The urgency to process and analyze the deluge of data created by proteomics and genomics studies worldwide has caused bioinformatics to gain prominence and importance. However, its multidisciplinary nature has created a unique demand for specialist trained in both biology and computing. Several countries, in response to this challenge, have developed a number of manpower training programmes. This review presents a description of the meaning, scope, history and development of bioinformatics with focus on prospects and challenges facing bioinformatics education worldwide. The paper also provides an overview of attempts at the introduction of bioinformatics in Nigeria; describes the existing bioinformatics scenario in Nigeria and suggests strategies for effective bioinformatics education in Nigeria.