Nigeria has been home to a number of kingdoms and tribal states over the millennia.
The modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, and took its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914.
In the 16th century, Spanish and Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to begin significant, direct trade with peoples of modern-day Nigeria, at the port they named Lagos and in Calabar.
The word is likely an alteration of the Tuareg name egerew Further north, the cities Kano and Katsina have a recorded history dating to around 999 AD.
Hausa kingdoms and the Kanem-Bornu Empire prospered as trade posts between North and West Africa.
The Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo people consolidated in the 10th century and continued until it lost its sovereignty to the British in 1911.
Nri was ruled by the Eze Nri, and the city of Nri is considered to be the foundation of Igbo culture.
Benin's power lasted between the 15th and 19th centuries.
Their dominance reached as far as the city of Eko (an Edo name later changed to Lagos by the Portuguese) and further.Oyo, at its territorial zenith in the late 17th to early 18th centuries, extended its influence from western Nigeria to modern-day Togo.The Edo's Benin Empire is located in southwestern Nigeria. All content appeared on this site is the property of its owners.All images on this site are all in compliance with the US Federal Law. We take no responsibility for the content they submit to our site and for the sites and pages we link to.At the beginning of the 19th century, Usman dan Fodio directed a successful jihad and created and led the centralised Fulani Empire (also known as the Sokoto Caliphate).