- Continental region – West Africa
- Currency symbol of Nigeria – Nigerian naira (NGN)
- Capital City –Abuja
- Official languages –The official language is English, but it is spoken less frequently in rural areas and amongst people with lower education levels. Other major languages spoken include: Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Fulfulde, Ibibio, Kanuri, and Tiv. Nigerian Sign Language, Hausa Sign Language, and Bura Sign Language are all used in Nigeria.
- Population –195.9 million (2018)
- Country dialling code – (+234 )
- Official website – Nigeria
- Top 3 biggest industries –Mining, Tourism and Agriculture
- Google Maps link – Nigeria
- Where is it? –officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a sovereign country in West Africa bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. Its southern coast is on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean.
Nigeria In Pictures
- How did the country get its first name? – The name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. This name was coined on January 8, 1897, by British journalist Flora Shaw, who later married Lord Lugard, a British colonial administrator.
- When and by whom the country was first discovered? –The evidence of people living in Nigeria can be traced to settlers trading across the middle East and Africa as early as 1100 BC. Numerous ancient African civilizations settled in the region that is known today as Nigeria, such as the Kingdom of Nri, the Benin Empire, and the Oyo Empire. Islam reached Nigeria through the Borno Empire between (1068 AD) and Hausa States around (1385 AD) during the 11th century, while Christianity came to Nigeria in the 15th century through Augustinian and Capuchin monks from Portugal. The Songhai Empire also occupied part of the region.
- Who were the first Inhabitants? – Archaeological research, pioneered by Charles Thurstan Shaw has shown that people were already living in south-eastern Nigeria (specifically Igbo Ukwu, Nsukka, Afikpo and Ugwuele) 100,000 years ago. Excavations in Ugwuele, Afikpo and Nsukka show evidence of long habitations as early as 6,000 BC.
- When it was first recognized as a country? – Modern Nigeria dates from 1914, when the British Protectorates of Northern and Southern Nigeria were joined. The country became independent on October 1, 1960, and in 1963 adopted a republican constitution but elected to stay a member of the Commonwealth.
- Who was the first leader of the country? – The first President of Nigeria was Nnamdi Azikiwe, who took office when the Federation of Nigeria became the Federal Republic of Nigeria in October 1963.
Five Significant Events
- 1960: Independence, with Prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa leading a coalition government.
- 1966 January: Mr Balewa killed in coup. Maj-Gen Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi forms military government.
- 1966 July: General Ironsi killed in counter-coup, replaced by Lieutenant-Colonel Yakubu Gowon.
- 1967: Three eastern states secede as the Republic of Biafra, sparking three-year civil war.
- 1975: General Gowon overthrown by Brigadier Murtala Ramat Mohammed, who begins process of moving federal capital to Abuja.
Five Places to Visit in Nigeria
- Calabar: The gateway to the reserves of the Cross River (the state of which Calabar is the capital), and the further-flung rainforests of the Afi Mountains (home to gorillas, chimps, rare rockfowl and craggy peaks of stone), the town of Calabar is a well-honed tourist stop-off on the way through to Cameroon or the southern Nigerian coast.
- Lagos: Frenetic and packed, Lagos is not only the largest city in Nigeria, but also the single largest on the entire African continent.
- Abeokuta: Nestled inland, directly north of sprawling Lagos, the regional capital of the Ogun State can be found surrounded by great swathes of yam fields and maize farms, swaying wooded savanna and palm oil plantations.
- Yankari National Park: Whether you make the arduous journey east from Abuja and south from Gombe to the Yankari in search of the roaming herds of African elephants (rumored to be the most numerous on the continent) or to seek out the fascinating relics of earlier peoples in the caves, you can rest assured that this well-serviced national park won’t disappoint.
- Abuja: Purpose-built, enfolded by the soft topography of the inland hills, and formed from clearly delineated districts that house business-suited men and politicians, there’s no grit or grime here (or at least not relatively). That means the capital is a nice place to relax and unwind following the energy and action of the megalopolis on the coast.