History of Nigeria
Nigeria’s history dates back to around 999AD. In the pre-colonial era the northern part of the country (Kano and Katsina) were prominent and so also were the Kingdoms of Ife and Oyo in the western part - around 700-900AD and 1400AD respectively. The Kingdom of Benin in south western Nigeria was also famous around the 15th and 19th centuries, with its powers extending to the city of Eko, which later became Lagos.
South eastern Nigeria flourished from the 10th century until 1911, with the city of Nri the foundation of Igbo culture. The north central region of Nigeria (Tiv culture) has some of the famous bronze terracotta sculpture heads which have been shown around the world.
On the 1st of January 1901, both Northern and Southern Nigeria became British protectorates and part of the British Empire. Then in 1914 the protectorates under the British colonial rule were merged into an entity named "Nigeria" (meaning: River Niger area) a name given by the wife of the then British Governor-General, Sir Lord Lugard. After World War II, there was a rise in the demand for independence as the level of nationalism increased. On the 1st of October 1960, Nigeria gained its independence from the United Kingdom.
Present Day Nigeria
Nigeria is home to around 150million citizens. The most populous country in the African continent, Nigeria has shown evident improvements in tackling corruption in political offices and in the country’s development. However, there are certain issues affecting the country like religious and political violence in the north and inadequate infrastructure.
The Federal Government of Nigeria intends to create a new image for the country by conducting a re-branding exercise on the platform of the National Tourism Initiative to generate economic growth and the creation of job opportunities.
Culture and Nature in Nigeria
Nigerians give the upmost importance to treating guests with care and warmth, making the people feel at home is seen as a tradition. In Nigeria, age and affluence earns respect in many families.
The World Resources Institute states that Nigeria habours 4,715 different types of plant species, and over 550 species of breeding birds and animals, making Nigeria one of the most ecologically vibrant places on the planet.
Image credit: IITA Image Library