Its proper English pronunciation is neejer, although naiger is also acceptable. - Wikipedia (modified by me).
There must be a campaign somewhere to overcome the pernicious influence of the French on our language and culture. If not – let's start one! We could call it the Agincourt Society
Hold on – someone has beaten me to it. Damn!
His Excellency Alexander Malcolm McKinnon is the founder of the International Agincourt Society celebrating the battle of Agincourt a philanthropist, adventurer and international playboy. He is also the inventor of the one billionth supplier principle the topic of which is forming the basis of his first book.
The Agincourt Society
Strictly a white-tie celebrity event, the bi-annual Agincourt Society Dinners take place to celebrate the failure of the French to beat the English despite their superior numbers during the battle of Agincourt on October 25, 1415. The event is open to all non-French nationals, the venue being selected on an ad-hoc basis at the most colonial location possible. Earlier venues have included Bombay, Beijing and Shanghai and celebrities have included Emilia ('I'm a big, big girl, in a big, big world...'). Proceeds are given to the needy, preferably someone blind.
Ok -old McKinnon is most probably a complete nutter – but his heart is in the right place! I would definitely like to party with these people!
(aside) Don't know if you are aware of Wikipedia and how it works. Suffice to say that you cannot always rely on it to provide the most unbiased information in the world – as anyone can contribute to and edit articles. I'm unable to vouch for the veracity or this report or the mental state of the aforementioned Alexander McKinnon.
Back to the question at hand. Who (if it was not some “pay em back for Agincourt” French nutter) managed to convince the BBC, among others, that the African country which has been called for as long as I can remember Nei-jur is really some Frogified pronunciation, Knee-shair! What is the possible explanation? Could it be that the cheese-eating surrender monkeys are actively engaged in subverting the English speaking world? Wouldn't put it past them.
Those who are not all that impressed with conspiracy theories may well shrug their shoulders and conclude that I'm just being silly and alarmist. But, it has happened before. As people moved around the world populating the vastness of the North American continent and Australia, to mention just two of the empty spaces, they soon ran out of, or got bored with, indigenous place names. Consequently, they appropriated names from a variety of places and applied them freely (and fairly imprecisely) to their new surroundings. I wouldn't be surprised if the Froggies did the same in places like Algeria, Syria, Cambodia and various enclaves in Africa – one of which would be Niger. So, when they appropriated place names – they were not really very interested in appropriating the “correct” pronunciation – i.e. ignorant slobs populating such places as Baton Rouge (red stick in French, pronounced as Batten Roodge in Lousiana); Boise (wooded in French, pronounced as Boysee in Idaho); and my personal favourite, Grand Teton National Park (pronounced as Grand Teeun – Big Tits to you and me). Most people view these “mis-pronunciations” as rather charming examples of the capacity of our forebears to mangle language – particularly a language that wasn't their native one. Not the Froggies!
The foundation of the Academie français in 1634 created an official body whose goal ever since has been the purification and preservation of the French language. This group of 40 members (the so-called "immortals") chosen for life still exists today and wages a war against, among other issues, franglais, i.e., against the importation of English words into French. And they are ruthless in pursuit of what they see as encroachments by other languages.
Not difficult to predict what the Academie would do about the “mis-pronunciation” of one of their former African colonies by the Roast Beefs. They would wage a campaign to infiltrate the powers that influence (so they think) language use in the UK and attempt to get the Frog sounds into English. Count on it! So, who would they target? The BBC - bet on it. And, sorry to say it may be working. Certainly the BBC are using the Frenchified pronunciation. Stop it!
What is to be done? Don't get mad – get even. Every chance you get insist on pronouncing all French words as if they were English (a bemused look on you face when the Froggies look horrified also helps); so, proclaim that Paris (not pear-ee) is a charming little town in Texas and that lake in Missouri is properly pronounced as Pom de Tar, not Pomme de Terre. That will drive them mad.