Female genital mutilation (FGM) has continued to thrive across several countries of the world, remaining a rampant practice despite humanitarian and public health efforts to abolish it. FGM is currently estimated to affect over 200 million females globally, with Nigeria having the highest absolute numbers of cases of FGM in Africa. This review highlights the prevalence of FGM in Nigeria and across Africa, using the latest data available through PubMed and other electronic database with the aid of Google search engine. It aims to discuss the impacts of the humanitarian efforts and national policies toward the abolition of FGM in Nigeria over the years as well as the challenges facing the abandonment of this practice. Studies have shown a decline in the prevalence of FGM over the years, however it still continues to thrive and pose significant public health challenge in Nigeria and across Africa, violating fundamental human rights of women and the girl-child. Socio-cultural belief has been found to contribute significantly to the continuity of this harmful practice. Ensuring the implementation of essential government policies, inter-sectorial collaborations and the continuous sensitization of the general public are vital to the elimination of FGM in Nigeria and across Africa.