- Location: West Africa
- Capital: Abuja
- Language: English (official), Yoruba, Hausa and Ibo.
- Population: 155,215,573
- Total Area: 923,768 sq km
- Currency: Nigerian Naira
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Alcohol is consumed freely in the southern part of the country where there are many Christians and animists but prohibited in most parts of the north which has Muslims in overwhelming numbers. However, the regulation is loose and that means you can get alcohol anywhere in the nation.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 12.3 liters
- The most popular drink: Ogogoro (locally-brewed gin).
The name ‘Nigeria’ was given to the country by Lady Flora Shaw, wife of Lord Lugard, the former British Governor-General of the nation. Shaw coined the name from the River Niger, the third largest river in Africa. There are thirty six (36) states in the country and in terms of the geography; Nigeria is a very diverse nation. In the north, there are fringes of the Sahara Desert and guinea savanna. In the southern region of the country, there are thick rainforests, mangrove swamps and alluvial deltas. Nigeria is one of the largest producers of oil in the world.
With a population of over 155 million, Nigeria is the seventh most populous nation in the world, and is the most populous in Africa. As a matter of fact, one in every four Africans is a Nigerian. There are more than 250 ethnic groups in the country, and around 400 different dialects are spoken. Thus, there is a vast array of different peoples and tongues in the nation and that has brought about a rich profusion of various cultures and traditions. Nigerians are known all over the globe and an example is Wole Soyinka, the first African to receive a Nobel Prize for Literature.
Considering the fact that Nigerian is an agrarian society with vast arable land under cultivation, I was able to sample so many kinds of local dishes. However, one interesting thing with the country is that the delicacies varied from region to region. Among the Ibibios of Akwa Ibom State in the southern region, I tasted a local soup called edikanikong. Very tasty and nutritious, it was made using vegetables and a copious amount of fresh seafood (lobsters, crabs, prawns, shrimps and periwinkles). All over the country, there is plenty to eat. Almost all Nigerians eat meat and fish. I did not come across a single vegetarian.
Just as the foods are diverse, there are different types of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. The highest consumption of alcohol was observed in the southern states such as Delta, Rivers, Cross Rivers and Akwa Ibom. Here, the most popular drink is a locally-brewed gin called ogogoro. Made from sorghum, this drink is wildly popular all over the country, especially among the commercial motorcyclists. In various parts of the country, this drink is also called paraga, shepe, Sapele water and akpeteshi. In other places like Lagos and Port Harcourt, classy wines such as Hennessey and Moet et Chandon are consumed by the rich.
Throughout my stay in Nigeria, I discovered that most Nigerians were deeply in love with soccer. The national soccer team is called the Super Eagles and it receives tremendous support from the populace. Millions of the youths are also enthusiastic supporters of European football clubs such as Chelsea and Barcelona.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria)