On October 1, 1960, Nigeria gained its independence from the United Kingdom. As was the habit of colonialists during that era, no attention was paid to the fact that the “protectorates” suddenly and quite chaotically merged together hundreds of distinct and autonomous ethnicities, or to the fact that some communities were ripped apart by the sudden construction of boundaries that never existed before.
There was never a truly developed sense of singular Nigerian identity. In part, it was this disequilibrium which set the stage in 1966 to several successive military coups. The Northern coup, which was mostly motivated by ethnic and religious reasons, was a bloodbath of both military officers and civilians, especially those of Igbo extraction. The violence against the Igbo increased their desire for autonomy and protection from the military’s wrath.
By May 1967, the Eastern Region had declared itself an independent state called the Republic of Biafra and the 30 month Nigerian Civil War began. More than one million people died, many of them starving to death. During the oil boom of the 1970s, Nigeria joined OPEC and billions of dollars generated by production in the oil-rich Niger Delta flowed into the coffers of the Nigerian state. However, increasing corruption and graft at all levels of government squandered most of these earnings.
Nigeria re-achieved democracy in 1999 and although the elections which brought Obasanjo to power in 1999 and again in 2003 were condemned as unfree and unfair, Nigeria has shown marked improvements in attempts to tackle government corruption and to hasten development. Ethnic violence over the oil producing Niger Delta region and inadequate infrastructures are some of the current issues in the country.
Top 50 Facts About Nigeria In History
1. The most commonly spoken phrase in Nigeria is
2. Nigeria is home to seven percent (7%) of the
languages spoken on earth. Niger State alone has
languages than 30 African countries.
3. The Walls of Benin (800-1400AD), in present
State, are the longest ancient earthworks in the
- 4. The First Nigerian indigenous tribe to reach rank of Air Vice Marshal was Nupe by tribe, Air Vice Marshal John Nmadu Yisa Doko.
5. Sarki Muhammad Kanta The Great of Kebbi, was
the only ruler who resisted control by Songhai,
greatest empire at that time. He founded and ruled
the Hausa city-state of Kebbi around 1600 A.D.
6. Africa’s oldest known boat is The Dufuna canoe,
which was discovered in Dufuna village, Yobe State,
by a Fulani Herdsman in May 1987, while he dug a
7. Sungbo’s Eredo, a 160 km rampart equipped
houses and moats, is reputed to be the largest
single pre-colonial monument (or ancient
fortification if you like) in Africa. It is located in
present-day Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
8. The Jos Plateau Indigobird, a small reddish-
brown bird, is found nowhere else on the planet but
9. The Anambra waxbill, a small bird of many
colours, is found only in Southern Nigeria and
nowhere else on earth.
10. The Niger Delta (which is the second largest
delta on the planet), has the highest concentration
of monotypic fish families in the world, and is also
home to 60 percent of Nigeria’s mangrove forests.
11. Nigeria’s mangrove forests are the largest in
third largest on earth.
12. According to the World Resources Institute,
home to 4,715 different types of plant species, and
over 550 species of breeding birds and mammals,
making it one of the most ecologically vibrant
places of the planet.
13. Ile-Ife, in present day Osun State, was paved as
early as 1000AD, with decorations that originated
from ancient America.
14. Though the country has three dominant tribes,
Hausa, Yoruba and the Ibo (Igbo) follow by Nupe, Fulani, there are
over 250 ethnic groups.
15. Nigeria derives her name from the River Niger
which is the largest and the longest river in West
Africa and is about 4,180 kilometres long.
16. The Nigerian movie industry which produces
150-200 movies every week is known as
Nollywood – it is ranked as the world’s second-
largest producer of movies and trails just behind
the Indian Bollywood industry.
17. Areas surrounding Cross State River and
Calabar towards the south of Nigeria are home to
the largest diversity of butterflies in the world.
18. Sarki Abdullah Burja of Kano (ruled 1438-1452
AD), the 18th ruler of Ancient Kano, created the
first Golden Age in Northern Nigeria and ushered in
a period of great prosperity. During his reign,
Hausa became the biggest indigenous language
spoken in Africa after Swahili.
19. Two of the world’s rarest species of animals
live in the mysterious Nigerian forests – the Drill
monkey that lives in the Afi Mountain ranges and
the lowland Gorilla.
20. Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets became the first team
Africa to win a FIFA competition when they won the
(now U17) World Cup in China in 1985.
21. Nigeria is the first African nation to have won
football gold medal of an Olympics achieving this
- 22. The most tellest masquerade in world can only be found in Nigeria by Nupe people, Ndako Gboya, also known as Igunnuko in Southern Nigeria.
23. The University of Nigeria was the first full-
indigenous and first autonomous university in
origins of the university are in Yaba College,
founded in 1932 in Yaba, Lagos as the first tertiary
educational institute in Nigeria.
24. Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Finance
Forbes’ 83rd Most Powerful Woman in the World.
25. Nigeria’s Mrs Esther Taiwo Olukoya and Mrs
Emily Kehinde Olukoga-Ogunde,who looked almost
identical, are probably the third set of twins in the
world to hit the century age and perhaps the first in
26. A Nigerian man, Aliko Dangote – founder of
Group, is the richest man in Africa and richest
black man in the world.
27. The richest woman in Africa, Folorunsho
Alakija, is a
Nigerian. She is worth about $600 million (N97
28. Iwe–Irohin, Nigeria’s first newspaper was
established by a missionary, Henry Townsend in
29. It is on record that Daily Times Nigeria is the
only Nigerian newspaper to attain a 500,000 copy
circulation with one title. The Daily Times had
emerged a colossus.
30. Nigerian terror sect, Boko Haram carried out its
known attack in Borno in January 2011.
31. A Nigerian university, Obafemi Awolowo
Ife, Osun State has the most beautiful campus in
Africa. It was founded in 1962.
32. The Igbos of Eastern Nigeria launched a series
of massive riots that put paid to Colonialism in
Nigeria. This was led by the women of Aba,
protesting the heavy taxation of the colonial lords.
They marched on the colonial offices and chased
the administrators away.
33. President Musa Yar’Adua is the first
elected president to die in office.
34. Okobaba Sawmil, situated at Ebute Meta Lagos,
Nigeria is the largest sawmill in Africa.
35. The largest Christian gatherings in the world
have been held in Nigeria – (Holy Ghost Festivals;
Redeemed Christian Church of God; 5 to 12 million
36. If you go to some areas in the Niger-Delta and
step firmly on the soil, crude oil will gush out.
37. Goodluck Jonathan is the first democratic
president that was not elected after assuming the
mantel of leadership with the death of President
Musa Yar’Adua in 2010. He went on to win the
Presidential election a year later.
38. Late Musa Yar’dua was the first president to
declare his assets according to the provision of
1999 constitution of Nigeria.
39. The pastor of the largest church in the United
Kingdom is a Nigerian; Matthew Ashimolow of the
Kingsway International Christian Centre.
40. Since Nigeria made her first FIFA World Cup
appearance at USA’94; she has gone on to appear
in three other finals but has never gone beyond the
41. Liberty Stadium Ibadan Oyo State, Nigeria is
stadium to be built in Africa. The stadium was
1960 during the tenure of Chief Obafemi Awolowo
Premier of the Western Region.
42. Hubert Ogunde was the first professional
theatre man in Nigeria who lived entirely by the art.
43. According to reports, the late MKO Abiola sent
$10m to Youeri Museveni to help topple the
despot, Idi Amin Dada.
44. Nigerian pidgin (which uses a primary English
lexicon) is also a common lingua franca. Roughly a
third of Nigeria’s
population speak Pidgin English which is a
simplified form of the language.
45. Some traditional cultural expressions are found
various masquerades of Nigeria, such as the Ndako Gboya Masquerade (Nupe Igunnuko), Eyo
masquerades, the Ekpe and Ekpo Masquerades of
the Efik/Ibibio/Annang/Igbo peoples of coastal
south-eastern Nigeria, and the Northern Edo
Masquerades. The most popular Yoruba wooden
masks are the Gelede masquerades.
46. The country is listed among the “Next Eleven”
economies, and is one of the fastest growing in
the world with the International Monetary Fund
projecting growth of 9 per cent in 2008 and 8.3 per
cent in 2009.
47.In Intercontinental Hotel, Nigeria has the tallest
West Africa built at a cost of N30 billion located in
with a 23-storey building containing 358 rooms and
suites and a Presidential suite.
48. Lagos is the second fastest growing city in
Africa and the seventh fastest growing city in the
world. The newest reports of the Nigeria Census
estimate the population is now 21 million, making
Lagos the largest city in Africa.
49. Nigeria has the highest maternal mortality rate
in Africa. Nigeria accounts for 10 per cent of
maternal deaths in the world, ranking the second
highest after India.
50. The Power Holding Company of Nigeria
(PHCN) generates only 3,200 megawatts while the
nation needs at least 8,000 megawatts.
Other Interest Facts About Nigeria
Nigeria has more writers and authors than the
West African combined. And in Professor Wole
Soyinka has the region’s first Nobel Prize winner.
Nigeria has the 4th largest number of doctors
There are more Muslims in Nigeria than there
are in Saudi Arabia – 60 million v 20 million. In
fact, there are more Muslims in Nigeria than there
are in any other country in Africa.
If you are proud of Nigeria, kindly drop your comment…