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Nigeria is a country in West Africa that is bordered by Niger and the Chad Republic in the north, Cameroon to the east, the Benin Republic in the west, and the Atlantic Ocean in the south. It is called the Giant of Africa due to its vast size and huge population.
See the fact file below for more information on the Nigeria or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Nigeria worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Geography, People, and Nature
- Nigeria’s terrain is a combination of distinctive regions, including deserts, swamps, plains, mountains, and forests. In the north, plateaus are covered in savanna, while in the southern region, the Niger Delta is rich in oil and rainforests.
- The River Niger is the longest and largest river in West Africa and spans about 4,180 km from the highlands of Guinea passing through Mali, Niger, Benin, and Nigeria.
- In terms of land area, Nigeria covers 356,667 square miles making it the 31st largest country in the world. It is about twice the size of the U.S. state of California.
- The topography of Nigeria varies: lowlands and hills are in the southern region, while plateaus are present in the central part of the country. Due to their location near the equator, central and south Nigeria experience a tropical climate, while the north is arid.
- The highest point is the peak of Chappal Waddi or Gangirwal rising to a height of 2,419 meters above sea level.
- The southernmost tip of Nigeria borders the Atlantic Ocean, which constitutes 853 km of coastline.
- With more than 170 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and 7th in the world. Thus, one in every seven Africans is Nigerian.
- Nigeria has more than 250 ethnic groups but dominated by three major tribes, including the Ibo (Igbo), which make up 18%, the Hausa-Fulani with 29%, and the Yoruba with 21%.
- About 14% of the national territory is a network of protected areas. In northeastern Nigeria, Yankari National Park covers an area of about 2,244 square kilometers, which serves as the home of a wide variety of flora and fauna. Among the endangered species of animals are the West African lion, Cross River Gorilla, Cameroonian Forest Shrew, White-throated guenon, and Red-eared guenon.
- On a hill above the village of Sukur in the Adamawa State of Nigeria is the Sukur Cultural Landscape, which became the first in Africa to receive World Heritage List status. The village, with natural terraced fields, is located in the Mandara Mountains near the Cameroon border.
- In 2005, the Osun Sacred Grove in the city of Osogbo became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The dense forest features the goddess of fertility, Osun.
History, Politics, and Culture
- The term Nigeria comes from the Niger River running through the territory.
- Archaeological records shown that Nigeria has a long history dating back to 9000 B.C.E. Experts have found many clay carvings, which denote the existence of their culture. Around 1000 C.E., the northern cities of Kano and Katsina were the earliest cities in Nigeria. By 1400, the Yoruba Kingdom of Oyo was established in the southwest and flourished until the 19th century.
- In the late 15th century, European traders began establishing ports for slave trading to the Americas. Initially, slaves were captured in coastal communities but, as the demand grew, it became an organized business of local rulers, traders, and military aristocracy. Nigerian slaves were sold in exchange for guns, rum, horses, fine cloth, and other industrial products.
- By the 19th century, it changed to the trading of goods like timber and palm oil.
- In 1885, Nigeria was under the British sphere of influence and in 1886, the Royal Niger Company was established. The British government took control of the territory in 1900 and, by 1914, it became the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.
- After WWII, Nigeria began fighting for its independence. The cry was materialized in October 1960 when it was established as a federation of three regions under a parliamentary government. However, it proclaimed itself a federal republic with a drafted constitution in 1963.
- Throughout the 1960s, Nigeria experienced political instability and civil wars. By 1977, they drafted a new constitution but it was blocked by political corruption. In 1983, the Second Republic government was overthrown, and in 1989, the Third Republic faced the same attempts, but failed.
- Finally, after years of political instability and military rule, Nigeria began its transition into a civilian rule with a new constitution in 1995. Olusegun Obasanjo became the first president of a democratic Nigeria. He improved the nation’s infrastructure and economy.
- Today, Nigeria’s government is a federal republic with a legal system based on English common law, traditional laws, and Islamic law in the northern states with a predominant Muslim population. The president serves as the chief of state and head of the government as well. The legislative branch has a bicameral National Assembly consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. They have the Supreme Court and Federal Court of Appeal for the judiciary. Nigeria is divided into a total of 36 states and one territory for local administration.
- Abuja is the capital city, but Lagos is the largest in terms of population.
- In terms of the economy, 95% of the nation’s foreign exchange earnings comes from oil alone, making it the 12th largest oil producer in the world. Other industries include coal, tin, rubber products, columbite, wood, textiles, cement, ceramics, and steel. They are also good producers of cocoa, peanuts, cotton, palm oil, rice, corn, and timber.
- The flag of Nigeria is one of the nation’s national symbols. It was designed by Michael Taiwo Akinkumi, a Yoruban electrical engineering student in London, in 1959. His original design had a blazing red sun in the middle of the white bands.
- The flag has three vertical stripes of equal size, the center stripe is white flanked on both sides by green. The center white stripe represents the Niger River and the nation’s passion for peace and unity. The two green stripes stand for the country’s vegetation and agriculture.
- In terms of religion, Christians in Nigeria mostly live in the southern part of the country, while the Muslims populate the north.
- Like much of West African cuisine, traditional food in Nigeria has a lot of spices and herbs with palm or groundnut oil in the sauces, while most soups are often prepared with very hot chili peppers.
- Due to the vastness of ethnic groups, Nigerians speak a variety of languages (with 521 spoken language, 9 of which are extinct) and practice different customs. Their official language is English.
- One of Nigeria’s distinct customs is not looking directly into someone’s eyes.
- Following Bollywood, Nigeria’s film industry is called Nollywood. They are the second largest movie producers in the world with up to 1,500 movie releases each year.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Nigeria across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Nigeria worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Nigeria which is a country in West Africa that is bordered by Niger and the Chad Republic in the north, Cameroon to the east, the Benin Republic in the west, and the Atlantic Ocean in the south. It is called the Giant of Africa due to its vast size and huge population.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Nigeria Facts
- Mapping West Africa
- Crossing Ethnic Groups
- The Giant of Africa
- 7th Place
- Historical Timeline
- Government Facts
- Nigeria Wonders
- States and Flag
- The Ancient City of Nok
- Unusual Tourist
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Link will appear as Nigeria Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 24, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.