Who named Nigeria and in what year? Read all the details

Who named Nigeria and in what year? Read all the details

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, commonly known as Nigeria, is a West African country renowned for its vibrant economy and huge population, currently exceeding 200 million. The country is geographically located between the Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea. Like numerous other African countries, Nigeria has a rich history, deeply intertwined with European trade and colonization. Who named Nigeria, where did the name come from, and what does it mean?

the name Nigeria was given by
A map and flag colours of Nigeria. Photo: pixabay.com, @GDJ
Source: Depositphotos

Numerous African countries did not have formal borders, and typically existed in the form of groups of indigenous communities. These structures changed drastically when the European colonialists arrived in the continent. Who named Nigeria and what was the original name of Nigeria before that?

Who named Nigeria?

Who gave the name Nigeria and in which year? The name was suggested by Flora Shaw, a British journalist on 8 January 1897. She named the country Nigeria, after the Niger River, which dominates much of the country’s landscape. Flora later married Lord Lugard, one of the best-known British colonial administrators at the time.

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The neighboring Republic of Niger derives its name from the same river. The name Niger is believed to be an iteration of the words 'egerew n-igerewen', commonly used by Tuareg inhabitants who lived near the rivers. Others believe the name to mean ‘black.’

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What was Nigeria named before?

who gave Nigeria her name
Nigerians holding up their country's flags. Photo: pexels.com, @Tope A. Asokere
Source: UGC

What was Nigeria called before it was named by Flora Shaw? The country’s naming history dates to 1879 when a British man known as George Goldie formed the United African Company (UAC) and used it to control the lower areas of the river Niger.

The company was later given a charter to administer the entire Niger Delta. Thus, before the name Nigeria was given by Flora, the entire land under its administration was known as the Royal Niger protectorate. A few years later, the company had its charter revoked, forcing George to sell his holdings to the British Government.

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A brief look into Nigerian history

Here is a quick look at some of the most important events that have happened in Nigerian history.

The merger of protectorates (1914)

How old is Nigeria? The country was formed more than 100 years ago. In 1914, colonial authorities combined the then southern and northern protectorates to form what was known as the Protectorate and Colony of Nigeria. This makes the country about 108 years as of 2022.

The country was in a 3-year civil war from 1967

The civil war began when the Republic of Biafra seceded from the rest of the country. The secession was preceded by two coups and civil unrests that saw more than a million Igbos head back to their native region in southeast Nigeria.

The government declared war on the secessionists which lasted about 30 months, eventually coming to an end in 1970.

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The country’s oil boom began in the 1970s

Sometime during the 1970s, Nigeria was the wealthiest African country because of the oil boom. By 1976, the country’s profits from oil had reached a record N5.3 billion. The country joined the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1971.

In 2014, Nigeria became Africa’s largest economy

In mid-2014, the country's Bureau of Statistics confirmed the rebasing of the GDP to approximately $509.9 billion. This lifted Nigeria above South Africa's nominal GDP of $322 billion, making it the largest economy in Africa.

The country became independent in 1960

Nigeria gained independence from British rule in 1960, initially adopting a British style of government. The country’s first head of government was Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.

The country has been under military rule for a combined 29 years

Who gave the name Nigeria and in which year?
Soldiers in the field. Photo: pixabay.com, @Defence-Imagery
Source: UGC

At the beginning of 1966, a group of UK-trained Nigerian army soldiers overthrew the sitting government in a violent coup. This was followed by a chain of military rule for 29 of the 33 years between 1966 and 1999.

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Who gave Nigeria her name?

Who gave the name Nigeria and in which year? The name was suggested by Flora Shaw, a British journalist on 8 January 1897. She named it after the Niger River, which dominates much of the country’s landscape

Like numerous other African countries that underwent colonial rule, the question of who named Nigeria is quite common. The country’s name is deeply intertwined with the Niger River as well as the British who first arrived in West Africa.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Civil Defence: structure, corps salary and rank in 2022

Legit.ng recently published an article about the the Nigeria Civil Defence, one of the numerous paramilitary, military, and police agencies in Nigeria. These bodies serve various functions, all related to safety, law enforcement and order in one way or another.

Commonly abbreviated as NSCDC, this federal security agency was created to help mitigate any threats and forms of attack against Nigeria and its populace. What is the civil defence salary structure in 2022?

Source: Legit.ng

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