Although Nigeria gained partial independence from Britain on October 1 1960, it was not totally independent until 1963 when the Declaration of Independence was signed and became a republic.
Nigeria is often referred to as the "Giant of Africa", due to its large population and economy. With approximately 174 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. The country is inhabited by over 500 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.
The name “Nigeria” is derived from the word “Niger” – the name of the river that constitutes the most remarkable geographical feature of the country.
Nigeria was colonized by Britain in 1885, and became a British protectorate in 1901. Colonization lasted until 1960 until an independence movement succeeded in gaining Nigeria its independence. Nigeria was officially founded in October 1, 1960.
The Federation of Nigeria was granted full independence on 1 October 1960 under a constitution that provided for a parliamentary government and a substantial measure of self-government for the country's three regions. From 1959 to 1960, Jaja Wachuku was the First Nigerian Speaker of the Nigerian Parliament - also called the "House of Representatives." Jaja Wachuku replaced Sir Frederick Metcalfe of Britain. Notably, as First Speaker of the House, Jaja Wachuku received Nigeria's Instrument of Independence - also known as Freedom Charter - on 1 October 1960, from Princess Alexandra of Kent, The Queen's representative at the Nigerian independence ceremonies.