List of North Central States In Nigeria Explained

Full list of north central states in Nigeria
Full list of north central states in Nigeria

I have challenged many people to list “the North Central states in Nigeria”. Come and see how people were falling my hands. Chai!

Although, this question can seem very easy, many students have some difficulties when asked during examination.

Can you recite all the states and capital in Nigeria without anyone helping you out? In fact when last did you try reciting it?

Did you just say why do I have to do that when I’m not a nursery kid?  Funny but true, I overheard a kid reciting it recently saying “Abia – woman yansh,  Adamawa- Yola , Adebisi – konga. (Lol).

Well, it’s never too late to learn it, just check our post about it in the link above.

How many states do we have in north central Nigeria? What are the states in the northern part of Nigeria? Let’s talk about states in the North Central.

Meaning of North Central States In Nigeria

You might have traveled far and wide but still, you may not know much history about some states in Nigeria.

In this post we are going to take a look at the north central states in Nigeria.

Now, you have to read this post, because I will be writing on those safe states where you won’t find Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen or experience any security threat.

Nigeria is known as the giant of Africa, because of its population and strong economy. Nigeria is so great in size and it has been divided into different regions or geopolitical zones.

After gaining independence in 1960, Nigeria was divided into four regions according to the ethno religious principle which include: Northern, Western, and Eastern, southern. Nigeria contains more than 400 ethnic groups, which speak more than 450 languages.

The territory of Nigeria is divided into 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, which, is divided into 774 Local Government Areas and six geopolitical zones.

The six geopolitical zones are North-Central, North-West, North-East, South-South, South-East and South-West. The zones are divided according to economic, political and ethnical preferences.

Meaning of North central states in Nigeria:

The North Central states in Nigeria is quite an interesting topic.

North-Central states in Nigeria are one of the geopolitical zones that make up the federation.  In total, North central states in Nigeria are seven in number.

Each of these states has its unique history. The North-central  has 112 local governments area, with a total land area of 235,118 kmsq.

Map of North Central In Nigeria

This map of the North Central States in Nigeria will allow you to explore the nation’s heartland. Clear sight of north central states in Nigeria can be seen on the map

Map of North Central states In Nigeria

The north central states is made up of six states which include:

  • Niger
  • Benue
  • Nassarawa
  • Plateau
  • Kogi
  • Kwara state and
  • Federal capital territory (Abuja)

Some might be wondering whether Abuja is a state? Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) is not a state, even though it is located in the north, it is the capital of Nigeria.

The North Central state in Nigeria is also referred as the middle belt of Nigeria. The top cities in this zone are Lafia, Jos, Minna, Makurdi, Lokoja, Ilorin and Abuja.

The ethnic groups presented in this zone are Mangu, Berom, Gbagy, Nupe, Tiv, Mada-Eggon, Yoruba, Igala, Idoma, Gwandara and Idoma.

Overview of Northern States in Nigeria

When deciding on where to reside, safety is one of the most important factors to consider. Most people don’t want to settle down in the Northern part of Nigeria.


This is mostly as a result of the fear of Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen. However, contrary to what most Nigerians believe, not all states in the North are facing security and terrorist challenges.

There are some states in this region that have continued to experience peace and safety. This article shares some insight into the northern part of Nigeria as well as safest states in Northern Nigeria.

The Hausa and Fulani people are located mostly in northern part of Nigeria with a population of over 30 million.

They have the largest population in West Africa because of their intermarriages and constant interaction with different peoples.

The North geopolitical zones are great in economic activities, like cattle, agriculture, commerce, and oil production.

They constitute the largest ethnic group in the area, which also contains another large group, the Fulani, perhaps one-half of whom are settled among the Hausa as a ruling class, having adopted the Hausa language and culture.

Did you know that:

The richest person in Africa and also the richest black person in the world is an indigene of Kano state, northern Nigeria.

Nigeria’s North (719,000 Sq. km), occupies 80% of Nigeria’s land mass. In size it is four times the south.

Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau in the north have higher population of Christians.

Northern Nigeria is subdivided into North West, North East and North Central.

List of 19 Northern States in Nigeria

Below is the list of all 19 Northern states in Nigeria.

The states listed below are mostly the Hausa and Fulani speaking people, although there are other ethnic groups within the Northern region.

The religion in this area is majorly islam.


This state was named after Zamfarawa, one of the sub dialects of the Eastern Hausa group. Zamfara is a state in northwestern Nigeria.

The area was formerly part of Sokoto State. Zamfara is populated with the Hausa and Fulani people.


Kano State is located in the North Western part of Nigeria. This state is the most populated in Nigeria.

Kano state is the second on the list of the most populated states in Nigeria. The estimated population is around 11 million people with a GDP of $12.393billion, per capita is $1.288

Kano State is a major producer of skins and hides. It also produces chilli pepper, gum, garlic, cotton, soybean and sesame.


Benue State is one of the North central states in Nigeria with a population of about 4,253,641 in 2006 census.

It is inhabited predominantly by the Tiv, Idoma and Igede people. Benue capital is Makurdi and one of the most prominent places in Benue state is the Benue State University.

With respect to its geographical location, the state is noted and referred to as the food basket of the Nation, this is due to its richness in the areas of agriculture, series and lots of crops are grown in the state which includes, cassava, yam, potatoes, soy, flax rice, and peanuts.


Kastina state,  located at the deepest part of the north western area of Nigeria. It was formed from the northern half of Kaduna state in 1987.

Katsina has 34 local government areas. The state is majorly made up of the Hausas and the Fulani whom they refer to as Hausa-Fulani. Their major occupation is farming which ranges from planting to animal husbandry.

They are the major sellers of hide and skin which is eventually used as leather in neighboring states.

As we all know, president Muhammadu Buhari is from this state. Katsina is not doing badly in terms of education.  The state has 3 Universities and 5 colleges.


Sokoto is located in the north western part of Nigeria. It happens to be one of the safest cities in Nigeria. The Sokoto Caliphate which is mainly predominated by Fulani, the city still experiences peace and calm.

There has hardly been any conflict between tribes, cultist or religious groups. Residents of the Sokoto state have nothing to worry about in terms of security.

There are also lots of opportunities in the state, most residents engage in various types of agricultural practices as well as fishing and fish production.


This North western state is also a centre for the construction industry.

The city serves as a collecting point for cotton, peanuts (groundnuts), shea nuts, and hides and skins, etc.

There is also a considerable local trade in sorghum, millet, corn (maize), kola nuts, goats, poultry, and cattle. The state has largest textile-manufacturing centre and other major industries.

Also Read: Full list of manufacturing companies in Nigeria

Jigawa state

A state situated at the north-western part of Nigeria and basically populated with the Hausa/Fulani tribe.

With low literacy level and low economic growth, the poverty level of Jigawa state is at 72.1%.


It is one of the North Central states in Nigeria and it is considered to be the largest state in the country. It covers the territory of 76.363 square kilometres.

It is one of the richest states in Nigeria with the total GDP of the region of $6.002 billion, per capita of $1.480. Still, it`s not the most populated state in the country.

The total population is around 4,000,000 people. It has two major hydroelectric power stations the Shiroro Dam and the Kainji Dam.

The state is occupied by three main ethnic groups which include the Nupe ethnic group, the Hausas, and the Gwari.

Meanwhile; there are other smaller ethnic groups which also reside in this state, which includes; Kadara, Pangu, Bassa, Fulani, and others. Niger state also possesses the largest National park in Nigeria which is the Kainji Park.

Adamawa State

Adamawa is located in the North eastern part of the country. Due to the frequent attack from Boko Haram terrorists, Adamawa state’s economy has crippled as a result of its citizens running away from the state because of safety. This has affected the state negatively to a poverty level of 74.2%.

Kebbi State

Kebbi is a state in north-western Nigeria. Its capital is Birnin Kebbi. Kebbi State which was formerly a part of Sokoto State and it was created in 1991.

The state is arguably one of the places in the north that is safe. Another interesting advantage of living in Kebbi State is the low cost of living enjoyed by residents. They have been reported to be one of the leading producers of rice.


The state is located in the North East part of Nigeria. It covers the territory around 57,79 square kilometres.

Borno is in the list of the richest states in Nigeria. The total GDP of the region is $5.18 billion, per capital is $1.214. The total population is around 6,000,000 people. The dominant ethnic group in the state is the Kanuris.


Residents of Bauchi State enjoy their peace and safety at its maximum. It is located next to Yobe and Gombe.

Surprisingly, it is one of the North eastern states that haven’t experience the problem of Boko Haram or Fulani Herdsmen.


Kogi which is also one of the North central states in Nigeria was created from portion of eastern kwara and western Benue states.

Kogi state was created on the 27th of August, 1991 and its capital is Lokoja. The same state houses Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and river Niger.

Learn More: Top 10 steel companies in Nigeria

The Kogi state connects the Federal Capital Territory to 22 southern states.  In the state, telecommunication services are also well developed. Now several tribes, including Yoruba, Igala, and Ebira live in the state.


Kwara belongs to one of the North Central state in Nigeria, commonly referred to as the Middle Belt. Its capital is Ilorin where we have the prestigious University of Ilorin.

The primary ethnic group is Yoruba, with significant Nupe, Bariba, and Fulani minorities. Agriculture is the main source of the economy and the principal cash crops are: cotton, cocoa, coffee, Kolanut, tobacco, beniseed and palm produce.

Mineral resources in the state are Gold, limestone, marble, feldspar, clay, kaolin, quartz and granite rocks.

Kwara state was created in 1967 when the Federal Military Government changed the division of the state into 12 regions.

The state was created from the former provinces Ilorin and Kabba of the Northern Region and was originally called the West Central state, but was later renamed into Kwara state.


Nasarawa is one of the north central states in Nigeria. It was created from the old Plateau state on the 1st of October, 1996 during Abacha Sani regime and its capital is Lafia.

Nasarawa state is home to the Federal University of Lafia, Farin ruwa falls that is reputed to be one of the highest falls in Africa.

The salt village, where there is natural iodized salt, is also located in Nasarawa state. Speaking of minerals in this state, the state is blessed with tin, coal, Marble and semiprecious stones.

In Nasarawa state, there are also lots of unused energy resources, which thereby lead to the state being called the Home of Solid Minerals.


Taraba is a state in North Eastern Nigeria, named after the Taraba River which traverses the southern part of the state. Taraba’s capital is Jalingo. It was created in 1991 from the southwestern half of former Gongola.

Taraba is bordered on the north by Bauchi and Gombe states, on the east by Adamawa state, on the south by Cameroon, and on the west by Benue, Nassarawa, and Plateau states.


Yobe is a state located in Northeast Nigeria. A mainly agricultural state, it was created on August 27, 1991.Yobe state was carved out of Borno State.

The capital of Yobe state is Damaturu. A notable place in this state is the Yobe State University.


Plateau is also part of north central states in Nigeria. The total area of the state covers around 3,178 square kilometers. This state is a paradise for tourists.

There are plenty sights to visit in this state, like the Wildlife Safari Park, the National Museum in Jos, the Museum of Traditional Nigerian Architecture, Jos Zoo,  Kurra Falls, Wase Rock, the Kerang  highlands.

Plateau state has the highest number of 22 recorded mineral resources which is definitely a gift of nature that contributes to Nigeria’s wealth.


Gombe, usually referred to as Gombe State to distinguish it from the city of Gombe, is located in the northeastern part of Nigeria. Gombe is the capital of Gombe.

Gombe state was drawn out of Bauchi state on the 1st of October, 1996. It is one of the least populated states in Nigeria.

Geopolitical Zones In Nigeria and their States

Below is the list of geopolitical zones in Nigeria. Enjoy reading

  • North Central States:

Kogi, Niger, Benue, Kwara, Plateau, Nassarawa and the Federal Capital Territory.

  • North-Eastern States:

Taraba, Borno, Bauchi, Adamawa, Gombe and Yobe State.

  • North-Western States:

Kaduna, Kebbi, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kano, Jigawa and Katsina State.

  • South-Eastern States:

Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Abia and Anambra State.

  • South-Southern States:

Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Edo, Cross River, Rivers and Delta State.

  • South-Western States:

Oyo, Ogun, Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti and Osun State

Concluding Notes On North Central States in Nigeria

This is the full list of north central states in Nigeria. A lot has been said above concerning North Central.  With this post, I am sure you might have gotten all the information you need, if you are planning on visiting or relocating.

The North Central states popularly referred to as the Middle belt are the most heterogeneous of all the Geopolitical zones in Nigeria.

These northern states mentioned above are notably great states in the country which contributes immensely to the country’s economy.

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