Sunday, December 2, 2007


Niger State is rich in tourism centres. There are numerous tourist attraction sites in the State such as the following:
This wonderful water falls which is best described as Nigeria’s Premier Falls is located at kilometre 76 along Minna-Suleja road. From Suleja to the junction is about 45 kms, while from the junction to the Falls is about 2 km.
Gurara Falls got its name from Village bordering the river and was used for sacrifices by the Gwaris of Bonu in Gawu District. The sacrificial activities started to diminish when some Europeans discovered the place and found it suitable for recreational activities on weekends. (They decided to develop the place into a reputable tourist resort).
Today, Gurara falls is one of the nation’s greatest potential holiday resorts. A tarred road leads to the falls where there are a mini bar and a permanent pavilion which is erected at a strategic point thus offering to tourists the best view of the Falls while sitting and relaxing.
The Falls is at its peak during the month of April to October while it is lowest in January to March.
Located along Kaduna – Abuja express way, is beautiful, giant of a rock used for defensive purpose by the Gwari natives against invading neighbouring tribes during the inter-tribal wars. The rock is believed to possess certain power which rendered enemies powerless and provided the natives with a good hiding place. As the tourist gets closer, a human like face becomes visible with engravings representing the eye sockets, the nose and the mouth on the side of the rock that faces the Abuja – Kaduna express road.
Zuma Rock represents a beautiful and unique natural work of rock formation. If offers a good environment for picnicking and relaxation. A Five Star Hotel, Zuma Rock Resort International Limited is being constructed near the rock.
This rock is situated at the western part of Gwagwade village in Auna district. Evidences have shown that when the rock wanted to move, a loud sound was normally heard throughout the village at night and the following morning, the rock would no longer be found. This rock was said to have been moving at unspecified periods. This movement according to the inhabitants, the rock was said to possess two husbands…one at Gwagwade village in Niger State and another at Kinkya in Ngaski district of Yauri Local Government, Kebbi State.
Presently, the rock is located at Kinkya in Kebbi State.
The Soje Hut was mysteriously and solely built overnight by one man called Ele. Ele, a non-indigene of the area. The villagers saw the completed building the following morning without roof. However, the villagers decided to roof it to extend its life span.
The myth surrounding this Hut which is about 10 meters in diameter can accommodate a number of people no matter the number, there will still be space to accommodate more people, especially when the crowd argue among themselves on approaching it for its inability to contain them. It is prohibited for the Emir of the area to sight the Hut or else he dies.
These footprints could be seen on the hill top in Bina village near Muye some kilometers east of Lapai. The footprints also called (Dauda Woyaba) footprints are also believed to be that of Dabo who started his journey from Bina, later went to Gulu, performed his ablution and built his mosque, stayed for some times before leaving for Kano. The footprints are still visible on the rock at Bina hilltop.
Baro is a town about 54 kilometres away from Agaie town; the headquarters of Agaie Local Government Area. ‘Baro Empire Hill’ is a flat-topped hill which commands a magnificent view across River Niger. At the top of the hill, there are remains of Lord Lugard’s first headquarters and an H.F Radio Station used by him. Also, there is a track leading to the top of the hill for vehicles like Jeeps and LandRovers to pass through. While on top of the hill tourists can get the best view of the ancient “Baro Post” used in the colonial days.
Baro port was used in colonial days to transport goods by ship to foreign countries through River Niger and from overseas to Nigeria. A railway line terminus (Minna-Baro) exists where goods were transported from the hinterland to the port for export and vice versa. The warehouse where goods were stored can still be seen at the port.
Lord Lugard’s Colonial Secretariat, (before moving to Kaduna) is located at Zungeru. From this secretariat, Lugard amalgamated the Northern and the Southern parts of Nigeria. Therefore Zungeru conveniently served as Nigeria’s first capital.
Also located at Zungeru, is a cemetery consisting of about one hundred graves of white colonial aides to Lord Lugard. An example is the grave of Dr. A. A. Smith, the founder of Scouts and West African Frontier Forces, who died on 4th January, 1903.
I. NAGWAMATSE WELL (near Kontagora)
This well is said to have been dug by the legendary Nagwamatse during the Jihad. It has been related that when he was resting under a tree, he struck the ground with his sword in order to get water for ablution in preparation to perform his prayers. The water spot that resulted from that action still exists as a well some kilometres away from Kontagora.
Railway construction first began in 1889 with the construction of Lagos-Abeokuta line. By 1901, the line was extended to Ibadan and by 1908 the line reached Jebba.
The capital of the then Northern Nigeria was Zungeru and the nearest terminal river port for the supply of urgently needed building and other necessary materials was Wushishi. It was therefore decided to link Zungeru with Wushishi by means of steam tramway of 2 feet 6 inches gauge. The tramway was opened in 1901 and operated successfully for many years.
The first locomotive to run the steam tramway has been preserved and it stands under a canopy on the Railway platform at Minna station. This preserved locomotive was the first steam engine to work in Northern Nigeria. It was 0-6-07½ x 12” two cylinder 2.6” gauge locomotive built by Hunslet Engine Company, England and delivered to Nigeria on the 2nd of August, 1901.
The engine ran on the 12” Wushishi-Zungeru-Barijuko Tramway and hauled the first train built to avoid a dangerous reach of water on the Kaduna river in order that the then capital of Zungeru could be better placed.
Some other tourism attractions in the State
The Niger State Tourism Corporation coordinates all tourism activities in the State. Other tourism attractions in the State includes the Gani Cultural Festival Kutigi, Kainji Lake National Parks and “Dutse Mai Nono”, meaning 'hill with breast'. The corporation has motels in the major towns of the State for comfortable accommodation, meals and drinks.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

History of Niger State

Location:- Latitude of 3.20’ east and longitude 8 and 11.3’ north
Capital:- Minna
Area:- 76,363 km˛ Ranked 1st
Population:- 4,082,558 (2005 est.), 2,482,367 (1999 est.)
Major Language:- Hausa, Gwari and Nupe
Governor:- Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu (PDP)
ISO 3166-2:- NG-NI
Date Created:- 3 February 1976
Population Rank:- Ranked 18th

Niger State was carved out of the former North-Western State by the late Head of State, General Murtala Ramat Mohammed in February, 1976. It however came to being on 1st April, the same year.

Before the creation of one additional Local Government Area (Shiroro Local Government Area) from the former Chanchaga Local Government by Babangida’s administration in 1987, the State was constitutionally administered under nine (9) Local Governments. With the above development therefore, the State was later administered under ten (10) Local Government Areas.

With creation of additional States and Local Governments in 1991 by President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, four (4) more local governments were created in the State. They are Rijau Local Government with headquarters at Rijau while its former name, Magama was transferred to Nasko as its headquarters; parts of Mariga and newly merged Borgu Local Government to the State from Kwara State were carved out to form Agwara Local Government with headquarters at Agwara. Wushishi Local Government was also carved out from Mariga Local Government with headquarters at Wushishi.

Another creation of additional local governments on 19th September, 1991 gave birth to five (5) local governments in the State. Gurara Local Government was carved out of the present Suleja Local Government, Gawu-Babangida as its headquarters, Paikoro and Bosso Local Government Areas were created from the former Chanchaga Local Government, with Paiko and Maikunkele as Local Government Headquarters respectively. What remained of the former Chanchaga Local Government headquarters has also retained its name, Chanchaga. Gbako Local Government was split into two (2) and the name Gbako transferred to a local government with headquarters at Lemu, while Bida became the Local Government headquarters of the newly created Bida Local Government Area. Lavun was split into two (2). This action gave birth to the creation of Mokwa Local Government with headquarters at Mokwa while Kutigi remains the headquarters of Lavun Local Government Area. The remaining four (4) local government areas, Shiroro, Agaie, Lapai, Rafi remain untouched.

With the creation of additional States and Local Government Areas in 1996 by the Head of State General Sani Abacha, six (6) more Local Governments were created in the State. These are Tafa Local Government with headquarters at New-Wuse carved out of Suleja Local Government; Edati Local Government with headquarters at Enagi carved out of Lavun Local Government; Munya Local Government with headquarters at Sarkin Pawa carved out of Shiroro Local Government; Mashegu Local Government, with headquarters at Mashegu carved out of Wushishi Local Government; Katcha Local Government with headquarters as Bangi carved out of Kontagora Local Government Area.

Constitutionally, the State is now administered under 25 Local Governments.

Detailed Geographical Statistics


This State lies between the latitude of 3.20’ east and longitude 8 and 11.3’ north. It is bordered to the North by Sokoto State, West by Kebbi State, South by Kogi and South-West by Kwara State. Kaduna and Federal Capital Territory border the State to both North-East and South-East respectively. The State has a common boundary with the Republic of Benin along New Bussa, Agwara and Wushishi Local Government Area. This has given rise to common interborder trade between the two countries.


Before the merger of Borgu Local Government with the State, in 1991 the 1963 National Population Census stood at 1,194,508. With the release of the 1991 population figure by the Federal Government in 1992, Niger State has 2,482,367 people. The spill-over of population from the Federal Capital, Abuja is also increasing the population growth of the State.


Niger State covers a total land area of 83,266,779 square kilometres or about 8.3 million hectares which represent 8% of the total land area of Nigeria. About 85% of the land is arable.


Like most alluvial soils, the soil in Niger State is the flood plain type and is characterized by considerable variations. The soil is of two main types which could be used for agriculture and are rich in minerals for the manufacture of various products. The two types of soil are:

(a) the Ku-soil which has little hazards and

(b) the Ya-soil which has a better water holding capacity.


About 85% of the State’s population are farmers, while the remaining 15% are engaged in other vocations such as white collar jobs, manufacturing, business, production of crafts and arts.


Niger State experiences distinct dry and wet seasons with annual rainfall varying from 1,100mm in the Northern part of the State to 1,600 mm in the southern parts.The maximum temperature is recorded between March and June, while the minimum is usually between December and January. The rainy season lasts for about 150 days in the Northern parts of about 120 days in the Southern parts of the State. Generally, the climate 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 State is very richly and abundantly endowed naturally. The one most important asset cherished very much by Nigerlites is the fertile land. Added to this is the even climate of the geographical area which is characterized by very rich annual rainfall. To crown it all, a wide variety of mineral and material resources are known to be available in the State. Therefore, whether the interest is agriculture or industry, Niger State has the capacity to sustain it. This is why Nigerlites are collectively resolved that Nigeria’s strive for self-reliance and sufficiency could be facilitated and rapidly realized in Niger State. The State has numerous exportable commodities begging for patronage.


Niger State is the acclaimed “Power House” of the nation because it houses three hydro-electric power stations in the State. They are the Shiroro hydroelectric power station commissioned in June 1990 by president Ibrahim Babangida with initial capacity of 600 mega watts, the renowned 500 MW Kainji generating plant and the Jebba Hydro-electricity dam.It is a fact that all major towns in the State and indeed, all Local Government Headquarters except one – Agwara – have been connected to the national grid. Even in the case of Agwara, work is in progress to get the local government 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 power does not pose a problem to the potential investor in Niger State.