Nigeria, with its vast population of over 160 million people is rich in culture and languages. The English language is the most popular lingua franca of Nigeria but as with many other multi-ethnic nations, Nigeria has a majority of popular languages that are spoken more than the others.
Below are the top 10 most popular languages in Nigeria:
The Hausa language is one of many Nigerian languages that is spoken chiefly by the people of Northern Nigeria. It is noteworthy to state that not everyone from Northern Nigeria is Hausa but the language is spoken and understood by almost everyone in that part of Nigeria.
There are 18.5 million native speakers of Hausa language found in Sokoto, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Bauchi, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, and Gombe states. International radio stations like the BBC, China Radio International and Voice of Russia to broadcast in it.
This is the main language spoken by people originally from South-eastern Nigeria, comprising of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states. The language and other igboid languages are also spoken in some parts of Akwa Ibom, Delta and Rivers states.
This is the native language of the Yoruba people chiefly resident in South-western Nigeria. The Yoruba speaking states comprise of Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Kwara, and Lagos states and parts of Kogi State.
This language is also known as Fulani and it is spoken by cattle pastoralists largely in Northern Nigeria. In Nigeria, there are roughly 1.7 million Fulfude speakers resident in Kano, Katsina, Zaria, Jos plateau, Bororo, Maiduguri and Sokoto.
This is one of the most spoken languages in Nigeria. It is spoken by the people of Borno, Yobe and Jigawa States.
This language is spoken by the people in Bayelsa, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states. There are a number of dialects that have come out of the original language including Arogbo, Egbema, Ikibiri and West Tarairi with about 30 of them being inherently intelligible.
7. Nigerian Pidgin:
This is a mix of ethnic Nigerian languages and the English language. It is widely spoken by all and sundry in Nigeria and it operates as a kind of lingua franca across the country.
This language is spoken by the people in Nigeria located chiefly in Benue State. But it is also widely spoken in Plateau and Taraba states.
This language is chiefly spoken by the people of Akwa Ibom State. It is taught in primary and secondary schools with radio and television programmes available.
This language is mainly spoken by the Bini people of Edo State. It is very interesting and can be learned if one is willing to.