Nigeria Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

Nigeria is one country on the large continent of Africa. Come learn about Nigeria, where you can find it on a map, how big it is, what the official language is, and some other neat facts about this African country.

Where is Nigeria?

Imagine yourself on a large boat, sailing through a big, blue gulf. It's been awhile since you've seen any land but off in the distance, you see what looks like a big city right on the coast. You also notice some small houses on stilts in the water not far from the mainland. You are in the city of Lagos in the country of Nigeria!

Nigeria is a country in West Africa that has more people living in it than any other nation in Africa. It is on the Gulf of Guinea and shares its borders with Benin, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon.

Map of Nigeria
Map of Nigeria

Nigeria is about twice as big as California and its capital city is Abuja (pronounced uh-BOO-juh). But Abuja is a very new city, with building only just starting there in 1980. It was actually designed specifically to be the capital and was modeled after Washington D.C., which was founded in 1790.

The old capital was Lagos (pronounced LAY-goss), which is still the biggest city in Nigeria. Because Lagos is big, tends to be unclean, and is easily attacked from the coast, the capital of the country was moved.

If you are wandering the streets of Abuja or Lagos and get hungry, you'll need to exchange your US dollars for naira (pronounced NIGH-ruh) because that is the money used in Nigeria.

Busy street in Lagos
Busy street in Lagos

Asking for directions or where to get lunch won't be a problem because the official language of Nigeria is English. However, because there are so many different groups of people that live in this African country, there are about 300 other languages spoken there, too.

Life in Nigeria

There is a lot of oil near the Niger River in the southern part of Nigeria, but you'll also find rainforests and higher, flat, grassy plains in other parts of the country, too.

Houses on stilts in Nigeria
Houses on stilts in Nigeria

Many people are very poor in Nigeria and some live in floating cities that are built on stilts in the water. They use boats to get around and the children even go to a floating school! If you went to school in Nigeria, you would start in October and get out in July.

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