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Speaking of fun historical facts about Nigeria the coining of the name Nigeria has to be discussed. Nigeria got her name from Africa’s largest and longest river, River Niger. River Niger is 4,180 Kilometres from its source in South-Eastern Guinea. River Niger courses through Niger, Mali, Benin border which now empties into the Atlantic Ocean through Guinea. The capital of Nigeria is Abuja which was made the Federal Capital Territory on December 12, 1991. Vecta travels the best travel agency in Nigeria brings:

Fun Historical Facts about Nigeria

Nigeria is a West African country:

It is flanked on the North by the Chad Republic and Niger, the Benin Republic on the West, the Atlantic Ocean on the South and Cameroon on the East. Nigeria’s terrain varies with lowlands in the south, mountains, central hills and plateau in the southeast, and plains in the north. The climate is equatorial in the south, tropical in the central region and semi-arid in the north.

Giant of Africa:

Due to the population of over 180 million citizens. This put Nigeria as the most populous Nation in Africa and 7th most populous country in the world. Nigerians make up one-fifth of the total population of Africa. The land density is 188.9 persons/ square kilometer.

Nigeria has its strength in diversity:

It is home to over 250 ethnic groups. The dominant groups being Igbo 18%, Yoruba 21% and Hausa-Fulani 29% of the total population. There are over 520 languages spoken in Nigeria with nine of them being extinct. The major languages include Pidgin English Igbo, Urhobo, Hausa, Yoruba, Ibibio, Fulfulde, Edo, Ijaw, Kanuri, and Tiv. Nigeria is the third most multilingual country in the world according to ethnology. The three major religions in Nigeria are Islam, Christianity, and African traditional worshippers. The ratio of the population practicing these religions are not specific. There are more Christians in the South while more Muslims are recorded in the North.

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Fun Historical Facts about Nigeria

Below are more fun historical facts about Nigeria:

  • The Nigerian currency is Naira and Kobo which was introduced in 1959.
  • Nigeria has the 10th largest crude oil reserve in the world.
  • Professor Wole Soyinka was the first African to win Nobel Laureate prize in 1986.
  • Agbani Darego a Nigerian undergraduate was the first African to win the Miss World Beauty Pageant in 2001.
  • Nigeria was the first African country to win the Gold medal in the Olympics Football Event.
  • The Guinness Book of World Records (1974) describes the walls of Benin City as the world’s 2nd largest man-made structure after China’s Great Wall. Finished in 1460, the Benin Iya or moat is a historic world defense wonder until its destruction in 1897 during the British invasion.
  • In 1000AD, Ife Kingdom was said to have been the only paved city in Africa constructed with quartz pebble and broken pottery. The 21st Ooni of Ife created it to pave the way for the queen to prevent her from soiling her clothing and feet during the rainy season. Between 14th – 15th centuries, apaadi Luwo had become part of the architectural heritage of Ife.
  • The Third Mainland Bridge connecting Lagos Island to the mainland is the longest bridge in Nigeria. Its length is over 11km and was completed in 1990.
  • According to U.S Bureau Census data, Nigerian immigrants have the highest education attainment level in the United States, surpassing every other ethnic group.
  • Nigeria is a recognized fashion powerhouse with it being the biggest market for Chinese fashion suppliers. Nigerian Designers are also recognized during the New York Fashion Week held in New York annually.
  • Lagos state is the most industrialized state in Nigeria. It has an estimated population of 15 million people on a land mass of 3577 km/sq
  • The Cross River forest is the only evergreen rainforest in Africa and contains over 1000 species of birds and amphibians.
  • The highest peak in Nigeria is in Taraba State called the Chappal Waddi which means the mountain of Death. It stands at 7936 feet.
  • Nigeria launched its first satellites: NigeriaSat-X and NigeriaSat-2 in Southern Russia on August 17, 2011.
  • Cocoa house in Ibadan, Oyo state was the tallest building in Africa as at 1965. It is now a tourist attraction and venue for live performances.
  • Nigeria’s film industry, Nollywood, is the second largest in the world for its production of over 1800 films annually. Nollywood’s annual turnover is estimated to be within $250million.
  • Aliko Dangote, richest man in Africa and amongst the 40 richest in the world is a Nigerian who also lives here.
  • Nigeria is one of the next ‘N-11’ countries, identified by Goldman Sachs’ economist Jim O’Neill to be amongst the world’s largest economies in the 21st century.
  • According to Lord Luggard, there were 25,000 Arabic schools with about 250,000 pupils in the north. The north was the more literate part of Nigeria in the past.
  • Mrs. Fumilayo Ransome-Kuti, mother of Afrobeat Icon Fela was one of the delegates that negotiated Nigeria’s independence in Britain.
  • Iwo-Eleru cave skull is the oldest human fossil archive in West Africa. The radiocarbon test showed it is over 13,000 years with over 140,000-year-old features.
  • The Yoruba ethnic group has the highest rate of twins in the world. The village of Igbo Ora in Oyo state has been recorded to have the highest rate of 158 twins per 1000 births.
  • NOK village is the oldest civilization in West Africa with documentation dating from 300 – 1000 BC discovered in 1928.
  • Northern Nigeria spans within 719,000 km/sq makes up 80% of Nigeria’s land mass.
  • The mangrove forest in Nigeria is the largest in Africa and 3rd largest in the world. Niger Delta is home to 60% of Nigeria’s mangrove forest.
  • Niger Delta has the highest concentration of monotypic fish families in the world.
  • Cross Rivers state has the largest butterfly diversity in the world.
  • Dufuna boat was discovered in Dufuna Village, Yobe state (1987) by a herdsman digging a well. The radiocarbon test done showed it was over 8000 years old. This made it the oldest boat in Africa and 3rd oldest in the world.
  • The indigo bird is unique to only the Jos Plateau.
  • The Anambra waxbill bird is found only in Southern Nigeria and nowhere else in the world.
  • The first building in Nigeria was built in Badagry 1845
  • Nigeria was the first African country to eradicate the Ebola threat in 2015


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