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This article obviously cannot furnish one with all the interesting facts about Nigeria. This is not even an attempt to do that, but rather, it outlines some very interesting facts about Nigeria that is often overlooked, downplayed or probably, not even known at all. Some of the facts here are already well established truths, but some others are forecasted facts due to the observed trends and researched facts and figures. Without further ado, let us highlight these five (out of a plethora) of interesting facts about Nigeria that we think you need to be aware of:

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1. ‘Nollywood’ is bigger than Hollywood

In 2009, UNESCO reported the Nigerian film industry – also known as “Nollywood” – had overtaken Hollywood to become the world’s second largest film industry, behind India’s Bollywood. In the following decade, output more than doubled to 2,500 films a year – and the industry is continuing to grow, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers. It’s estimated to employ more than 1 million people and to generate more than $7 billion for the national economy, accounting for around 1.4% of Nigeria’s gross domestic product. New cinemas are opening and box office revenue is predicted to reach $22 million by 2021.

2. Nigeria will have more people than the US by 2050

Nigeria is already the most populous African nation, and will more than double in size to 400 million people by 2050, according to the United Nations.

3. Nigeria boasts of some of the world’s greatest writers

Nigerian authors have received some of literature’s highest accolades, including playwright Wole Soyinka, who became Africa’s first Nobel laureate for literature in 1986. The late Chinua Achebe’s debut novel, Things Fall Apart, has sold 20 million copies in the six decades since its publication, making the writer famous for challenging European colonialism. Ben Okri’s The Famished Road won the Man Booker Prize in 1991. Contemporary feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was inspired by reading Things Fall Apart at 10-years-old. Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun was made into a film in 2013.

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4. Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy

Nigeria’s GDP surpassed that of South Africa about a decade ago, according to the World Bank. Last year, Nigeria’s economy was valued at $397 billion, while South Africa – once the biggest player on the continent – had a GDP of $366 billion. Nigeria is one of the world’s biggest oil exporters – and Africa’s biggest oil producer, pumping out around 2 million barrels each day.

5. Nigeria’s music industry will be worth $73 million in 2021

Another of its big exports, Afrobeats, has taken the world by storm, with stars like Burna Boy, Davido and Wizkid boasting huge followings. For example, the music video for Davido’s single, “Fall”, has had over 140 million views on YouTube. Music labels are taking note and Sony and Universal have already opened offices in Nigeria. The country’s music industry is set to be valued at $73 million by 2021, according to PwC.

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This article was first published on 30th January 2020


Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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