Rice is an important cereal crop and is cultivated virtually in all agro-ecological zones in Nigeria. However, production capacity is far below national requirement. One of the major reasons for the low yields of rice in Nigeria is depredation by pests, particularly the insect pests. The rice plant is an ideal host for a large number of insect pests-root feeders, stems borers, leaf feeders and grain feeders. High yield losses associated with these insect pest categories portray the role of the insects in low rice yield in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. Unfortunately, the potential for proper management of rice insect pests to enhance yield has not been fully realized in Africa. Proper management of rice pests therefore is a pre-requisite for enhanced and sustainable rice production amidst smallholder farmers that typify the rice production industry in Nigeria. In this review, major insect pests of rice were identified with emphasis on their pest status, distribution and control methods. Cultural, biological, host plant resistance and chemical controls and the development of integrated pest management programmes were reviewed. The long-term and wide adoption of integrated insect pest management of rice in Nigeria was advocated, emphasizing the use of host plant resistance and biological control but the current cultural practices should be evaluated from time to time for enhanced efficiency.