In 2008, the Nigerian government's efforts to fund the teaching of French at the basic and tertiary levels solidified the country's desire to make French an official language of the country, along with English. This effort marks a supported undertaking to establish a francophone presence in Nigeria, but the country's geographic proximity to francophone countries called for a pre-existent communication in French. In fact, the country is an associate member of La Francophonie, with approximately 20% of the Nigerian population speaking French fluently. This means that their francophone voices are certainly heard among the francophone diversity in New York City.
As of 2010, there were approximately 260,000 Nigerian Americans in the U.S., representing the largest African immigrant group in the nation, and the third largest Nigerian community in the world, outside of Nigeria and the United Kingdom. With sizable communities in Maryland and Texas, the vast majority of the Nigerian American population lives in New York City.
At the acclaimed Buka Nigerian restaurant in Brooklyn
Most recently, on Saturday, October 5th, the Nigerian community in New York paraded through the streets of 2nd Avenue to celebrate the country's 53rd independence anniversary. The parade started in New York in 1991, the largest celebration of its kind by any African nation in the United States.
The parade is not the only cohesive presence the Nigerian population has in the city. Events like the annual Nigerian Nurses Association banquet, which is a fundraiser and award ceremony at the Elite palace in New York are yearly staples in the community.
The acclaimed Nigeria Entertainment Awards (NEA Awards), which were established in New York City on January 2006, serve to showcase the contributions of African entertainers in the industry, aiming to promote a valid image of the culture and the talents of Nigeria that are ever-so prevalent in the metropolitan mosaic that is New York City.
A few official organizations that constitute the Nigerian-American communities include:
Alliance of Nigerian Organizations, Association of Nigerians Abroad, League of Patriotic Nigerians, Nigeria Insurers Association, Nigerian American Foundation, Nigerian American Multi Service Association, Nigerian Information Technology Professionals, Nigerian International Athletes Association, Nigerian Youth Organization, Nigerians in Diaspora Organization