States of Nigeria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nigeria location map.svg
Populations1,704,358 (Bayelsa State) – 9,401,288 (Lagos State)
Mean: 5,300,000
Areas3,580 km2 (1,381 sq mi) (Lagos State) – 76,360 km2 (29,484 sq mi) (Niger State)
Mean: 25,660 km2 (9,907 sq mi)

Nigeria is a federation of 36 states and 1 federal capital territory. Each of the 36 states is a semi-autonomous political unit that shares powers with the federal government as enumerated under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Federal Capital Territory (FCT), is the capital territory of Nigeria, and it is in this territory that the capital city of Abuja is located. The FCT is not a state but is administered by elected officials who are supervised by the federal government. Each state is subdivided into local government areas (LGAs). There are 774 local governments in Nigeria.[1] Under the constitution, the 36 states are co-equal but not supreme because sovereignty resides with the federal government. The constitution can be amended by the National Assembly, but each amendment must be ratified by two-thirds of the 36 states of the federation.

Current states and the Federal Capital Territory[edit]

A clickable map of Nigeria showing its 36 states and the federal capital territory.
NigerZinderNiameyBurkina FasoBeninAtlantic OceanCameroonPorto NovoGarouaChadChadLake ChadAbujaSokoto StateKebbi StateZamfara StateKatsina StateJigawa StateYobe StateBorno StateKano StateBauchi StateGombe StateAdamawa StatePlateau StateTaraba StateKaduna StateNasarawa StateBenue StateNiger StateKwara StateOyo StateOgun StateLagos StateKogi StateOsun StateEkiti StateOndo StateEdo StateEbonyi StateDelta StateBayelsa StateRivers StateImo StateAbia StateCross River StateFederal Capital Territory (Nigeria)Federal Capital Territory (Nigeria)Anambra StateAnambra StateEnugu StateEnugu StateAkwa Ibom StateAkwa Ibom StatePort HarcourtBenin CityLagosIbadanKadunaKanoMaiduguriA clickable map of Nigeria exhibiting its 36 states and the federal capital territory.
About this image
Federal Capital Territory

Evolution of Nigerian states[edit]

Date Events Map
1960–1963 At the time of independence in 1960, Nigeria was a federal state of three regions: Northern, Western, and Eastern. Additionally, provinces, which were a legacy of colonial and protectorate times, remained extant until they were abolished in 1976.
Nigeria 1960-1963.png
1963–1967 In 1963, a new region, the Mid-Western Region, was created from the Western Region.
Nigeria 1963-1967.png
1967–1976 In 1967, the regions were replaced by 12 states by military decree. From 1967 to 1970 the Eastern Region attempted to secede, as a nation called Biafra during the Nigerian civil war.
Nigeria states-1967-1976.png
1976–1987 In 1976, seven new states were created, making 19 altogether.[2]
Nigeria states-1976-1987.png
1987–1991 During this period, there were 21 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Nigeria states 1987-1991.png
1991–1996 During this period, there were 30 states and the Federal Capital Territory. The Federal Capital Territory was established in 1991. In 1987 two new states were established, followed by another nine in 1991, bringing the total to 30. The latest change, in 1996, resulted in the present number of 36 states.
Nigeria 1991-1996.png


States of Nigeria have the right to organize and structure their individual governments in any way within the parameters set by the Constitution of Nigeria.


At the state level, the legislature is unicameral, with the number of its members equal to three times the number of legislators it has in the Federal House of Representatives. It has the power to legislate on matters on the concurrent list.


At the state level, the head of the executive is the governor, who has the power to appoint people to the state executive council, subject to the advice and consent of the state house of assembly (legislature). The head of a ministry at the state level is the commissioner, who is assisted by a permanent secretary, who is also a senior civil servant of the state.


The judiciary is one of the co-equal arms of the state government concerned with the interpretation of the laws of the state government. The judiciary is headed by the chief justice of the state appointed by the governor subject to the approval of the state house of assembly.[3]


Regions States
1960 1963 1967 1976 1987 1991 1996
Eastern South-Eastern Cross River Akwa Ibom
Cross River
East Central Imo Imo
Abia Abia
Anambra Enugu
Rivers Bayelsa
Western Mid-Western Bendel Delta
Western Lagos
Western Ogun
Ondo Ekiti
Oyo Osun
Northern Benue-Plateau Plateau Nasarawa
Benue Benue
Kano Jigawa
North Central Kaduna Kaduna
North Western Niger
Sokoto Kebbi
Sokoto Sokoto
North Eastern Bauchi Bauchi
Borno Borno
Gongola Adamawa

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "USAID Nigeria mission: Nigeria administrative divisions" Archived 2007-01-13 at the Wayback Machine United States Agency for International Development, October 2004, last accessed 21 April 2010
  2. ^ Kraxberger, Brennan (2005) "Strangers, Indigenes and Settlers: Contested Geographies of Citizenship in Nigeria" Space and Polity 9(1): pp. 9–27, pages 10, 11, & 15
  3. ^ Shetreet, Shimon; Deschênes, Jules (1985-01-01). Judicial Independence: The Contemporary Debate. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 978-90-247-3182-4.


  • Gboyega Ajayi (2007). The military and the Nigerian state, 1966–1993: a study of the strategies of political power control. Trenton, New Jersey: Africa World Press. ISBN 978-1-59221-568-3.
  • Solomon Akhere Benjamin (1999). The 1996 state and local government reorganizations in Nigeria. Ibadan: Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research. ISBN 978-181-238-9.
  • Rotimi T. Suberu (1994). 1991 state and local government reorganizations in Nigeria. Ibadan: Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan. ISBN 978-2015-28-8.

External links[edit]

States And Capital In Nigeria, Their Slogans & Current Governors A comprehensive list of all states in Nigeria and their current governors.