40 Old Photos That Will Show You How Times Have Changed In Nigeria

Nigeria has grown to be Africa’s largest economy; the country has transformed from an unpretentious mishmash to a soaring capital in less than a century. You will be amazed at how Nigeria has changed throughout history, from economic growth, population growth, innovative government, oil and gas boom, transportation, real estate developments and revolutions. We look back at the history of Nigeria, we remember the good times and the bad times, we also look at the way people used to live and dress.

We present to you 40 old photos that will show you how times have changed in Nigeria. These stunning photos show the big difference between those days and now:

1. Independence Building and Lagos Harbour (1974)

Lagos Harbour in 1974

2. General View Of Historic Kano City (1950s)

KANO CITY, Nigeria, 1950-1970's; General View Of Historic Kano City

3. When Queen Elizabeth met her people – Nigerians (1950s)

Queen Elizabeth in Nigeria

4. A view from Ikoyi Park, Lagos

A view from Ikoyi Park, Lagos

5. A Nigerian chief with his family (1910)

A Nigerian chief with his family, 1910

6. Fulani Milkmaids (1960s-1970s)

Fulani MilkmaidsJohn Hinde Collection (1960s-1970s)

7. Transportation in Nigeria

Transportation - Old

8. Igbo soldier during the Nigerian Civil War, (November, 1968)

Igbo soldier during the Nigerian Civil War, November, 1968

9. Hair braiding in Nigeria. 1960

Hair braiding, 1960

10. Nigeria leaders in those days


Nigeria Leaders - Olden days

11. Old Carter bridge Lagos

Old Carter bridge Lagos

12. Regiment of mounted armed guards in a procession during festival of Sallah in Katsina

Regiment of mounted armed guards in a procession during festival of Sallah, Katsina, Nigeria

13. A Yoruba woman in a traditional attire

A Nigerian woman in Traditional dress. Photo by John Hinde

14. A man and a lady on a motorcycle in Lagos Nigeria (1969)

A man and a lady on a motorcycle in Lagos Nigeria (1969)

15. Ben Ekanem’s equestrian Statue of Queen Amina- National Theatre Lagos, (1980)

Ben Ekanem’s equestrian Statue of Queen Amina- National Theatre Lagos, 1980

16. African Visionary: Chief Festus Sam Okotie-Eboh – a Nigerian politician and former minister for finance (1919-1966)

African Visionar-Chief Festus Sam Okotie-Eboh (1919-1966)

 17. A Nigerian chief with his family, 1910

A Nigerian chief with his family, 1910



18. Mary Slessor’s House in Calabar, Built in 1880. 

Mary Slesssor's House

19. CKC (Christ the king College), Onitsha. Central buildings, (1961) 

CKC (Christ the king College), Onitsha. Central buildings, 1961)

20. Carter bridge street scene, Lagos Island (1950s) 

Carter bridge street scene, Lagos Island 1950s. Published by Federal ministry of Information

21. Asaba-Onitsha ferry crossing (1959)

Asaba-Onitsha ferry crossing 1959

22. The main core of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile-Ife.

University of Ife - now OAU

23. Main Gate University of Ibadan, (1960)

Main Gate, University of Ibadan 1960s

24. The Lagos Railway (1900s)

The Lagos Railway 1900s

25. Western House of Assembly, Ibadan (late 1950s)

Western House of Assembly, Ibadan

26. Independence Fountain on the main road leading into the city of Kaduna, Nigeria (1960s)

Independence Fountain on the main road leading into the city of Kaduna, Nigeria

27. Humuani Mosque, Lagos (1933)

Humuani Mosque, Lagos -1933

24. Nigeria Airways Fokker 28 at Calabar airport (1970s)

Nigeria Airways Fokker 28 at Calabar airport 1970s

25. The Niger at Jebba (1930)

Niger at Jebba in 1930

26. Gurara Waterfalls ( From an old postcard)

Gurara Waterfalls

27. Entrance to the Emir of Zarias Palace in Kaduna (1973)

Emir of Zarias Palace in Kaduna 1973

28. Lugard Memorial Hall , Kaduna (1960s.)

Lugard Memorial Hall , Kaduna

29. Emirs palace, Kano (1960)

Kano mosque 1960s

30. Chapel Of The Resurrection, University Of Ibadan (1960s)

Chapel Of The Resurrection, University Of Ibadan

31. Central bank of Nigeria, Lagos (1950s)

Central bank of Nigeria, Lagos

32. Barclays bank and Shell Petroleum buildings, Lagos (1960s-Early 1970s)

Barclays and Shell Petroleum Buildings, Lagos

33. University College Hospital, Ibadan (1960s)

University College Hospital, Ibadan c1960s

34. The Lagos – Kaduna Railway (1936)

The Lagos - Kaduna railway. This picture was taken in 1936

35. General Post Office, Lagos (1973)

General Post Office, Lagos 1973

36. Mapo Hall, Mapo Hill Ibadan (1975)

Mapo Hall, Mapo Hill Ibadan

37. The London and Kano trading company, Lagos (1960s)

The London and Kano trading company, Lagos

38. Ikorodu expressway, Lagos (1970s)

Ikorodu expressway, Lagos 1970s

39. Lagos Airport – Fokker FK27 BOAC and Shell Tanker Fokker (1960s)

Lagos Airport

40. Ibadan, Capital and Seat of Government, Western Nigeria (1968)

Ibadan, Capital and Seat of Government

Nigeria has changed beyond recognition, these photos has transformed Nigeria into the country we know today.

These photographs are directly from Nigerian Nostalgia Project’s archives and The Nigerian Nostalgia 1960 -1980 Project on FacebookFor more old pictures and history of Nigeria, Visit: Nigeria Nostalgia

What do you think? Do you have an old picture that shows how times has changed in Nigeria? Share them with us on our Facebook page and leave your comments below:

200 thoughts on “40 Old Photos That Will Show You How Times Have Changed In Nigeria

  1. Thanks for sharing … Number 29 is actually not the Kano Mosque but one of the entrance gates to the Kano Emir’s Palace, it still stands as seen in the picture.

    • Thanks Mohammed for the correction, God bless this Great Country. before i forget abeg help me shout “Sai Baba”. lol.

    • Muhammad,Check the picture again.

  2. Thank God for growth an development in our land

    • Excuse me ?! You said what ? Develo-wetin? For where ?

  3. Will like to have this old pics. How can I download it

  4. Really nice post – great job! Its unfortunate that most of the existing monuments were constructed by former governments – recent administration has done little or nothing to improve them. No worries though: I strongly believe things will get better with time, and a government with the political will.

  5. Lagos is more beautiful than lagos of today,let us keep the history for our children

  6. I am very happy with this photos and am proud of nigeria

  7. while posting this old pictures the recent pictures should be side by side with it. thank you so much i enjoyed my self view this.

    • That is a good idea though I must say it will take quite a lot of work to do so.

  8. Good job guys

  9. Why not compare these pictures/sites with what they look like at the moment. You’d quite agree with me that we’ve suffered infrastructural decay. This will make people appreciate the more that successive governments in Nigeria has failed us. Many more structures are in a dilapidated state.

    • I was thinking the same thing while viewing these pics.

  10. It’s good to have historic phographa like these. It tells us how far we have gone and still going.

  11. I am really impressed with the pictures…they are so emotional… this how far we ve come….if we can love each other more i believe the sky will be our limit…..God Bless Nigeria!!!

  12. Please post the current state of these sights, sites and scenes alongside the old ones to really show the changes. I suspect you can’t because in most cases that will show a retrogression, not progress…but that’s exactly what evokes nostalgia.

    • I Totally agree with you, Mfon Eyoma. These picture does not make sense unless you show the current state of theses places side by side with the pictures shown.

  13. This is historic and things to see and feel Nigerian……….keep the flame glowing

    • Share your sentiments.

  14. I enjoyed going through these pictures, especially as I schooled in uni ibadan’ the look of the Chapel’ whao’ then the Entrance it’s Priceless. Welldone

  15. This is good to see changes in our beloved country Nigeria! Things will continue to change for better. We will get there eventually by God’s Grace!

  16. Beautiful photographs.
    Picture No_29 is the Emirs palace Kano, and not Kano Mosque as stated on the picture.

    Thank you

    • Thank You Muhktar

  17. This is fantastic remembrance photographs

  18. I like this, it is memorable photographs

  19. These are amazing monuments, love it especially MAPO HALL, tiwan-tiwa, lolz.

  20. Picture no 29 is not correct. It’s the entrance gate of the emir of Kano’s palace not enrance gate of the Kano Mosque.

    • Hi Salis Moriki, Thanks for the update.

  21. Awesome,

  22. Awesome! It tells the story of who we were and where we are now to the present generation

  23. Simply nostalgic!

  24. Thanks for this wonderful patriotic effort. I wish you were able to juxtapose these photos of yesteryears with the current photos of these institutions and places for more excellent appreciation. This is great. Kudos.

  25. What a great difference between the past and the present!

  26. i love this article,it gave me the inkling of what Nigeria look like wayback then.it’s a nice masterpiece but i will appreciate it if it can be put side by side with what Nigeria look like presently.Keep it up………

  27. fantastic views

  28. Oh, these are great flashback and inspires the need for keeping documents with future in mind. A privilege to pierce into the past so interesting.

  29. I appreciate, thanks a bunch.

  30. Please leave your comment…nice shots from the past. They sure can’t be compared with what are on ground presently I. e. see the road leading to UI as at 1960. Where in Nigeria of today can such be found? Picture 29 is correctly listed as gate to the emir of Kano’s Palace & not Kano mosque.
    Job well done. Can we have pictures of present Nigeria pleeeaaaase

  31. By God’s Grace,Nigeria shall rise again and take her place among the comity of nations!

  32. I believe my late father Joseph McKeown took the photograph of HM the Queen on her Nigerian tour for Picture Post. He always spoke highly of your country and her people

  33. In my opinion..some parts of Nigeria looked better then than they do now. things have gotten worse, not better.

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures.

  34. Absolutely Wonderful pictures! Although the piece’s caption is somewhat misleading and totally underdelivering in my view…

    When a caption says “see how Nigeria has changed..” (paraphrased), one expects to see then and now pictures side by side.

    Better to have captioned it “the beauty of Nigeria’s past” or something like that.

  35. This is quite enlightening! I view this with mixed feelings. A lot has indeed happened in/to my dear country positively and negatively .
    How I wish the old Ikoyi Park had been left well alone. So glad however that the mode of transportation had changed.
    Thanks Travelogue ! Memories are made of these!

  36. wow, so very inspiring. I am proud to be a Nigerian. we are not doing very bad as country

    thanks for this publication

  37. the CBN building thrill me as I remember the One Naira Note. thank you for these wonderful picture of our great country, Nigeria.

  38. i’m impressed…i grew up, never knowing Nigeria was dis beautiful…thanks to the team that made dis up…kudos

  39. Nice one, people. Nigeria has really evolved within a short time period of 35 to 45 years, almost unaware to us citizens.


  41. Nice shots. But does it mean Nigeria in the past was only Western and Northern regions? Why do we keep perpetuating this myth that anything outside of these zones is not worth being talked about?

  42. Good job Nigeria in retrospective, lets continue to move forward, we ‘ll get there!

  43. It is indeed sad and a great loss that the seemingly peace-loving people of Nigeria are now those that have to deal with the likes of Boko Haram and other insurgency aimed at tearing the country apart. I remember poignantly growing up in Nigeria and I used never to beleive that there is any other country as wonderful as ours, until the greedy politicians began to take over and corruption became a thing that many are proud to exhibit at work and their way of life. Not able to adapt to this selfish mindset, I escaped my country in the early eighties and I have been permanently living abroad since then although I make periodic visits to Nigeria.

  44. nic 2 c dis

  45. Great Work. I am not sure but I think the Statue in No 15, National Theatre was by Ben Enweonwu and not Ben Ekanem. Not sure, so no controversies please. Will check and confirm.

  46. Hmmmmmm gone are those days. I love all the beautiful memories. Wow. Really l wish we still have them beautiful pictures. I even don’t think we have them anymore. Spacious and we’ll planned. I wish, l wish, l really wish we have peaceful Niger and not the congested Niger of today.

  47. Please leave your comment…keep the good works,thou all these pictures I only see them as history caurse is not during my time,thanks.

  48. This is very interested can’t stop going up and down looking at some pictures before I was born….. I have to keep them in my achieves. Thank so much

  49. Where is first church in Nigeria?1833

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *