Tourism & Communications

Visitors

Nigeria receives nearly 1.5 million visitors each year (according to the World Tourism Organization), but many of these people come on business or to visit family and friends.

UNESCO sites

Osun sacred grove, by Alex Mazzeto - Jurema Oliveira (talk) 18:13, 16 November 2009 (UTC) (Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove UNESCO) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

There are two UNESCO-listed heritage sites in Nigeria. One is the Osun Sacred Grove near the city of Osogbo (see photo above). The other is the villages and landscape of the Sukur people in the northeast of Nigeria near the border with Cameroon.

The tourism industry is under-developed and there are few conventional tourist sites. Historic buildings are poorly maintained (if at all) and animal numbers are low – see Geography & Wildlife.

However, the country is a good destination for birdwatchers. The Yankari National Park – see Map – is home to more than 350 species of birds, including storks, kingfishers and egrets.

And visitors can expect to find a wealth of culture among the many and varied peoples.

A lively communications scene

Communications play a vital role in this vast and populous country and there is a lively media scene. Radio is often the most popular source of information, because it doesn’t need a reliable electricity source.

The internet is growing rapidly, with many Nigerians accessing online services through their mobile phones. Facebook and social media sites are already popular among the urban young.

There are at least 100 radio stations, over 140 terrestrial TV stations (as well as cable and satellite) and more than 100 newspapers.

Okada, taken by Andy Waite (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

To and fro

Nigerians like to stay in touch with their families, especially if they’ve moved away. For people who don’t own a car, long-distance travel back home is usually made by public transport. Minibuses and ‘bush taxis’ (any kind of car) wait around at motor parks to fill up with passengers, before setting off for a destination when they’re full.

For short distances, Nigerians often hop on cheap motorcycle taxis called okadas (or achabas in the north).

But travel can be hazardous, with poorly-maintained roads and many speeding and erratic motorists, leading to high accident rates. Roads are also poorly lit at night and many cars don’t use headlights.

Accidents and serious injuries with okadas (motorcyle taxis) are all too common. Some towns and cities are replacing them with 3-wheel vehicles called Keke Marwa or Keke NAPEP. These are safer for passengers and can carry three to five people depending on size. The Keke vehicles are usually bought in a job lot by local councils. They then sell them to operators on an extremely low or no interest basis, where repayments can be made over some time.