Referred to the Giant of Africa due to its large application and economy, it has a great variety of attractions that merits this name. One of the places worth visiting is the Yankari Game reserve at Bauchi, where a natural spring and caves can be found. There is also the Obudu Cattle Ranch where there the beauty of the scenery can be more appreciated. Aside from these places, the cuisine in Nigeria is also rich with the use of different spices and herbs that makes superb soups always with hot chilli peppers. The food and the rich natural resources are awesome. There is nothing that you could ask for but to keep going back and exploring Nigeria.
Nigeria – Important and interesting Facts
- Nigeria is a country in West Africa having boundaries with Niger and Chad Republic in the North, Cameroon on the eastern part, and Benin Republic on the western border and the Atlantic Ocean at the southern end. Nigeria has a population of nearly 175 million people (174,507,539) as of July 2013, making it the most populous country in Africa, and the 7th most populous country in the world. What this means is that one in every 7 Africans is a Nigerian.
- Nigeria has over 250 ethnic groups, the three largest of which are the Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo which make up 18%, 29% and 21% respectively. The three largest and most dominant ethnic groups are the Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo (pronounced ee-bo). Other smaller groups include the Fulani, Ijaw, Kanuri, Ibibio, Tiv, and Edo. These various ethnic groups never considered themselves part of the same culture.
- English is the official language of Nigeria, and is used in education, business and for official purposes. In rural areas, indigenous languages of Yoruba and Igbo are more commonly spoken. There are also many other minority languages
- The highest point in Nigeria is the mountain Chappal Waddi or Gangirwal at 2,419 m (7,936 ft). Chappal Waddi or Gangirwal is a mountain in Nigeria and, at 2,419 meters, is the country’s highest point. It is located in Taraba State, near the border with Cameroon, in the Gashaka Gumti Forest Reserve and on the Mambilla Plateau.
- The Benue River and the Niger River which the country was named after are the largest rivers in Nigeria. They join and empty into the large Niger Delta. The Benué River, previously known as the Chadda River or Tchadda, is the major tributary of the Niger River. The river is approximately 1,400 kilometres long and is almost entirely navigable during the summer months. While the Niger River is the principal river of western Africa, extending about 4,180 km. Its drainage basin is 2,117,700 km² in area. Its source is in the Guinea Highlands in southeastern Guinea
- Football (soccer) is popular in Nigeria, the national team known as the “Super Eagles” has made 5 appearances at the World Cup, won the African Cup of Nations 3 times and won the football gold medal at the 1996 Olympics.
- Nigeria’s national basketball team qualified for the 2012 Olympics and the country has exported a number of players to America’s NBA including Hakeem Olajuwon. Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon, formerly known as Akeem Olajuwon, is a retired Nigerian-American professional basketball player. From 1984 to 2002, he played the center position in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors. He led the Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995. In 2008, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
- Nigeria, with 521 languages has the fourth most in the world. This includes 510 living languages, two second languages without native speakers and 9 extinct languages.
- Port Harcourt, on the Niger Delta, is the center of Nigeria’s oil industry. Port Harcourt is the capital of Rivers State, Nigeria. It lies along the Bonny River and is located in the Niger Delta. According to the 2006 Nigerian census Port Harcourt has a population of 1,382,592.
- Nigeria has the 10th largest proven reserves of petroleum in the world. Nigeria is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) which is a permanent, intergovernmental Organization, created at the Baghdad Conference on September 10–14, 1960, by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, with petroleum accounting for 95 percent of its export income. Nigeria is the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8th largest petroleum exporter.
Nigeria – Cool, Fun, and Funny Facts
- Nigeria is a member of both the British Commonwealth and the African Union. Both British Commonwealth and the African Union shares one goal to make their territories a much better nation. The Commonwealth of Nations, commonly known as the Commonwealth (formerly the British Commonwealth), is an intergovernmental organization of 53 member states that were mostly territories of the former British Empire. While African Union is an International organization founded as the Organization of African Unity to promote cooperation among the independent nations of Africa.
- It is widely believed that the areas surrounding Calabar, Cross River State, contain the world’s largest diversity of butterflies. Calabar is a city in Cross River State, coastal southeastern Nigeria. The original name for Calabar was Akwa Akpa, from the Efik language. The city is watered by the Calabar and Great Kwa Rivers and creeks of the Cross River
- Wole Soyinka is a Nigerian Nobel laureate. He wrote ‘Telephone Conversation!’ He is often called Nigeria’s national conscience and Africa’s most compelling literary force – Wole Soyinka, the Nigerian poet, playwright and activist. He was the first black African to be honoured with the Nobel Prize for literature in 1986.
- The Long JuJu Shrine of Arochukwu is a famous tourist destination with the cave of the famous long juju oracle as a particular attraction. The cave is believed to hold the long metal pipe through which the gods speak to the people. A traditional religionist would find the oracle quite an attraction. It is, first and foremost, a religious centre with a well-laid down administrative structure headed by a Chief Priest.
- Azurnini Blue River is located in Abia State towards its boundary with Akwa lbom State. The River has become a resort for tourists because of the pleasantness it offers. The attractive features of the River include its crystal-clear blue water, canoe rides, sandy beaches with such relaxation facilities as chairs and tables. At the beach also, BBQ grill are delicacies provided for picnickers.
- One of the numerous fine beaches in Nigeria is the Ibeno Beach in Akwa lbom State. A lover of water sport finds the Beach which stretches to James town on the Atlantic most inviting. The Ibeno beach is a beautiful sand beach, which stretches to James Town on the Atlantic, providing recreational facilities for water sporting.
- Yobe is the oldest discovered boat in Africa, and 3rd oldest on the world, the 8500 yr old Dufuna canoe was discovered by a Fulani herdsman in 1987 in Dufuna village, Fune LGA.
- The leading caucus is basically a childhood friendship: President Obasanjo was childhood friends with President Babangida, President Abacha and Commander Danjuma.
- Ogbunike Cave can be described as the very wonder of nature. The Cave, segmented into sections, is found in Anambra State, some few kilometres away from the Onitsha market town. There are different stories about the various sections that constitute the cave. The stories are better told by the native tour guides.
- Yankari National Park has become the most developed Wildlife Park in Nigeria with a lot of attractions for visitors. The park is famous for its variety of animals available for viewing round the year, though the animals are better watched between November and May period of the dry season when the animals converge around the Gaji River, Baboons, Waterbucks, Elephants, Crocodiles, Bushbucks, Duikers, Warthogs, Hippopotamus are among the animals commonly seen at the park. Yankari National Park is a large wildlife park located in the south-central part of Bauchi State, in northeastern Nigeria.
Nigeria – History and Cultural Facts
- lgbo-Ukwu is an ancient town which has remained an attraction to tourists because of its bronze artifacts. The bronze which was first noticed in 1938 was later excavated by Thurstan Shaw, an English archaeologist. The bronzes which date back to about the 9th century are of high value because of their historic relevance.
- A trip to the Nok Village in Kaduna State launches visitors into physical romance with the so-much-talked-about culture of the Nok people. The culture has been known for over 2,500 years. The Nok culture is better appreciated appraising the excavations made by the numerous scholars and research. Terra cotta, heads of animals and man; and weapons of war are abundant on display.
- Bible Site, Araya is a copy of the Holy Bible is believed to have descended miraculously in Araya in Delta State from heaven around August, 1914. The spot now attracts Christian Pilgrims from all over the country, especially during the Easter season.
- The Okomu Wildlife Sanctuary, Benin City, Edo State was the first in the country to be protected by law for conservation in August 1985. It is jointly managed by the Edo State Government and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, (NCF). The sanctuary contains rare species like the white-throat- ed monkey. Also present are the mona monkey, the putty nosed quenon, the red-cangaby, chimpanzees, elephants, bush-baby, the potto buffalo, red river hog, duikers, horn bills, and porcupines. The Okomu Forest Reserve is the second largest in the country after the Oban Forests in Cross River State.
- The Iron of Liberty in Lokoja, because of its location near the banks of River Niger, was an important centre for slave trade during the era of slavery in Nigeria. Also because if its strategic location, Lokoja aroused a great deal of interest in the European explorers and missionaries in the early 19th century, and it soon became a commercial post for European merchants and missionaries. Hence, when the British Government started to wage war against slave trade, Lokoja became a collection centre for slaves seized from slave merchants to be consequently set free. The spot where such slaves were freed was marked with a piece of iron pole now referred to as the “Iron of Liberty”. This crusade was championed by the late Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther.
- River Niger remained a marvel to the Europeans until John and Richard Landers passed through the Confluence on October 25th 1830, completing the journey that Mungo Park had started. Rivers Niger and Benue are two largest rivers in West Africa. The two rivers meet at Lokoja forming a Y-shaped structure and draining Southwards into the Ocean. While River Niger is brownish in Colour, River Benue is light green in colour. Fishing is carried on extensively on the Rivers. The Inland Water Ways Divisions of the Federal Ministry of Transport also runs ferry and boat services on the River.
- The site of the fallen tree at Market Street, Badagry was the spot where Christian was first preached under the tree in 1842. First storey building was founded in Marina Badagry the first one storey building in Nigeria was built in 1845 by Rev. Henry Townsend.
- Ladi Kwali Pottery Centre was established in 1951 by late Mr. Micheal Cardew, a British porter of international repute. The centre in Niger trains native traditional porters in the art of modern pottery making in order to preserve and protect Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage through the art of pottery making.
- Holy Apostles Community, Alyetoro is a coastal town located about 160km south of Akure, and KMkm East of Lagos. The inhabitants of the town consist mainly of llajes. Owing to constant persecution and bitter disputes with their neighbours, they decided in 1945 to try a new communal way of life under the leadership of Philip Eretan and formed the Holy Apostles Community.
- The Adubi war in 1918 was a major uprising by 30,000 Abeokuta Ebga warriors against the colonial government for colonization, taxation and slave labor. One British was killed and rail and telegraph lines destroyed. The British rewarded their soldiers with medals for quelling the uprising. Awape Adediran a Molashin/ Kingmaker was imprisoned for his active involvement.