|(Federal Republic of Nigeria)
LOCATION: West Africa INDEPENDENCE:1st October 1960
CAPITAL CITY:Abuja POPULATION:120 million IMPORTANT CITIES:
Abuja,Lagos,Ibadan,Kano,Zaria,Ife,Abeokuta HEAD OF STATE:
Olusegun Obasanjo AREA:923,770,sq.km TYPE OF GOVERNMENT:
Democratically elected CURRENCY:21 NAIRA=1USD MAJOR PEOPLES:
Yoruba,Igbo,Fulani,Hausa RELIGION:Muslim 50%,Christian
40%,African religion 10% CLIMATE:Tropical to arid LITERACY:
68% OFFICIAL LANGUAGE:English PRINCIPAL LANGUAGES:Yoruba,
Hausa,Ibo,Fulfulde MAJOR EXPORTS:Oil,Minerals.
Though in hardship we many suffer,
We assure tomorrow by steadfast work,
As a breed of people never subdued.
Though our country's name is tarnished,
By few of us in unpopular ventures,
We remain achievers across the world,
For most of us are true good men,
Revered by those who really know us.
Though in tribe and tongue we may differ,
And though in the past, we fought a war,
We stand stronger in pending freedom,
Cherishing the labor of our heroes past,
In loving strength and faith united,
To uphold that honor and that glory,
Of a people diverse but industrious,
And yes we're called the Nigerians.
This fatherland and native country
Of plentiful rain and moderate climate
Endowed with nature's own blessings,
Allowing production of diverse food,
Oil and gas and major minerals,
Blended with a populous citizenry,
This is my own dear native land,
And with God in it we proudly stand.
-DDK(Debo Dabi Kanyinsola)
Nigeria,an interesting unexplored paradise.
A country with vibrant diverse cultures,
exciting festivals, scintillating dances, rich
history, equatorial forests, clean unspoilt beaches,
exotic landscapes, cascading waterfalls, towering rocks,
rolling hills, ancient caves and hospitable people. Nigeria
offers a wide variety of tourist attractions such as extended
and roomy river and ocean beaches ideal for swimming and other
water sports, unique wildlife, vast tracts of unspoiled nature
ranging from tropical forest, magnificent waterfalls, some new
rapidly growing cities and climatic conditions in some parts
particularly conducive to holidaying. Other attractions
include traditional ways of life preserved in local customs;
rich and varied handicrafts and other colourful products
depicting or illustrative of native arts and lifestyle,
and the authentic unsophisticated but friendly attitude
of many in the Nigerian population.
However, many of these attractions are still largely untapped and even
at their raw states, they are still being enjoyed by few outsiders, either
very rich visitors in quest of exoticism or adventurous people in search
of new challenges and experiences. )
Prsident Bill Clinton 's visit to Nigeria
is an ancient city and one of the most popular in
Africa. The City is the commercial capital of Nigeria.. It is ideal for
business people to see the numerous markets in Lagos and understand the
kind of demand the Nigeria market offers their product and services. For
tourists, it is ideal for water sports and shopping
The National Museum,Iganmu,Lagos
Bar Beach, also known as Victoria Beach, is the most popular beach among Nigerians. The main beach on Victoria Island is located along Ahmadu Bello† --
is a beautiful beach in the coastal town of Badagry, west of Lagos.
The beach is attractively set in an area surrounded by coconut trees.
About 20 miles towards the border of Nigeria and the Republic of Benin,
Coconut Beach is accessible through the Lagos-Badagry expressway. Visitors
will find a friendly relaxed atmosphere.
IKOGOSI AND WAKKI WARM SPRINGS
enjoy cool dips in the
naturally heated swimming pool at Ikogosi and Wakki
There are several beaches along the Lekki Peninsula, the foremost being
Lekki Beach, located a few miles from the city center. Lekki Beach is another
of Lagos°¶attractive beaches and remains popular with foreign tourists.
Beach shelters made of palm fronds and umbrellas, available for rent, keep
the sun at bay, as well as provide a place to enjoy snacks or refreshments
sold by local traders
Opened in 1989, Eleko is the
newest of Lagos
down the Lekki Peninsula about 30 miles from Lagos.
There are no traders
and no distractions on Eleko Beach, just peace and
tranquillity, ideal for
those seeking privacy.
Tarkwa Bay beach,Lagos
A sheltered beach along the Lagos harbor. It is accessible by a boat
from Maroko or Lekki-boat from under Falomo Bridge on Victoria Island.
This beach provides a pleasant outing with safe swimming conditions, even
for small children. Tourist may obtain deck chairs and an awning on the
beach, for relaxed, casual comfort. Local yen dots sell delicious
pineapples, coconuts and variety of other delightful treats.
This superb beach, at the mouth of the new Calabar River, is about 2 miles
long and 500 feet wide, uninhabited save for a solitary fisherman hut.
beach is virtually isolated and lends visitors the luxury of privacy in a
beautiful setting off the beaten path. Since the beach is flanked by a
swamp and can only be reached by boat or canoe, getting there is half the
fun and enhances one's fascination with this enchanted locale.
The Mambilla Plateau, in the
southeast corner of
Taraba State, shares a border with Cameroon. A high
averaging about 1800 meters, it is scenic, cool and
a pleasant change from
the heat and humidity of Lagos. Because the roads
are still under
construction, a sport utility vehicle or jeep is
visitors should pack essentials, camping equipment
and food. As an option,
there are a few hotels on the plateau.
The Park provides an attractive setting, well
worth a visit. Mambilla
has cattle ranches, tea plantations and rolling,
grassy hills. It is
different from the rest of Nigeria with regard to
flora and fauna and is
home to some rare species of birds and animals,
especially at the
Gashaka-Gumti National Park.
There is a major road to Mambilla
from Lagos, Benin City,
Onitsha, Enugu, Otukpo, Yandev, Katsina Ala, Wukari,
Mutum Biyu, Bali,
Serti and Gembu. You can also fly into Yola Airport,
then drive a few
miles south to Mambilla.
YANKARI GAME RESERVE
The Yankari National Park is the premier game reserve in Nigeria. Yankari
Park and Wikki Warm Springs are located around the Gagi River, approximately
1 1/2 hours by road, southeast of Bauchi Town. The beauty and size of The
Yankari Game Reserve make it the most popular reserve in Nigeria.
Set up in 1956 and opened to the public in 1962, the main game-viewing
areas of the reserve are open all year round. Japanese, Western Europeans,
Americans and Southeast Asian tourists visit this park in abundance. The
reserve covers 2,058 sq. km. of savanna woodland and is well-stocked
with elephants, baboons, waterbucks, bushbucks, oribi, crocodile, hippopotamus,
roan antelope, buffalo and various types of monkeys. Lions are occasionally
spotted as well, despite their natural camouflage. The best time
to visit is between November and May, when tourists are likely to see more
game since the dense vegetation has dried out and the animals congregate
around the rivers. The Wikki Warm Springs is one of the best features of
the game reserves. Flood-lit at night, it is wonderful after a hot day°«s
game-viewing to relax in the warm water. The spring gushes out from under
a cliff, where the water is at least 6 ft. deep, with a bathing area that
extends for 600 ft. to an open area. The park is inhabited by a variety
of birds, including the huge saddlebill stork, golliath heron,
bateleur eagle, vultures, kingflshers, bee-eaters and more. It is excellent
for serious bird-watchers. Other facilities include: Tennis courts, squash
courts, a small museum in the reception area plus gas stations with convenience
stores at Wikki Camp and Bauchi. Reservations: It is advisable to make
reservation during the holidays and weekends with Easter a particularly
busy season. Reservations can be made at Durbar Hotel in Kaduna, Bauchi
State House in Lagos and at the Zaranda Hotel in Bauchi. Or call Yankari
Game Reserve at (069) 43-656. Route: You can travel by road from Lagos
to Abuja, where you make an overnight stop, then on to Jos and Bauchi,
as it is a 2-day journey by car over well-maintained roads
Living mainly in the forested areas of south-west Nigeria,on both sides
of the Niger River the Ibo number some ten million individuals.Mainly farmers
and merchants,they also hunt and fish.
They are subdivided into thirty subgroups and are spread out among about
two hundred vilages scattered through the thick forest or semifertile marshland
Only on the northern and western edges of the area,under influence from
Igala and Benin,are hereditary rulers found.
The heads of families form the council of elders,which shares its power
with numerous secret societies.These societes excercise great political
and social influence.
They are highly hierarchical,their members passing from one level to the
next.There is strong social pressure toward individual distinction,and
men can move upward through successive grades by demonstrating their achievements
and their generosity.
The Eastern Ibo are best known for masquerades associated with the havest
festival,in which the forms of the masks are determined by tradition,though
the content of the play varies from year to year
The Northern Nigeria,origin myths among the Hausa claim that their founder,Bayajidda,came
from the east in an effort to escape his father.He eventually came to Gaya,where
he employed some blacksmiths to fashion a knife for him.With his knife
he procceded to Daura where he freed the people from the opressive nature
of a sacred snake who guarded thier well and prevented them from getting
water six days out of the week.The queen of Daura gave herself in marriage
to Bayajidda to show her appreciation.The two gave birth to seven healthy
sons,each of whom ruled the seven city states that make up Hausaland.
The rise of the Hausa states occurred between 500 and 700 A.D.,but it wasnot
until 1200 that they really began to control the region.The history of
the area is intricately tied to Islam and the Fulani who wrestled political
power from the Hausa in the early 1800s through a series of holy wars.Since
the beginning of Hausa history,the seven states of Hausaland divided up
production and labor activities in accordance with their location and natural
resources.Kano and Rano were known as the "Chiefs of Indigo".Cotton
grew readily in the great plains of these states,and they became primary
producers of cloth,weaving and dying it before sending it off in caravans
to the other states within Hausaland.Leadership in the early Hausa states
was based on ancestry.Those who could trace their relations back to Bayajidda
were considered royal.
GASHAKA-GUMTI NATIONAL PARK
This is a vast land of spectacular wilderness (6,000 sq. kin) in the southeast
corner of Taraba State, adjoining the Mambilla Plateau.
Mostly mountainous, from 457 to 2407 meters, it contains Nigeria°«s highest
mountain, Chapal Waddi (2409m). It is the most ecologically diverse conservation
area in the country and contains swaths of guinea savanna, gallery forest,
moist forest, mountain forest and grassland. Many rivers flow through the
park, including the Taraba, a major tributary of the River Benue.
A wide variety of animal life can be found, including buffalo, antelope,
chimpanzee, colobus monkey, hippopotamus, hyena, giant forest hog, lion
and leopard. The park is a birdwatcher °«s paradise with a wide variety
of species, and there is excellent fishing in the River Kam.
The reserve headquarters is in the Forest Rest Houses at Serti, on the
main road between Bali and Mambilla Plateau
These rest houses provide self-catering accommodation at a small fee. The
entrance to the park is about 15 km south of Serti. In the dry season,
it is possible to drive to the former headquarters at Gashaka village,
some 30 km from the entrance gate, where more self-catering accommodation
The park is best explored on foot and it is possible to hire game guards;
guides and porters are available at Serti or in Gashaka village.
the capital of Ogun state, lies on the Ogun
river amid rugged, rocky hills, and has an intriguing array of markets
which sell a wide range of exotic goods. Abeokuta means under the rocks
derived from the Olumo Rock the town most famous landmark. Olumo Rock,
sacred to the Egba people, is on the east side of the Ogun river. Visitors
should engage a guide from the tourist center at the bottom of the rock
where one can explore the caves used as sanctuary during the Yoruba civil
war. At the rock summit, visitors can enjoy good views of Abeokuta and the
Argungu Fishing Festival
† -- Argungu Fishing Festival, one of the most popular tourist attractions in
Nigeria. Held annually, it attracts competitors from neighboring Niger
and Chad Republics, plus many visitors from all over the world.
Bida is a lively town, famous for its handicrafts and
colorful market, and is the principal city of the Nupe people. Bida is
famous for its glass beads, cloths, silver and brass work, it's carved
8-legged stools made from a single piece of wood, and decorative pottery.
Bida's market truly stands out as a traditional showcase of local commerce
The Gwoza Hills are
breathtaking. They are
located southeast of Maiduguri, and southeast of the
village of Gwoza
Valley, along the Cameroon border.
Jos has always been a popular destination for tourists due to
its height above sea level (4062 feet). Jos has two golf courses, Rayfield
and Plateau, plus a polo club and other sports/entertainment offerings.
The National Museum in Jos is one of the best in Nigeria, especially for
archaeology and pottery, where many fine examples of Nok heads and
artifacts, circa 500 BC- 200 AD, are displayed. The Pottery Hall has an
exceptional collection of finely crafted pottery from allover the country.
On the same grounds, the Museum of Architecture contains life-size
replicas of Nigerian architecture, from the walls of Kano to the Mosque at
Zaria to a Tiv village.
CROSS RIVER NATIONAL PARK
River National Park was created from two existing
forest reserves of
Bashi-Okwango and Oban Forest Resveres. It is famous
for its unique rain
forest vegetation which, according to conservation
experts, is some of the
richest in Africa. This park contains the last
remaining rain forest in
Nigeria, which is being preserved with the help of
Conservation Foundation. It has a herd of forest
white-faced monkey (indigenous to Nigeria only),
buffalo, leopards and
lowland gorillas, besides over a thousand other
has a tropical climate characterized by a rainy
season between April and
October and a dry season between November and April.
The moist green
vegetation cover makes the forest an excellent
place to see birds and
Yoruba is one of the three main languages of Nigeria. There are about 20
million speakers of the language in the south western part of Nigeria.
It has about twenty dialects which show phonological and lexical differences.
Some of these dialects are also spoken around the border of Nigeria and
the Republic of Benin and part of Togo. The language has also survived
in Cuba (where it is called Lukumi) and in Brazil (where it is called Nago).
Yoruba is the first language of approximately 30
million West Africans,
and is spoken by populations in Southwestern
Nigeria, Togo, Benin, and
In Yoruba mythology the city of Ile-Ife is the navel of the world, °¶the
place where creation took place and the tradition of kingship began. There
it was that the gods Oduduwa and Obatala descended from the heaven to create
earth and its inhabitants. Oduduwa himself became the first ruler, oni,
of Ile-Ife. To this day Yoruba kings trace ancestry to Oduduwa. Of all
the centers of African art, there is none so remarkable for extraordinary
accomplishments in many fields of art as the ancient town of Ife, the ritual
center of the great Yoruba tribe of western Nigeria. Ife gave its name
to this art. Ife art includes terra-cotta and bronze heads and busts, stone
sculpture, stools and religious pieces carved in quartz, monumental granite
monoliths, statues of humans and animals. Both the terra-cotta and bronze
pieces belong to a series that has been interpreted by some specialists
as idealized portraits, and occasionally a bust or a head has been identified
as that of an oni or a dignitary. They date from 12th to the 15th. Ife
style is reminiscent of that of Benin, which flourished in the 16th century.
The bronze heads were cast by the melted wax method; their dimensions are
near life-size and on some the whole facial area is covered with close
parallel lines which, it is thought, may represent body marks of a particular
kind. Surrounding the mouth and along the lower jaw, and also on top of
the head, there are irregularly placed holes. It is assumed that these
were for the purpose of adorning the head with some necklace-like ornament,
marking the hair, beard and mustaches. Despite the disappearance of the
people responsible for the ancient Ife art, people living on its territory
continued to produce artwork inspired by the original masterpieces discovered
during archeological excavations.
The Yoruba people, numbering over 12 million, are the largest nation in
Africa with an art-producing tradition. Most of them live in southwest
Nigeria, with considerable communities further west in the Republic of
Benin and in Togo. They are divided into approximately twenty separate
subgroups, which were traditionally autonomous kingdoms. Excavation at
Ife of life-sized bronze and terracotta heads and full-length figures of
royalty and their attendants have startled the world, surpassing in their
portrait-like naturalism everything previously known from Africa. The cultural
and artistic roots of the Ife masters of the Classical Period (ca. 1050°¶500)
lie in the more ancient cultural center of Nok to the northeast, though
the precise nature of this link remains obscure.
Now two-third of the Yoruba are farmers. Even if they live in the city,
they keep a hut close to the fields; they grow corn, beans, cassava, yams,
peanuts, coffee and bananas. It is they who control the markets -- along
with the merchants and artisans: blacksmiths, copper workers, embroideries,
and wood sculptors, trades handed down from generation to generation.
The Yoruba gods form a true pantheon; the creator god, Olodumare, reigns
over almost four hundred orisha (deities) and nature spirits who live among
the rocks, trees, and rivers. Their figures, more often of Sango, deity
of thunder and lightning are carved from wood and kept in shrines. Sculptors
have studios in which apprentices learn the techniques of the master and
his stylistic preferences.
Throughout Yorubaland, human figures are represented in a fundamentally
naturalistic way, except for bulging eyes; flat, protruding, and usually
parallel lips; and stylized ears. Within the basic canon of Yoruba sculpture,
many local styles can be distinguished, down to the hand of the individual
of the Yoruba are as numerous as their deities, and
many objects are
placed on shrines to honor the gods and the
ancestors. Beautiful sculpture
abounds in wood and brass and the occasional
terracotta. Varied masking
traditions have resulted in a great diversity of
mask forms. Additional
important arts include pottery, weaving, beadworking
The oral history of the Yoruba describes an origin myth, which tells of
God lowering a chain at Ile-Ife, down which came Oduduwa, the ancestor
of all people, bringing with him a cock, some earth, and a palm kernel.
The earth was thrown into the water, the cocked scratched it to become
land, and the kernel grew into a tree with sixteen limbs, representing
the original sixteen kingdoms.
The empire of Oyo arose at the end of the 15th century aided by Portuguese
guns. Expansion of the kingdom is associated with the acquisition of the
At the end of the 18th century civil war broke out at Oyo, the rebels called
for assistance to the Fulani, but the latter ended up conquering all of
Oyo by the 1830s.
The Fulani invasion pushed many Yoruba to the south where the towns of
Ibadan and Abeokuta were founded. In the late 1880s, with the help of a
British mediator, a treaty was signed between the various warring factions.
Yorubaland was officially colonized by the British in 1901, but a system
of indirect rule was established that mimicked the structure of Yoruba
Historically, the Yoruba were primarily farmers, growing cocoa and yams
as cash crops. These are planted in a three-year rotational system, alternating
with cassava and a year of diverse crops including maize, peanuts, cotton,
At the end of this three-year cycle the land is left fallow, sometimes
for seven years.
It is estimated that at one time nearly 70 percent of people participated
in agriculture and ten percent each working as crafts people and traders
within the towns.
Yorubaland is characterized by numerous densely populated urban centers
with surrounding fields for farming. The centralization of wealth within
cities allowed for the development of a complex market economy which encouraged
extensive patronage of the arts.
The political and social systems vary greatly in different regions, and
allegiance is uniformly paid to the large urban center in the area, rather
than to a singular centralized authority.
Each town has a leader (Oba), who may achieve his position in several different
ways including inheritance, gaining the position through participation
in title associations, or being personally selected by an Oba already in
Every Oba, however, is considered to be a direct descendant of the founding
Oba in each city. A council of chiefs usually assists the Oba in his decisions.
Title associations, such as the ogboni, play an important role in assigning
and balancing power within the cities. .
The Yoruba claim that they have 401 deities; in truth, there are more than
these. The complexity of their cosmology has led Western scholars to compare
them to the Ancient Greeks and their impressive pantheon.
Yoruba deities are known as orisha, and the high god is Olorun. No organized
priesthoods or shrines exist in honor of Olorun, but his spirit is invoked
to ask for blessings and to confer thanks.
The Yoruba believe that when they die they enter the realm of the ancestors
where they still have influence on earth.
Annual homage is paid to the grave sites of ones' forbears, and lineage
heads are responsible for honoring all deceased members of the lineage
through a yearly sacrifice. Maskers (egungun) appear at funerals and are
believed to embody the spirit of the deceased person.
Other important orishas include Eshu, the trickster; Shango, the god of
thunder; and Ogun, the god of iron and modern technology.