Without question we greeted the class teacher as she stepped into the class and started the recital, the multiplication table then the state and capital in Nigeria song…
While many of the millennial and some other people can deny, that when asked any question pertaining to state and capital in Nigeria, the song “state and capital, Abia Umuahia”…does not come to head; I cannot.
I mean till date I still sing this song, just that I cannot remember all the states and their capital (Winks).
I did not understand why I had to recite that in class everyday but as I grew older, I, not only understood the reason why that recital was important, but also why we have the 36 Nigerian state and capital.
Let us take a look at this case study: Someone is in charge of 100 people, the number of people increased to 1,000 via reproduction and migration; these people are scattered farther than where the 100 were initially.
You would agree with me that one person won’t find it easy to effectively administer the 1000 people as compared to 100 people considering location and the likes.
So if you were that person, what would you do? You bet the right thing to do is to partition and delegate isn’t it?
Let’s transfer this thinking to Nigeria, we are way more than a thousand in number, even the population of Nigeria by states proves this; and just sitting on a governor’s seat, your hair go white (na joke o), not to talk of being a Nigerian president.
What Are States In Nigeria
Before state and capital in Nigeria became one of the questions asked in primary and secondary current affairs, there were only regions or provinces in the country. No one bothered about the numbers of states and capitals in Nigeria.
After gaining independence, we had the northern region, southern region, and the eastern region. You should learn more about the economic activities of six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
Three years after independence, there were four regions in the country; the mid-western region that was created from the western region became the fourth region.
Prior events that led to the first coup d’etat military rule in Nigeria and subsequent ones ushered in the short administration of each coup along with that of the pioneer of the creation of state and capital in Nigeria, Yakubu Gowon.
Yakubu Gowon’s administration got pregnant and delivered 12 states and capital in Nigeria.
Alas! Regions or provinces went into extinction, state and capital in Nigeria was new.
Murtala Muhammed strode in with his administration and increased the short list of states in Nigeria to 19 states.
It would seem to be the order of the day as Ibrahim Babangida also created quite a number of states and capital in Nigeria.
With the exit of General Sanni Abacha administration, the zeal to create more state and capital in Nigeria kind of died down. You never can tell who will create another state and capital in Nigeria, so permit me to use the word “kind of”.
In as much as the creation of state and capital in Nigeria is referred to the administration that ushered it in, there were reasons that prompted these administrations decisions.
There was a conflict of interests, agitations; it was becoming harder for the head of the country to oversee all things by himself, hence, the birth of the first generation of state and capital in Nigeria.
Little did anyone know that this would also contribute to the Nigerian civil war with Biafra and so the birth of the second generation state and capital in Nigeria.
Other reasons too demanded for the birth of other generations of states and their capital in Nigeria.
For easy and effective administration, including the tangible development of the country; partitioning had to be done, hence, state and capital in Nigeria were created.
The state and capital in Nigeria are sub-divisions of the country, like classes in school. These divisions are there for effective management of the country as a whole. You should read more about the Nigerian government structure.
So, how many states are in Nigeria?
List of State And Capital In Nigeria
Back then, none of us bothered to ask Aunty why we have state and capital in Nigeria, the history of these states in Nigeria, etc. We just knew we have 36 states and capitals in Nigeria.
But interestingly, all of Nigeria’s solid mineral resources are spread across the entire 36 states of the country.
1. ABIA (Umuahia)
Abia state was birthed from Imo state on the 27th of August, 1991. The name is said to be an abbreviation of the four regions (Aba, Bende, Isuitwuato, and Afikpo) of which it is made up of.
It houses the Abia state university, Abia state polythenic, Alaoji power plant, Geometric power plant, etc.
2. ADAMAWA (Yola)
One of the state and capital in Nigeria created from Gongola on the 27th of August, 1991 is Adamawa (Yola).
Its origins can further be traced to the 1800s when it was a dependent region of the Sokoto rule. Adamawa is home to the American University of Nigeria.
3. AKWA-IBOM (Uyo)
One of the third generation of state and capital in Nigeria, was created on the 23rd of September, 1987. It is said to be the highest oil and gas producing state in the country.
The University of Uyo, Akwa-Ibom state university, and others are located in the state. Did you know that Akwa ibom makes it to our list of top 10 richest states in Nigeria? Read that.
4. ANAMBRA (Awka)
The revamped millennial state is one of the states and capital in Nigeria created on the 27th of August, 1991. It is home to the Agulu crocodile lake where fishing is not allowed, as they said. These crocodiles cannot be deprived of life.
Tales have it that these crocodiles and turtles aided in rescuing the town from its enemies during the Nigerian civil war. The state also houses Nnamdi Azikiwe University.
5. BAUCHI (Bauchi)
A second generation state, which cannot be excluded from the list of state and capital in Nigeria, was created from the North Eastern state in the year 1976. It was recreated from itself on the 3rd of February, 1976.
Also Read: Nigerian government revenue sharing formula
6. BAYELSA (Yenagoa)
The least populous state in Nigeria was produced from Rivers state on the 1st of October, 1996. Despite the large manufacture of petroleum, it is nowhere close as the most developed state in the country.
The Niger Delta University, Federal University, Otuoke are in Bayelsa state.
7. BENUE (Makurdi)
Initially called the Munshi province, as it was told; until the year 1918 when it was named after the Benue River. It is the 9th most populous state in the country.
Today, Benue that was created from the Benue-plateau state is on the list of state and capital in Nigeria, and it is home to the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
Also Read: List of Asian countries and their capitals in alphabetical order
8. BORNO (Maiduguri)
In as much as it is one of the most dreaded states to visit in Nigeria, we cannot deny it does not make up the 36 states we have in Nigeria.
The northern state was carved out of the North Eastern state on the 3rd of February, 1976. It is ranked the 11th most populous state in Nigeria and one of the North central states in Nigeria.
9. CROSS RIVER (Calabar)
This state was established on the 27th of May, 1967. It houses the famous Tinapa resort, Mary Slessor tomb, University of Calabar, etc.
10. DELTA (Asaba)
Delta is also one of the Nigerian states and capital. It was born out of Bendel state on the 27th of August, 1991.
The Delta State University, Federal University of Petroleum Resources is located in Delta. The state is inhabited by over 4 million people.
Also Read: List of all African countries and capital in alphabetical order
11. EBONYI (Abakaliki)
Ebonyi is the second state that was created from the old Enugu state on the 1st of October, 1996. It has been tagged as the leading producer of cassava, rice, yam, maize, and beans in the country.
12. EDO (Benin)
A twin sister to Delta state is Edo state. It was also created on the 27th of August, 1991. It is home to the Emotan statue.
13. EKITI (Ado – Ekiti)
Ekiti state is one of the western states of all the six geo political zones in Nigeria. It was carved out of Ondo state on the 1st of October, 1996.
With a population not more than 2.5 million, it is said to be the state to have the highest number of professors.
14. ENUGU (Enugu)
Born out of the old Anambra state on the 27th of August, 1991; Enugu is one of the states in Nigeria.
History says it was once the capital of the southern provinces, later on it was the capital of the Federal Republic of Biafra during the war. It houses the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and other notable places.
15. GOMBE (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.
16. IMO (Owerri)
Aye aye, we have an app for video calls called Imo…shhhh…we are talking state and capital in Nigeria. It was created from the East Central state on the 3rd of February, 1976.
It became a mother state in the year 1991 when part of it was cut out to create Abia and Ebonyi states. The Federal University of Technology, Owerri is located in this state.
Also Read: Full List of Political parties in Nigeria
More of The 36 States And Capital And Their Governors
We are not done yet are we? That’s what the teacher said because we’ve just listed 20 out of the 36 states and capital in Nigeria.
17. JIGAWA (Dutse)
Jigawa is a sister state to the new Kano state. The state was born on the 27th of August, 1991 from the old Kano state.
History says the creation of Jigawa state was instigated by Malam Inuwa-Dutse. This state also has a Federal University.
18. KADUNA (Kaduna)
The north-central state was created from the old Kaduna state on the 23rd of September, 1987. The Nigeria Defence Academy, Ahmadu Bello University is located in Kaduna.
19. KANO (Kano)
One of the first generation of state and capital in Nigeria before it was recreated on the 27th of May, 1967.
Did you know that Kano state has the highest number of local government in Nigeria? Learn more in that post.
20. KATSINA (Katsina)
The Federal University of Agriculture, Katsina; Umaru Musa Yar’adua University is located in the state that was created on the 23rd of September, 1987 from old Kaduna state.
21. KEBBI (Birnin – kebbi)
Sokoto seemed too big to handle and so on the 27th of August, 1991; Kebbi state was carved out of Sokoto. They have been reported to be one of the leading producers of rice.
22. KOGI (Lokoja)
Kogi state was created from old Kwara state on the 27th of August, 1991. It is said that on a certain day when Flora Shaw set her eyes on the river Niger, she was wowed and what came out of her mouth next was Nigeria.
This river Niger is in Kogi state. The same state houses Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited.
23. KWARA (Ilorin)
When the first 12 states were created, Kwara state was inclusive until it was recreated from itself on the 27th of May, 1967. Did you know that the Senate President Bukola Saraki is from this state? Now you know.
24. LAGOS State (Ikeja)
Arguably the finest state in Nigeria, Lagos state is one of the first generation states in Nigeria. With its developments over the years, since it was created on the 27th of May, 1967; it is no surprise different ethnics lay claim to the state calling it a “no-man’s land”.
Did you know that there are 20 local governments in Lagos state? Now you know, read more in that post and thank me later.
25. NASARAWA (Lafia)
Nasarawa is one of the northern state and capital in Nigeria. It was created from the old Plateau state on the 1st of October, 1996 during Abacha Sani regime.
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.
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26. NIGER (Minna)
It has been reported that Niger state is named after river Niger. Also the Kanji dam, Shiroro dam, Guarara falls, and Kainji national park are located in Niger state.
Niger state was created on the 3rd of February, 1976.
27. OGUN (Abeokuta)
It was created on the 3rd of February, 1976 from the first western state. The state is home to Olabisi Onabanjo University and other prominent places.
The Ijebus, that were said to be the first Yoruba’s to invent “owo eyo”, are peculiar to this state.
28. ONDO (Akure)
One of the three musketeers: Ondo, Ogun, and Oyo. Ondo state was created on the 3rd of February, 1976. The state is home to Federal University of Technology, Akure.
29. OSUN (Osogbo)
Osun state was created on the 27th of August, 1991 and is said to be named after the river Osun. It is bounded in the north by Kwara State, in the east partly by Ekiti State and partly by Ondo State, in the south by Ogun State and in the west by Oyo State.
30. OYO (Ibadan)
It offers shelter to the first university in Nigeria, University of Ibadan. Oyo state was created from the old Oyo state on the 3rd of February, 1976.
…awon omo sepeteri… did you know that Sepeteri is actually a town in Oke-ogun Oyo state? Now you know.
31. PLATEAU (Jos)
The 12th largest state in Nigeria was initially created from Benue-Plateau before it was recreated from the old Plateau state.
The new Plateau state birth date is 3rd of February, 1976. Read more about the top 20 largest state in Nigeria in this post, you want to know the top 5 isn’t it?
32. RIVERS (Port Harcourt)
Due to the many rivers surrounding the state, the name Rivers was given to the state on the 27th of May, 1967.
33. SOKOTO (Sokoto)
Sokoto or Sakkwato state is one of the northern states in Nigeria. It was created on the 3rd of February, 1976. It later birthed the Kebbi and Zamfara states.
34. TARABA (Jalingo)
Taraba state is one of the states in Nigeria created from Gongola state. Gumpti Park is located in this state that was created on the 27th of August, 1991.
35. YOBE (Damaturu)
It was carved out of Borno state on the 27th of August, 1991. The state borders the Nigerian states of Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, and Jigawa.
It borders the Diffa Region and the Zinder Region to the north in the Republic of Niger.
Because the state lies mainly in the dry savanna belt, conditions are hot and dry for most of the year, except in the southern part of the state which has a milder climate.
36. ZAMFARA (Gusau)
The earliest inhabitants of this state were said to be giants and hunters. It was a kingdom whose origins went as far back as the 11th century before it later became part of the Caliphate, following the holy war led by Usman Dan Fodio in the 1800s.
It was later merged with other kingdoms to form the North West state and then Sokoto, from which it was carved out from, on the 1st of October, 1996.
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Fct Abuja Nigeria
It was of recent I knew FCT was not part of the 36 states but a federal territory…as in I dey count am with confidence as part of state and capital in Nigeria. say FCT be state, Abuja na capital.
You would be amazed by what you find out about this federal territory that has no governor. The state was formed from parts of Nasarawa, Kogi, and Niger states.
The history of Abuja city will interest you as you’ll realize how it was created and chosen as Nigeria’s capital. The Abuja population is distributed across its 6 local government areas.
Nigerian State Capital Slogan And Governors Plus Number of Their Local Government
- Made up of 17 local government areas and presided over by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu. The slogan for Abia state is “God’s own state”.
- Also made up of 21 local government areas, Anambra state is known as “Light of the nation”. The governor of Anambra state is Willie Obiano.
- Akwa – Ibom is one of the state and capital in Nigeria and its slogan is “Land of promise”. It is made up of 31 local governments and has Udom Gabriel Emmanuel as its governor.
- The Cross River state slogan is “The people’s paradise”. The governor of the state is Benedict Ayade. It has 18 local government areas.
- Kano state is not only the most populated state in Nigeria with over 9 million inhabitants but also the state and capital in Nigeria with the highest number of local government areas; 44. Kano state is also known as “Centre of commerce”. The Governor of this state is Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
- The richest local government in Nigeria, Obio Akpor, is one of the 23 local government areas in Rivers state. You know the right caption for that look on your face when I tell you this particular state and capital in Nigeria is known as “Treasure base of the nation”. I dey hail o, Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike of Rivers state.
- The smallest state in Nigeria is governed by Henry Seriake Dickson. Bayelsa is known as the “Glory of all lands” with 8 local government areas.
- Adamawa state slogan is “Land of beauty”. The state is governed by Bindo Jibrilla.
- There are 21 local government areas in Anambra state.
- The “Eastern heartland” is the slogan for Imo state. The state has 27 local government areas and is governed by Rochas Anayo Okorocha.
- Dave Nweze Umahi is the governor of Ebonyi state. There are 13 local government areas in this state known as “Salt of the nation”.
- Enugu is another on the list of state and capital in Nigeria with 17 local government areas. The slogan for the state is “Coal city” and is governed by Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
- Known as the “Seat of caliphate”; Sokoto state is governed by Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. There are 23 local government areas in Sokoto state.
- “The big heart of the nation” is the slogan for Delta state. Governor Arthur Okowa Ifeanyi presides over this state that has 25 local government areas.
- Edo state, one of the state and capital in Nigeria, is the “Heart beat of Nigeria”. The state is made up of 18 local government areas and the governor of Edo is Godwin Obaseki.
- Governor Samuel Ortom sits on the Benue state throne. The slogan for this state is “Food basket of the nation”. There are 23 local government areas in Benue.
- Ogun state current governor is Ibikunle Amosun. There are 20 local governments in the state. The motto of ogun state is “Gateway state”.
- The catchphrase for Lagos is “Centre of excellence”. Lagos city is arguably one of the important cities in Nigesria. There are 20 local governments in Lagos. The current Governor of Lagos state is Akinwunmi Ambode. Guess what? Most of the top 10 richest musicians in Nigeria live in Lagos state.
- There are 18 local government areas in Ondo state. The motto of ondo is “Sunshine state”. Ondo state is presided over by Governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo.
- Osun state, “The land of virtue”, is currently governed by Rauf Aregbesola. There are 30 local government areas in Osun state.
- There are 16 local Governments areas divided across Ekiti state, one of the state and capital in Nigeria. The current governor of Ekiti state is Ayo Fayose. The slogan for Ekiti state is “Land of Honour and Integrity”…heart searching time: is Ekiti state worthy of that motto?
- With 33 local government areas scattered across the state and capital, Oyo is known as the “Pacesetter state“. The current governor of the state is none other than Abiola Ajimobi.
- The “Home of solid minerals” is Nasarawa state with 13 local government areas. The state is currently governed by Umaru Tanko Al-makura.
- The 12th largest state and capital in Nigeria is known as “Home of peace and tourism”. Plateau state has 17 local government areas, it is currently led by Governor Simon Bako Lalong.
- The “Confluence state” is called Kogi state. There are 21 local government areas. The state is governed by Yahaya Bello.
- Kwara state is known as the “State of harmony” with 16 local government areas. The governor of the state is Peter Sara Kisira.
- Did you know that there is a “New world” in Nigeria? That is the slogan for Jigawa state with 27 local government areas. Governor Badaru Abubakar currently presides over the state.
- Katsina state is known as “Home of hospitality”. The state has 34 local government areas and the current governor is Aminu Bello Masari.
- Known as “The power state” and having 25 local government areas. Niger state is governed by Abubakar Sani Bello.
- The motto for Kebbi state is “Land of equity”. This state and capital in Nigeria has 22 local government areas. The current governor is Abubakar Atiku Bagudu.
- The “Pride of sahel” is known as Yobe state, having 17 local government areas. It is currently led by Governor Ibrahim Geidam.
- When you hear “Farming is our pride”, know it is Zamfara state. Governor Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari presides over the state with its 14 local government areas.
- Bauchi state slogan is “Pearl of tourism”. There are 20 local government areas in the state that is currently led by Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar.
- There are 11 local government areas in Gombe state. Known as “Jewel in the savannah”, the governor of Gombe state is Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo.
- Borno state is called “Home of peace”…the state is currently the total opposite of its motto. Governor Kashim Shettima is trying to keep the 27 local government areas in the state together.
- Taraba state, another of the state and capital in Nigeria, is called “Nature’s gift to the nation”. 16 local government areas make up the state governed by Darius Dickson Ishaku.
- The slogan for Kaduna state is “Liberal state”. There are 23 local governments in Kaduna state. The Governor of Kaduna state is Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai.
Download Nigeria State and Capital PDF
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States In Nigeria Map
Here is the map of Nigeria with 36 states in it:
The creation of the state and capital in Nigeria is not to foster enmity although if looked at cautiously, the agitation for states and capital in Nigeria more like had a motive of segregation.
There can be no complete criticism of the list of states in Nigeria as even before the inception of state and capital, the country has seen her coups.
Even after the birth of states in Nigeria, the “God’s own land” has suffered at the hands of war that destroyed some of the top cities in Nigeria.
Despite all, she stood strong and there have been no better management of the country than when it has states and capitals.
Also Read: Accurate list of European countries and their capitals
Last Notes On State and Capital In Nigeria
The fact that you are from a particular state does not make you less of a Nigerian than the other person from another state in Nigeria.
For me, I think Life in Nigeria would have been unbearable if the whole country wasn’t partitioned into states and their capitals.
How about YOU complete this sentence and post it in the comment box below: I am from _______ state and I am a Nigerian. Do me one more favor; read your comment out loud…winks.
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