Nigeria – A brief guide – Population, Culture & Animals

Nigeria is a one of the most diverse and populous countries in West Africa and is home to hundreds of ethnicities, languages and butterfly species. This untapped tourist haven has a long stretch of exotic beaches, well preserved traditions and culture, lush mountains and enthralling tourist attractions. 

There is a famous saying that “If Nigeria sneezes, the whole Africa catches a cold” which is quite true as Nigeria is the “Giant of Africa”. 

It is Africa’s largest oil producer and its biggest economy. The country also has one of the largest movie industries in world, known as Nollywood that produces about 50 movies every week and made 5% of the country’s GDP. With a thriving nightlife and abundance of natural landmarks local and international restaurants and globally renowned entertainment scene, Nigeria leaves every visitor awestruck with its pure sceneries and spiritual shines. 

Geography

Nigeria is blessed with one of the most beautiful and noted geographic features including varied landscapes, highlands, cross rivers, plateaus, semi-dessert, delta and rainforests. Located in the west Africa, it shares borders with Chad, Niger, Benin, and Cameroon. Its coastline lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the south and it also shares borders with self-declared state Ambazonia. The Nigeria has only two seasons, dry and rainy season.

Population

As of today, Nigeria is Africa’s most populated country with almost 200 million people and 250 ethnic groups based on the latest United Nations data. Nigeria is the 7th most populous country in the world. Islam and Christianity are the major religions in the country while a smaller percentage of Nigerians practice indigenous religions. 

Languages

Nigeria has three broad linguistic groups: Nilo-Saharan, Niger-Congo and Afro-Asiatic which are further divided into nine other branches. 

English is the official language of Nigeria. Other indigenous languages which are widely spoken are Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba. 

Currency 

Nigerian Naira (NGN) is the official currency of Nigeria. One Naira is made up of 100 kobos. The coin denominations range from 12 kobo to 1 naira, whereas banknotes come in the denomination of 5 to 500 Naira with images of previous political leaders.

Nigerian Naira

Culture

Nigeria is a mixture of different ethnicities and reflects a wide range of inherited and adapted traditions and customs. The culture is highly family-oriented and people celebrate weddings and birthdays together. Nigerians celebrate several Christian and Muslim holidays along with public holidays. As for clothing, the official dressing is formal and conservative. Different ethnic groups have their own traditional attires for special occasions like weddings or religious gatherings. Some of the famous traditional Nigerian attires include Gele, a traditional cloth woman wrapped on their head, Agbada, a wide-sleeved robe worn by men, Igbo dressing, the attire of Igbo men, Yoruba dressing, the traditional attire of Yoruba community and Edo dressing, worn by residents of Edo state. Food is traditionally eaten by hand and the most common greeting is shaking hands with a welcoming smile. When greeting someone older bowing head is considered respectful. 

Politics

Nigeria is a Federal republic where the president holds the executive power being the head of the state, head of the government, and head of the multi-party system. The federal government and two chambers of legislature hold the legislative power. Muhammadu Buhari is the current president of the country serving since 2015. 

Food Scene

Traditional Nigerian cuisine is based around staple foods accompanied by different kinds of stews. Nigerian food is famous for being savory and spicy because of the generous use of spices and herbs with palm or groundnut oil to make deeply flavored sauces and soups. Some famous traditional dishes worth trying are Jollof rice, pepper soup, pounded yam, Efo Riro, Egsui soup, Suya, Okro Soup, and Ofada Stew. Foof varies greatly according to the regions and different cultures. In urban areas, traditional cuisine is combined with western-style food to suit the taste buds of tourists whereas in rural areas people like to stick with traditional foods and preparation techniques. 

More about Nigeria on Local-Africa.com

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