What is Nigeria?

Nigeria Flag

 

Nigeria Flag

Nigeria Flag

   Nigeria is an Amalgam of the words: ‘Niger Area’. The name was coined by Flora Lugard, wife of Lord Fredrick Lugard the Governor General of both the Northern and Southern Protectorates . The predominantly Muslim North and Christian South were formed into one country for administrative ease.

According to Oxoford Dictionary ,

A country on the coast of West Africa; population 182,200,000 (estimated 2015); languages, English (official), Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, and others; capital, Abuja.



The site of highly developed kingdoms in the Middle Ages, the area came under British influence during the 19th century and was made into a single colony in 1914. Independence came in 1960 and the state became a federal republic in 1963, remaining a member of the Commonwealth. Oil was discovered in the 1960s and 1970s, since when Nigeria has emerged as one of the world’s major exporters. The country was suspended from the Commonwealth 1995–9 following the execution of the writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa (b.1941) in 1995.

Nigeria was named after the River Niger, derived from a native term “Ni Gir” (meaning River Gir). The name is often misinterpreted as derived from the latin word ‘niger” meaning black, a reference to the dark complexion of the inhabitants of the region.

The name “Nigeria was allegedly coined in the 19th century by Flora Lugard, wife of Lord Fredrick Lugard the Governor General of both the Northern and Southern Protectorates . The predominantly Muslim North and Christian South were formed into one country for adminsitrative ease.

Flora Shaw combined the words “Niger” (the country’s longest river) and “Area” to get the word “Nigeria”. The adjectival form being “Nigerian” referring to people from the River Niger Area.

 

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