About Benue State, Nigeria

The Slogan

Food Basket of the Nation

See Also: About The 36 States Of Nigeria

About Borno State, Nigeria 

About Kogi State, Nigeria

Date Of Creation

3 February 1976


Benue State lies within the lower river Benue trough in the middle belt region of Nigeria. Its geographic coordinates are longitude 7° 47′ and 10° 0′ East. Latitude 6° 25′ and 8° 8′ North; and shares boundaries with five other states namely: Nasarawa State to the north, Taraba State to the east, Cross-River State to the south, Enugu State to the south-west and Kogi State to the west. The state also shares a common boundary with the Nord-Ouest Province, claimed by both Ambazonia and the Republic of Cameroon on the south-east. Benue occupies a landmass of 34,059 square kilometres.

Brief History

Benue State is one of the North Central states in Nigeria with a population of about 4,253,641 in 2006 census. The state derives its name from the Benue River which is the second largest river in Nigeria. The state borders Nasarawa State to the North; Taraba State to the East; Kogi State to the West; Enugu State to the South-West; Ebonyi and Cross-Rivers States to the South; and has an international border with Cameroon to the South-East.It is inhabited predominantly by the Tiv, Idoma, Igede and Etulo peoples. Its capital is Makurdi.Benue is a rich agricultural region; popularly grown crops include: oranges, mangoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, soya bean, guinea corn, flax, yams, sesame, rice, groundnuts, and Palm Tree. Benue State as it exists today is a surviving legacy of an administrative entity that was carved out of the protectorate of northern Nigeria at the beginning of the twentieth century. The territory was initially known as Munshi Province until 1918 when the name of its dominant geographical feature, the ‘Benue River’ was adopted.

Benue State is named after the Benue River and was formed from the former Benue-Plateau State in 1976, along with Igala and some part of Kwara State. In 1991, some areas of Benue state (mostly Igala area), along with areas in Kwara State, were carved out to become part of the new Kogi State. Igbo people are found in the boundary areas like the Obi, Oju etc., Local Government Areas. It is renowned as the “Heartbeat of the Middle Belt” and the “Entertainment Capital of the Middle Belt” north of the Niger River. Otukpo, the Idoma people’s traditional and administrative capital, is also known as the Lion’s Heart and the Land of the Brave.

The Local Government area

Local Government Area Headquarters
Ado Igumale
Agatu Obagaji
Apa Ugbokpo
Buruku Buruku
Gboko Gboko
Guma Gbajimba
Gwer East Aliade
Gwer West Naka
Katsina-Ala Katsina-Ala
Konshisha Tse-Agberagba
Kwande Adikpo
Logo Ugba
Makurdi Makurdi
Obi Obarike-Ito
Ogbadibo Otukpa
Ohimini Idekpa
Oju Oju
Okpokwu Okpoga
Otukpo Otukpo
Tarka Wannune
Ukum Sankera
Ushongo Lessel
Vandeikya Vandeikya

The Governor

Samuel Ortom (PDP)

The Deputy governor

Benson Abounu (PDP)

The Senators

NE: Gabriel Suswam (PDP)
NW: Emmanuel Yisa Orker-Jev (PDP)
S: Patrick Abba Moro (PDP)


Ado/Obadigbo/OpkokwuFrancis Ottah AgboPDP
Apa/AgatuGodday SamuelAPC
BurukuKpam SokpoPDP
Gboko/TarkaJohn DyeghPDP
Guma/MakurdiBenjamin MzonduPDP
Gwer East/Gwer WestMark GbillahPDP
Katsina-Ala/Ukum/LogoRichard GbandePDP
Konshisha/VandeikyaHerman HembeAPC
Kwande/UshongoRobert TyoughPDP
Oju/ObiSamson OkwuPDP
Otukpo/OhiminiBlessing OnuhAPC

The Website


Major Cities


Prominent Places

 Aper Aku Stadium

The Federal Medical Centre

Mineral Resources

Limestone, Gypsum, Anhydride, Koalin, Natural Gas, Salt, Petroleum Oil, Lead, Zinc, Barytes, Clay, Coal, Calcite, Germstones and Magnetite

The population

Population (2006 Census)
• Total 4,253,641

Postal Code


Culture and tourism

Benue State possesses a rich and diverse cultural heritage which finds expression in colourful cloths, exotic masquerades, supplicated music and dances. Traditional dances from Benue State have won acclaim at national and international cultural festivals. The most popular of these dances include Ingyough, Ange, Anchanakupa, Swange and Ogirinya among others.

The socio-religious festivals of the people, colourful dances, dresses and songs are also of tourist value. The Alekwu ancestral festival of the Idoma people, for instance, is an occasion when the local people believe their ancestors re-established contact with the living in the form of masquerades.

The Igede-Agba is a Yam Festival, marked every year in September by the Igede people of Oju and Obi local government areas. Among the Tiv, the Tiv Day, marriage ceremonies and dance competitions (e.g. Swange dance) are often very colourful. Kwagh-Hir is a very entertaining Tiv puppet show.

Social life in Benue State is also enriched by the availability of diverse recreational facilities. Apart from parks, beaches, dancing and masquerades mentioned above, the big hotels in Makurdi, Gboko and Otukpo are equipped with several indoor sporting facilities. There are golf clubs, the Makurdi Club, Railway Club, Police Club and Air Force Club, where, apart from the sale of drinks and snacks, various types of games are played.

There is a standard Arts Theatre, a modern Sports Complex which includes the Aper Aku Stadium, which has provisions for such games as tennis, basketball, volleyball and handball, an indoor sports hall and Olympic size swimming pool in Makurdi. Smaller stadia exist in Gboko (J. S. Tarka Stadium), Katsina-Ala, Adikpo, Vandeikya and Otukpo. The BCC Lawn Tennis tournament attracts players from all over the country. Benue State has three teams in the professional soccer ranks, Lobi Stars F.C. in Division One, BCC Lions FC in Division Two, Mark mentors as the basketball premier league team.

Notable People

George Akume
David Mark
Innocent Idibia
Daniel Amokachi
Lawrence Onoja
Sharon Ooja
Gabriel Suswam
Susan Peters
Terry G
Meg Otanwa
Samuel Ortom


AdoIdoma and Igbo
BurukuTiv; Nyifon; Etulo
GbokoTiv; Etulo
GumaTiv; Wapan
Gwer EastTiv; Igede
Gwer WestTiv; Idoma
Katsina-AlaTiv; Etulo; Jukum
MakurdiTiv; Basa; Wannu
ObiIgede and Idoma
OjuIgede and Igbo
OkpokwuIdoma; Igbo
VandeikyaTiv; Bekwarra; Utugwang-Irungene-Afrike


Higher education institutions in Benue State include;

Akawe Torkula Polytechnic, ATP, Makurdi.
Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo
Benue State University, Makurdi
University of Agriculture, Makurdi
University of Mkar
Notable people

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