30+ Interesting Facts About Nigeria

  1. Nigeria is located on the western coast of Africa. It is the most populous country on the continent.
  2. Lagos in Nigeria is the largest city in Africa, with a population of more than 9 million. Kano and Ibadan are the 6th and 7th largest African cities. (Source)
  3. The oldest fossils in Nigeria belong to 9000 BC. The first organized society was the Nok culture (500 BC to 200 BC).
  4. The British occupied all the current territories of Nigeria by 1903.
  5. The British united the northern and southern parts of Nigeria in January 1914.
  6. Nigeria gained independence from the UK on October 1, 1960.
  7. The Nigerian Civil War started in 1967 after the formation of the Republic of Biafra by Igbo people in southeastern Nigeria. The civil war lasted till 1970, with victory for Nigeria and the dissolution of Biafra. It is known for being one of the deadliest wars in modern times due to around 3 million deaths and millions of displacements.
  8. There are around 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria. The three most prominent ones are the Hausa-Fulani, the Yoruba, and the Igbo.
  9. The Walls of Benin in Nigeria were known as the largest earthwork in the world before the mechanical era. These walls stood for more than 400 years and were destroyed by the British in 1897. (Source)
  10. Sungbo’s Eredo in Nigeria is the world’s 2nd largest monument after the Great Wall of China. It was built around 1,000 years ago and discovered in 1999. This ancient monument consists of more than 500 interconnected enclosures and covers an area of 6,475 sq km (2,500 sq miles). (Source)
  11. Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian citizen, is the richest man in Africa, with a net worth of $11.7 billion. The 5th and 8th wealthiest men in Africa are also Nigerians. (Source)
  12. Bishop David Oyedepo is the world’s richest pastor, with a net worth of $200 million. The 3rd, 5th, and 9th wealthiest pastors in the world also are Nigerians. (Source)
  13. Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa. The country also has the second-biggest proven crude oil reserves in Africa, after Libya. (Source) (Source)
  14. Nigeria also has the largest reserves of natural gas in Africa. (Source)
  15. Nigeria is the world’s biggest exporter of scrap vessels and flexible metal tubing. This western African country is the largest importer of laboratory glassware, postage stamps, embroidery, jute, and typewriters. (Source)
  16. Mangrove forests in Nigeria are the largest in Africa. These forests span over an area of 1 million ha. (Source
    Mangroves in and outside the water
    Nigeria has the largest mangrove forests in Africa

  17. The name of the country is derived from the Niger River that runs through the country. The name was initially used by British journalist Flora Shaw in 1897.  
  18. Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa. Its GDP in 2020 was around $443 billion. (Source)
  19. In 2018, three Nigerian female players became the first African bobsled team to qualify for the Olympics. (Source)
  20. The Kofar Mata dye pits in Kano are the oldest in Africa. These indigo dye pits were founded in 1498. (Source)
  21. The Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos is the 2nd longest bridge in Africa. It has a length of 11,800 m.
  22. More than 1,800 butterfly species have been identified in Nigeria. These are one of the highest numbers of butterfly species in Africa. (Source)
  23. After independence, Nigeria remained under military dictatorship for almost three decades. The military ruled the country from 1966 to 1999. During this period, democracy lasted only four years (October 1979 to December 1983).
  24. Wole Soyinka, a Nigerian poet and playwright, was the first black African to win Nobel Prize for literature. He won that prize in 1986.
  25. Nigeria has two UNESCO world heritage sites. These cultural sites became part of UNESCO’s list in 1999 and 2005. (Source)  
  26. The Yoruba ethnic group has the highest rate of twin births (over 18 twins per 1,000 births) in the world. This ethnic group is present in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. (Source) 
  27. Several languages are spoken in Nigeria. But the official language is English.
  28. More than 50% of Nigerians follow Islam. Around 48% are Christians.
  29. Dufana canoe in Nigeria is the 2nd oldest boat in the world. It was discovered in 1987 and is estimated to be more than 8,000 years old.
  30. Nigeria is known as the “giant of Africa” due to its large population. But more than 67% of Nigeria’s population lives in poverty. (Source)
  31. Nigeria has the highest alcohol consumption in Africa. The per capita alcohol consumption in Nigeria was 13 liters in 2019. (Source)


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