Nigeria's population is a heterogeneous one comprising about 250 ethnic groups, with Hausa-Fulani in the North, Yoruba of the South-West and Igbo of the East being the dominant ones.
Nigeria is culturally diverse, Yoruba, Hausa and Ibo being Nigeria's three main linguistic stocks but even in these, there are three various dialects and idiolects. Adding to the linguistic complexity of the presence of the three major language families of Africa (according to Greenberg Classification, 1963) are numerous other variety of language stocks and sub-stocks of the minority ethnic groups stretching from the South-South to the northern parts of the country. These ethnic groups are also diverse in terms of religious belief, arts and craft.
In view of such linguistic complexity, English is the lingua franca and language of official communication and commerce. Christianity and Islamic religions are the two most pronounced religious beliefs, with a significant proportion of the population practicing traditional religion. To foreigners, especially new entrants into Nigeria, the country's cultural and ethnic diversity could be a source of fascination.
Although the people may differ in their modes of communication, dressing and attitudes, the same manner of warmth, good neighbourliness and hospitality is found as a visitor moves from one ethnic stock to the other. The zest and vitality in the various groups will be unmistakably felt by even the most detached observed. So are the colours, the gaiety and boundless celebrations of the cultural events which could be a most welcome attraction to visitors, especially investors who daily through this most populous nation of Africa.
The people arts and crafts could be diverse but all the same, they are complimentary. To the visitors, they provide sesame of thematic concerns, deep motifs and rustic media. For visitors, the dry season during which there is less humidity and abundant sunshine could be the best time to savour the taste of the tourist attraction which Nigeria and her hospitable people have got to offer.
The Niger Delta
Sitting almost at the base of the country in the southern part is, the Niger Delta –a low-lying land of many creeks and waterways. Here are located the Urhobos, the Itsekiris, the Ijaws, the Isoko, the Edo, the Efik the Ibibe, the Ikweno, the Okrika, the Kalabari, among others. These are the minority groups of the south.
To foreigners and pleasure-seeking visitors, this part of the petroleum industry, it is an area where tourist attractions abound. Such tourist centers like the Abraka River Resort, and Gulf Club, the Benin Museum, Moat and Zoo, The Okomu Forest and Game Reserve, Obudu Cattle Ranch Obudu Hills, etc., provide relaxation spots.
This region is also characterized by a rich history of kings, centralized government, and a cultural heritage which demonstrate a high level of aesthetics, forms and perfection. For instance, the Benin bronzes and brass are known the world over as pieces of artistic excellence. To be found in palaces, the museum as well as other private galleries in the state capital.
The Western Zone
In this zone is the highly cosmopolitan Yoruba who tract their ancestral origin to the ancient city of Ile-Ife. Known to have had a very early contact with and culturally with the town of Ile-Ife and Oyo hosting most of their artistic collections, which share the brass and bronze media with the Benin artifacts.
The Edo Kingdom has some historical linkage with the throne of Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba. In this region are many historical places and resorts. Apart from the palaces of the Obas in places like Ile-Ife, Oyo, Eko, Abeokuta, among many others, there are the museums, the beaches in Lagos, the Ikogosi Warm spring in Ekiti State, the Idanre Hills, the Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, the Slave trade relics in Badagry.
All these, in addition to festivals such as the yearly Osun Osogbo and Olojo Festivals are worth seeing by visitors and tourists.
The Eastern Zone
The dominant ethnic group in this zone is the Ibo. Devoid of the heritage of central governance, the Ibos are highly mobile people whose main pre-occupation is commence.
Their many villages and settlements are linked by roads to major markets in Onitsha, Aba and Nnewi where such specialization in textiles and auto-spare parts manufacture and sale are noticeable. In this zone are tourist centers like the Nike Lake (Enugu State), Ogun Lake, National War Museum and the Ogbunike Caves.
The North Zone
Mainly farmers-crop trades and nomadic cattle rearers- the people of this zone are mainly the Hausa-Fulani. They are the minorities, such as the Tivs, the Idomas, the Junkuns, Berom and so on.
The zone offers a range of hills and plateaux, with a cold weather that serves to complement the Sahel condition. In this zone are tourist centers such as the Assop, Kura and Kwali Water Falls, the Yankari National Park, the Zuma Rock, the Mambila Plateau, which the peoples arts and crafts include leather works, brass and glass beads and there are such festivals like the Argungu fishing festivals and the Durbar which have had international mention for decades shares a temperature climate with the Jos Plateau and is becoming a very strong attraction to visitors from Europe and America.