,400,000

How Many Languages Are in Nigeria?

Nigeria is a multicultural country, with myriads of tribal groups, who speak different languages. In figures, there are about 520 languages in Nigeria, being spoken as native dialects.

However, despite the huge number of languages in Nigeria, only 3 and few others are well known. The three main languages in Nigeria include: Hausa, which is dominant in the northern region of country; Igbo, which is dominant in the southeastern region of the country; and Yoruba, widely spoken in the southwestern region of the country.

Below is a list of the top ten languages in Nigeria, with regard to their respective number of speakers:

  • Hausa
  • Igbo
  • Yoruba
  • Fulfude
  • Tiv
  • Ijaw
  • Kanuri
  • Ibibio
  • Edo
  • Nupe

However, English and the so-called “Nigerian English” (Pidgin English), are widely spoken in every nook and cranny of the country.

How to Call Nigeria from USA

Nigerians make up a sizable proportion of the total population of immigrants and expats in the US. If you are one and you’re in the dark about how to reach home (through phone call), here’s what to do.

To make an international call, you need the designated dialing code (specific to each country) of the destination country. Hence, for someone in the US, who is trying to call another in Nigeria, all you need to do is to type out the dialing code of Nigeria – +234 – before adding the phone number of the person you’re trying to reach.

For instance, if you are trying to call someone whose phone number is 08052005200, all you need to do is add “+234” before the phone number, to derive something like “+2348052005200”.

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