This study examines the contemporary African philanthropic space in Nigeria and its role, opportunities and challenges for Nigeria's National development. Drawing from both primary and secondary sources, this paper argues that philanthropy has a long history in Nigeria and is embedded in the socio-cultural milieu of the people. African philanthropic infrastructures exist in both formal and informal forms and both the rich and the poor are involved in philanthropy in Nigeria. The changing socio-political trajectories in Nigeria particularly since the return to civil rule in 1999 and the astronomic surge in the number of High Net Worth Individuals have led to the establishment of philanthropic foundations by accomplished businessmen and women, sport personalities, politicians and community trusts to support the state in diverse development areas. The role of indigenous philanthropists in Nigeria can be gleaned from their interventions in health, youth and women empowerment, provision of relief materials during disasters, postconflict reconstruction and peace building, democratic consolidation, national integration through social capital, promotion of social justice, education, advocacy, among others. Special focus was placed on Dangote Foundation, T.Y. Danjuma and DSK Foundation. In spite of the enormous role and opportunities in this sector, the Nigerian philanthropic space is plagued by numerous challenges including: lack of coordination, poor regulatory framework, weak capacity development and leadership training for future philanthropic managers, paucity of data and research, founders' sit-tight syndrome and an unfavourable legal environment. The study recommends that the development and transformation of contemporary indigenous philanthropic infrastructure in Nigeria can be attained through qualitative and quantitative research on: the changes and continuities in the field; the initiation of capacity and leadership development programmes for practitioners (philanthrocrats); existing self-regulatory mechanisms and alliances among philanthropic foundations; deepening state-philanthropy partnership through enabling legal and institutional frameworks. In the wake of dwindling foreign aid, this study recommends that indigenous philanthropy serves as a viable tool for domestic resource mobilisation in addressing the contemporary development challenges in Nigeria.