The best thing about Nigeria is...


Nigerians often complain about the negative portrayal of their country in the international media which often focuses on corruption and violence.

So the BBC asked residents of the commercial capital, Lagos, what they thought was best about living in Africa's most populous nation and what they wanted the rest of the world to know about Nigeria.

Here are their 10 favourite things.

Readers can join the debate on Twitter using the hashtag #NaijaIsGr8.

1) Nigerians are happy

Emeka Iluchukwu, visual artist:

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"People are so ecstatic. An average Nigerian is a lively person, always smiling in the midst of all the troubles"

Okocha Jude, businessman:

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"We are happy people no matter what we are facing"

2) Nigeria is a land of opportunities

Vanessa Iloenyosi, brand executive:

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"If you know the right people it’s really easy to make things happen for yourself"

Abayomi Usim, TV producer:

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"For us there’s no recession in Nigeria, no matter how bad things get we’re still going in leaps and bounds"

3) Nigerians are resilient

Alesta Wilcox, chartered accountant:

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"People are resilient in eking out a living – the never die spirit of the Nigerian is the one thing that makes Nigeria great"

Paul Oseh, graphic designer:

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"The greatest thing I think about we Nigerians is that we are wonderful people. We are so resourceful despite challenges that comes our way and the political tussle for power. In one nutshell Nigeria is a wonderful place, we're creative and imaginative"

4) Nigerians are problem-solvers

Damian Nzeka, teacher:

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"It's not really a peaceful country but we bless the name of God because we're still here today. When we are positive with our minds we work something good out. We want things to go well for us, we can't run away from our home; this is our land we have to make it work"

Donatus Ezeji, IT specialist:

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"We are special because if you look at Nigeria - each time we have problem, we usually solve it at the last minute - we have been avoiding crisis. When we get to that point, we always sort it out - instead of going to war or something like that"

5) Nigeria is diverse

Iluore Loueth, fashion designer:

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"You get to feel different things in different locations... you’re changing culturally in the dressing and the food and everything"

6) Nigerians are hard workers

Orji Micah, builder:

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"The Nigerian people are industrious, they work hard, they're not lazy - and they can endure whatsoever hardship, they can survive it any place"

Damula Daramola, banker:

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"As Nigerians we’re actually very very enterprising and I think the outside world needs to meet us"

7) Nigeria has great weather

Moses Onyibe, mobile phone trader:

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"The weather of the country is better compared to other countries and we have the biggest river - the River Niger - in West Africa region - so I enjoy my country basically because of the environment - it's very conducive"

Chinedu Ugochukwu, businessman:

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"The weather is beautiful all year round and this is just the beginning of good things to come... the people are friendly, very welcoming. You can't beat it, it's a lovely dynamic country, every day new things are coming up, new ideas, [and Lagos] it's a city that never sleeps"

8) Nigeria has freedom of speech

Akpofure Tony Tegar, hotelier:

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"Democracy it’s one of the best things about Nigeria... freedom to do anything you like"

Stanley Osiaku, trader:

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"You are free to talk to anybody - no matter how big or small the person is. We have freedom of speech to have a dialogue with somebody. Or if somebody offends you, you are free to say it out"

9) Nigerians have a great sense of humour

Chukwuma Nwana, beauty salon general manager:

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"Everything turns into a joke in Nigeria - there’s always something funny at the end of the day"

10) Nigeria is hospitable

Sarah Okagbue, trainer:

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"The most hospitable people in the world; extremely kind, loving, tolerant, patient"

Uche Nzeka, broadcaster:

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"There is nowhere in Nigeria that you will go that you will not be given a place"

Join the debate on Twitter using the hashtag #NaijaIsGr8 to @BBCAfrica and on the BBC Africa Facebook page.

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