Nigeria facts and Figures
Nigeria was named after the River Niger, Nigeria is a federal constitutional republic in Africa. The country stands divided into thirty-six states and one Federal Capital Territory. Nigeria is situated in Western Africa and is surrounded by the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east and Niger in the north. Its coastal sides fall on the Gulf of Guinea, part of the Atlantic Ocean, in the south. Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria.
Did you know- The modern country of Nigeria, once the seat of an ancient kingdom, is located on the southern coast of western Africa. This former British colony is bordered by Benin (known as Dahomey until 1972) to the West, Niger (ex French colony) to the north, Chad (former French colony) and Cameroon (former French & British territory) to the East, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. It is an African country of considerable contrasts: It is home to mangrove swamps, plateaus, semideserts, and tropical rainforests. Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria, but Lagos, former capital, is the largest city.
Did you know- On October 1, 1960, Nigeria, after a 102-year European occupation, became an independent country within the British Commonwealth.
Nigeria & USA
Did you know- Abuja and Washington have maintained excellent diplomatic ties. Under this context, America’s leader Jimmy Carter visited the African country in 1978. Subsequently, on August 24, 2000, Lagos was visited by Bill Clinton.
Did you know- The English-speaking country is the ten-largest country in population in the world, with 154 million people. About 50 percent of the population is Muslim. At least 1.5 millions Nigerians live in abroad, 70% of them in Western Europe
Did you know- The 38-year of military rule ended in 1998 when Olusegun Obasanjo won the country’s first free elections. In the subsequent years, Nigeria, an oil-rich country, became a democratic state.
Did you know- After independence, on October 7, 1960, the country joined the United Nations. Post 1960, it was one of the anti-apartheid leaders on Earth.
Did you know- At the end of 1986, Wole Soyinka became the first black author to win a Nobel Prize for Africa. Indeed, Mr. Soyinka was one of sub-Saharan Africa’s well-known novelists in the latter half of the past century. In addition to his career as novelist, he was a prominent campaigner for democracy and human rights on the African mainland in the 70s and 80s.
Did you know- The 1999 FIFA Under-20 World Cup was held in Nigeria an event that was the envy of the rest of the world. In fact, this is the largest soccer tournament to be held in Nigeria.
Did you know- From a culturally perspective Nigeria is a notable place with over 100 ethnic groups. Apart from that, the English-speaking country is interesting in terms of its biodiversity: there are many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries; lions, elephants, wild birds and reptiles all populated these national parks. In addition, its capital, Abuja, is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most modern cities. Music is also one of the main activities of the nation, birthplace of Sade, one of the world’s most successful female singers. Finally, it also has spectacular architectural sites: the Osun-Sogbo Sacred Grove, a World Heritage Site, is one of the most visited scenic places in Nigeria.
Did you know- In the early 1980s, Pope John Paul visited Nigeria.
Read further to explore some interesting and fun facts about Nigeria.
More Interesting Facts About Nigeria
* Nigeria is officially named the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
* The country was named “Nigeria” after the River Niger.
* Niger River is Africa’s third largest river.
* English is the main language of Nigeria. Apart from that, over three hundred languages are spoken in the country.
* Nigerian Naira is the official currency of Nigeria.
* The Federal Republic of Nigeria is a member of the Commonwealth.
* The highest point in the Federal Republic of Niger is Chappal Waddi (2,419 m).
* The main religions in Nigeria are Islam, Christianity, Yoruba Orisha or Orisa veneration and Ifá.
* Apart from being a regional power, Nigeria is also listed amongst the “Next Eleven” economies.
* Nigeria has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with the International Monetary Fund projecting a growth of 9% in 2008 and 8.3% in 2009.
* Archaeological evidence shows that human existence in Nigeria has a history which starts from 9000 BC. The Nok civilization (around 500 BC-200 AD) is the earliest known civilization here.
* Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach Nigeria (1472).
* Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the eighth most populous country in the world.
* Oil was discovered in Nigeria in 1956, at Oloibiri (Bayelsa State).
* Port Harcourt, on the Niger Delta, is the center of Nigeria’s oil industry.
* Nigeria is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), with petroleum accounting for 95 percent of its export income.
* Nigeria is the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8th largest petroleum exporter.
* Nigeria has the 10th largest proven reserves of petroleum, in the world.
* Nigeria has been ruled by military for most of the 47 years of its independence from Britain.
* The main rivers of Nigeria are the Niger and the Benue, which meet and empty into the Niger Delta, one of the largest river deltas in the world.
* Football is Nigeria’s national sport.
* Nigeria is an important centre for biodiversity.
* It is widely believed that the areas surrounding Calabar, Cross River State, contain the world’s largest diversity of butterflies.
* The drill monkey is only found in the wild in Southeast Nigeria and neighboring Cameroon.
* Nigeria has the second largest newspaper market in Africa (after Egypt), with an estimated circulation of several million copies daily (2003).
* Nigeria has the highest rate of twin births in the world, compared to any other country.