Nigeria is known for masks and other carvings in
wood and ivory. The country's various ethnic groups have
oral traditions of poems, songs and fairy tales. As far
as English-language literature is concerned, Nigeria,
alongside South Africa, is the leader in Africa.
The oldest works of art found in the country are
terracotta heads from the Late Stone Age, which have
been associated with the nok culture (see Older
history). In Nife in Yorubaland, exquisite sculptures in
terracotta and bronze were made from the 800 to the
1100s, and the sculpture art was further developed at
the Benin court in the 16th and 16th centuries.
In Hausaland in the north, poetry in Arabic has been
written since the 15th century. In the early 19th
century, writing began in Hausa, first in Arabic, later
Latest population statistics of Nigeria, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Nigeria's first university was founded in 1949 in
Ibadan, in the heart of Yorubaland, and black Africa's
first Nobel Laureate in literature, Wole Soyinka,
belongs to the Yoruba people. Soyinka, who received the
award in 1986, has been especially active as a
playwright. Of his novels, several have been translated
into Swedish, as well as the poetry collection Ogun's
shadow. Soyinka also emerged as a critic of the Nigerian
military regimes (see Modern History). He has worked to
raise public opinion against "anti-democratic
tendencies" in Nigeria and in 2010 he formed a political
party (see Calendar).
When Soyinka debuted in the 1950s, another Yoruba,
Amos Tutuola, had already gained notoriety with his
peculiar story The Palm Wind Drinker. It was written in
African English in 1952 and is linked to oral
During the period of independence in 1960 and up to
the Biafra War 1967-1970, the Nigerian literature
exploded. Among several brilliant Igbo writers is Chinua
Achebe (1930–2013). Already in 1958 he portrayed the
meeting between Igbo culture and European lifestyle in
the turn of the last century Africa in the novel
Everything breaks down.
Ben Okri, now living in London, belongs to a younger
generation. In the early 1990s, he broke through with
the novel The Insatiable Road. Okris's father came from
Urhobo, one of the small people groups in the Niger
Delta in the south, while the mother was an igbo. A
political writer was Ken Saro-Wiwa, who became the
spokesman for the Ogoni people in the Niger Delta before
the then military regime executed him in 1995 (see
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, born in 1977 in
southeastern Nigeria, was awarded with her debut novel
Lila Hibiscus in 2003. She has also won awards for A
Half Yellow Sun (2006) depicting the Biafra War, and
Americanah (2013). She is seen as an heir to the great
Nigerian writer of the 1960s. American-Nigerian author
Teju Cole was awarded for his debut novel Open City
(2012), which takes place largely in New York but also
The composer, saxophonist and singer Fela Kuti
(1938–1997) won international reputation in the 1970s
and 1980s with his jazz-influenced music style
afro-beat. Fela Kuti, who was a Yoruba and
Pan-Africanist, also criticized Nigeria's military
Nigeria's film industry, jokingly called "Nollywood",
produces more films than Hollywood and is an important
part of the service sector in the country. Many films
are also sold to other African countries. More than half
of the films are recorded in local languages, the rest
in English. Production costs are kept low by all films
being made on video.
"Boko Haram is left"
In a video recording, the notorious Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau says
that the terrosect was not driven away from the Sambisa forest at all, something
Buhari claimed on Christmas Eve. Shekau addresses the president directly: "You
Worst humanitarian crisis in Africa
The hunger disaster in northeastern Nigeria is now the worst on the
continent, according to the UN. Around 100,000 people, most children, are dying
of starvation. 400,000 children risk acute malnutrition.
Many dead in attacks against market
At least 56 people are killed and over 170 injured when two women burst into
a crowded marketplace in Madagali, in the state of Adamawa. According to some
descriptions, the perpetrators were school girls.
"Security forces kill separatists"
Amnesty International is suing security forces for killing at least 150
Biafra activists and injuring hundreds since August 2015, in connection with the
protests. At least 60 people died in connection with Memorial Day in May,
according to the report, which is based on video recordings, photographs and
eyewitness accounts. The overwhelming tension is increasing tensions in
southeastern Nigeria, the human rights organization notes. The army rejects the
New attack strikes against oil production
The NDA rebel group in the Niger Delta takes on an attack which, according to
the group, means that oil production is reduced by 300,000 barrels a day. The
attack is a vengeance for the government to continue harassing people in the
area, it says. The conditional ceasefire since August has otherwise led to an
increase in production; On November 1, the Ministry of Petroleum reported that
production was back at 2.1 million barrels per day. This is almost normal (see
Many dead when police strike Shiites
At least ten people are killed and several injured when police open fire on
Irano-believing Shia Muslims in Kano. The violence erupts when members of the
IMN (see December 2015) try to train from Kano to Zaria in the
state of Kaduna, where the group is banned, in connection with the ashura
mourning holiday. Several violent clashes have taken place over the past year
between Shiites and Sunnis.
Raids against judges
Authorities raid seven high-ranking judges suspected of corruption and abuse
of power. Among those who get their homes crawled, there are two judges in the
Supreme Court. The police are reported to have seized large sums of cash in the
strike, which some lawyers believe is law-abiding.
Buhari appeals for relief
The President appeals in a speech at the UN General Assembly on aid from the
outside world to cope with the growing humanitarian crisis that Boko Haram has
triggered in Nigeria.
Oil pipeline attacks
The militant group NDGJM takes on an attack on an oil pipeline in the state
of Delta, the other in less than a week. The NDGJM is believed to have stepped
up its activity since the rival NDA announced a ceasefire and entered into
negotiations with the government (see August 2016).
Violence in September
Despite the military claiming to have the upper hand, Boko Haram's assaults
on civilians continue mainly in the state of Borno. At one point, eight people
were killed outside a church, by perpetrators on a bicycle. On another occasion,
six civilians die in an attack on a military card transport. Three soldiers are
The economy in recession
Nigeria is formally confirmed to be in a recession as growth has been
negative two quarters in a row. During the second quarter of the year, the
economy shrank by 2.06 percent. The reason is the low oil prices on the world
market. At the same time, the government states that growth is good in the
agricultural and mining sectors.
Boko Haram leaders reportedly killed
The military claims to have killed several commanders in the Islamist sector
and seriously wounded the disputed leader Abubakar Shekau, in a plane attack in
the Zambian Forest in Borno on August 19.
NDA announces conditional ceasefire
20th of August
The NDA rebel group in the Niger Delta is said to have agreed to talks with
the government. Meanwhile, the NDA abstains from attacks, as long as the
"government party" abstains from harassment of innocent civilians, it states.
Just days earlier, the NDA has accused President Buhari of inciting divisions in
Vaccination campaign against polio
The World Health Organization WHO and the UN Children's Fund Unicef agree
to vaccinate around 5 million children in four states in Nigeria, after two new
cases of the disease were discovered. See also Social conditions.
President Buhari says in a speech that Nigeria has suddenly become a poor
country. He notes that the price of oil has fallen from $ 100 a barrel to $ 37,
and is now between $ 40 and $ 45. The falling oil revenues mean that the country
is now entering a recession. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has just
concluded that South Africa has once again gone over Nigeria as Africa's largest
economy. Angola has become the continent's largest oil producer.
Conflicting Boko Haram leader
IS presents Abu Musab al-Barnawi as the new leader of the Islamist sect.
Shortly thereafter, however, Abubakar Shekau appears in a video recording in
which he claims that he is still a leader. It is the first time in a year that a
sign of life comes from Shekau. Barnawi, who previously was spokesman for Boko
Haram, is relatively unknown, but later comes information that he is a
22-year-old son of founder Mohammed Yusuf (see Modern History).
Cash payments are resumed in the Niger Delta
The state is starting to pay cash to militant groups again, in an attempt to
halt the new attacks that have hit hard on oil production. The most recent
payments were made in February.
Military can be deployed in the Niger Delta
The army is ready to deploy soldiers in the delta where the NDA guerrillas
conducted repeated attacks during the year. Local leaders warn that it could
have serious consequences for the civilian population. No major military
operations have been carried out in the area since 2009.
Boko Haram is driven out of Damasak
The regional force fighting Islamists and the Nigerian military is driving
the rebels out of the city (see also April 2015).
Alarm on humanitarian crisis
The UN warns of the threat of a humanitarian disaster in Nigeria and the area
around Lake Chad. Over 2.8 million people have been displaced from their homes
in the region and over 9 million - of which 7 million in Nigeria - suffer acute
food shortages. The UN has compared the situation with the crisis in Darfur in
Sudan, as well as in South Sudan. According to Unicef, 250,000 children in Borno
suffer from acute malnutrition. Doctors without the limit state that between
500,000 and 800,000 people cannot be reached by emergency workers. The
organization raised an alarm in June that nearly 200 people who had fled Boko
Haram have been starved to death, and that the situation is acute in a camp with
24,000 people. Every fifth child in the camp suffers from severe malnutrition
and many are also severely traumatized.
New attacks in the Niger Delta
The rebel group NDA takes on five attacks on oil and gas plants and has thus
resumed its sabotage after a break. The NDA demands a greater share of revenues
and increased political self-government. The attacks have led to reduced oil
Multi-billion deal with China
The government announces that an agreement worth $ 80 billion has been signed
with Chinese companies to renovate the country's worn-out oil refineries and
other infrastructure in the oil and gas sector. However, the rising unrest in
the Niger Delta may hinder some of the investment.
Corruption charges against the previous government
Ex-President Jonathan's campaign spokesman Femi Fani-Kayode and former
Finance Minister Nenadi Esther Usman are accused of stealing the equivalent of $
5.3 million in state funds to use them for "political and private" purposes.
Former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki is charged with similar crimes, as
is a cousin to Jonathan. The ex-president himself has not been singled out by
the anti-corruption agency EFCC.
The central bank faces a floating exchange rate, whereupon the naira
collapses by 40 percent. Nairan has been linked to the dollar since March 2015,
which has meant it was clearly overvalued.
Deadly Boko Haram attack
17th of June
About 20 people are killed when Islamists open fire to participants in a
grief ceremony following a deceased local leader in northeastern Nigeria. The
attack takes place in a village near the city of Gulak recently liberated from
Boko Haram. It is the second attack in a short time in northeastern Nigeria,
where it has been relatively calm since the turn of the year.
New rebel group threatens
The group that calls itself the Niger Delta Joint Liberation Force (JNDLF)
says it is planning extensive attacks around the country against "all
infrastructure built with our oil and gas money". On a long list of targets
there are government buildings, NNPC's facilities and the military. With its
statement, JNDLF adopts a significantly more militant line than the NDA (see May
Big Boko Haram attack in Niger
More than 100 rebels cross the border and occupy a military base in Bosso,
southern Niger. Over 30 soldiers are killed and up to 70 injured before the
rebels retreat across the border to Nigeria. In the state of Borno, Nigeria, the
army is reported to have killed 19 Boko Haram members in a battle in which two
government soldiers were also wounded.
Deadly violence when war outbreaks are celebrated
At least ten people were killed in riots in connection with a ceremony
commemorating the Biafra War that broke out in 1967 and lasted until 1970.
Police say they responded to the fire from members of the Ipob group (see
December 2015). A spokesman for Ipob denies that the group's
members opened fire, claiming that at least 35 members were killed by police.
Amnesty International reports after an investigation into the incident that the
military shot at unarmed civilians and at least 17 were killed. Violence
occurred in several places.
Amnesty is extended
Buhari promises in a speech in conjunction with his celebrating a year in the
presidential post to retain the disputed amnesty program for the Niger Delta.
The promise seems to be a turnaround compared to the previous information that
that program would end in 2018.
Attacks cause water shortages
24th of May
The water is shut off in the multi-million city of Lagos as the pumping
stations are without electricity due to gas shortages caused by renewed attacks
on pipelines in the Niger Delta. Oil production has dropped to 1.4 million
barrels a day, instead of the 2.2 million barrels a day planned.
Ex-rebels condemn violence
Former members of Mend, in a written statement, distance themselves from the
new rebels who have taken on attacks in the Niger Delta, saying that they do not
intend to resort to violence again. President Buhari "deserves more time to
stabilize the country," it says. Most of the new attacks have been carried out
by a group called the Niger Delta's Avengers (NDA).
Strengthened security in the Niger Delta
Buhari orders strengthened monitoring in Delta's marshlands, following
attacks on several pipelines and other facilities belonging to Shell, Chevron
and Agip, among others. The attacks pose a threat to the state's economy, the
Chibok girls found
Two of the 219 schoolgirls missing since April 2014 are found within a couple
of days. These are the first of the girls found. One of them, a now 19-year-old
woman with an infant, was found by a citizen group while looking for firewood in
the forest. The second girl was part of a group of 97 women and girls rescued by
the military. 35 Boko Haram members must have been killed in connection with the
exemption, and large arms and ammunition were seized.
Strike despite court order
NLC is moving ahead with plans to announce a strike against the fuel price
increase, despite an industrial court saying it must not be initiated because of
the risk of social disruption. The smaller central organization TUC blows its
strike plans at the court's notice.
Substantial increase in fuel prices
The gasoline price is increased by two-thirds to the equivalent of about SEK
6 in an attempt to remedy the fuel shortage. On the black market, gasoline
already costs considerably more. The national organization NLC calls the
increase "criminal" (see also January 2012 and Natural
Resources, Energy and Environment).
The United States promises extra money in humanitarian aid
The United States promises $ 40 million to help the people of the countries
affected by Boko Haram's violence.
Video with Chibok girls
The government has received a video recording, of all judgments made in
December, where 15 girls appear who say they have been kidnapped in Chibok. Some
of them have been identified by their parents. These are the first images
published since shortly after its abduction in April 2014.
The Senate President is on trial
A lawsuit is initiated against Senate Speaker Bukola Saraki at a special
court where he was indicted for false declaration during his tenure as state
Hundreds of charges for false contracts
24th of March
Prosecutors are prosecuting over 300 companies and individuals who are
suspected of swindling the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars on fake
contracts on defense equipment. Most contracts are linked to former national
security adviser Sambo Dasuki, who was laid off in July 2015. Among the
defendants are both retired and active senior officers.
Hundreds liberated from Boko Haram
The army states that it exempted 829 people who were held captive by Boko
Haram in twelve villages in the northeastern part of the country. According to
the army, 25 Islamists are killed in raids against the villages.
Ghost workers fired
The Ministry of Finance announces that more than 20,000 "ghost workers" have
been dismissed from state companies and authorities. According to the ministry,
the state will save around SEK 90 million in 2016 by removing these non-existent
persons who were only on the payrolls.
Billion pledge to fight terrorists
A number of donor countries pledge a total of about $ 250 million, equivalent
to just over SEK 2 billion, to the fight against extremist movement Boko Haram.
Most money promises Nigeria itself, the worst affected country, but money is
also promised by the EU, UK and Switzerland, among others. The promises are made
at the AU summit.
Massage on city dwellers
30th of January
At least 85 people are killed when Boko Haram attacks a village outside the
city of Maiduguri in the northeast. The Islamists burn down the village and flee
Billion credit revealed
In connection with the government launching a campaign for increased
vigilance against corruption, Information Minister Lal Mohammed says that 55
people stole the equivalent of US $ 6.8 billion from the Treasury between 2006
and 2013. Among the thieves were ministers, state governors, civil service
officials, bank employees and businessmen.