Nigeria - History, Population, Flag, Map, Languages

Nigeria shown highlighted in a map of Africa.
Nigeria shown highlighted in a map of Africa
Flag of Nigeria.
Flag of Nigeria
Coat of Arms

Anthem: "Arise, O Compatriots"

Audio File: National anthem of Nigeria

Official NameFederal Republic of Nigeria
Motto"Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress"
Head Of State And GovernmentPresident: Bola Tinubu
Population2023 estimate 230,842,743
System Of GovernmentFederal republic with two legislative houses - Senate 109 seats & House of Representatives 360 seats
Vice President

Senate President

House Speaker

Chief Justice
Kashim Shettima

Godswill Akpabio

Tajudeen Abbas

Olukayode Ariwoola
CurrencyNaira (₦) (NGN)
Official LanguageEnglish
National languagesHausa, Yoruba, Igbo
Regional languagesOver 525 languages
Ethnic groups (2018)30% Hausa
15.5% Yoruba
15.2% Igbo
6% Fulani
2.4% Tiv
2.4% Kanuri
1.8% Ibibio
1.8% Ijaw
24.9% Other
IndependenceIndependence from the United Kingdom
• Northern Nigeria Protectorate - 1 January 1900
• Southern Nigeria Protectorate - 1 January 1900
• Unification of Nigeria - 1 January 1914
• Declared - 1 October 1960
• Federation - 1 October 1963
• Current constitution - 29 May 1999
• Upper house
• Lower house
National Assembly
House of Representatives
Total Area (Sq Km)923,768
Total Area (Sq Mi)356,669
Water (%)1.4
Population Rank6th (2023)
Density: Persons Per Sq Mi564.6 (2023)
Density: Persons Per Sq Km623.8 (2023)
Urban-Rural PopulationUrban: (2018) 50.3% • Rural: (2018) 49.7%
Life Expectancy At Birth• Male: (2022) 59.5 years
• Female: (2022) 63.3 years
Literacy Rate: Percentage Of Population Age 15 And Over Literate• Male: (2018) 71%
• Female: (2018) 53%
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (West African Time)
Official ReligionNone
Driving sideRight
Gni (U.S.$ ’000,000)(2020) 412,805
Gni Per Capita (U.S.$)(2020) 2,000
Per capita
2022 estimate
$1.27 trillion
GDP (nominal)
Per capita
2022 estimate
$504 billion
HDI (2021)0.535
Calling code+234
ISO 3166 codeNG

Table of Content

Nigeria is a country with a rich and colorful history. From its pre-colonial era to its present day, Nigeria has experienced a lot of changes that have shaped the country into what it is today. This article takes you on a journey through Nigeria's fascinating history, exploring its past and present.

Nigeria's History

Nigeria, officially known as the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country located in West Africa. It is the most populous country in Africa, with a population of over 200 million people. Nigeria is home to over 250 ethnic groups, each with its own unique cultural identity. The country is known for its diverse cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and vibrant music and art scenes.

Pre-Colonial Era of Nigeria

Before the arrival of the Europeans, Nigeria was home to several indigenous kingdoms and empires, including the Benin Empire, the Oyo Empire, and the Sokoto Caliphate. These kingdoms were known for their rich cultural traditions, advanced systems of governance, and thriving trade networks. They engaged in trade with other African kingdoms and with European traders who had established trading posts along the West African coast.

Colonial Era and Nigeria's Struggle for Independence

In the late 19th century, the British colonized Nigeria and established a system of indirect rule, which allowed them to control the country through traditional rulers. This system of governance was met with resistance from Nigerian nationalists who demanded independence. The struggle for independence culminated in 1960 when Nigeria became an independent nation.

Post-Independence Era and Nigeria's Political Instability

After independence, Nigeria experienced a period of political instability, characterized by military coups, ethnic tensions, and corruption. The country was ruled by a series of military regimes that suppressed political opposition and violated human rights. This period of instability lasted until 1999 when Nigeria returned to democracy.

Nigeria's Involvement in West African Politics and the Formation of ECOWAS

Nigeria has played a significant role in the politics of West Africa. It has been involved in several peacekeeping missions and has been instrumental in the formation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). ECOWAS is a regional economic bloc that seeks to promote economic integration and development in West Africa. Nigeria's influence in the region has helped to stabilize the political situation in neighboring countries.

Cultural Heritage and Diversity of Nigeria

Nigeria is home to a rich and diverse cultural heritage. Its music, art, and literature have gained worldwide recognition. Nigerian music, in particular, has gained popularity across the globe, with artists like Fela Kuti, Burna Boy, and Wizkid gaining international acclaim. Nigeria's literature scene is also thriving, with writers like Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gaining global recognition for their works.

Nigeria Map.

Famous Nigerian Personalities and Their Impact on the Country

Nigeria has produced several famous personalities who have impacted the country in various ways. These include politicians, activists, musicians, and athletes. One of the most famous Nigerians is Nnamdi Azikiwe, who was the first president of Nigeria. Other notable personalities include Fela Kuti, a musician and political activist, Wole Soyinka, a playwright and political activist, and Chioma Ajunwa, Nigeria's first Olympic gold medalist.

The Nigerian Economy and Its Evolution Over Time

Nigeria's economy has evolved significantly over time. It is now the largest economy in Africa, with a GDP of over $400 billion. The country has a diverse economy that is driven by oil and gas, agriculture, and services. Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa and the 12th largest in the world. However, the country's economy is still heavily dependent on oil, which makes it vulnerable to fluctuations in oil prices.

Challenges Faced by Nigeria as a Nation

Despite the progress that Nigeria has made over the years, the country still faces several challenges. These include insecurity, corruption, poverty, and unemployment. Insecurity, particularly in the form of insurgency and banditry, has been a major challenge in the country. Corruption is also a significant problem, with Nigeria ranking poorly on the Corruption Perceptions Index. Poverty and unemployment are also prevalent, with over 50% of the population living below the poverty line.

Reflections on Nigeria's Past, Present, and Future

Nigeria's history is a rich and colorful one that has shaped the country into what it is today. The country has made significant progress in various areas, including politics, culture, and the economy. However, it still faces several challenges that need to be addressed. Nigeria's future is bright, and with the right policies and leadership, the country can overcome its challenges and take its place as a leading nation in Africa and the world.