States of Nigeria

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Updates: 

As of 2007-11-09, Nasarawa was spelled with one s on its own state government  site, but it was Nassarawa (double-s) in source [6] and elsewhere on the National Bureau of Statistics site. Google returned 62,300 hits for Nasarawa and 55,000 for Nassarawa. On the Nigeria Direct  site ("The Official Information Gateway of the Federal Republic of Nigeria"), it was spelled Nassarawa on the page devoted to that state; to get to that page, you had to select "Nasarawa state" on a cascading menu (under Government>States). For a while I stuck with double-s because ISO and FIPS both had that spelling. However, by 2011 the spelling seemed to be stabilizing on one s. FIPS switched from two s's to one with Update 14, 2013-12-31.

The other spelling controversy is over the capital of Bayelsa, but there seems to be a clear majority for Yenagoa over Yenegoa.

Nigerians have been discussing creating new states. There was talk of forming ten new states in 2011, but it hasn't led to action yet.

FIPS Publication Change Notice No. 10, affecting FIPS PUB 10-4, was issued on 2006-03-23. It changes the name of Abuja Capital Territory to Federal Capital Territory.

Change Notice 4 to FIPS PUB 10-4 is dated 2000-02-25. It says that six new states have been created in Nigeria.

Update I-1 to ISO 3166-2 was published on 2000-06-21. It also shows the addition of the six new states.

Country overview: 

Short nameNIGERIA
ISO codeNG
FIPS codeNI
LanguageEnglish (en)
Time zone+1
CapitalAbuja

 

In 1899, the Royal Niger Company surrendered its charter to the British Crown. On 1900-01-01, Great Britain created two protectorates: Northern Nigeria (most of the Company land), and Southern Nigeria (the rest of the Company land, merged with the Niger Coast Protectorate). The Colony and Protectorate of Lagos was a separate entity at that time. The parts became a single "colony and protectorate" on 1914-01-01. France and England seized Kamerun (Cameroon) from Germany during World War I. On 1922-07-20, part of Kamerun was mandated to Britain, which administered the mandate as part of Nigeria. Nigeria became independent on 1960-10-01. A plebiscite was held in the Cameroons, now a trust territory. The northern part chose to unite with Nigeria, effective 1962-06-01, while the southern part joined with the recently independent Cameroon Republic, effective 1961-10-01. On 1967-05-30, the Republic of Biafra (consisting of the Eastern and Mid-Western regions, recently reorganized) announced its secession from Nigeria, but the revolt was defeated by 1970, and Biafra never attained international recognition.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Nigeria
  2. Dutch: Nigeria, Bondsrepubliek Nigeria (formal)
  3. English: Federal Republic of Nigeria (formal)
  4. Finnish: Nigeria
  5. French: Nigéria, Nigeria m
  6. German: Nigeria n
  7. Icelandic: Nígería
  8. Italian: Nigeria f
  9. Norwegian: Forbundsrepublikken Nigeria (formal) (Bokmål), Sambandsrepublikken Nigeria (formal) (Nynorsk), Nigeria
  10. Portuguese: Nigéria, República f Federal da Nigéria f (formal)
  11. Russian: Федеративная Республика Нигерия (formal)
  12. Spanish: Nigeria, República f Federal de Nigeria f (formal)
  13. Swedish: Nigeria
  14. Turkish: Nijerya Federal Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

Named for the Niger River, from Tamashek gher n-gheren: river among rivers

Primary subdivisions: 

Nigeria is divided into 36 states and one capital territory.

StateHASCFIPSPopulationArea(km.²)Area(mi.²)Capital
AbiaNG.ABNI452,833,9994,8571,875Umuahia
AdamawaNG.ADNI353,168,10137,95714,655Yola
Akwa IbomNG.AKNI213,920,2086,7882,621Uyo
AnambraNG.ANNI254,182,0324,7611,838Awka
BauchiNG.BANI464,676,46548,19718,609Bauchi
BayelsaNG.BYNI521,703,3589,3633,615Yenagoa
BenueNG.BENI264,219,24430,75511,875Makurdi
BornoNG.BONI274,151,19372,76728,095Maiduguri
Cross RiverNG.CRNI222,888,96622,1128,537Calabar
DeltaNG.DENI364,098,39117,0956,600Asaba
EbonyiNG.EBNI532,173,5016,3422,449Abakaliki
EdoNG.EDNI373,218,33219,5847,562Benin City
EkitiNG.EKNI542,384,2125,7972,238Ado-Ekiti
EnuguNG.ENNI473,257,2987,5602,919Enugu
Federal Capital TerritoryNG.FCNI111,405,2017,5692,922Abuja
GombeNG.GONI552,353,87917,4286,729Gombe
ImoNG.IMNI283,934,8995,1351,982Owerri
JigawaNG.JINI394,348,64923,4159,041Dutse
KadunaNG.KDNI236,066,56244,21717,072Kaduna
KanoNG.KNNI299,383,68220,3897,872Kano
KatsinaNG.KTNI245,792,57823,8229,198Katsina
KebbiNG.KENI403,238,62836,32014,023Birnin Kebbi
KogiNG.KONI413,278,48729,06311,221Lokoja
KwaraNG.KWNI302,371,08933,79213,047Ilorin
LagosNG.LANI059,013,5343,4751,342Ikeja
NasarawaNG.NANI561,863,27526,63310,283Lafia
NigerNG.NINI313,950,24972,06527,824Minna
OgunNG.OGNI163,728,09816,8506,506Abeokuta
OndoNG.ONNI483,441,02415,0195,799Akure
OsunNG.OSNI423,423,5358,5853,315Oshogbo
OyoNG.OYNI325,591,58927,03610,438Ibadan
PlateauNG.PLNI493,178,71226,53910,247Jos
RiversNG.RINI505,185,40010,3614,000Port Harcourt
SokotoNG.SONI513,696,99932,14612,412Sokoto
TarabaNG.TANI432,300,73659,18022,850Jalingo
YobeNG.YONI442,321,59144,88017,328Damaturu
ZamfaraNG.ZANI573,259,84633,66712,999Gusau
Total140,003,542911,519351,938
  • State: Abuja Capital Territory is a capital territory.
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes. If periods are replaced by
    hyphens, these are the same as the state codes from ISO standard 3166-2.
  • FIPS: codes from FIPS PUB 10-4, a U.S. government standard.
  • Population: 2006-03-21 census provisional results.
  • Area: Source [7].

Further subdivisions:

The states are subdivided into 774 local government areas.

Origins of names: 

  1. Abia: acronym for the Aba, Bende, Isuikwuato, and Afikpo groups resident there when it was formed.
  2. Adamawa: conquered by Moddibo (King) Adama in the early 19th century.
  3. Bendel: from first syllables of the constituent provinces, Benin and Delta.
  4. Benue: name of a river, means mother of waters.
  5. Cross River: the Cross River flows through it.
  6. Delta: located in the delta of the Niger River.
  7. Enugu: from the capital, whose name means "top of the hill".
  8. Plateau: contains the Jos Plateau.
  9. Rivers: riddled with rivers, mostly in the delta of the Niger River.
  10. Taraba: after the Taraba River.

Change history: 

  1. 1903: Sultanate of Sokoto merged with protectorate of Northern Nigeria.
  2. 1906-02: The "colony and protectorate of Lagos" and the "protectorate of Southern Nigeria" merged to form the "colony and protectorate of Southern Nigeria".
  3. ~1938: Southern Nigeria split into Eastern and Western regions. Northern Nigeria became a region. The regions were further subdivided into provinces.
  4. ~1947: Name of Warri province changed to Delta; Yola changed to Adamawa; Nupe changed to Niger. Ibadan province split from Oyo; Katsina province formed from parts of Sokoto and Zaria; Rivers province split from Owerri.
RegionPop-1953Pop-1931Area(km.²)Area(mi.²)Capital
Eastern7,217,8294,315,69576,36329,484Enugu
Northern16,153,33311,434,924684,487264,282Kaduna
Western6,359,7173,802,680117,59345,403Ibadan

 

ProvincePop-1953Pop-1931Area(km.²)Area(mi.²)CapitalReg
Abeokuta630,000434,52611,0494,266AbeokutaW
Adamawa3,558,000652,36153,92620,821YolaN
Bauchi1,424,0001,025,31067,65026,120BauchiN
Benin901,000493,21521,9688,482BeninW
Benue987,35872,34427,932MakurdiN
Bornu1,118,360105,11240,584MaiduguriN
Calabar1,541,000899,50316,1746,245CalabarE
Colony510,000325,0203,5771,381LagosW
Delta591,000444,53316,6806,440WarriW
Ibadan1,651,00011,7094,521W
Ijebu348,000305,8986,3612,456Ijebu-OdeW
Ilorin531,000537,55945,89217,719IlorinN
Kabba664,000462,72628,36810,953LokojaN
Kano3,398,0002,436,84443,07216,630KanoN
Katsina1,483,00024,5179,466N
Niger716,000473,06774,24528,666MinnaN
Ogoja1,082,000708,53819,3867,485OgojaE
Ondo945,000462,56021,1398,162AkureW
Onitsha1,769,0001,107,74512,6314,877OnitshaE
Owerri2,078,0001,599,90910,0213,869Port HarcourtE
Oyo783,0001,336,92825,1109,695OyoW
Plateau892,000568,73832,18312,426JosN
Rivers748,00018,1517,008E
Sokoto2,681,0001,815,17894,47536,477SokotoN
Zaria806,0001,357,42342,70416,488ZariaN
Total29,730,87919,553,299878,444339,169
  • Pop-1953: Census of 1952-07 to 1953-06 (source [9]).
    Populations of Benue and Bornu included in Adamawa.
  • Pop-1931: Source [8].
  • Area: Source [9].
  • Reg: Region (E = Eastern, N = Northern, W = Western).
  1. 1960-10-01: Constitution of the Federation of Nigeria came into force. The divisions of the country were the three regions. Note: the federal territory around Lagos was an entity both before and after independence, but it's not clear whether it was ranked equally with the regions, or was simply part of Western region.
  2. 1962-06-01: Northern Cameroons merged with Northern region.
  3. 1963-06: Benin and Delta provinces split from Western region to form Mid-Western region (capital, Benin City).
  4. 1966-05-24: Following a coup, the military government changed the status of Nigeria to a republic, its regions to provinces, and Lagos federal territory to a capital territory; however, these changes were reversed after another coup later in the year.
  5. 1967-05-27: Eastern region split into East-Central (Enugu), Rivers (Port Harcourt), and South-Eastern (Calabar) states; Northern region split into Benue-Plateau (Jos), Kano (Kano), Kwara (Ilorin), North-Central (Kaduna), North-Eastern (Maiduguri), and North-Western (Sokoto) states; Western region split into Lagos (Lagos) and Western (Ibadan) states. Lagos state consisted of Colony province and Lagos federal territory. Status of Mid-Western region changed to state.
  6. 1976-02-03: Benue-Plateau state divided into Benue (Makurdi) and Plateau states; East-Central state divided into Anambra and Imo (Owerri) states; Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) formed from parts of Niger and Plateau states; North-Eastern state divided into Bauchi (Bauchi), Borno, and Gongola (Yola) states; Niger (Minna) state split from Sokoto; Western state divided into Ogun (Abeokuta), Ondo (Akure), and Oyo states. Capital of Lagos state moved from Lagos to Ikeja. Also, state boundaries were adjusted: Igala (east of the Niger River) transferred from Kwara to Benue state; Ughelli transferred from Mid-Western to Rivers state; Opobo transferred from South-Eastern to Rivers state. Also, name of Mid-Western state changed to Bendel; name of South-Eastern state changed to Cross River.
  7. 1987-09-23: Akwa Ibom state (FIPS code NI21) split from Cross River (NI22, formerly NI09); Katsina state (NI24) split from Kaduna (NI23, formerly NI14); name of Federal Capital Territory changed to Abuja Capital Territory.
  8. 1991-08-27: Abia state split from Imo; Bendel state divided into Delta and Edo; Enugu state split from Anambra; Gongola state divided into Adamawa and Taraba; Jigawa state split from Kano; Kebbi state split from Sokoto; Kogi state formed from parts of Benue and Kwara; Osun state split from Oyo; Yobe state split from Borno. National capital moved from Lagos to Abuja. These were the divisions of Nigeria as a result:
StateHASCFIPSPopulationArea(km.²)Area(mi.²)Capital
AbiaNG.ABNI342,297,9786,3202,440Umuahia
Abuja Capital TerritoryNG.FCNI11378,6717,3152,824Abuja
AdamawaNG.ADNI352,124,04936,91714,254Yola
Akwa IbomNG.AKNI212,359,7367,0812,734Uyo
AnambraNG.ANNI252,767,9034,8441,870Awka
BauchiNG.BANI064,294,41364,60524,944Bauchi
BenueNG.BENI262,780,39834,05913,150Makurdi
BornoNG.BONI272,596,58970,89827,374Maiduguri
Cross RiverNG.CRNI221,865,60420,1567,782Calabar
DeltaNG.DENI362,570,18117,6986,833Asaba
EdoNG.EDNI372,159,84817,8026,873Benin City
EnuguNG.ENNI383,161,29512,8314,954Enugu
ImoNG.IMNI282,485,4995,5302,135Owerri
JigawaNG.JINI392,829,92923,1548,940Dutse
KadunaNG.KDNI233,969,25246,05317,781Kaduna
KanoNG.KNNI295,632,04020,1317,773Kano
KatsinaNG.KTNI243,878,34424,1929,341Katsina
KebbiNG.KENI402,062,22636,80014,209Birnin-Kebbi
KogiNG.KONI412,099,04629,83311,519Lokoja
KwaraNG.KWNI301,566,46936,82514,218Ilorin
LagosNG.LANI055,685,7813,3451,292Ikeja
NigerNG.NINI312,482,36776,36329,484Minna
OgunNG.OGNI162,338,57016,7626,472Abeokuta
OndoNG.ONNI173,884,48520,9598,092Akure
OsunNG.OSNI422,203,0169,2513,572Oshogbo
OyoNG.OYNI323,488,78928,45410,986Ibadan
PlateauNG.PLNI193,283,70458,03022,406Jos
RiversNG.RINI103,983,85721,8508,436Port-Harcourt
SokotoNG.SONI334,392,39165,73525,380Sokoto
TarabaNG.TANI431,480,59054,47321,032Jalingo
YobeNG.YONI441,411,48145,50217,568Damaturu
31 divisions88,514,501923,768356,668
  • State: Abuja is a capital territory.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Population: 1991-11-26 census
  1. 1996-10-01: Bayelsa state was split from Rivers; Ebonyi state was formed from parts of Abia and Enugu; Ekiti state was split from Ondo; Gombe state was split from Bauchi; Nasarawa state was split from Plateau; and Zamfara state was split from Sokoto.
  2. 2006-06-12: Bakassi Peninsula (about 700 km.²) transferred from Cross River state, Nigeria, to Sud-Ouest region, Cameroon, in fulfillment of a 2002 decision by the International Court of Justice.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Federal Capital Territory: Abuja Capital Territory (variant); Abuya (Spanish-obsolete); Territoire de la capitale fédérale (French); Territorio de la Capital Federal (Spanish)
  2. Nasarawa: Nassarawa (variant)
  3. Rivers: Rivières (French)

Sources: 

  1. [1] Library of Congress country study  (retrieved 1999).
  2. [2] Annual Abstract of Statistics (1996 edition). Federal Office of Statistics, Lagos, Nigeria.
  3. [3] Barbour, K. Michael, et al. "Nigeria in Maps". Africana Publishing Company, N.Y., 1982.
  4. [4] Geography  page of the Motherland Nigeria educational website (retrieved 2010-12-18).
  5. [5] Demographic Yearbook , 7th Ed. Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1955 (retrieved 2011-08-20).
  6. [6] 2006 Population Census (http://www.nigerianstat.gov.ng/Connections/Pop2006.pdf, dead link, retrieved 2007-11-09).
  7. [7] Nigeria Congress website (http://www.nigeriacongress.org/, dead link, retrieved 2007-11-09).
  8. [8] Webster's New Geographical Dictionary. G. & C. Merriam, Springfield, MA, 1969. Says it lists the provinces as of 1940.
  9. [9] The Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1957 edition.
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