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63 quick facts about Nigeria on its 63rd anniversary of independence


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    Nigeria celebrates its Independence every 1st October, marking the nation’s declaration of freedom from British dominance as a colonial master.

    As Nigeria celebrates its 63rd anniversary of independence today, Tribune Online takes a look at some 63 quick facts that you should know about the country.

    1. Nigeria is located in West Africa.
    2. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa.
    3. Nigeria gained independence from British colonial rule on October 1, 1960.
    4. In the Atlantic Ocean, Nigeria is situated between the Sahel to the north and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. 
    5. The country covers an area of 923,769 square kilometers (356,669 sq mi).
    6. The country borders Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west.
    7. Nigeria is a federal republic comprising 36 states.
    8. Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria.
    9. The official language of Nigeria is English, while the national languages are Yoruba, Igbo, and Hausa.
    10. Nigeria has over 500 different regional languages.
    11. Nigeria is known for its diverse ethnic groups, with over 250 different ethnicities.
    12. Nigeria became a republic on October 1, 1963.
    13. Nigeria’s three largest ethnic groups are the Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba, and Igbo.
    14. The Nigerian currency is called the Naira.
    15. There are 774 local governments in Nigeria.
    16. The Federal government of Nigeria comprises three distinct branches, namely the legislative, executive, and judicial.
    17. Nigeria has a rich cultural heritage, including traditional dances, music, and artwork.
    18. Nigeria is home to various national parks and wildlife reserves, which includes Yankari National Park and Cross River National Park.
    19. Nigeria’s film industry is referred to as Nollywood.
    20. Nigeria has the largest population of people of African descent in the world.
    21. Nigeria has a tropical climate, with distinct dry and wet seasons.
    22. The country has seen periods of military rule as well as periods of democratic governance.
    23. The Niger Delta region of Nigeria is known for its oil reserves.
    24. The country has a diverse range of natural resources, including crude oil, tin, limestone, and coal.
    25. Nigeria is known for its vibrant fashion industry, with traditional textiles like Ankara fabric being widely used.
    26. Nigeria has a rich sporting history, with successes in football, athletics, boxing, and basketball among others.
    27. Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a renowned figure in contemporary literature.
    28. Nigeria is often referred to as the Giant of Africa due to its large population and economy.
    29. Nigeria is a multi-religious country, with Islam and Christianity being the major religions.
    30. The amalgamation of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate was done in 1914 by Lord Lugard.
    31. Nigeria has a federal system of government, with power shared between the federal and state governments, and local governments.
    32. Lake Chad, located in northeastern Nigeria, is a crucial water source for the country.
    33. Nigeria is home to Wole Soyinka, the first African Nobel laureate in literature.
    34. The country is rich in cultural festivals, including the Argungu Fishing Festival, Egungun Festival, and the Durbar Festival.
    35. The Yoruba people of Nigeria have a strong tradition of wooden sculpture and art.
    36. Nigeria in 2015 became the first African country to rid itself of the Ebola danger.
    37. Nigeria has several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Sukur Cultural Landscape, Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove, and Aso Rock.
    38. Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe’s novel “Things Fall Apart” is one of the most widely read and studied African novels.
    39. Nigerian footballer Jay-Jay Okocha is considered one of the greatest African football players of all time.
    40. Lagos was the former capital city of Nigeria before the federal capital was formally moved to Abuja on December 12, 1991 under the administration of General Ibrahim Babaginda.
    41. Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa.
    42. The Nigeria flag has two green stripes and a white stripe.
    43. The Nigeria national motto is “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress.”
    44. The Nigeria coat of arms features an eagle, representing strength, and a shield, representing agriculture and the natural resources of the country.
    45. Nigeria is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
    46. Nigeria has produced many notable writers, including Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Wole Soyinka.
    47. A Nigerian, Aliko Dangote is the richest man in Africa.
    48. The first newspaper in Nigeria, ‘Iwe Irohin fun awon ara Egba ati eya Yoruba,’ was established in Abeokuta, Ogun state in 1859.
    49. Nigerian late legendary musician and activist Fela Kuti is well known for his Afrobeat music and his criticism of government corruption and human rights abuses.
    50. Nigeria has a growing music industry, producing internationally recognized artists like Davido, Wizkid and Burna Boy among others.
    51. Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of Cassava.
    52. Nigeria has a large diaspora population, with Nigerians living in virtually all countries around the world.
    53. Nigeria is divided into six geopolitical zones: North-West, North-East, North-Central, South-West, South-East, and South-South.
    54. Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe was the first ceremonial president of Nigeria.
    55. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was the first prime minister of Nigeria.
    56. Nigeria is a member of the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
    57. The country has a diverse music scene, with popular genres including Afrobeat, Afro-pop, hip-hop, fuji, and gospel music.
    58. The Nigerian Civil War, otherwise known as the Biafra war, lasted from 1967 to 1970 and resulted in widespread violence and a significant loss of life.
    59. Britain annexed Lagos, Nigeria as a crown colony in August 1861 with the Lagos Treaty of Cession.
    60. Nigeria has a diverse transportation system, including road networks, railways, and waterways.
    61. Nigeria has a rich history of traditional kingdoms and empires, such as the Benin Empire, Bornu Empire, and the Oyo Empire.
    62. The Zuma Rock is one of the most famous geological landmarks in Nigeria.
    63. The current president of Nigeria is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

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