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Saturday 13th July
Nigeria Facts
The highest point in the Federal Republic of Nigeria is Chappal Waddi (2,419 m).

The River Niger is Africa's third largest river.

The country was named Nigeria after the River Niger.

The Nok civilization (around 500 BC-200 AD) is the earliest known civilization in Nigeria.

A number of states and kingdoms were formed from the eleventh century onwards. These included the Hausa states, the Yoruba city-states and the Benin kingdom.

Over three hundred languages are spoken in Nigeria.

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach Nigeria (1472).

The slave trade in West Africa flourished between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. People from Nigeria were taken as slaves to work in the Caribbean and the Americas.

The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act (1807) prohibited the slave trade within the British Empire. (Slaves in the British colonies did not gain their freedom until the 1830s. The Abolition of Slavery Act (1833) began the process leading to emancipation).

Britain made Lagos a Protectorate in 1861.

Between 1861 and 1914 Britain extended the British Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.

Oil was discovered in Nigeria in 1956 at Oloibiri (Bayelsa State).

Port Harcourt, on the Niger Delta, is the center of Nigeria's oil industry.

Independence was achieved in Nigeria in 1960.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria is a member of the Commonwealth.

Civil war broke out in 1967 when three eastern states formed the Republic of Biafra.

The capital city was officially transferred from Lagos to Abuja in 1991.

Ken Saro-Wiwa, who spoke out against environmental damage to the Niger Delta, caused by drilling for oil, was executed in 1995.

In the early 1990s a dispute erupted between Nigeria and Cameroon over the ownership of the Bakassi Peninsula and its oil deposits. The Peninsula was handed over to Cameroon in August 2008.

Floods in 2007 affected countries in Africa, from east to west; a number of people lost their lives in flooding in Nigeria.

In April 2014 more than two hundred girls from a boarding school in the northern town of Chibok were kidnapped by the Boko Haram.

Attacks by Boko Haram increased in August 2018; army bases were targeted.

Benin Bronzes were created between the sixteenth and nineteenth century by the Edo people in what is now modern-day Nigeria. The New Scientist revealed in April 2023 that the material used for the Bronzes shared properties with brass rings used in the slave trade; the metal is said to have originated in the Rhineland in Germany.

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