A woman punts a boat full of logs down the river at Lagos

Nigeria, The Giant of Africa - in a Nutshell

Author: Sue
Date: 10th March 2020

Nigeria - Facts and Factoids

  • Nigeria is a large country; it has 36 states, and 350+ ethnic groups, speaking 500 distinct languages. The three largest ethnic groups are the Hausa–Fulani in the north, Yoruba in the west, and Igbo in the east, together comprising over 60% of the total population
  • Nigeria is often referred to as the "Giant of Africa", owing to its large population and economy. It is the most populated country in Africa estimated at 206 million. Its economy is the largest in Africa.
  • Nigeria is the home of Nollywood, Africa’s film industry.
  • Nigeria is extremely hot and humid, especially by the sea.
  • Everyone speaks English of sorts - though some of it may be pidgin - it is the official language.
  • The traffic in Lagos is awful.

Why is Nigeria Called Nigeria?

Nigeria get its name from the River Niger that runs through it, although no-one is sure what Niger means.

Who Colonised Nigeria?

Britain annexed Lagos in 1861 and established the Oil River Protectorate in 1884, effectively occupying the whole area a year later. Nigeria gained independence from the United Kingdom on October 1, 1960.

Is Nigeria a Poor Country?

There’s often a stark juxtaposition between affluence and poverty in Nigeria.  Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa and has overtaken India as the country with the most extremely poor people in the world - over half its 180 million population. The causes are income inequality, ethnic conflict, and political instability.

Is Nigeria a Safe Country to Visit?

Parts of Nigeria are not considered safe – because of terrorist activity – check before you go. Sadly, and annoyingly, corruption here is rife.  My check-in clerk for my journey home won’t acquiesce to my request for a window seat without a bribe and he puts me in the middle of the back row to make his point. When someone inquires, ‘Are you my friend?’ they’re asking for money.

Where Am I Visiting in Nigeria?

I am visiting the old colonial capital Lagos and the historic slave centre Badagry

Getting into Nigeria

My flight from Mali arrives on time and my visa on arrival is relatively speedily executed in a special office just before immigration. There are signs up saying that no additional payments are required for visas under any circumstances. So that limits the possibilities for bribery. The men on the immigration desk welcome me to Nigeria.

It takes two hours to drive from the airport to the hotel - it's under a mile.

Getting out of Nigeria

There's no traffic on the road to the airport , but it is five o'clock in the morning.

I refuse to bribe the check-in clerk, to back up my request for a window seat, so he puts me in the middle of the back row. All the way home to London.

Join the discussion, leave a comment

Been there? Something to add? Want some advice? Just want to say Hello? Get in touch…

hello world!

Newsletter Subscription

Stay in touch. Get travel tips, updates on my latest adventures and posts on out of the way places, straight to your Inbox.

I keep your data private and only share your data with third parties that make this service possible. Privacy Policy. No spam I promise. Unsubscribe any time.