Skip to content

Who Named Nigeria & Why? Find Complete Answers Here!


If you have been wondering who named Nigeria? or what the name “Nigeria” means as well as what the country was known as before it was named “Nigeria” then you’re on the right page. Here, you will find out who named the country Nigeria as well as the meaning of the name, and the year the country was named amongst others so stay tuned!

Nigeria as the giant of Africa is no doubt one of the go-to countries on the African continent. With a population of over 190 million people as of 2017 (Google), Nigeria is the most populated country on the African continent.

The country didn’t exist until 1914 when the three main regions were merged by the British colonial masters at that time. That leaves us asking this question, who really gave the country the name “Nigeria“?

Flora Shaw - Lady Who Named Nigeria

Who Named Nigeria & In What Year?

The name “Nigeria” was given to the country by a British journalist and Times colonial editor named Mrs. Flora Shaw on January 8, 1897.

Mrs. Flora Shaw later got married to the then administrative head and the first Governor-general of the country (1914–1919), Lord Fredrick Lugard.

Frederick John Dealtry Lugard was a British soldier, mercenary, explorer of Africa, and colonial administrator. Before becoming the Governor-general of Nigeria, he was the Governor-general of Hong-kong and the last governor of both the Northern and Southern protectorates.

Flora Shaw was one of the notable journalists who fought for the freedom of slaves in Nigeria and Africa as a continent through some of her publications as a journalist. Lady Lugard(as she was fondly referred to) died on the 25th of January 1929, after falling ill with pneumonia.

What Does Nigeria Mean?

The name “Nigeria“, was gotten from the combination of “Niger” and “Area“.

Niger was gotten from the name of the longest river in NigeriaRiver Niger and the “Area” was the environment and people who live in the country where the river Niger is located in.

Nigeria was formed by the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates and had no formal name before it was eventually named by Lady Luguard.

Other Popular Questions About Nigeria

1. Who Amalgamated Nigeria?

Lord Fredrick Lugard amalgamated Nigeria in the year 1914.

2. What Was The Name Of Nigeria Before?

Nigeria had no name before the amalgamation by Lord Fredrick Lugard.

3. Who Colonized Nigeria?

Nigeria was colonized by British colonial masters.

4. What Does Nigeria Mean?

Nigeria is an Amalgam of the words: “Niger” and “Area“. The name “Nigeria” was formulated by Flora Shaw who was the wife of the then Governor-general of Nigeria, Lord Fredrick Lugard.

5. What Is The Pronunciation Of Nigeria?

Nigeria is pronounced, /naɪˈdʒɪəriə/

Wrapping Up

If you once thought about what the name “Nigeria” might mean and why the country was given the name and who even named the country, then you’re not alone as many other Nigerians like you have thought about this at some point.

Thankfully, we belive this post has done justice to that question and if you have read up to this part of the article, you should be able to tell the name of the lady who named Nigeria alongside what the name “Nigeria” means as what year the country was given the name “Nigeria”.

Share this post on social!
Editorial Team

Editorial Team

We're a team of experienced content creators in Nigeria who help to keep this website updated with valuable and verified information.View Author posts