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Nigeria, is an African country located in West Africa.
Nigeria is composed of multiple ethnic groups and cultures and the term Nigerian refers to a citizenship-based civic nationality Nigerians derive from over 250 ethnic groups and languages. Though there are multiple ethnic groups in Nigeria, economic factors result in significant mobility of Nigerians of multiple ethnic and religious backgrounds to reside in territories in Nigeria that are outside their ethnic or religious background, resulting in the intermixing of the various ethnic and religious groups, especially in Nigeria’s cities. The English language is the lingua franca of Nigerians About 50 percent of Nigerians are Muslims and the other 50 percent are Christians.
Here are ten interesting facts about Nigeria
1. NIGERIANS ARE DEEPLY RELIGIOUS
If you think you are in a religious environment, quit that and think again because Nigeria will prove you wrong. Statistics show that about over 97 percent of Nigerians believe in a supreme being. Divided almost equally between Christians and Muslims, about 15 percent others are involved in traditional religion. An average Nigerian never ceases to talk about God as it is attached to everything, cutting across politics, schools, public institutions and the social media cyberspace. A typical Nigerian street can boast of about 10 different churches; all with their own slight differences and peculiar characteristics. It should also be taken into consideration that some of the biggest church congregation in the world are found in the oil rich country.
2. NIGERIANS ARE HAPPY PEOPLE
When we talk about happiness this time around, it is definitely not the happiness that comes because of wealth or riches, it is happiness that comes from suffering and hoping for a better tomorrow. Strange right? Studies indicate that Nigerians are very optimistic about the future; and don’t necessarily give in to hopelessness when poverty knocks. The average Nigerian always hopes for a better tomorrow. This truth might not be far-fetched from the fact that most Nigerians really go through a lot of suffering to achieve event the barest minimum of financial success.
Hence the popular saying attributed to Nigerians “Suffering and Smiling”
3. NIGERIA IS RICH, CITIZENS ARE POOR
Money solves most problems, but in the case of Nigeria, it doesn’t. The oil rich country is filled with natural gas, bitumen, crude oil and a host of untapped mineral resources scattered in different states. Unfortunately, wealth is not evenly distributed in the West African country. Wealth in the country is controlled by few individuals and it is not evenly distributed. Corruption with fangs has eaten deep into the system and political leaders in the country embezzle money running into billions of dollars all stashed in Swiss banks. Former Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron once described Nigeria with this “If money stolen in Nigeria were stolen in the UK, United Kingdom will cease to exist”
About sixty percent of Nigerians are poor, with many earning low meagre salaries and wages.
4. NIGERIAN PASTORS ARE THE RICHEST WORLDWIDE
With life becoming increasingly difficult for the average Nigerian, it is no surprise that most Nigerians turn to religion for hope. Quite a good number of churches in Nigeria alone can boast 500,000 committed members. In a list of 10 richest pastors as of 2016, Nigerian pastors took a jaw dropping 5 slots. The first slot occupied by a Nigerian Pastor David Oyedepo, who is worth over a 150million US dollars.
5. TERRORISM STILL DEALS WITH NIGERIA
Heard of the 2014 kidnapping of over 200 high school girls by terrorist group Boko Haram? Over the years even till today, Boko Haram, the extremist Islamic terrorist group has killed without mercy over 5000 innocent men, women and children. They target churches and Mosques alike. In their usual fashion of wearing suicide vests, they infilterate places with large number of people and do harm. It is said that the Boko Haram terrorist group get funding from ISIS and some top politicians of the Nigerian government. Other terrorist groups exist in Nigeria, though Boko Haram has the upper hand, because of their ruthlessness in dealing with innocent Nigerians. Today, their activities are very much now curtailed due to the heavy security measures taken to counter them.
6. GETTING A GOOD JOB IS A MIRACLE
In a country where getting a Master’s degree doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a good job. A good number of highly qualified graduates in Nigeria, are under employed. For instance, a second class upper Engineering graduate, can end up becoming a primary school teacher. Nigeria being a developing country, infrastructure and necessary equipment needed in some fields of learning and profession are missing.
7. AFRICA’S RICHEST ARE NIGERIANS
The richest African man is a Nigerian. Alhaji Aliko Dangote. The richest woman is Folorunsho Alakija. In terms of riches, Nigeria is very much like India, where the rich and poor abound alike. About 15,000 Nigerians are millionaires in dollars. Quite a good number of these are politicians. The rest are business men and celebrities. Aliko Dangote has interests in Cement production, Sugar production and Crude Oil. The billionaire lady Alakija on the other hand, has interest majorly in Crude Oil.
8. BEAUTIFUL LADIES EVERYWHERE!
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, taking a journey through the states in Nigeria, you will be forced to ask a Nigerian lady out. From the Islam dominated north to the Christian dominated south; beautiful ladies abound and blossom. The melanin beauties never cease to draw attention to themselves when foreigners visit the country. Agbani Darego became the first African and Nigerian won THE MISS WORLD BEAUTY PAGEANT in 2001. Interest in Nigerian ladies lie in the fact that they are submissive and obedient to their spouses
The Calabar carnival organized every December in Cross Rivers State will help you appreciate the beauty of Nigerian ladies.
9. JUST ONE NOBEL PRIZE
Becoming a Nobel Laureate is not all smooth and easy, and when won, Europeans and Americans have an upper hand. However one Nigerian decided to counter the trend by becoming the first African to win the prestigious prize.
Wole Soyinka, a playwright. Achieved the feat in Literature in 1986. Since then till now, no Nigerian has joined the literal genius. We hope to see that change soon.
10. TRIBALISM IS STILL RAMPANT
- Nigeria has about 250 native languages all under the three major languages Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba. Tribalism fuelled the 1967 Nigerian Civil war. As the challenges Nigeria faces as a country with respect to development and security, the three major tribes in Nigeria Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba, keep pointing fingers at each other; blaming themselves for the challenges including infrastructural development, terrorism, corruption, unemployment Etc. This blame game has subtly hindered the rapid development that Nigeria is entitled to as a rich country.
Jayamma Abanobi is a youth blogger passionate about writing. He can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org