The First University in Nigeria – University of Ibadan (1948)
University of Ibadan started from Yaba College which was the first tertiary institute in Nigeria founded in 1932. Yaba College was moved to Ibadan to become University College of Ibadan in 1948. It was instituted as an external college of the University of London. By 1962 it became an independent university called University of Ibadan.
The First Museum – Esie Museum (1945)
The Esie museum was opened in 1945 and is adjudged to be the first museum in Nigeria. It is known to have the largest collection of soapstone images in the world. Currently, the Esie museum is now used for religious activities and it hosts a festival annually. It’s situated in Esie, Kwara State.
The First Television Station in Nigeria – Western Nigerian Television (1959)
Television broadcasting started in Nigeria in October 1959, when the then premier of Western Region, the legendary, Chief Obafemi Awolowo established the Western Nigerian Television (WNTV) in Ibadan. It was the first station in Africa. The Western region blazed the trail by establishing the first TV not only in Nigeria but also in Africa.
First Storey Building – Badagry (1845)
The foundation for the First Storey Building in Nigeria was laid in 1842 and house completed in 1845 in Badagry, Lagos State. Its construction follows modern architecture. But there is the story of the Gobarau Minaret built with clay between 1348 and 1398 with indigenous technology.
First Church – Cathedral of St. Peter Church (1843)
In case you didn’t know, Cathedral of St. Peter Church in Ake Abeokuta, Ogun state is the first and oldest church in Nigeria. The church is still doing great with a strong building structure.
First Skyscraper – Cocoa House (1965)
From proceeds from commodities such as Cocoa, Rubber, Timber, and so on, the first skyscraper in Nigeria, and tropical Africa was built. Cocoa house is a 105 meters building located in the ancient city of Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state in Nigeria. It was completed in 1965.
First Secondary School – CMS Grammar School (1859)
CMS Grammar School, Bariga, is the first secondary school in Nigeria. It was founded on 6 June 1859 by Church Missionary Society. Thanks to seed funding made possible by James Pinson Labulo Davies who in April 1859 provided Babington Macaulay (The First Principal of the school) with £50 (equivalent of ₦1.34 million as of 2014) to buy books and equipment for the school.
First Airport – Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (1936)
Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport is the oldest in Nigeria, with operations starting in 1936. The bulk of international flights cater for the large Lebanese community in Kano and Muslim pilgrimages to Mecca. In 1936 the airport was an important fuel-stop for airlines offering intercontinental services between Europe and Africa.
First Miss Nigeria – Grace Oyelude (1957)
Grace Oyelude won the maiden edition of Miss Nigeria in 1957, and would later use part of her £200 prize money to travel to England where she studied Nursing.
First (and only) Miss World – Agbani Darego (2001)
Agbani Darego is a Nigerian model and beauty queen, the 51st winner of the Miss World pageant. In November 2001, she became the first native Sub- Saharan African to claim the Miss World title. Darego’s victory was widely welcomed in Nigeria, and her one-year tenure included goodwill trips and scheduled appearances on behalf of the pageant.
First Olympic Gold Medalist – Chioma Ajunwa-Opara (1996)
Ajunwa went on to become the first West-African woman, as well as the first Nigerian, to win an Olympic gold medal in a track and field event when she emerged victorious in the women’s long jump event at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, with a jump length of 7.12 meters (on her first attempt) during the final.
First Nobel Prize Winner – Prof. Wole Soyinka (1986)
Soyinka was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, becoming the first African laureate. It was the first Nobel Prize awarded to an African writer.
First President – Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe
Dr. Azikiwe became Governor General of the Nigerian Federation at independence from Britain in 1960, and President in 1963, when Nigeria was declared a republic. Dr. Azikiwe towered over the affairs of Africa’s most populous nation, attaining the rare status of a truly national hero who came to be admired across the regional and ethnic lines dividing his country.