Kwara State

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Flag of Kwara
Seal of Kwara State
Location of the State of Kwara in Nigeria
Location of the State of Kwara in Nigeria
Coordinates: 8°30′N 5°00′E / 8.500°N 5.000°E / 8.500; 5.000Coordinates: 8°30′N 5°00′E / 8.500°N 5.000°E / 8.500; 5.000
Country Nigeria
Geopolitical ZoneNorth Central
Date created27 May 1967
Number of LGAs16
 • BodyGovernment of Kwara State
 • Governor
Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman (APC)
 • Deputy GovernorKayode Alabi
 • LegislatureKwara State House of Assembly
 • SenatorsC: Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC)
N: Suleiman Sadiq Umar (APC)
S: Lola Ashiru (APC)
 • RepresentativesList
 • Total36,825 km2 (14,218 sq mi)
 • Rank9th of 36
 (2006 census)
 • Total2,365,353[1]
 • Rank30th of 36
 • Year2007
 • Total$3.84 billion[2]
 • Per capita$1,910[2]
Time zoneUTC+01 (WAT)
postal code
ISO 3166 codeNG-KW
HDI (2018)0.567[3]
medium · 20th of 37
Website"Kwara State Government"

Kwara State (Yoruba: Ìpínlẹ̀ Kwárà), is a state in Western Nigeria, bordered to the east by Kogi State, to the north by Niger State, and to the south by Ekiti, Osun, and Oyo states while its western border makes up part of the international border with Benin Republic.[4][5] Its capital is the city of Ilorin and the state has 16 local government areas.

Of the 36 states of Nigeria, Kwara is the ninth largest in area but the sixth least populous with an estimated population of about 3.2 million as of 2016.[6] Geographically, Kwara is split between the West Sudanian savanna in the east and the Guinean forest–savanna mosaic ecoregion in the rest of the state. Important geographic features include rivers with the Niger flowing along the northern border into Lake Jeba before continuing as the border while the Awun, Asa, Aluko, and Oyun rivers flow through the interior. In the far northwest of the state is the Borgu section of the Kainji National Park, a large national park that contains populations of grey heron, kob, hippopotamus, African bush elephant, olive baboon, and roan antelope along with some of the last remaining West African lions on Earth.[7][8][9] In the far southwest, a small part of the Old Oyo National Park contains crowned eagle, martial eagle, African buffalo, oribi, and patas monkey populations.[10][11][12]

Kwara State has been inhabited for years by various ethnic groups, primarily the majority Yoruba people that live throughout the state, but there are sizeable minorities of Nupe people in the northeast, Bariba (Baatonu) and Busa (Bokobaru) peoples in the west, and a small Fulani population in Ilorin and moving through the state as nomadic herders.[13]

In the pre-colonial period, majority of the area that is now Kwara State was part of the Oyo Empire, with part of the western portions in the Borgu Kingdoms peopled by the Bariba, Boko and Bissa people, and Nupe Kingdom (1531-1835). In the mid 1800s, the Fulani jihad annexed some part of what is now the state of Kwara and placed the area under the Gwandu sphere of the Sokoto Caliphate. In the 1890s and 1900s, British expeditions occupied the area and incorporated it into the Northern Nigeria Protectorate. The Northern Nigeria later merged into British Nigeria in 1914 before becoming independent as Nigeria in 1960. Originally, modern-day Kwara State was a part of the post-independence Northern Region until 1967 when the region was split and the area became the West Central State. In 1976, the state was renamed Kwara State and remained intact until the 1990s when its southeast was split off to form a part of Kogi State and its far northwest Borgu division was annexed into the Borgu division of Niger State.

Economically, Kwara State is largely based around agriculture, mainly of coffee, cotton, groundnut, cocoa, oil palm, and kola nut crops. Other key industries are services, especially in the city of Ilorin, and the livestock herding and ranching of cattle, goats, and sheep. Kwara has the joint-twentieth highest Human Development Index in the country and numerous institutions of tertiary education.[14]


Kwara State was created on 27 May 1967,[15] when the Federal Military Government of General Yakubu Gowon broke the four regions that then constituted the Federation of Nigeria into 12 states. At its creation, the state was made up of the former Ilorin and Kabba provinces of the then Northern Region and was initially named the West Central State but later changed to "Kwara", a local name for the River Niger, in the Hausa language.[16]

Kwara State has since 1976 reduced considerably in size as a result of further state creation exercises in Nigeria. On 13 February 1976, the Idah/Dekina part of the state was carved out and merged with a part of the then Benue/Plateau State to form Benue State.[17]

On 27 August 1991, five Local Government areas, namely Oyi, Yagba, Okene, Okehi and Kogi were also excised to form part of the new Kogi State, while a sixth, Borgu Local Government Area, was merged with Niger State.[18] The major populated local governments are Ilorin and Offa.[19]

Kwara state has numerous mineral resources such as tourmaline, tantalite, and many mineral deposits in the northern part. Cocoa and Kolanut in the Southern parts Oke - Ero, Ekiti and Isin LGA.[20]


As of 2006, the population of Kwarans was 2.37 million based on the Nigeria 2006 Census.[1] This population size constitutes about 1.69% of the Nation's total population having relied upon immigration for population growth and socioeconomic development.[21] The principal ethnic groups are Yoruba, Nupe, Fulani and Baruba.[22]

Residents of the state are sometimes referred to as Kwarans.[23]


Languages of Kwara State listed by LGA:[24][15]

LGA Languages
Asa Yoruba
Baruten Baatonum and Bokobaru
Edu Nupe
Ekiti Yoruba
Ifelodun Yoruba
Ilorin East Yoruba
Ilorin South Yoruba
Ilorin West Yoruba
Isin Yoruba
Irepodun Yoruba
Kaiama Bokobaru
Moro Yoruba
Offa Yoruba
Oke Ero Yoruba
Oyun Yoruba
Pategi Nupe

Local Government Areas[edit]

Kwara State consists of sixteen Local Government Areas.[25] They are:

Governor of Kwara State[edit]

The current governor of Kwara Stage is Mr. Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman who emerged victorious in the March 9, 2019 Governorship election with the political party APC. AbdulRahman AbdulRazak was sworn in on May 29, 2019, making him the 4th democratic governor of Kwara State and the 20th governor of Kwara State overall.Kayode Alabi is serving as the deputy governor of Kwara State.[26][27]


Kwara State University, Malete

Kwara has a federal university, the University of Ilorin, a state university, Kwara State University and seven other privately owned Universities: Al-Hikmah University, Landmark University, Summit University,[28] Crown Hill University,[29] Thomas Adewumi University,[30] Ahman Pategi University[31] and University of Offa.[32][33] Kwara also has five approved polytechnics; a federal polytechnics, Federal Polytechnic Offa, a state owned polytechnics, Kwara State Polytechnic and three privately owned: The Polytechnic Igbo Owu, Lens Polytechnic, Graceland Polytechnic.[34] Of the fifteen Colleges of Education in Kwara State, eleven are owned by private establishments: College of Education Ilemona, Muhyideen College of Education, Kinsey College of Education, Ilorin, Kwara State, Moje College of Education Erin-Ile, Imam Hamzat College of Education, ECWA College of Education, College of Education Offa, Nana Aisha College of Education, Adesina College of Education, Pan African College of Education, while the state government founded three: Kwara State College of Education Ilorin, College of Education Oro, Kwara State College of Education (Technical) Lafiagi and one federal government's institution offering NCE: Nigeria Army School of Education.[35] There is also a navy school, Nigerian Navy School of Health Science, Irra Road, Offa and aviation college, International Aviation College, Ilorin.[36]


Drummers in Ijomu Oro village, Kwara State.

Important tourist attractions in Kwara State include Esie Museum, Owu waterfalls is one of the highest and most spectacular waterfalls in west Africa.[22] Imoleboja Rock Shelter, Ogunjokoro, Kainji Lake National Parks, now in Niger State and Agbonna Hill Awon Mass Wedding in Shao. There is also Sobi Hill amongst others which is the largest landform in Ilorin, the state capital.[37] A huge natural reserve also divides the state into East and West. Ero Omola waterfall is also tourist attractions[38]


Ilorin Train Station in Kwara
Ilorin Train Station in Kwara

The Nigerian Railway Corporation extends services from Lagos through the state to the northern part of the country. The Ilorin Airport is a major center for both domestic and international flights and has now been built up into a hub for transportation of cargoes.[39]


Agriculture is the main source of the economy and the principal cash crops are:[40] cotton, cocoa, coffee, Kolanut, tobacco, beniseed and palm produce. Kwara is home to Shonga Farms, a product of the Back-to-Farm project of one of its governments and made up of 13 commercial farmers. Mineral resources in the state are Petroleum, Gold, limestone, marble, feldspar, clay, kaolin, quartz and granite rocks.[41]


  • Hygiene and Sanitation

The Government of Nigeria is increasingly aware of problems emanating from poor environmental sanitation and Kwara state is working on improving its environment and sanitation.[42] On September 22, 2020, Kwara state governor, officially commenced the 'Clean Kwara' Campaign to end open defecation and promote good hygiene in the state.[43] The state government is working to fix all the roads and waterways to ensure free water flow,[44] putting in efforts to ensure water sanitation,[45] building toilets and making clean water accessible.[45] This is also to promote Sustainable Development Goals 3 & 6 (general access to safe and affordable drinking water and access to adequate and equitable sanitation, hygiene for all, and end open defecation by 2030)[43]


Sporting activities are managed by the State Sports Council. The importance attached to sports led to the construction of a stadium complex. The facilities available at the stadium complex are mainbowl, indoor sports hall, hostel, recreational press center as well as an Olympic size swimming pool. The state is actively represented both in football and basketball. The state is the home to the Kwara United Football Club, ABS FC and Kwara Falcons Basketball Club.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ a b "C-GIDD (Canback Global Income Distribution Database)". Canback Dangel. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  3. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  4. ^ Onyeakagbu, Adaobi. "See how all the 36 Nigerian states got their names". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
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  6. ^ "Population 2006-2016". National Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  7. ^ Fingesi, U. I.; Tyowua, B. T.; Fajobi, E. A.; Jamilu, S. M. (18 November 2018). "Species richness and diversity of birds in Kainji Lake National Park, Nigeria" (PDF). World News of Natural Sciences. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  8. ^ Ajayi, S.R.; Ejidike, Bernadette; Ogunjemite, Babafemi; Olaniyi, Oluwatobi; Adeola, A.J. (June 2020). "Population status of Olive Baboon Papio anubis (LESSON, 1827) in Kainji Lake National Park, Nigeria". Journal of Research in Forestry, Wildlife & Environment. 12 (2). Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Animal population grows at Kainji Lake National Park". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
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  11. ^ Oyeleke, Olaide Omowumi; Odewumi, Oluyinka; Mustapha, R.A. (August 2015). "Assessment of management practices for ungulates in old Oyo National Park, Nigeria". Ethiopian Journal of Environmental Studies and Management. 8 (5): 548. doi:10.4314/ejesm.v8i5.8. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  12. ^ Halidu, Shafiu Kilishi; Adebayo, Olaoluwa Ayodeji; Chikezie, Jude; Ibrahim, Azeez Olalekan; Adedeji, Olushola Emmanuel (23 April 2021). "Ecology of Patas Monkey (Erythrocebus Patas) in Buffer Zone Ranges, Old Oyo National Park, Nigeria". Journal of Bioresource Management. 8 (2): 29–37. doi:10.35691/JBM.1202.0178. S2CID 236615677. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
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  17. ^ "History of Kwara State – Kwara State Association of Nigeria". Retrieved 2021-06-03.
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  25. ^ "List Of Local Government Areas In Kwara State And Their Headquarters". OldNaija. 2018-10-16. Retrieved 2021-06-20.
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  31. ^ "Home". Ahman Pategi University. Retrieved 2021-06-16.
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