Interesting facts about Nigeria

nigeria flag

Nigeria is a country located in Western Africa.

The official name of the country is the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It is bordered by Benin on the west, Chad and Cameroon on the east, and by Niger in the north.

The official language is English.

As of 1 January 2017, the population of Nigeria was estimated to be 189,559,502 people. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world.

It is the 31st largest country in the world in terms of land area with 923,768 square kilometers (356,669 square miles).

Abuja is the capital of Nigeria. It is a planned city and was built mainly in the 1980s, replacing the country’s most populous city of Lagos as the capital on 12 December 1991.


The terrain of Nigeria is varied: lowlands in the south, mountains in the southeast, central hills and plateaux, and plains in the north. The Niger is the principal river.

The landscape of Nigeria varies with mangrove forests and swamps bordering the southern coast, and hardwood forests further inland.

Chappal Waddi or Gangirwal is the highest mountain in Nigeria rising to a height of 2,419 meters (7,936 feet) above sea level.

chappal waddi

Nigeria has 853 kilometers (530 miles) of coastline.

While Nigeria is not particularly known for its coastlines, it is blessed with an abundance of beautiful sea shores. There are dozens of breathtaking stretches of golden sand around the country to be enjoyed at any time of the year – although June to August can be a little wet.

nigeria beach

The network of protected areas in Nigeria covers about 14% of the national territory. It is made up of 12 national parks, plus other types of protected areas.

Yankari National Park is a large wildlife park located in northeastern Nigeria. It covers an area of about 2,244 square kilometers (866 square miles) and is home to several natural warm water springs, as well as a wide variety of flora and fauna. Its location in the heartland of the West African savanna makes it a unique way for tourists and holidaymakers to watch wildlife in its natural habitat.

yankari national park

Nigeria has 2 UNESCO world heritage sites.

Sukur or Sukur Cultural Landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on a hill above the village of Sukur in the Adamawa State of Nigeria. It is situated in the Mandara Mountains, close to the border with Cameroon. Its UNESCO inscription is based on the cultural heritage, material culture, and the naturally-terraced fields. Sukur is Africa’s first cultural landscape to receive World Heritage List inscription.


The dense forest of the Osun Sacred Grove, on the outskirts of the city of Osogbo, is one of the last remnants of primary high forest in southern Nigeria. Regarded as the abode of the goddess of fertility Osun, one of the pantheon of Yoruba gods, the landscape of the grove and its meandering river is dotted with sanctuaries and shrines, sculptures and art works in honour of Osun and other deities. The Sacred Grove was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

osun sacred grove

The Abuja National Mosque, also known as the Nigerian National Mosque, is the national mosque of Nigeria, a country with a substantial Muslim population. The mosque was built in 1984 and is open to the non-Muslim public, except during congregational prayers.

abuja national mosque

The Cathedral Church of Christ Marina, Lagos is an Anglican cathedral in Lagos Island. The foundation stone for the first cathedral building was laid on 29 March 1867 and the cathedral was established in 1869. Construction of the current building to designs by architect Bagan Benjamin started on 1 November 1924. The foundation stone was laid by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) on 21 April 1925. It was completed in 1946.

Cathedral Church of Christ Marina Lagos

Nike Art Gallery is an art gallery in Lagos owned by Nike Davies-Okundaye. The gallery is arguably the largest of its kind in West Africa. Housed in a five-storey tall building, it boasts a collection of about 8,000 diverse artworks from various Nigerian artists.

nike art gallery

Zuma Rock is a large monolith, an igneous intrusion composed of gabbro and granodiorite. It rises spectacularly immediately north of Nigeria’s capital Abuja, along the main road from Abuja to Kaduna off Madala, and is sometimes referred to as the “Gateway to Abuja from Suleja.” Zuma Rock rises 725 meters (2,379 ft) above its surroundings.

zuma rock

Numerous ancient African civilizations settled in the region that is today Nigeria, such as the Benin Empire, the Kingdom of Nri and the Oyo Empire.

Islam reached Nigeria through the Hausa States during the 11th century, while Christianity came to Nigeria in the 15th century through Augustinian and Capuchin monks from Portugal.

The modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century and the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914.

Nigeria became a formally independent federation in 1960.


Nigeria is a middle-income, mixed economy and emerging market, with expanding manufacturing, financial, service, communications, technology and entertainment sectors.

Nigeria’s most important export is oil. It is the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8th largest exporter, and has the 10th largest proven reserves.

Nigeria is the most important country politically and economically in West Africa.

Nigeria is often referred to as the “Giant of Africa”, owing to its large population and economy.

The name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country.

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.

Nigerian cuisine, like West African cuisine in general, is known for its richness and variety. Many different spices, herbs and flavourings are used in conjunction with palm oil or groundnut oil to create deeply flavored sauces and soups often made very hot with chili peppers.

Football is largely considered Nigeria’s national sport and the country has its own Premier League of football.

Nigeria has more than 500 ethnic groups, with varying languages and customs, creating a country of rich ethnic diversity.

There are 521 languages that have been spoken in Nigeria (nine of which are now extinct).