Niger State Fact Sheet
Map of Niger State within Nigeria(in red)
Niger State was created on the 3rd February, 1976 out of the then North-Western state during the regime of General Murtala Ramat Mohammed; the state formerly began to function on April 1st of that year, with eight local government councils (L G As) namely: Chanchaga, Rafi, Gbako, Etswan, Suleja, Mariga, Magama and Lavun. Etswan Local Government was later divided into two (Agaie and Lapai LGAs).
Between 1979 and 1983 during the second republic, when Mallam Muhammadu Awwal Ibrahim was the Executive Governor of the State, eighteen LGAs were created: Kuta, Paikoro, Chanchaga, Rafi, Gbako, Katcha, Lemu, Lapai, Agaie, Suleja, Mariga, Bangi, Magama, Auna, Lavun, Mokwa and Jima-Doko. But when the military came into power in 1984, it was reverted to the original eight LGA structure. However, Chanchaga was split into two-Minna Municipal council, with Minna as headquarters while Kuta remained the headquarters of Shiroro LGA, the former name of Chanchaga LGA.
The LGAs in Niger State became Nineteen (19) in 1991 when President Ibrahim Babangida created Nine (9) States and additional LGAs in Nigeria. By 1996 when Late General Sani Abacha created six (6) additional states and 182 LGAs in the entire country, Niger State got additional six (6) LGAs, namely, Katcha, Munya, Mashegu, Edati, Tafa and Mariga bringing the total to 25 LGAs.
In the year 2002, the Civilian administration of Engr. Abdulkadir A. Kure responded to the clarion call of the people for the creation of additional local government areas. To this end, additional 17 new local government areas were created out of the existing ones; bringing the total number of local governments to 42.
However, because this was not gazetted by the National Assembly as enshrined in the constitution, the new LGAs were dissolved and converted to Area Development Councils. Thus, the status-quo of 25 LGAs was maintained.
The State lies on the 3.20° East and longitude 11.30° North. Kaduna State and FCT are her borders to the North-East and South-East respectively; Zamfara State borders the North, Kebbi State in the West, Kogi State in the South and Kwara State in the South West, while the republic of Benin along Agwara LGA boarders her North West.
As at 26th August 1991 (before the emergence of Borgu and Agwara LGAs) the state covered a land area of 74,244 square kilometres, which is 8% of the total land area of Nigeria. With the merger, the land mass is about 10% of the total land area that is about 85% of the arable land.
As at 1961, the population of Niger State was 1,194,508. The 1991 population figure indicates Niger State as provisionally containing 2,421,581 people. The 2006 population figure is 3,950,249.
The soil types in Niger State are two: Ku soil and Ya soil. The Ku soil has little erosion hazards, while the Ya soil has better water holding capacity.
The majority of the populace in the State (85%) are farmers while others constituting (15%) are involved in vocations such as white collar jobs, business, craft and arts.
Predominantly, the people are Muslims and Christians while others practice traditional religion.
Tribes & Ethnic Divisions
Though there are three most pronounced ethnic groups (Nupe, Gbagyi and Hausa), there are many other groups living happily with one another Kadara, Koro, Barab, Kakanda, GanaGana, Dibo, Kambari, Kamuku, Pangu, Dukawa, Gwada and Ingwai. Tribes like Igbo, Yoruba and numerous others from other States also settle in Niger State.
Niger State possesses fertile land as a cherished asset and the potentials are yet to be fully explored. The even climate, rich annual rainfall and availability of wide variety of mineral and agricultural resources all attest to the economic potential of the state. Every government that has come to power endeavored to provide good infrastructure such as roads, electricity, water and communication facilities, to make way for interested investors. Some natural and mineral resources found in the state include Talc, Gold, Ball clays, Silica, Sand, Marble, Copper, Iron, Felsper, Lead, Kaolin, Cassetrite, Columbite, Mica, Quartzite and Limestone. Evidence also abounds as to the availability of sources of power i.e. the three hydro-electricity power stations situated at Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro.
Niger State is one of the richest in the country in terms of tourism. Some of the attractions are Zuma Rock, Gurara falls, Baro Empire Hill, Lord Lugard Colonial ruins at Zungeru and Nagwamaste well. One of the prominent festivals is the Gani Festival, while the Kainji Lake National Park is one of the best in Nigeria.
Niger State has over 1,165 primary schools, 250 secondary schools and a number of vocational training centers. There are also about 15 tertiary institutions which include Federal College of Education, Kontagora, the Federal Polytechnic at Bida and the Federal University of Technology at Minna. Others include the state owned Technical Teachers Training Colleges, State College of Education at Minna, etc.
Niger State experiences distinct dry and wet seasons with annual rain fall varying from 1,100mm in the northern part to 1,600mm in the southern parts. The maximum temperature (usually not more than 940c) is recorded between March and June, while the Minimum is usually between December and January. The rainy seasons last for about 150 days in the northern parts to about 120 days in the southern parts of the State. Generally, the fertile soil and hydrology of the State permit the cultivation of most of Nigeria’s staple crops and still allows sufficient opportunities for grazing, fresh water fishing and forestry development.
The government of Niger State is aware that the true development of any nation depends on her level of industrialization. For this reason concerted efforts have been made to ensure rapid industrialization. Being largely an agrarian State, Niger can support a large variety of agro allied industries. Also, the State has a lot of mineral resources that can serve as basis for many other industries; such resources include Gold, clay, silica, Sand, Kyanite, Marble, Copper, Iron, Feldsper, Leads, Columbite, Kaolin and Tantalite. In order to induce industrialists to invest heavily in tapping these resources, government has put in place many incentives such as provision of well-serviced industrial layout, guaranteed accelerated processing of application for industrial plot and even financial assistance in form of loans and equity participation by the government in certain cases. Other facilities like telecommunication, postal services etc, are adequately provided in the State for effective business contacts. The State has international airport and is well linked to all parts of Nigeria by road and rail.
Niger State is the acclaimed “Power House” of the nation because it houses three Hydro-Electric power stations. They are Shiroro hydro-electric power station commissioned in June 1990 by President Ibrahim Babangida with initial capacity of 600mega watts, the renown 500mw Kainji generating plant and the Jebba Hydro electric dam. It is a fact that all major towns in the State and indeed all local government headquarters except few have been connected to the national grid. Similarly, other smaller towns that cannot readily enjoy electricity from the national grid are being served by the State’s Rural Electrification efforts. Therefore, electricity supply does not pose a problem to the potential investor in Niger State.
The geological location of Niger State endows it with abundant mineral resources. Rich commercial deposits of various types of industrial minerals of high quality are available in the State which can be used for domestic and export purposes.