Nigeria, an African country on the Gulf of Guinea, has many natural landmarks and wildlife reserves. Protected areas such as Cross River National Park and Yankari National Park have waterfalls, dense rainforest, savanna and rare primate habitats. One of the most recognizable sites is Zuma Rock, a 725m-tall monolith outside the capital of Abuja that’s pictured on the national currency.
Here are 10 interesting facts about Nigeria:
Nigeria, officially named the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a diverse West African country. Nicknamed the “Giant of Africa,” Nigeria is home to hundreds of different ethnicities, languages and butterfly species.
4. Nigeria is a diverse multiethnic country with more than 520 spoken languages. While English is the official language, Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo are also major languages in the country.
5. Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria before being moved to Abuja, is the country’s largest and most populous city and has been dubbed “Africa’s Big Apple,” in reference to New York City.
6. The country’s film industry, known as Nollywood, is one of the largest film producers in the world, second only to India’s Bollywood.
7. Nigeria is home to Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa. Dangote’s business interests in agriculture, banking, cement, manufacturing, salt and sugar have earned his net worth of more than $12 billion.
8. Largely due to its export market, Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa. While the agricultural industry accounts for approximately 70 percent of the country’s employment, petroleum products are the primary export—accounting for more than 90 percent of Nigeria’s exports.
9. Like in other African countries, some Nigerians consider the left hand to be unclean and using it to be a sign of disrespect. Those that believe this do not eat, shake hands or receive items with their left hand.
10. Despite gaining their independence in 1960, Nigeria has remained a member of the British Commonwealth, an association of 53 sovereign states. The country is also a member of the African Union.