Nigeria’s press history reflects a robust and competitive environment where indigenous or local language newspapers had little chance of survival. Yet a number of indigenous language newspapers share in the credit of developing a vibrant newspaper industry in the country. The first Nigerian newspaper was a Yoruba language newspaper, Iwe Irohin, which was also the first indigenous language newspaper in Africa. It was established in 1859. Fiercely competitive business environment of the newspaper industry in Nigeria and the growing interest of publishers to establish English language newspapers contributed in stifling numerous local language publications that came up after Iwe Irohin. Despite the toughness of survival for indigenous language newspapers, a number of them played and are still playing various roles in making the print media industry in Nigeria colourful and vibrant. Here’s a list of top indigenous language newspapers in Nigeria’s press history.
1. Iwe Irohin (Yoruba), First published in December, 1859 by C.M.S. Press under the direction of Rev. Henry Townsend
2. Iwe Irohin Eko (Yoruba), 1888, Edited and published by Andrew Thomas.
3. Unwana Efik (Efik), 1885. Published by the Church of Scotland Mission.
4. Obukpong Efik (Efik), 1885, Published by the Church of Scotland Mission
5. Eko Akete (Yoruba), July 18, 1922. Edited by Adeoye Deniga, printed by Tika-Tore Press.
6. Eleti Ofe (Yoruba), December 2, 1923. Edited and published by E. A. Akintan, printed by Akin Adeshigbin.
7. Eko Igbehin (Yoruba), December 9, 1925. published by Olagunju Oni.
8. Osumare Egba (Yoruba), November 21, 1925. Nigerian Blessed Press.
9. Akede Eko (Yoruba), December 23, 1927. Edited and published by I.B. Thomas.
10. Gaskiya Ta Fi Kwabo, January 1, 1939. Published by the Gaskiya Corporation.
11. Alaroye (Yoruba), First published in 1985 by Musa Alao Adedayo.
12. Aminiya (Hausa), a weekly newspaper published by Media Trust
13. Leadership A Yau (Hausa), Hausa language edition of Leadership newspaper, established in 2004.
14. Premium Times Hausa – An online-only newspaper published by Premium Times Services, publishers of Premium Times Newspaper.
15. Nigbati Owo Ba Dile (Yoruba), First published in 1910 by two female missionaries at the CMS bookshop.
16. Irohin Owuro (Yoruba), published by E. Adisa.
17. Laberin Ekklesia (Hausa), December 7, 1959. Published by the Sudan Interior Mission.
18. Ogene (Igbo), Published by the Daily Star, Enugu State owned newspaper.
19. Iwe Eko (Yoruba), It was established by the Anglican Mission
20. Isokan (Yoruba), First published in 1980 by Concord Press Nigeria Limited
21. Albishir (Hausa), Published by Triumph Publishing Company Limited based in Kano
22. Alfijir Jumma (Hausa), Published by Triumph Publishing Company Limited based in Kano
23. Gbohungbohun (Yoruba), First published in 1970, by the sketch press limited, an establishment founded by the Western Nigeria State Government.
24. Iwe Iroyin Osose (Yoruba), a weekly newspaper published in 1925 by Thomas Horatio Jackson of the Weekly Record fame.
25. Irohin Yoruba (Yoruba), Founded by Allied Newspapers of Nigeria limited, a company established by the leaders of Action Group (AG).
26. Ikoro Igbo (Igbo), First published in 2016.
27. Ka Ọ Di Taa (Igbo), First published in 2017 by Anambra Newspapers and Publishing Corporation.
28. Òzísà (Igbo), a quarterly newspaper published by the Catholic church.
29. Amana (Hausa), First published in 1981 by Concord Group of Newspapers.
30. A Yau (Hausa), First published in 1996 by Today Communications Limited, Publishers of Today newspaper and Abuja Mirro.