Food Basket of the Nation
See Also: About The 36 States Of 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.
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
Gwer East Aliade
Gwer West Naka
Samuel Ortom (PDP)
The Deputy governor
Benson Abounu (PDP)
NE: Gabriel Suswam (PDP)
NW: Emmanuel Yisa Orker-Jev (PDP)
S: Patrick Abba Moro (PDP)
Francis Ottah Agbo|
Gwer East/Gwer West|
Aper Aku Stadium
The Federal Medical Centre
Limestone, Gypsum, Anhydride, Koalin, Natural Gas, Salt, Petroleum Oil, Lead, Zinc, Barytes, Clay, Coal, Calcite, Germstones and Magnetite
Population (2006 Census)
• Total 4,253,641
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.
Idoma and Igbo|
Tiv; Nyifon; Etulo|
Tiv; Etulo; Jukum|
Tiv; Basa; Wannu|
Igede and Idoma|
Igede and Igbo|
Tiv; 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