NAIJA HISTORY: Some Interesting Facts

1. Nigeria is located in West Africa.
2. It is the most populous Black nation in the world & 7th most populous country.

Map of Africa showing Nigeria within West Africa

3. The West African territory now known as Nigeria was first discovered in 1472 by Joao de Santarem, Lopo Goncalves, Pero Escobar and Fernao do Po, Portuguese explorers who were seeking a sea route to Asia.

Joao de Santare, one of the Portuguese explorers who “discovered” Nigeria

4. From 1884, the British occupied piecemeal what would later become the Southern & Northern Nigeria Protectorates.

5. The first capital of Nigeria was Calabar, being capital of the Southern, Oil River and Niger Coast Protectorates until 1906, when the administrative centre of the Southern Protectorate was moved to Lagos.

6. On 01 January 1900, the British Empire officially created the Southern & Northern Nigeria Protectorates.

7. On 01 January 1914, Lord Frederick John Dealtry Lugard merged the Northern and Southern Protectorates of Nigeria, to form the amalgamated Protectorate & Colony of Nigeria.

Lord Frederick Lugard, Governor of the Northern Nigeria Protectorate and the Colony & Protectorate of Southern Nigeria

8. The name “Nigeria” was coined by British journalist Flora Shaw, the future Lady Lugard, in an 1897 London Times article. She formed the name from the Latin word “niger”, which means “black”.

9. On 01 Oct 1960 Nigeria got its independence from Britain.

10. On 01 Oct 1963 Nigeria broke its remaining ties to Britain and became a Republic.

1. The first storey building in Nigeria was built in 1845 in Badagry, Lagos State.

The first storey building in Nigeria

2. The first person to buy a car in Nigeria was Bob Jensen, in 1966.

Bob Jensen, the first person to own a car in Nigeria
Bob Jensen’s car

3. As at 1965, Cocoa house in Ibadan, Oyo state was the tallest building in tropical Africa.

The Cocoa House in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

4. Until 1984, a Travel Visa was not required for a Nigerian to travel to the United Kingdom.

A United Kingdom Visa

5. In 1986, a Nigerian, Wole Soyinka became the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Professor Wole Soyinka

6. In 2001, a Nigerian, Agbani Darego became the first African woman to ever win the Miss World crown.

7. In April 2014 (reviewing the stats of year 2013), Nigeria’s GDP was confirmed as $509.9 billion, surpassing South Africa’s and making Nigeria Africa’s largest economy.

8. In 2018, three Nigerian-Americans, Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga, the first-ever African bobsled team to qualify for the Olympics. They were also the first Nigerian athletes to ever compete in a Winter Olympics event.

Nigeria and Africa’s first ever Bobsled team


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