Funny and interesting facts to know about Nigeria

The Federal Republic of Nigeria or simply Nigeria as it is commonly called is a country in the Western part of Africa. Nigeria is surrounded by four other African countries with Niger in the North, Chad and Cameroun in the east and Benin in the West. Nigeria has 36 states and Abuja as its capital. 

Nigeria is divided into six (6) Geo-political zones in the country. Benue, Kwara, Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory makes up the Middle belt also known as North Central. In the North East, we have Adamawa, Yobe, Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, and Taraba states. The states that make up the North West include Zamfara, Kano, Kaduna, Kebi, Sokoto, Katsina and Jigawa states. The states in the South East include Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Anambra and Imo states. States in the South-South are Delta, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom and Cross-River. The last Geo-political zone is South West and the states in that region include Osun, Oyo, Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti, and Ondo.

There are over 200 million people in Nigeria, making it the largest country in Africa by population and the 7th most populous country in the world. In terms of landmass, Nigeria is the 32nd country in the world with a total landmass of 356,669 square miles. The official currency used in Nigeria is the Naira and Nigeria’s flag has three vertical stripes with green stripes on each end and one white stripe in the middle.

Nigeria gained her independence on the 1st of October 1960 and later became a republic in 1963. Jaja Wachukwu who was the first speaker of the House received Nigeria’s Instrument of Independence, which is also known as Freedom Charter from the Queen’s representative Princess Alexandra of Kent at the Nigerian independence ceremony ground.

Nigeria experienced and enjoyed democracy for about 6 years with Alhaji Tafawa Balewa as the Prime Minister from 1960 to 1963. Nigeria started Military rule from 1966 t0 1979 after the 1966 Nigerian coup d'├ętat that saw the death of the prime minister and other notable Nigerian leaders. Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi was made the head of state. This became the beginning of the military era before power was handed over to civilian rule by Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo in 1979. However, Shehu Shagari, the president of the second republic was then overthrown through the 1983 Nigerian coup d'├ętat and was succeeded by Major General Muhammadu Buhari. The fourth Republic was established after General Abdulsalami Abubakar handed power to Olusegun Obasanjo as the civilian president. Nigeria now operates a democratic system of governance. The current president of Nigeria is Muhammadu Buhari.

Nigeria though not perfect is a great nation that makes people wants to visit either for holiday or business purpose. We compile a list of 25 interesting facts about life in Nigeria. This list is meant for foreigners that wish to visit Nigeria for the first time for the purpose of holiday or business. The list will itemize the various things you need to know about Nigeria to make your stay better in the country without having to encounter any problem and the list is based on facts about the country.

So below are 25 facts about life in Nigeria you need to know to make your stay in Nigeria memorable.

  •  Nigeria is a home of many languages

Do not be surprised when you hear different people speaking different languages in different parts of Nigeria. This is because Nigeria has well over 520 languages spoken in the country which constitute about 7% of the total languages spoken in the world. 

The official language used for business and education in Nigeria is the English language but there are three major indigenous languages spoken in Nigeria. These languages include Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba. Other languages spoken in Nigeria includes Efik, Fulani, Ijaw, Tiv, Bini, etc.

 The Hausa language is spoken mostly in the Northern parts of Nigeria while the Yoruba speaking people dominate the South West and The South East is dominated by the Igbo speaking people. As a visitor to Nigeria, you can decide to learn any of the languages so that it will be easy to communicate with the local people of a particular community.

  • Nigeria has the second-highest number of Slang in Africa, second only to USA

Apart from the official English language spoken in Nigeria, Another language that can pass as an official language in the country is the Pidgin language. The Pidgin English is used by locals that cannot speak the English language fluently and it is also spoken by most Nigerians especially when they are discussing with their peers or for informal discussions. 

The use of slang is very notable when speaking Pidgin English. Slangs used can be different depending on the region and reason for use. Slang is also used in school environments like campuses.

 Nigerians also use slang when they meet their fellow countrymen abroad as it is a way to remind them of Nigeria and also a way to associate in a friendlier manner.

You can always learn the Nigeria slangs as it does not obey any English rule or concord. Some slangs and there meaning used in Nigeria include:

  1. Howfa- How are you
  2. Awoof- free things
  3. Sabi- to know
  4. 419- Fraud or fraudster
  5. Oyinbo- white man
  6. Okada- motorcycle. Etc

  • Nigerian Children must always respect their parents

In many countries, when a child gets to the age of 18, such a child is considered as an adult and as such he/she is given equal rights as others. In Nigeria, anybody above the age of 18 is considered as mature and is given the right to vote and other privileges attached to adulthood but the rights of such a child are still restricted because of the Nigerian Culture.

 Even as an adult, a child is not permitted to talk back at his/her parents even if he is married because it is seen as an act of disrespect and a violation of the culture of the land. In Nigeria, so long as you are still in your parents’ house, you are under the rules of the head of the house even if you are an adult.

  • Some places in Nigeria are not friendly to Foreigners

Because of the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in some of the Northern parts of the country and the security threat in some other parts of the country. Foreigners are always advised to avoid those areas for now or be very careful when it is necessary for them to visit such places.

 The activities of the Insurgents are most common to the North-Eastern states which include Yobe, Borno, and Adamawa. Though the Government is trying to curb the cases of security threats in the area, the insurgents too tend to become powerful by the day.

There is a high rate of kidnapping in the South-South region of the Country. Foreign investors are many in the South-South region because of the oil industries there. Because of this, most of the foreigners there are kidnapped for different ransom depending on the company they work for. So foreigners that intend to do business in such areas must be very careful, alert and security conscious.

  • Nigerian Traders make their initial Product High

Traders in the Nigerian Markets make the prices of their products high in order to either cheat strangers or to make it impossible for buyers to beat down the prices. It is very popular in Nigerians to bargain with traders on the price of their products and because of this, the traders hike the price so that no matter how much they reduce the price, they will still have sufficient profits. It is important for those coming to Nigeria for the first time to know that prices of products given may not seem as it is as the seller may be expecting the buyer to bargain for the price.

  • Nigerians practice African Time

It is almost like a tradition in Nigeria as many people tend to attend an event almost one hour behind the scheduled time. This time is known as African time. Any event that is to start by 10 has to be fixed for 9 because most Nigerians will prefer to go for the event at the latter time.

 If you are visiting Nigeria for the first time, don’t be carried away or angry if you get to an event scheduled for 8am and you meet empty chairs at that time. It is a way of telling you that you are attending a Nigerian event. The event center will be filled up after an hour.

  • Nigerians get excited when Electricity comes

One of the basic things Nigerians suffer from is constant supply of electricity. One interesting fact anybody visiting Nigeria for the first time will notice is how Nigerians react when there is supply of electricity. Many people may scream, shout or even jump when light comes and the first thing they scream is “UP NEPA”.  Most places apart from reserved areas in Nigeria suffer from power blackout for days or even weeks, so many people, especially businessmen and women depend on generators for light.

  • Nigerians stare at strangers

As a foreigner visiting Nigeria for the first time, don’t get scared when you notice Nigerians staring at you because do not mean any harm at all, just that Nigerians have the habit of staring at strangers, especially the white folks. This habit also makes them get closer to the strangers as they can help to make things easier for the strangers so that they can also get a little reward afterward.

  • Social Media is very Popular

The use of social media is very popular in Nigeria. Nigeria is among the top ten countries with the highest number of internet users. It is estimated that about 91 million uses the internet every day.

At least 7.2 million Nigerians log in to facebook daily; 2.1 million people use Twitter and Instagram daily. This statistic shows that Nigerians make use of social media. While some use it for business purposes, others use it just to chat and hook up with love ones. Any visitor that wish to do business in Nigeria with the use of the Internet, he or she should be very careful and do very good underground checks to avoid being scammed.

  • Nollywood can be easily Predicted

Nigeria is the home of Nollywood, the second biggest entertainment industry in the world after Hoollywood. If you are visiting Nigeria for the first time and you wish to look for a place to relax, then the Nigerian cinemas are one of the best places for relaxation. You can watch a couple of movies for a token. But most of the movies they act can be predictable.  When watching a Nigerian movie, you can likely guess what will happen at the end even from the beginning.

  • Left Hand is considered Dirty

Nigeria is a home for many traditional beliefs. One of them is the use of the left hand. The left hand is considered dirty in Nigeria as most people may not accept anything offered to them with the left hand. It is even a taboo in some community for a child to use his or her left hand to give or receive anything for their elders.

If you visit Nigeria for the first time, people may refuse to collect anything from you because you offered them with your left hand. There is no cause for alarm because it is part of Nigeria’s culture.

  • Greeting is very important in Nigeria

Greeting is an important aspect of the lives of Nigerians. Anyone who refuses to greet people is often considered as being rude and lacks good manners. Every part of the country appreciates when you greet them even if you don’t know them. The Western part of Nigeria doesn’t joke with greeting at all especially to the elderly ones. Even if you don’t understand their Yoruba local dialect, you can still greet them in English.

  • Yoruba have the highest rate of Twin Birth

The Yoruba people from the South Western part of Nigeria can boast of the highest rate of twin birth in the world. Igbo Ora is a small town in Oyo state and it is said to be the capital of twin birth in the world because of the high rate of twin birth in the town. Hardly can you find a household in the town without twins.

If you are visiting Nigeria for the first time and you love to have twin babies, you can decide to go to Igbo Ora in Oyo state to pick a wife as it will give you the opportunity to have your own twin babies.

  • It is Nice to Invite people when Eating

If you don’t invite the people around you to join in your meal when eating, you will be considered to be stingy. It is customary to invite those around you when eating, even though you will get a “thank you” as response. In the Northern part of Nigeria, it is customary for them to eat in groups from the same plates. This helps in making them remain united.

  • Nigeria Ladies lead in Skin Bleaching

Nigeria is a black skinned nation, though there are light skinned people especially people form the Fulani tribe. In order to copy the Western pattern of life, most Nigeria girls have resulted in bleaching their skins so that they could become light-skinned. It is estimated that of every 10 girls sitting, 6 of them bleach their skins.

  • Nigerians are the Happiest People in the World

Despite the rate of unemployment in the country and the level of security threats, the country is facing. The people of Nigeria remain the happiest people in the whole world. Nigerians are always hopeful and optimistic that everything will get better. So when you visit Nigeria for the first time and see everybody smiling, it does not mean all is well but just that they hope all will be well.

  • Nigerians love to Party

If the reason you are coming to Nigeria is to have fun, then you are not mistaking. The Yoruba people always have a reason to celebrate or throw a party. Fridays and Saturdays are known in Nigeria as days of different activities ranging from Wedding parties, naming ceremonies, birthday parties and even burial ceremonies. There are a number of clubs in all major cities for fun and relaxation.

  • Nigeria is a Religious Country

The issue of religion is taken seriously in Nigeria, that’s why some Nigerians can become violent when they are defending their religions. The three main religions practiced in the Nigeria is the Christianity, Islamic and African traditional religion. As a visitor in Nigeria, you should try not to look down on anybody’s religion as you may get more than what you bargained for. Most cause of violence in Nigeria, especially the Northern part of the country has been centered on Religious differences.

  • Most Nigerians Tolerate Strangers

Many Nigerians can be extremely nice to strangers, especially foreigners from other countries. There are many parts of the country where strangers are given special treatments. This is done to make the stranger or visitor to feel at home and have a relaxed mind. When you visit a Nigerian home, you are likely to get served throughout your stay. There are very few villages and communities where they hostile to strangers. Strangers are often used for ritual purposes. The villages that treat visitors badly are very few as most communities, towns, and cities in Nigeria tend to help strangers and make them comfortable.

  • There is Traffic Congestion in some Cities

Traffic congestion can be a huge problem in some cities which can make you go to your destination late. When you visit some Nigerian cities like Lagos, Ibadan, Benin etc. don’t freak out when you experience some traffic jam. There are times when the traffic congestion can lead to a vehicle being parked for hours without moving. If you don’t want to get involve in traffic, some things you can do to avoid traffic congestion include planning your route properly, leave home earlier, check traffic reports before going out and you can always use alternative routes to your destination.

  • Funny things Nigeria do in Traffic

Being totally stuck in the traffic can be frustrating most times. It can even spoil your plans for the day but traffic congestion has become the order of the day in some Nigerian cities. Don’t get carried away when even in the traffic you see Nigerians happy.

This is because there are some things they do to while away their time. Things Nigeria do to have fun in traffic include striking a conversation with other drivers, ague about football, talk about politics, listen to music and even do traffic shopping. When you visit Nigeria and you are stuck in traffic, you can do any of these to make the journey less boring or you can just decide to be watching others doing them.

  • People Jump into moving Vehicles in Lagos

The city of Lagos is best known for its commercial activities. It is the most populated city in Nigeria with over 21 million inhabitants. You will need to struggle for every in Lagos which includes entering a vehicle. It is normal for the residents of Lagos to enter a bus even when it is still moving. If you visit Lagos for the first time and you don’t make the effort of following the moving bus, you may end up no going to your destination that day.

  • Nigerians believe in Superstition

Superstition is generally believed in Nigeria. It is generally accepted because it is an aspect of almost every culture in Nigeria. There are some signs and events that happen and Nigerians think it is a consequence of what will happen.

They even try to explain these happenings to visitors. It is a belief in some Nigerian communities that if one’s hand itches him or her, it is a sign of money to come. There are some things you will do and they will try to give it a meaning. Don’t freak out, it is just their way of life.


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