Is The Word “Naija” Offensive?


Share your thoughts please. Here is a excerpt of the Minister of Information, Prof Dora Akunyili’s statement where she mentioned that the word “Naija” was offensive and should be stopped.

“It is very offensive to call Nigeria ‘Naija’. We are making plans to write companies to stop using the word Naija. I have heard that name Naija in adverts. I want them to go back and remove that word. If anybody says this is Naija, ask the person, ‘Where is Naija?’ We have to stop this word because it is catching up with the young. If we don’t put a stop to its usage now, it will continue to project us wrongly.”

These days the word naija is pretty much part of our culture, and so ingrained in our vocab that it sounds odd for anyone to find it offensive. But is it? Drop your thoughts….



  1. Dora!! Really? Please when ur govt fixes roads and gives us power then we'll stop using the word Naija… *hiss*

  2. Lyk "d'prince" sang, she's #jonzing. D woman needs to "rebrand" herself den local govts den states den 9ja as a whole package. Idk who even made a jonzer as a minister sef. Mshewwwww

  3. the real question is which is more offensive. Nigeria or naija. As far as i am concerned the name Nigeria is more of an insult to the indigenous people of naija who have every right to name their own country. In fact we should officially change the name to naija

  4. I'm not sure what she means by offensive… the word nigger is offensive. Is that in any way close to the word naija in terms of how offensive it is? I'm still trying to figure out what she was really trying to say…. Nigeria was a name given by two british lovers so I'll put my money on Nigeria actually being a more offensive of the 2 names. At least "Naija" was coined by our people.

  5. NAIJA UNTIL I DIE!!! even naija people outside d country love the name, wait who matters here??? the Masses or "THEM" Mrs. Dora go and tackle better things like Education, and leave our naija 4 us, because dat is how we d citizens choose to rebrand d Nation!!! pls can smeone shout a BIG NAIJA!!!!!

  6. Naija people be interesting people…..

    Better developed countries dont have a problem as we naija people have coined words like Jand, yanky etc…

    She should direct her energy towards more pressing issues cos it seems she has a lot to spare on issues that are not hefty….

    Carry go….

  7. If naija sounds offensive to her, she should plug her ears. Has she never heard of freedom of expression? Bah! Humbug!!

  8. I 4 one see nothing wrong with d name NAIJA.If dis is DORA'S way of rebranding dis country,den she needs to have a rethink,if she has nothing else signifant to do in her position,she should be asked to vacate d office without hesitation.

  9. Naija is a stylized and funky way of saying self esteem raises anytime i hear the word 'naija' on tv and radio,so dora should keep her mouth shut and busy herself with other pressing national issues.

  10. If dora doesn't have anything vital or significant to do in her capacity as a minister,she should be asked to vacate d office,it seems dis is her way of rebranding a country,but she needs a rethink,she absolutely needs to think again,becos,i see nothing wrong with d name NAIJA.

  11. Are you kidding me? Naija is a fun, funky, affectionate we use to describe our beloved country. Its like how South African's call Johanesburg, 'Jozi'. That woman is a scientist!! She has no business being in Information (arts/culture/entertainment) she shd go back to lecturing! Imagine! Ptcheeew!

  12. It's an extremely stupid statement. Any youth that doesn't know the name of our country is NIGERIA and that Naija is just a nickname should be flogged.

    Besides that, she needs to know what she's doing. It's like since she left NAFDAC her though process has started dwindling to the negative.

  13. The first time hearing, Naija, the word Nigger came far from my thoughts. I hate the word Nigger and scold people for even using it, black and white. Naija is our own cool term/nickname for Nigeria. We love it, we embrace it. Naija 4 life. Abeg she needs to talk of something bigger.

  14. we as afrian(nigerian) have been looking for away to change the names the whiteman give to us alllllll…..this years now that we have one.she want to make money out of it, coz…really that's what this is all about. Just watch u 'll see.Naija is offensive….she's a sell out,yes i said it.

  15. naija for life there are more salient issues that should be on her priority list,the coined word naija is really not the cause of the state of derailment that nigeria is at the verge of and sorry to tell her naija is a word to stay

  16. Hmmm, Prof. Akunyuli lost (my) public admiration of her since the Yaradua saga. Be that as it is, i 'agree' with her on this subject (allbeit not for the same reasons).

    Personally, i consider the word naija (very) offensive, PERIOD. However, not for Akunyuli's "…it will continue to project us wrongly." What projects us wrongly is what people like her (leaders & politicians) do once they are in Government as well as, the uncomplimentary acts/ actions of many of the populace.

    The word naija DOES NOT project us badly.

  17. Seriously speaking I don't see anything wrong with the name Naija! It truly doesn't project us badly as the Minister would want us to believe. Nigerians don't have a problem with the name so why should the Minister do? We are proud to referred to as people from Naija. People all around the world now know Nigerians are called people from NAIJA. I respect the Information Minister, Professor DORA AKUNYILI a lot because of her achievements and credible reputation but I think she got it wrong this time. I'm not surprised though and won't want people to criticize her for this, after-all she's only human and prone to mistakes. So I say our NAIJA remains for life. Interestingly,I have a T-shirt with such inscription that I'm always proud to wear. Nuff said!

  18. Let me get this, High umemployment, bad electricity, bad economy, bad roads, one of the highest rated corrupt nation in the world, schools that go on strike, Jamb results get stolen from students, we are always referred to on BBC, as the country where "majority of its citizens live on less than one dollar per day"…….all these problems…and our information minister is worried about a nick-name for our country….Oshisco..Useless Just Utterly Useless..

  19. I agree with the user named "Naija", who made the first comment. I really think the Minister is in cahoots with some British "colonial masters" who are not happy that we're diverting from the name they once gave us as a nation.

    Think about it: "Nigeria." Niger = NIGGA; Nigeria could mean NIGGA- Area. At least from an American perspective.

    When my Americans friends mentioned this (jokingly) I was shocked (seriously) to see the correlation. Forget about the whole River Niger story. Niger, Negro…Nigga.

    Hey, I'm not saying it is true…but it could be closer to the truth!

  20. >>>I say people should protest or strike (if they can do it peacefully).

    >>>They should not let her do this to us. Maybe we should created a website with a petition to stop her.

    >>>We should probably write to TV stations in Nigeria (national and international) and companies who want us to buy their products.

    >>>We should tell our Naija artists to make songs condemning her actions.

    >>>We need to speak up as the youth of the country.

    >>We are starting to bring revenue to that country as a result of our entertainment. It's time they listened to us. Enough of all this shit!

    >>>Who is with me. Hey! We can really do it! Reply me if you're down with this plan!

    >>>I'm as serious as a heart attack, here, people. No complain if you no go do anything about am. Enough is enough!<<<

  21. Ok this is just top notch insanity. Naija offensive? come on son! Of all the problems we have and things that need to be done "Naija" is the biggest of issues on that priority list? What a joke. Someone needs a hobby.

  22. Its not her fault. she's not where she's supposed to be. someone please take her back NAFDAC or for God's sake make her minister of health. if not…

  23. There's absolutely nofin wrong wif d name 'NAIJA' infact,kudos 2 dose people who initiated dis nick! Frm my own viewpoint,there's no link btw dis and d image of our country…or what does she have to say about the nick 'Yankee' or what have you. I <3 luve Naija!

  24. Ummm. I guess she'll be thinking of a change away from from Naira for a currency name as well. Sounds to me like that's not tush enough for Mrs Akunyili.