15 Interesting Facts about Nigeria

Want to know more about Nigeria? Here are 15 Interesting Facts about Nigeria that you probably didn’t know before reading this!

To make this even more fun, I want to give you a small challenge. How many of these Nigeria facts did you already know? Leave a comment after reading and tell me your result!

Table of Contents

1. It is the most populous country in Africa

Almost 200 million people live here, which makes Nigeria one of the most populous countries in the world. By 2019, it is ranked as the 7th most populated country in the world. 

The majority of the people are either Muslims or Christians with 50% and 40% of the total population. 

2. Over 500 indigenous languages are spoken throughout the country

Nigeria doesn’t only have many people living within its borders, but it’s also multicultural. In fact, it’s also one of the most diverse countries in the world in terms of indigenous languages spoken on a regular basis. 

In total, experts estimate that more than 500 different languages are spoken. Some of the major languages are Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, even though English serves as the official language. 

Nigerian People

Photo: Ajibola Fasola / Shutterstock.com

3. Social Media is very popular in Nigeria

As one of the most industrialized African countries, perhaps this is not one of the most surprising facts about Nigeria, nonetheless, it’s interesting. About 75% of the total population uses social media on a regular basis. 

What’s unique for the Nigerian population is that the majority uses a smartphone rather than a computer or laptop. 

4. Home to the richest man in Africa

Aliko Dangote is a Nigerian businessman with a net worth of at least 10.6 billion USD. When Forbes listed the 100 richest people in the world, he was included on the list.

He was born in Kano and established The Dangote Group in 1977.

5. There are more than 250 Ethnic Groups

As you already know, there are many different languages spoken here, which totally makes sense when you realize that there are over 250 ethnic groups with a distinct culture and traditions. 

Nigeria folk

Photo: Shutterstock

6. Oil is one of the biggest exports of the country

Nigeria is a large producer of Crude oil with an average of 2,5 million barrels a day. They have a massive reserve of petroleum, and it plays a vital role in the Nigerian economy. 

7. Lagos is the largest city, but it’s not the capital

Abuja is the capital of Nigeria. It was built in the 1980s and was planned to replace Lagos as the Nigerian capital even before it was built. It’s the country’s political and administrative center.

Abuja is one of the fastest growing cities in the world with a population of around 6 million people in its metropolitan area. Lagos, however, is the largest Nigerian city with a population of more than 21 million people.


Photo: Shutterstock

8. The movie industry is known as Nollywood

Nollywood is the nickname for the Nigerian Movie Industry, and it’s even bigger than Hollywood. It is estimated to be second in the world, only to Bollywood in India. 

About 200 movies are produced every week, which means that Nollywood produces more than 10 000 movies per year!

9. The life expectancy is just 55.2 years

Life expectancy is generally lower on the African continent, and unfortunately, Nigeria is not an exception. The main reason for the low life expectancy is poverty.

Many Nigerians are poor and some of them die young due to diseases that could’ve been treated. Child mortality is also quite high. Some other reasons include toxic drinking water and diseases like cholera and malaria. 

This is one of the sad facts about Nigeria, and while things get better for some Nigerians, the rapid population growth is expected to bring further problems for the poorest. 

Life expectancy nigeria

Photo: Tayvay / Shutterstock.com

10. Nigeria is a member of the British Commonwealth

Lagos was invaded by the British in 1851 and became a British protectorate in 1901. The colonial rule lasted until 1960 when Nigeria finally attained their independence.

However, although it’s an independent state it remained part of the British Commonwealth, just like Canada, New Zealand and Australia for example.

In addition to that, Nigeria is also a member of the African Union. 

5 x Nigeria Facts for Kids

  • The Nigerian flag was designed by Taiwo Akinkunmi in 1959
  • The Eagle is the Nigerian national animal
  • Football is the national sport
  • The highest point is Chappal Waddi at 7936 ft (2,419 meters above the sea)
  • The name Nigeria is derived from Niger, which is the longest river in West Africa
Nigeria facts for kids

Photo: Vlad1988 / Shutterstock.com

General Facts about Nigeria

If you’re looking for information, below are some more general facts about Nigeria such as total population, currency, highest point as well as national anthem and type of government. 

  • Total Area: 923,768 km2 (356,669 sq mi)
  • Capital: Abuja
  • Total Population: 199,789,000
  • Continent: Africa
  • Demonym: Nigerian
  • Official Language: English
  • Currency: Naira (₦) (NGN)
  • Government: Federal presidential republic
  • President: Muhammadu Buhari
  • Highest Point: Chappal Waddi
  • Largest Lake: Lake Chad
  • National Anthem: “Arise, O Compatriots”
  • Country Code: NG
  • Calling Code/Prefix: +234
Nigerian capital

Photo: Red Confidential / Shutterstock.com

Flag of Nigeria

The Nigerian Flag is characterized by 3 vertical stripes with white color in the middle, and green on either side. 

Nigeria flag

Please feel free to share if you find this article really helpful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.