10 Interesting Facts about Nigeria

By Remitbee - May 11, 2022

Put the vertical bands of green, white, and green together, and you have the flag of Nigeria—the most populous nation in Africa and the seventh most populated country in the world, home to over 213 million people—symbolizing natural wealth and peace. When hearing of Nigeria, people would immediately imagine a big city filled with people and noise.

These first impressions do not justify the beauty of this country and the resilience of its people. To appreciate this country more, we have compiled ten interesting facts about Nigeria. Hopefully, this will pique your interest to find out more and even perhaps visit the beautiful country of Nigeria and experience firsthand what it has to offer to the world.

Over 500 indigenous languages are spoken in Nigeria

English is the official language of Nigeria. But amongst people in the rural areas and with lower education levels, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Fulfulde, Ibibio, Kanuri, and Tiv are widely used along with Nigerian, Hausa, and Bura sign languages. Other than these, there are other 500 indigenous languages in Nigeria, which makes its ethnic groups distinct.

More than 250 ethnic groups are found in Nigeria

Home to over 250 ethnic groups, Nigeria is the most diverse country in Africa. Ethnicity, language, culture, and religion distinctly vary in this country. The largest of these groups are the Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba, and Igbo. This ethnic diversity has contributed to civil strife as the dominant ethnic groups in the country initiate political supremacy competition towards one another.

Lagos is Nigeria’s largest city, but not its capital

Lagos was the former capital of Nigeria and is the largest city with a population of over 14 million. Contributing to its population growth is the financial center and economic hub of Lagos State and Nigeria. In December 1991, Abuja replaced Lagos as the capital of Nigeria.

Nigeria is the largest producer of oil and gas in Africa

During the 1970s, Nigeria’s oil profit was highest, making it the wealthiest country in Africa. The country has a passive reserve of natural gas, oil, and petroleum, and they produce an average of 2.5 million barrels of crude oil each day. Because of these products, the Nigerian economy is growing strong and projected to land on the world’s top 10 economies by 2050.

You can only find an Anambra Waxbill bird in Southern Nigeria

The Anambra waxbill is a species of estrildid finch found only in Southern Nigeria. This bird is approximately 12 centimetres long and flocks up to 20 birds or more. There were only around five reported sightings of this bird in Nigeria, and it is commonly found in long grasses along bodies of water such as lagoon sandbanks, marshes, swamps, and rivers. These birds typically feed on grass seeds from seed heads.

Nigeria is one of the world’s largest diversity of butterflies

Nigeria’s biodiversity contributes to the abundance of its flora and fauna. One of the insects you’ll enjoy seeing in Nigeria is butterflies. At present, there are more than 1000 documented butterfly species in the country, and the number won’t stop there because new butterfly species are still being discovered here.

Nigeria is home to Africa’s oldest dye pit

Founded in 1498, the Kofar Mata Dye Pits in Kano, Nigeria, is the oldest and the last dye pit in Africa. During its heyday, this place had about 270 dye pits producing the indigo-dyed cotton fabric. The dyeing technique used at the Kofar Mata dye pit remained for centuries and is passed from one generation to another.

The different patterns made in this indigo fabric require precision and patience. The business of dyeing fabric is now dwindling due to the influx of cheaper foreign fabric in the Nigerian market. To help preserve this dying dye practice, try buying their fabrics when you visit Nigeria.

A Nigerian was the first African to receive a Novel Prize for Literature

Wole Soyinka or Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka is a Nigerian playwright and political activist and the first African to receive a Novel Prize for Literature in 1986. Wole Soyinka is famous worldwide for his works including A Dance of the Forests, The Lion and the Jewel, The Road, King Baabu, The Beatification of Area Boy, A Shuttle in the Crypt, Samarkand and Other Markets I Have Known, and Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth.

Nollywood is bigger than Hollywood

Nollywood or the Nigerian movie industry produces 200 movies each week or 10,000 movies each year. This mass production of film makes it second to India’s Bollywood. Some of the highest-grossing Nollywood movies you should watch include Omo Ghetto: The Saga, The Wedding Party 1 and 2, Chief Daddy, Sugar Rush, and King of Boys.

It is customary here to not look into someone’s eyes

For Westerners, looking directly at someone’s eyes is an act of respect and personal interest to a person. However, if you are in Nigeria or in other parts of Africa, remember that it is not their custom to look directly into someone’s eyes. They consider it an aggressive posture, especially if a younger person faces a much older person or his superior.

Nigeria is a special place. It’s natural resources, people, culture, food, and arts all contribute to its beauty. Should you consider visiting this country or any other country for that matter, make sure to avail RemitBee’s currency exchange services. We provide the best currency rates that will help you maximize your money.

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