Welcome to Nigeria

Click on the topic tiles to find out about the history, people and natural environment, as well as some of the issues facing Nigeria today.

We haven't had chance to conduct a children's filming workshop, so there aren't any videos. But there's lots of information for learning more about this vast and populous country.

Facts & Figures

A populous country

At over 920,000 square kilometres, Nigeria is a large country, one and a half times the size of France. It also has a huge population, the largest on the continent; with around 160 million people, one in every six Africans is Nigerian.

Agriculture & Famine

A quarter of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished and famines can impact whole regions.

Land is available to grow more food locally, but investment is needed in  technologies such as irrigation for land to be used effectively. Farmers must also adapt to climate change if they are to feed the continent's rising population.


Across the rest of the world, absolute poverty has halved over recent decades, but in Africa it has barely fallen.

About two-fifths of the population of sub-Saharan Africa survive week by week on what someone in the UK earns from just one hour's work on the minimum wage.

Education & Jobs

Education is key

Nigerians value education and see it as the main way to improve the life of individuals and to develop the nation, though greater investment in schools and universities is required.

Climate & Agriculture

Agricultural decline

With plenty of land and high amounts of rainfall in many areas, Nigeria has the potential to produce enough food to meet domestic needs, but lack of investment in agriculture means the country is currently one of the largest importers of food.

Geography & Wildlife

Embattled nature

Nigeria’s natural biodiversity is threatened by high rates of deforestation and the hunting of wildlife.


Around one in six children born in sub-Saharan Africa don't live to see their fifth birthday and life can be tough for those who do.

What are the common challenges facing African children and how do their lives compare with those of children in the UK?

Children's stories

Filming workshops

SOS Children's Villages have been running filming workshops to show children how to make their own films. This country has yet to be visited, but take a look at some videos made by children in nearby countries.


Mining dangers

As in many African countries, artisan mining is common in Nigeria; this is where individual miners pan or dig for precious metals or gems. But sometimes this activity comes at a cost.


Africa has a high number of communicable diseases, which place a huge burden on healthcare systems. The vast majority of malaria cases and HIV/AIDS-related deaths occur in Africa; these two diseases currently represent the greatest threats.

With low investment in healthcare and a severe shortage of medical staff, many countries struggle to meet the health needs of their people.


New generation

The word ‘Naija’ has been adopted by the young generation as a way to describe anything which is new and different in Nigeria and not part of the old ways of doing things.


The first humans are thought to have lived in Africa and powerful African empires formed from the medieval age onwards.

However, today's African nations were shaped by the European powers who colonised this vast continent. Having gained their independence, many African countries are still coming to terms with the legacy left by their colonisers.

Economy & Industry

Rich in oil?

Nigeria is fast becoming one of the wealthiest nations from its oil. But many would say this has not made the country ‘rich’ because the majority of ordinary people still live in poverty.

Children's Stories
Geography & Wildlife

With its varied geography and diverse habits, the African continent is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. Though famous for its 'big game' animals, Africa has huge numbers of fish, mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and insect species, as well as many tree, plant and flower species.


An endemic disease

Nigeria is the last country in Africa where polio is endemic, which means the disease has never been eradicated in certain regions.


Africa is a massive continent, with a range of climates. Some regions are hot and dry, like the Sahara, Kalahari and Namib deserts. Other parts are wet or covered in tropical rainforest. Conditions also vary by altitude, from the dry salt pans of the Danakil Depression (one of the lowest points on earth) to the snowcaps (at certain times) of the highest mountains. Weather-wise, Africa has it all!

History & Politics

21st century peace

After thirty years of army coups and military-led governments, Nigeria adopted civilian rule in 1999 and hopes for greater stability in the 21st century.

People & Culture

A melting pot

With over 250 different ethnic groups, Nigeria is a melting pot of different people and cultures, though the Muslim and Christian religions provide a connection between groups across the north and south.

The North

Northern poverty

In some northern regions of Nigeria, over three-quarters of people live below the poverty line.



Nigerians have long cherished colour and pattern in their clothing and there are a number of traditional methods for dying cloth and creating designs. But though still important in some places, local textile industries are generally in decline.

Food & Daily life


Though cultural and religious factors are important, it’s often money or the lack of money which dictates how a Nigerian will live.

Nigeria map

Explore Nigeria

Explore the map of Nigeria to find out more about some of the country's geographical features, parks and cities.

Poverty & Healthcare

Rising poverty

Despite Nigeria’s growing economy and oil wealth, the number of poor is rising in the country, with nearly two-thirds of people living in absolute poverty.


A woman’s status varies by country and region across Africa. In many parts, women struggle against inequality in laws, education, pay and domestic responsibilities.

Women’s health is also at risk from traditional practices such as early marriage. But with better education, girls can make more informed choices, leading to the greater development of African nations.

Welcome to Nigeria

To find out about Nigeria, click on the topic tiles and features, which give a picture of the country today and the challenges it faces. We haven't had chance to conduct a children's filming workshop, so there aren't any videos just yet. But there's lots of information for learning more about Nigeria.

Games & Sport

Africa is home to arguably the oldest-recorded games and sports. While some are only known through archaeology, modern-day games and sports such as Mancala/Mankala and Nubian wrestling are very much alive today.

Of course, new sports have come along to claim the attention of Africans. You may have heard of one - it's called football.

Tourism & Communications

Staying up-to-date

Nigeria has a lively communications scene, with hundreds of radio and television stations and newspapers, plus an increasing number of internet sites, mostly accessed via mobile phones.


Africa has some of the most distinctive cuisines and flavours in the world. Food varies widely, but there are commonalities across regions. Depending on what's grown locally, dishes are also influenced by the traders, immigrants and rulers who settled across the continent. Arab, Asian and European elements blend in with traditional African cooking.


‘People are the real wealth of a nation.’ This is the belief of the United Nations, whose Millenium Development Goals provide a framework for improving the lives of millions.

It helps when nations are peaceful, stable and growing economically. But where even the poorest countries focus on health, education and creating fairer societies, more Africans have the chance of a better life.


The Family

The family is of central importance to Nigerians and children are considered life’s richest blessing by most cultures.

Nigeria topics Facts & Figures Poverty & Healthcare Food & Daily life Polio People & Culture Geography & Wildlife Climate & Agriculture Naija Textiles Welcome to Nigeria Family Economy & Industry Mining Education & Jobs Children's stories History & Politics The North Nigeria map Tourism & Communications