Nigeria – Misunderstood or Negativized?

Nigeria is a country located in the West of Africa, sharing borders with Chad, Benin, Cameroon, and Niger. It is a federation of 36 states with Abuja as its capital city, located at the center of the country within the Federal Capital Territory. The country was named after River Niger, which runs in the southwestern part of its territory. It is the third-longest river in Africa with a length of 2600 miles. 

It was colonized by the British but got independence on the 1st of October, 1960, with English as its official language despite being a country with diverse ethnic linguistics.

Approximately 80% of Nigeria’s economy relies on petroleum and agriculture especially on cash crops and products like palm oil, rubber, cotton, cocoa, wheat, peanuts, cassava, yam, wood, textile, timber, fish, etc., and natural resources such as crude oil, columbine, gold, diamonds, and so on.

The nation operates on a Democratic System of Government and also a Republican System, hence having the official name “The Federal Republic of Nigeria”. It is also popularly termed as, the “Giant of Africa” due to its population, economic value, and cultural diversity. 

Let us learn more about Nigeria, through these interesting facts:

For the record:

Population Map - Nigeria

1) Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, making up ¹/5th of the total population in Africa.

2) It is the 7th most populous country in the world and is estimated to overtake the population size of America in the next 20-30 years.

3) It is ranked as the 4th country with the most linguistic diversity in the world with 521 native languages from over 250 ethnic groups.

4) It’s business hub city and former capital, Lagos, is ranked as the 3rd most populous city in the world. It is nicknamed as ‘Africa’s Big Apple’ dubbed from New York’s nickname.

5) Nigeria’s ‘Third Mainland Bridge’, located in Lagos is the largest and longest bridge in Africa.

6) It’s mangrove forests are the largest in Africa and 3rd largest in the world.

7) The Niger Delta of Nigeria is the largest delta in Africa and the 3rd largest in the world.

8) The Niger Delta has the highest concentration of monotypic fish species on earth.

In Entertainment:

1) Nigeria’s most loved sport is football, known as ‘soccer’ in America.

2) The movie industry here, ‘Nollywood’ is the second-largest movie industry in the world after ‘Bollywood’.

In Ecology:

Anambra Waxbill

1) The World Resources Institute states that Nigeria is home to over 550 species of breeding mammals and birds and 4,715 species of plants, making it one of the most beautiful and vibrant ecologies in the world.

2) The Anambra waxbill, a small species of bird with radiant colors, is endemic to the southern parts of Nigeria.

3) The Jos Plateau indigobird is a species of bird, endemic to the northern part of Nigeria.

4) The species of monkey known as ‘Drill Monkey’ are native to Nigeria and could only be found in it and Cameroon.

5) Calabar, a city in Nigeria, has the most diverse species of butterflies in the world.

In History:

Map of Benin

1) According to the result of recent archaeological research, people must have been living in Nigeria since 11,000 BC or further back.

2) The Walls of Benin, one of Africa’s ancient walls dated to around 800-1400 AD are the longest ancient earthworks in the world.

3) Ile-Ife in Osun State, in the western part of Nigeria, is a community dated to around 1000 AD. This community was paved in decorations that originated from Ancient America, suggesting that there must have been some medium of contact between the Yoruba’s—the ethnic group dominating the western part of Nigeria and the Native Indians (Ancient Americans); way before the discovery of America by Columbus.

4) The Dufuna Canoe was discovered in Yobe and estimated to be over 6,500 years old, making it the oldest boat in Africa and 3rd oldest in the world.

The People:

Yoruba Tribe

1) About 50% of the population is Muslim, and 40% Christians. While the remaining percentage is comprised of other religions.

2) The Yoruba tribe in Nigeria has the highest rate of twin births in the world. A little town in Oyo State, a western part of Nigeria called Igbo-Ora is nicknamed as “The Twin Town of the World” because of the unusually high birth rate of twins.

3) Nigerians consider the left hand as unclean, hence using it to shake hands, receive items, and eating is a sign of disrespect for them.

4) Nigerians operate on a degree of lateness that has come to be known as ‘African time’. As the time set for any event is never met, people are meant to attend it late. The more high class a person is, the later they would be.

5) Nigerians are the most educated immigrants in the US as estimated by the American census.

6) The inventor of the fastest supercomputer, Philip Emeagwali, is a Nigerian.

7) The designer of the famous car brand, Chevrolet Volt is a Nigerian named Jelani Aliyu.

However, is that all there is to Nigeria? Just like any other country, Nigeria also has some areas where development is a must.

1) Nigeria has the highest-paid legislators in the world.

2) Based on funds squandered by administrators, it is the most corrupt country. Administrators keep looting a greater percentage of the nation’s wealth.

3) It is rated as the 4th country with the highest number of poor, living with an income of less than 1 dollar a day.

4) It is rated the worst country to be born into based on welfare and prosperity projection.

Understanding the positive aspects of a nation is the first step towards identifying the problems faced by society. Going around, highlighting the positives of a nation does it no good if the negatives are pushed under the rug. Likewise, bashing a country due to the highly glorified negatives by other nations does not help solve the problems in that nation. Both are equally important for a nation to step into the light and stay alight. 

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