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Home ✔Nigerian Affairs Who Named Nigeria, When & Meaning of Nigeria

Who Named Nigeria, When & Meaning of Nigeria

Who named Nigeria? What was the country named before then? and What is the meaning of the name ‘Nigeria’?… These are all very important questions regarding the history of our nation I believe every citizen must know the answers to.

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However, it is without doubt that many people are clueless about such topics. But, since you’re here, your name will be erased from the list of clueless individuals.

Nigeria is the most populated country and the number #1 economy on the African continent. However, this glorious nation didn’t exist at all until in 1914 when three regions were merged by the British Colonial masters.

But even before amalgamation, the British colonial masters already had a name for the entire region.

Read also:

Who named Nigeria?

The name Nigeria formulated by a British journalist Flora Shaw who later got married to Lord Frederick Lugard, the mastermind behind the creation of our beloved nation. But before then, he was the governor of both the Northern and Southern protectorates.


There’s no documented date for exactly what day and month Nigeria got her name. However, historians claim this was done in the late 19th century. In 1887 precisely.

Meaning of Nigeria

Flora Shaw combined the words “Niger” and “Area” to form the name Nigeria.

In other words, the nation’s name was gotten from its longest river — River Niger.

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Over the cause of time, the word Niger Area, transformed into Nigeria. And this has been in use ever since.

Our nation is blessed an lucky to have its origin tied to Flora Shaw. She was more than just a journalist — she was a pioneer for the abolition of slavery which greatly ravaged the African continent and several parts of the world.

There she is…

Flora Shaw Lady lugard. Photo credit: wikimedia

Lady Lugard died on 25 January 1929, after falling ill with pneumonia.

Nigeria’s Former name

The name ‘Nigeria’ currently in use has been the same way ever since the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorate. Therefore there’s no former name of any sort.

However, before amalgamation took place all the various regions existed on their own — albeit with separate governments and separate names.

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Matt Stephenshttps://www.naijahomebased.com/
Matt Stephens is the Editor in Chief of NaijaHomeBased.


  1. When?
    There’s no documented date for exactly what day and month Nigeria got her name. However, historians claim this was done in the late 19th century — n 1987 precisely.

    Editor, please note that 1987 is a wrong date for the amalgamation. it happened on Thursday 1 January 1914. 1987 is highly misleading please.

    Thank you.

    Kenneth Egejuru

    • Hi Kenneth Egejuru, thanks for your contribution to this post. The year in which Nigeria got her name is 1887; however, the day and month is not known to anyone. It is noteworthy that the naming of the region, which took place in 1887, happened before the amalgamation in 1914. In other words, they planned the merger beforehand, and called the entire region Niger Area even before the nation was formed. Thanks again for pointing out errors.

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