Current Affairs

Important Dates After Independence in Nigeria

On this page, we will report important events that have taken place in Nigeria since the country gained its independence.

On this page, we will report important events that have taken place in Nigeria since the country gained its independence. The page would receive regular updates to ensure that it is always current.

  • On October 1st 1960, Nigeria got her independence, and Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe became the first Governor General while Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa became the first prime minister.
  • The southern Camerouns were incorporated into the federation of Camerouns; they ceased to be administered as part of the Federation of Nigeria on October 1st 1961.
  • The Northern Camerous was formally incorporated into the federation of Nigeria on June 1st 1962.
  • Nigeria became a Republic on October 1st 1963, and Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe became the first ceremonial president.
  • The first military coup took place in Nigeria on January 15th 1966.
  • The Nigerian Civil War started on July 6th 1967, and ended on January 12th 1970, and was led by Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu.
  • Nigeria changed to right-hand drive on April 2nd 1972.
  • The Nigerian government officially opened the national stadium in Lagos in 1972.
  • The Central Bank of Nigeria changed Nigeria’s currency to Naira and Kobo on January 1st 1973.
  • General Yakubu Gowon introduced National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) under decree 24 on May 22nd 1973.
  • The Economic community of west African state (ECOWAS) was set up in Lagos on May 28th 1975.
  • Lt. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo opened the National Theatre, Iganmu in Lagos in 1976.
  • Gen. Murtala Mohammed was assassinated on February 13th 1976.
  • The Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) was held in Lagos on February 15th 1977.
  • Nigeria changed from military to civilian rule on October 1st 1979, and Alhaji Shehu Shagari became the first Executive President.
  • President Shehu Shagari commissioned Kaduna Refinery on October 25th 1980
  • President Shehu Shagari commissioned Delta Steel Company Ovwian-Aladja in 1980.
  • Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu returned to Nigeria after 12 years in exile in 1982.
  • The war against indiscipline (WAI) was introduced by Buhari/Idiagbon regime on March 20th 1984.
  • Naira and kobo changed colour on April 25th 1984.
  • Bellview plane crash at Lisa village in Ogun state occurred on October 22nd 2005, killing all 117 passengers on board.
  • Another aircraft crashed in Kaduna, killing all passengers on board on November 25th 2005.
  • Sosoliso Airline crashed in Port-Harcourt, killing 114 passengers with only three survivors on December 10th 2005.
  • NEPA changed to Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) on May 31st 2005.
  • A Nigeria Air force Dornier 228 plane with some Army Generals and other personnel crashed, killing 14 of 17 passengers on board on September 17th 2006.
  • A solar eclipse occurred in Nigeria on March 29th 2006.
  • The phased movement from Lagos to Abuja by Federal Ministries began on October 10th 1986.
  • General Ibrahim Babangida introduced the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) on June 27th 1986.
  • Nigerian soldiers were airlifted from Lagos to join the Ecowas monitoring group (ECOMOG) in the Liberian civil war on August 17th 1990.
  • The Federal Capital of Nigeria was moved from Lagos to Abuja on December 12th 1991.
  • Olusegun Obasanjo was sworn in as civilian president of Nigeria on May 29th 1999.
  • INEC Chairman, Justice Ephraim Akpata, died on January 9th 2000.
  • The President of America, Bill Clinton, visited Nigeria on 26th – 28th August 2000.
  • Bomb explosion at Ikeja military cantonment in Lagos January 27th 2002.
  • The National Stadium in Abuja was commissioned by President Olusegun Obasanjo on April 8th 2003 and was built at the cost of N6Obillion.
  • Queen Elisabeth of England visited Nigeria in 2003 after her first visit in 1956.
  • The first lady of Nigeria, Chief Mrs Stella Obasanjo, died in Spain due to a surgical operation on October 22nd 2005.
  • Governorship and House of Assembly elections were conducted nationwide on April 14th 2007.
  • The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted presidential and National Assembly elections on April 21st, 2007; President and Governors-elect were sworn in on May 29th 2007.
  • Speaker of the house of representative, Mrs Patricia Etteh, and her deputy, Alh. Babangida Nguroje resigned over the N628 million contract scam they were indicted for by the Idoko panel set up by the house on October 30th 2007.
  • ADC plane crashed about two KM away from Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, killing 98 out of 105 on board, including the Sultan of Sokoto, on October 29th 2006.
  • Mrs Oladimeji Sabiru Bankole (37 years old – Bachelor) from Abeokuta South Federal Constituency of Ogun State was elected by the honourable members of the house of Representatives on November 1st 2007.
  • On February 6th 2008, following the nullification of the election of Governor Idris Ibrahim, Chief Clarence Olafemi, speaker house of assembly of Kogi state, was sworn in as the acting Governor.
  • Hon. James Barka was sworn in as the acting Governor of Adamawa state on February 27th 2008.
  • Goodluck Jonathan was declared president-elect on April 19th 2011.
  • On May 29th 2015, Mohammadu Buhari became the first opposition candidate to win a presidential election in Nigeria.
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