10 Interesting Facts About Nigeria
Africa’s largest economy is home to hundreds of languages and a rich film industry.
Nigeria, officially named the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a diverse West African country. Nicknamed the “Giant of Africa,” Nigeria is home to hundreds of different ethnicities, languages and butterfly species.
Here are 10 interesting facts about Nigeria:
- Nigeria is the seventh-most populous country in the world, home to more than 200 million people. While that may be a lot of people, population numbers would likely be even higher if it weren’t for the country’s high mortality rates and low life expectancy.
- While there are a number of different religions practiced in Nigeria, the majority of the population is either Christian or Muslim.
- The town of Igbo-Ora is known as the nation’s home of twins. Many of the local Yoruba people believe their consumption of yams and okra leaves to be the cause of their high birth rate of twins. While some fertility experts believe that certain yams contain a natural hormone that could cause multiple ovulations, there is no scientific evidence of this phenomenon.
- Nigeria is a diverse multiethnic country with more than 520 spoken languages. While English is the official language, Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo are also major languages in the country.
- Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria before being moved to Abuja, is the country’s largest and most populous city and has been dubbed “Africa’s Big Apple,” in reference to New York City.
- The country’s film industry, known as Nollywood, is one of the largest film producers in the world, second only to India’s Bollywood.
- Nigeria is home to Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa. Dangote’s business interests in agriculture, banking, cement, manufacturing, salt and sugar have earned his net worth of more than $12 billion.
- Largely due to its export market, Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa. While the agricultural industry accounts for approximately 70 percent of the country’s employment, petroleum products are the primary export—accounting for more than 90 percent of Nigeria’s exports.
- Like in other African countries, some Nigerians consider the left hand to be unclean and using it to be a sign of disrespect. Those that believe this do not eat, shake hands or receive items with their left hand.
- Despite gaining their independence in 1960, Nigeria has remained a member of the British Commonwealth, an association of 53 sovereign states. The country is also a member of the African Union.