Facts & figures

Full name: The Federal Republic of Nigeria

Population: 166.6 million (UN, 2012)

Capital: Abuja

Largest city: Lagos

Area: 923,768 sq km (356,669 sq miles)

Major languages: English (official), Yoruba, Ibo, Hausa

Major religions: Islam, Christianity, indigenous beliefs

Life expectancy: 52 years (men), 53 years (women) (UN)

Monetary unit: 1 Nigerian naira = 100 kobo

Main exports: Petroleum, petroleum products, cocoa, rubber

GNI per capita: US $1,280 (World Bank, 2011)

Internet domain: .ng

International dialling code: +234




Goodluck Jonathan inherited the presidency in May 2010 on the death of his predecessor, and went on to win elections in April 2011.


Visa & travel advice

Immigration: Citizens of Economic of West African States (ECOWAS) do not require entry permits into Nigeria. All visitors not exempted from entry permits are advised to apply and obtain appropriate visas from the nearest Nigerian Mission - Embassy, High Commission or Consulate before entry into Nigeria as visas cannot be issued at the port of entry. Early application is advisable to avoid delay.

Vaccination: Health authorities recommend vaccination against cholera and yellow fever from all visitors. Anti-malaria prophylactic is also recommended.

Export of Antiquities: No art treasure may be taken out of the country without written approval from the appropriate Nigerian authorities. This approval must come from the Department of Antiquities, National Museum, Lagos, or Jos. The law prohibiting the export of all forms of antiquity, including all ritual art objects even of contemporary make, is strictly enforced.

Business Hours: Government offices in Nigeria are open from 7.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. Monday through Friday, while commercial houses are open from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Most Offices are closed on Saturdays and Sundays, but many shops are open on Saturdays and some banks open on Saturdays as well.



  • Best period

The weather is fairly stable throughout the year. Nigeria has a rainy season and a dry season.

  • Safety

When traveling between cities in Nigeria, it is best to start the journey early and arrive before nightfall, especially if you are traveling by bus or car.



The history of Nigeria can be traced to prehistoric settlers living in the area as early as 11,000BC. Numerous ancient African civilizations settled in the region that is today Nigeria. An example of one of the civilizations that settles in Nigeria is the Nri Kingdom. Islam reached Nigeria through the Hausa States in the 11th century AD. The Songhai Empire also occupied part of the region.

Nigeria was colonized by Britain in 1885, and became a British protectorate in 1901. Colonization lasted until 1960 until an independence movement succeeded in gaining Nigeria its independence. Nigeria was officially founded in October 1, 1960.

Nigeria first became a republic when it was founded, but succumbed to military rule in 1966 after a military coup. General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi took power. A separatist movement later formed the Republic of Biafra in 1967, leading to the three year Nigerian Civil War. Nigeria became a republic again after a new constitution was written in 1977. The republic was short lived, being overthrown by Major General Muhammadu Buhari in 1983. He was later overthrown and a new republic was founded. In 1993, the republic was dissolved again by Sani Abacha. Abacha later died in 1998 and General Abdulsalami Abubakar took power. A fourth republic was later established in 1999 and military rule ended. Today, the president of Nigeria is Goodluck Johnathan. He governs a population of 168.8 million people. He is tasked with rebuilding Nigeria's petroleum-based economy and fighting off the Islamic militant group Boko Haram.

Arts & Culture

  • Music

The music of Nigeria includes many kinds of Folk and popular music, some of which are known worldwide. Styles of folk music are related to the multitudes of ethnic groups in the country, each with their own techniques, instruments, and songs. Little is known about the country's music history prior to European contact, although bronze carvings dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries have been found depicting musicians and their instruments. The largest ethnic groups are the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba. Traditional music from Nigeria and throughout Africa is almost always functional; in other words, it is performed to mark a ritual such as a wedding or funeral and not for pure entertainment or artistic enjoyment. Although some Nigerians, especially children and the elderly, play instruments for their own amusement, solo performance is otherwise rare. Music is closely linked to agriculture, and there are restrictions on, for example, which instruments can be played during different parts of the growing season.


Work songs are a common type of traditional Nigerian music. They help to keep the rhythm of workers in fields, river canoes and other fields. Women use complex rhythms in housekeeping tasks, such as pounding yams to highly ornamented music. In the northern regions, farmers work together on each other's farms and the host is expected to supply musicians for his neighbours.


The issue of musical composition is also highly variable. The Hwana, for example, believe that all songs are taught by the peoples' ancestors, while the Tiv give credit to named composers for almost all songs, and the Efik name individual composers only for secular songs. In many parts of Nigeria, musicians are allowed to say things in their lyrics that would otherwise be perceived as offensive.


The most common format for music in Nigeria is the call-and-response choir, in which a lead singer and a chorus interchange verses, sometimes accompanied by instruments that either shadow the lead text or repeat and ostinato vocal phrase. The southern area features complex rhythms and solo players using melody instruments, while the north more typically features polyphonic wind ensembles. The extreme north region is associated with monodic (i.e., single-line) music with an emphasis on drums, and tends to be more influenced by Islamic music


Epic poetry is found in parts of Nigeria, and its performance is always viewed as musical in nature. Blind itinerant performers, sometimes accompanying themselves with a string instrument, are known for reciting long poems of unorthodox Islamic text among the Kanuri and Hausa. These, and other related traditions, may be descended from similar Maghrebian and European traditions. The Ozidi Saga found in the Niger Delta is a well-known epic that takes seven days to perform and utilises a narrator, a chorus, percussion, mime and dance.



  • Literature:


he literature in question is written literature in contradistinction from oral literature or orature, and it is in English and some Nigerian languages. At present, Nigerian literature in English is the one which attracts greater attention and has the greater influence nationally and internationally. This prominence is because the literature has been produced by the new westernised elite who often have greater literary competence in English than in their indigenous languages. Although some highly literate Nigerians (for example Professor Akin Isola) have chosen to write in their indigenous languages rather than English, the number of writers who have made such a choice is very small indeed.

Nigerian literature in English has raised more issues relevant to our contemporary situation than the literature in indigenous Nigerian languages. Whereas the latter has largely been anchored to the past, invoking images and symbols of our rich heritage, literature in English has aligned itself more forcefully and with greater artistic profit to the wide and more diverse literature of the world. Thus, it is the Nigerian literature in English, far more than its indigenous language counterpart, that has raised issues of culture-contact and culture-conflict, the place of tradition in the modern ethos, the problems of the administration of a modern polity, as well as notions of sexism and the place of the womenfolk in our new reality. It has also been concerned with the way forward if the Nigerian nation is to recover from its present problems, realise its full potentials and become a member of the comity of prosperous nations.

Nigerians have cultivated virtually every known genre of literature including fiction, poetry, drama, the travelogue, biography and autobiography. Nevertheless, the emphasis here will be on prose fiction, poetry and drama in which they have made very significant literary achievements.


  • Film industry:

The Nigerian movie industry (Home video Industry) a.k.a Nollywood has been typically accepted to have started-- immediately following the success of Ken Nebue’s “Living in bondage”. From then on, its expansion and attendant complications are known (by fascinated parties). However , events preceding 1992, are not popular even although a few have tried to trace the history of Nollywood. Here is an abridged edition (yet richly enlightening) from one of several articles i published concerning this topic matter.

Film exhibition began to thrive for the duration of the Colonial era, with Glover Memorial Hall playing host to a array of unforgettable films viewed by “potential Nigerians”, in August 1903. However, the non-availability of proper data reflecting the title of the debut movie exhibited has created a lapse in the precedent stock. Notwithstanding the lacuna, the way have been paved for that exhibition of additional foreign films at the Hall at identical time as other designated venues.

The emotionally traumatizing “Master – Servant” relationship, apparent in the constant assaults, batteries, intimidation, segregation, victimization, carried out while using Colonial masters on the colonized, with darkened clouds of resentment, vengeance, thirst for freedom, offering option to splattering drops of such thoughts, instinctively projected consequently of the colonized intermittent in-subordinate actions, began to distribute one of many blacks. The British realized they had to thread with caution when they even now desired to take part in “god” inside their lives when films just like Tales of Manhattan, Trailer horn, Tarzan series began to stir up a revolution in the hearts of Blacks around the globe.

Aware of the lethal energy of insurgency which could be unleashed consequently of the movie medium, the British out of fearfulness for his or her lives and achievable the loss of the Queen’s sovereignty took the bull while using horn, and swiftly created a Colonial movie Censors Board (FCB) in 1933 to censor and classify films just before they were released for visual consumption while using public. Following the establishment of the board, Films just like “The primitive, primitive man, Dixie, Buffalo Bill, The Keys of the Kingdom, Sleepy village Girl were tagged ‘suitable’ to be watched , while Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Clive of India, The Isle of Forgotten Sins, home of Frankenstein were considered as unsuitable for viewing.

The Censor’s amount underwent a transformation process into the Federal Board of movie Censors (FBFC) from your aforementioned, along while using laws from which the changed amount derived its powers ranged from your 1948 Cinematograph Laws of Nigeria, the Cinematograph Laws of 1963, towards 1963/64 Cinematograph regulation and Regulations. The existing National movie and Video Censors Board came into existence by virtue of decree, now Act 85 of 1993. The advent of Nigeria’s Independence (1960) along while using Republican status (1963), heralded the dawn of a new era in all sectors.

“The Yoruba Travelling Theatre Group” of the 60′s and 70′s can be proven to given that the “Fountain Head” of movie productions in Nigeria. The veterans with excellent Theatrical skills and excellent performances took their works outside of the stage, and dove into the sea of movie productions making utilization of the Celluloid format. Notable movie makers on the Roll phone of Honour for the duration of the Celluloid boom era of the 70′s include Ola Balogun, Eddie Ugbomah, late Herbert Ogunde, Adeyemi Afolayan a.k.a Ade adore (father of Kunle Afolayan of the Irapada fame), Ladi Ladebo, Moses Adejumo, Adebayo Salami and Afolabi Adesanya.

The list of documented films created for the duration of the 70′s era and transcending somewhat into the 80′s is simply astonishing and goes to demonstrate that the Movie Industry has been near to much longer, contrary towards ‘1992 perception syndrome’ most are already injected with . Such works include Kongi Harvest (1971), Alpha (1972), Bull Frog in the sunlight (1974),  Amadi (1975), Ajani Ogun (1975),  Muzik Man (1976),  Bisi, Daughter of the River (1977), Ija Ominira (1978), Aiye (1979), Kadara (1980), Jaiyesimi (1980) Efunsetan Aniwura (1981), Cry independence (1981),Ija Orogun (1982) Owo L’Agba (1982

The cost of creating films in that era was financially back breaking, with Nigerians much more aggravating the efforts of the filmmakers by opting to measure out films of occidental and oriental origin at the Cinemas and Exhibition centres, rather versus the locally created ones. The Cowboy films were exhilarating to measure out while the Chinese films paraded among others, the Legendary “Bruce Lee” in (Lo Wei’s, The enormous superior (1971), Fist of Fury (1972), means of the Dragon (1972), key in the Dragon (1973), The video game of passing away released in 1978) who exhibited fighting techniques dexterity, clearly a fighting technique alien, yet fascinating to us at that time.




  • Famous places:

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.


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.


Wikki Warm Springs is a famous attraction in the Yankari National Park. It is particularly prized for its warm water. It is available both night and day for tourists who cherish swimming.

  • Architecture history:

Modern architecture in Nigeria presents a bizarre picture of indiscriminate transplantation of foreign buildings, and a complete abandonment of traditional architecture. Apparently, the transplanted architecture does not respond to the physical and cultural needs of Nigerians, and, at all events, the peoples' attitude to it portrays ignorance, confusion and resignation. This thesis argues that rather than this wholesale transplantation, Nigeria's traditional architecture should be studied to rediscover those principles that are vital for the development of a satisfactory modern architecture. The thesis is confined to Igboland, and traditional Igbo architecture is studied in the context of the physical and cultural environments under which it evolved and developed.

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