Nigeria (NG)

1.  Language information / Données sur les langues

1.1  Languages spoken / Langues parlées

a) Official / Officielle(s) :

None, however English is indicated as the primary language of the National Assembly and functions de facto as the official language of the country.

b) National, indigenous / Nationale(s), indigène(s) :

Ethnologue list 510 living languages at . Of these, three have tens of millions of speakers (Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo - these are mentioned as alternative languages to English for use in the National Assembly), several have over a million speakers, and others are of local importance.

c) Relevant pages in the Major Languages section of this report / Pages appropriées dans la section de ce rapport sur les Langues principales :

Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Ebira (Igbera), Edo (Bini), Efik/Ibibio/Anaang, Fula (Fulfulde), Idoma, Ijo, Kanuri, Krio/Pidgin, Nupe, Tiv.

1.2  Language policy / Politique de langue

a) Laws/legislation / Lois/législation :

The site L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde has a page on Nigeria at

b) Agencies / Agences :

NERDC (Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council), NLC (National Language Centre) and NINLAN (National Institute of Nigerian LANguages) are Nigeria's main language development bodies. NINLAN has a site at ; see also

A 1985 UNESCO publication listed thirteen institutions "involved in or responsible for African Language research" in Nigeria. Updated information is needed, including their current status and relationship to NERDC and NINLAN:

  • Nigerian Educational Research Council (NERC), P.O. Box 8058 - Yaba, LAGOS
  • Department of Nigerian and African Languages Ahmadu Bello University - ZARIA
  • Department of Nigerian Languages, Bayero University, PMB 3011 - KANO
  • Department of Linguistics and African Studies, University of Benin, PMB 1154 - BENIN CITY
  • Department of Linguistic and Languages, University of Calabar, PMB 1115 - CALABAR
  • Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages, Institute of African Studies, Institute of Education, University of Ibadan - IBADAN
  • Department of Language Arts, Department of Linguistics ; Institute of Education, University of Ife - ILE - IFE
  • Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages, University of Ilorin - PMB 1515 - ILORIN
  • Department of Languages and Linguistics, University of Jos, PMB 2084 - JOS
  • Department of African Languages and Literatures, University of Lagos - LAGOS
  • Department of Languages and Linguistics, University of Maiduguri, PMB 1069 - MAIDUGURI
  • Department of Humanities, University of Port-Harcourt, PMB 5323 - PORT-HARCOURT - Rivers State
  • Department of Hausa University of Sokoto PMB 2346 - SOKOTO

c) Languages in education/literacy / Langues dans l'éducation/l'alphabétisation :

UNDP (2006) gives a literacy figure (without reference to which language[s]) of: 67%

1.3  Writing in national/indigenous languages / Ecriture en langues nationales/indigènes

a) Orthographies / Orthographes :

The Latin alphabet, generally with some extended characters or diacritics, is used for all Nigerian languages. Efforts to define the Latin orthographies for these languages goes back to the colonial period. A page on Nigerian orthographies goes into more detail. See also specific language pages.

A chart showing the extended Latin characters and diacritics as indicated in a 1993 publication is available at: .

The Arabic alphabet was used historically in the north, especially for Hausa, and is still used to some degree today. It is often referred to as Ajami.

b) Print publications / Editions imprimées :

Several books and magazines are published in the major indigenous languages. The Yoruba language is one of the earliest written West African languages and this was pioneered by the Bishop Ajayi Crowther who translated and produced the Yoruba Bible nearly two centuries ago. Similarly, Alaroye is a Yoruba based periodical with modern digital production.

UNESCO (1985) reported the following periodicals (name, frequency of publication, circulation, language). Updated information is needed:

  • Amana, weekly, -, Hausa
  • Alaroye,weekly, -, Yoruba
  • Alukoro, weekly community newspaper, -, Yoruba
  • Gaskiya, weekly, -, Hausa
  • Gboungboun, weekly, -, Yoruba
  • Imole Owuko, weekly, -, Yoruba
  • Irohin Imole, weekly, -, Yoruba
  • Irohin Yoruba, weekly, 85,000, Yoruba
  • Isokan, weekly, -, Yoruba
  • Yancin Dan Adam, weekly, -, Hausa

1.4  Other comments / Autre commentaire

There is an industry of production of video dramas, generally in national languages.

2.  ICT situation / Situation des TIC

2.1  Infrastructure / Infrastructure

a) Telephones / Téléphones :

  • Fixed lines: Telephone mainlines: 5 per 1000 people
  • Mobile subscriptions: 3,149,000 (2.6 per 100 people) (ITU 2004 cited in Vodafone 2005)

b) Radio stations / Stations de radio :

  • There was 1 community radio station in Nigeria in 2006 (Ajijola, cited by Dada in GISW 2007)

c) Connectivity / Connectivité :

  • International internet bandwidth:
  • ISPs:
  • Geographic coverage:

2.2  Computer & internet access / Accès aux ordinateurs et à l'internet

a) Computers & points of access / Ordinateurs et lieux d'accès :

  • Number of computers / Nombre d'ordinateurs: 6.8 per 1000 people
  • Cybercafés / Cybercafés:
  • Project telecentres / Télécentres de projets: There are probably many.
    • Dabesaki Mac-Ikemenjima (2005) gives 4 examples:
      1. Community Teaching and Learning Centers
      2. Lagos Digital Village by Junior Achievement Nigeria
      3. Owerri Digital Village by Youth for Technology Foundation
      4. Computer Literacy for Older Persons Programme by Mercy Mission

b) Internet / Internet :

  • Dial-up subscribers / Abonnés par ligne téléphonique :
  • Internet users / Utilisateurs de l'internet : 1,769,700 Internet users as of Sept/05, 1.1% of the population, per ITU (Internet World Stats)

c) Other / Autre :

  • Digital Opportunity Index (DOI): 0.15 (ITU 2006); 0.17, ranked 155 (ITU 2007)
  • ICT Opportunity Index (ICT-OI?):
  • ICT Development Index (IDI):

2.3  ICT policy / Politique de TIC

"The government's role in creating an enabling environment has faced considerable challenges, despite support by pan-African bodies like the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), with its National Information and Communication Infrastructure (NICI) process, and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), with its eSchools Initiative.

"The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), which is charged with implementing ICT policy, began to work with 2007)

Information on NICI in Nigeria is available at and a rather dated background information page (with links) at

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) deals with ICT policy. See

The APC page, "ICT Policy in Nigeria" has some information and links:

2.4  ICT4D/E & ICT training / TIC pour le développement/éducation, et formation en TIC


According to Dada (in GISW 2007), "several initiatives can be grouped together as efforts to facilitate affordable access for Nigerians":

  • Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) (per the Nigerian Communications Act 2003). USPF "is expected to complement NCC projects such as Wire Nigeria (WiN), which aims to link up all the country’s states with fibre optic cable, and the State Accelerated Broadband Initiative (SABI), which involves the provision of wireless broadband services in Nigerian cities."
  • Broadband infrastructure. "One of the major constraints to the growth of rural telephony and internet connectivity has been the absence of broadband backbone infrastructure. This is one of the issues that is already being addressed through the setting up of Galaxy Backbone, a company owned by the Nigerian government. A deployment of 2,000 VSATs (satellite terminals) across Nigeria is planned. This will offer access to remote, underserved locations, and ensure that each of the 774 local governments will have connectivity. However, there are as yet no installations in place."
  • Computers for All Nigerians Initiative (CANI). "The aim of this initiative is to improve Nigerians’ access to computer hardware. It includes a funding mechanism whereby civil servants will be able to purchase computers and pay back the loan at a low rate of interest. Launched in July 2006, CANI is ... being coordinated by NITDA and involves Microsoft, Zinox and Omatek...
  • Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) "plan[s] to build and equip computer centres in higher education institutions across Nigeria. However, this plan does not include internet access."
  • Universities Bandwidth Consortium. "This is a pilot programme in which six of the nation’s universities are able to bulk purchase bandwidth for academic purposes."
  • National Rural Telephony Project (NRTP). "The NRTP was expected to provide 500,000 connected lines to 343 local governments in Nigeria within one year. ... The supervising Ministry of Communications reports that implementation is currently ongoing in 108 of 218 targeted local government headquarters in Nigeria."
  • Internet exchange points (IXPs). "The establishment of internet exchange points will help keep local internet traffic within the country, which reduces the need to use international bandwidth and thus significantly lowers costs."
  • Telecentre Network of Nigeria (TNN). "The inaugural meeting of the Network was held at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, on 25-27 January 2007, with the support of the International Development Research Centre's (IDRC’s) programme. It is hoped that the Network, by leveraging opportunities presented by the USPF, among other initiatives in Nigeria, will attain the goal of one telecentre in each of the country's 774 local government areas."


Kabissa has held "Time to Get Online" (TTGO) trainings for NGOs on use of the internet, including:

2.5  Resources / Ressources

3.  Localisation situation / Situation de localisation

3.1  Country web content / Contenu web du pays

3.2  Web content in indigenous languages / Contenu web en langues indigènes

(See also specific language pages.)

3.3  Software localisation / Localisation de logiciel

Several successful efforts focusing on keyboards include Paradigm Lingua Software, ALT-I Yoruba Keyboard, Konyin Keyboards, NITDA keyboard driver, etc. for content generation in national languages.

(See also specific language pages.)

3.4  Projects & organisations / Projets et organisations

3.5  Localisation policy / Politique de localisation

4.  References / Références

Ajijola, A.H. (2006). ICT/Community Radio as a Leadership Tool: Paper presented at the ICT/CR Advocacy Training for AAIN Partners. AAIN & APC, Abuja, 12-14 July 2006.

APC, "ICT Policy in Nigeria," Africa ICT Policy Monitor, ("Politiques de TIC en/au Nigeria," Observatoire des politiques des TIC en Afrique, )

Dada, John. "Nigeria." Global Information Society Watch (GISW) 2007 Report

International Telecommunications Union (ITU). 2004. African Telecommunication Indicators 2004. Geneva: ITU.

______. 2006. World Information Society Report 2006. Geneva: ITU.

______. 2007. World Information Society Report 2007. Geneva: ITU.

Internet World Stats: Africa. 2006.

Leclerc, Jacques. L'aménagement linguistique dans le monde, "Nigeria,"

Mac-Ikemenjima, Dabesaki. 2005. "e-Education in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects." Presentation at the 8th UN ICT Task Force Meeting, Dublin, 13-15 April 2005.

SIL International, Ethnologue: Languages of the World, "Languages of Nigeria,"

UNDP. 2006. ''Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis. Human Development Report 2006.'' New York: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). [Human development index Adult literacy rate (% ages 15 and older) (HDI) ]

UNESCO Regional Office for Education in Africa. 1985. African Community Languages and Their Use in Literacy and Education: A Regional Survey. Dakar: UNESCO.

Vodafone. 2005. "Africa: The Impact of Mobile Phones." The Vodafone Policy Paper Series, Number 3, March 2005.

Wikipedia, "Languages of Nigeria,"

______, "Pan-Nigerian alphabet,"

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