10 Amazing Facts about Nigeria
Nigeria has been home to a number of kingdoms and tribal states over the millennia. The modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, and took its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914. The British set up administrative and legal structures whilst practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms. Nigeria became a formally independent federation in 1960. It experienced a civil war from 1967 to 1970. It thereafter alternated between democratically elected civilian governments and military dictatorships until it achieved a stable democracy in 1999, with the 2011 presidential election considered the first to be reasonably free and fair. Nigeria is often referred to as the “Giant of Africa”, owing to its large population and economy. With approximately 186 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. Nigeria has the third-largest youth population in the world, after India and China, with more than 90 million of its population under age 18. The country is viewed as a multinational state as it is inhabited by over 500 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba ; these ethnic groups speak over 500 different languages and are identified with a wide variety of cultures.
The official language is English . Nigeria is divided roughly in half between Christians, who live mostly in the southern part of the country, and Muslims, who live mostly in the north. A minority of the population practice religions indigenous to Nigeria, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicity.
Interesting Facts about Nigeria
- Nigeria’s north (719,000 sq. km), makes up 80% of Nigeria’s land mass. It is four times the South in size.
- A ticket to London was less than N100 in 1975.
- A brand new car sold for N2000 in 1975.
- Legendary Fela’s mother, Mrs. Fumilayo Ransome-Kuti was one of the delegates that negotiated Nigeria’s independence in Britain.
- Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote is the richest Black person in the world, with a net worth of $16.1bn.
- The Yoruba ethnic group and its bloodlines have the highest rate of twins in the world.
- Discovered in 1928, Nigeria’s North and North Central region hosts West Africa’s oldest civilization; the Nok, which flourished between 1000 BC and 300 BC.
- Lord Lugard described Kano: ‘Commercial emporium of the western Sudan.’ Of its wall, he said, ‘I have never seen, nor even imagined, anything like it in Africa.’ He estimated in 1904 that there were 170 walled towns still in existence in the whole of just the Kano province of northern Nigeria.
- In the 1850s, Kano, one of the largest cities in Africa, made 10 million sandal pairs and 5 million hides for export annually.
- Nigerians make up one-fifth of the total population of Black Africa.