Fun & Interesting Facts About Nigeria: Her History, Culture, Religion & Tradition
Do you know that Nigeria has the largest reserve of tin and columbite in the world? Do you know that the term “Nigeria” was coined from the name of a river? Read on to learn more about some fun and interesting facts about Nigeria, the acclaimed “giant of Africa”.
Nigeria is one of the most remarkable countries in the world, with respect to her rich history, diverse culture, religion, biodiversity and tradition among others. The country is home to hundreds of millions of culturally and religiously diverse people, who live together in harmony.
In this article, we’ll be making attempts to get you adequately enlightened on the cultural, political and geographical entity called NIGERIA.
Fun, Current & Interesting Facts About Nigeria For Kids
Below is a comprehensive outline of some fun and interesting facts about Nigeria:
- Nigeria is not only the largest country (by population) in Africa; it is, in fact, the largest black nation in the world.
- Despite being the largest country in Africa (by population), Nigeria is not among the top ten largest countries in Africa (by landmass).
- Nigeria is surrounding by Francophone (French-speaking) nations; to the north by Niger Republic; to the north east, by Chad; to the west, by Benin Republic; and to the east by Cameroon.
- With a landmass of about 923,000 sq.km, and a population of about 180 million, the average population density of Nigeria is approximately 200 per sq.km.
- Nigeria has four geographical zones and six geopolitical zones.
- The wealthiest individual in Nigeria, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, is also the wealthiest man in Africa.
- The name “Nigeria” was coined from the word “River Niger”. The term was originally a mispronounced form of “Niger area”.
- Nigeria is widely tagged “the most religious country in the world”; she has more Muslims than Saudi Arabia, and more Christians than Vatican city and Israel combined.
- The Nigerian movie industry – Nollywood – is the largest in Africa and third largest in the world (in terms of prominence).
- On average, Nollywood releases about 200 movies per week.
- While English is the official language of Nigeria, Pidgin English is the most widely spoken language in the country.
- The capital city of Nigeria was moved from Lagos to Abuja, basically due to the latter’s centrality compared to the former.
- In football, the first African country to win the gold medal at the Olympics is Nigeria (in 1996).
- Since Independence, Nigeria has had more military rulers than civilians’.
- Nigeria has witnessed the highest number of military coups than any other African nation, with a total of six.
- The highest peak in Nigeria is located in Taraba State; a hill called Chappal Waddi, whose peak is about 2400 meters above sea level.
- The average life expectancy of a Nigerian citizen is approximately 53 years.
- Professor Wole Soyinka is the only Nobel Laureate winner from Nigeria.
Current Facts About Nigeria
Outlined below are some of the current facts about Nigeria:
- Nigeria is currently the largest economy in Africa, ahead of South Africa in second place.
- Ironically, Nigeria is also the current poverty capital of the world, with about 80 million Nigerians living in abject poverty.
- The current President of Nigeria is Muhammadu Buhari.
- The most popular entertainer in Nigeria is Davido, who has the highest Social Media followers.
- In terms of movie production, Nigerian movie industry – Nollywood – is the largest movie industry in the world.
- Currently, there are 152 accredited universities in Nigeria, with 9 of these universities in Ogun State alone.
- The Nigerian currency is currently valued at 363 Naira to $1.
- The Super Falcons (Nigeria’s senior female football team) are the reigning African champion.
Weird Facts About Nigeria
Outlined below is a compilation of some weird facts about Nigeria:
- Nigeria is home to about 5000 varieties (species) of plants.
- The Jos Plateau in the middle belt region of Nigeria is, interestingly, the coldest region in the country.
- The phrase “Nigerian Time” is the colloquial term used to indicate Nigerian’s difficulty in keeping up with appointments. Simply put, punctuality is hard to comeby in Nigeria.
- Eating with the left hand is considered ignoble in most Nigerian traditions
- Lagos, which is the biggest state in Nigeria (by population), is ironically the smallest state (by landmass) in the country.
- One out of five black men/women in the United States is a Nigeria.
- Nigerians are the most educated black immigrants in the US.
- The largest church auditorium in the world is in Nigeria. The auditorium, Glory Dome (owned by Dunamis International Church), has the capacity to occupy up to 100,000 people.
- Nigeria is one of the highest consumers of porn in Africa.
- A rare type of bird – the indigobird – can only be found in Jos, Nigeria, and no where else in the world.
- The minimum educational requirement to contest for the highest political office (as president) in Nigeria is SSCE.
- The oldest human fossil is found in Nigeria; precisely the Iwo-Eleru cave skull, which is over 13,000 years old.
- In Nigeria, about one million students vie to enter the 152 accredited universities in Nigeria.
- One of the most notorious military coupists and democracy offenders in Nigerian history is the current democratic ruler of the country.
Historical Facts About Nigeria
Below are some interesting historical facts about Nigeria:
- In the mid 19th century, Kano exported 10 million and 5 million sandal pairs and hides respectively.
- The British invaded Nigeria in the early 1990s and both northern and southern Nigeria fell under British rule in 1903 and 1905 respectively.
- Nigeria became a sole entity after the 1914 amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates by Lord Lugard.
- The Nigerian currency – Naira – was introduced in 1959.
- Nigeria gained independence on October 1, 1960, under the leadership of Nnamdi Azikwe and Tafawa Balewa
- In 1963 (October 1), Nigeria became a Federal State – Republic
- The first skycraper in Nigeria, Cocoa House, was built in Ibadan, Oyo State in 1965.
- In January 1966, the first successful military coup took place. It was led by General Aguiyi Ironsi, who became the first military president.
- In July 1966, General Yakubu Gowon deposed General Aguiyi Ironsi from office, in a counter-coup that resulted in the death of General Aguiyi Ironsi.
- In 1967, under the military rule of Yakubu Gowon, the Biafra-Nigeria civil war broke out.
- On 8th January, 1970, with defeat in site, Biafra’s leader, General Odumegwu Ojukwu fled to Ivory Coast (on exile).
- The civil war ended on January 15, 1970, marking the end of a war that took the lives of over 3 million Igbos.
- In 1979, Alhaji Shehu Shagari became the first democratically elected president.
- General Muhammadu Buhari (Nigeria’s current democratic President) overthrew the democratic government led by Shehu Shagari in 1983.
- In the mid 1980s, Nigerian citizens do not require a visa to travel to the UK.
- The capital city of Nigeria was moved from the coastal city of Lagos to Abuja in 1991.
- 1999 marked the end of military rule in Nigeria, and a democratically-elected government of Olusegun Obasanjo was sworn in.
- In May 2010, Nigerian president, Late Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua died in office, and Vice-Pressident Goodluck Ebele Jonathan took over.
- Nigeria celebrated 50 years of independence (Golden Jubilee) on October 1, 2010.
- Nigeria survived an Ebola scare and attack in 2015.
- On February 23, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari won his reelection bid.
Basic Facts About Nigeria for Kids
Below are some basic facts about Nigeria for kids:
- 100 kobo is equal to 1 Naira.
- The official logo of Nigeria is the “Coat of Arms”.
- Nigeria is a West African country.
- The dialling code of Nigeria is +234.
- Some of the major towns in Nigeria include Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Benin, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Kaduna, Onitsha and Ibadan.
- The basic means of transportation in Nigeria is by road.
- The two major rivers in Nigeria are River Niger and River Benue.
- River Niger is the longest river in Nigeria.
Facts About Nigerian Culture
Below are some facts about Nigerian culture:
- Nigeria is culturally divided into three main ethnic groups: Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.
- The three ethnic groups are further subdivided into 500+ tribal groups.
- The Igbos are widely viewed as the most industrious ethnic group in the country, while the Yorubas are generally known for their academic excellence.
- The Hausas/Fulanis are synonymous with cattle rearing.
- The Hausas and Fulanis jointly make up about 30% of the total population of Nigeria.
- Yorubas make up a modest 20% of the total population, while the Igbos make up 18% of the population.
- Nigeria is the most lingually diversed country in Africa, with over 500 indigenous languages.
- There are six Yoruba states and five Igbo states in Nigeria.
Hope you find this enlightening? Kindly share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.