Akwa Ibom State is a state in the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria, bordered on the east by Cross River State, on the west by Rivers State and Abia State, and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean. The state takes its name from the Qua Iboe River which bisects the state before flowing into the Bight of Bonny.[4] Akwa Ibom was split from Cross River State in 1987 with her capital Uyo and with 31 local government areas.

Akwa Ibom State
Flag of Akwa Ibom
Seal of Akwa Ibom
Location of Akwa Ibom in Nigeria
Location of Akwa Ibom in Nigeria
Coordinates: 05°00′N 07°50′E / 5.000°N 7.833°E / 5.000; 7.833
Country Nigeria
Date created23 September 1987
 • BodyGovernment of Akwa Ibom State
 • GovernorPastor Umo Eno (PDP)
 • Deputy GovernorAkon Eyakenyi
 • LegislatureAkwa Ibom State House of Assembly
 • SenatorsNE: Aniekan Bassey (PDP)
NW: Godswill Akpabio (APC)
S: Ekong Sampson (PDP)
 • RepresentativesList
 • Total7,081 km2 (2,734 sq mi)
 • Rank30 of 36
 • Total5,450,758
 • Rank15 of 36
 • Density770/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
DemonymAkwa Ibomite
 • Year2021
 • Total$50.30 billion[2]
3rd of 36
 • Per capita$7,739[2]
4th of 36
Time zoneUTC+01 (WAT)
Dialing Code+234
ISO 3166 codeNG-AK
HDI (2021)0.608[3]
medium · 17th of 37

Of the 36 states, Akwa Ibom is the 30th largest in area and fifteenth most populous with an estimated population of nearly 5.5 million as of 2016.[5] Geographically, the state is divided between the Central African mangroves in the coastal far south and the Cross–Niger transition forests in the rest of the state. Other important geographical features are the Imo and Cross rivers which flow along Akwa Ibom's eastern and western borders, respectively while the Kwa Ibo River bisects the state before flowing into the Bight of Bonny. In the southeast corner of the state is the Stubb Creek Forest Reserve, a heavily threatened wildlife reserve that contains declining crocodile, putty-nosed monkey, red-capped mangabey, and Sclater's guenon populations along with potentially extirpated populations of African leopard and Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee.[6][7][8][9] Offshore, the state is also biodiverse as there are large fish populations along with various cetacean species including bottlenose dolphins, pantropical spotted dolphins, humpback whales, and killer whales.[citation needed]

Modern-day Akwa Ibom State has been inhabited by various ethnic groups for hundreds of years, primarily the closely related Ibibio, Annang, and Oron peoples in the North-East, North-West, and Southern zones of the state, respectively.[10]

Economically, Akwa Ibom State is based around the production of crude oil and natural gas as highest oil-producing state in the country.[11] Key minor industries involve agriculture as the state has substantial cocoyam, yam, and plantain crops along with fishing and heliciculture. Despite its vast oil revenues, Akwa Ibom has the seventeenth highest Human Development Index in the country in large part due to years of systemic corruption.[12][13][14]



Akwa-Ibom State's economy is based on the production of crude oil and natural gas. It produces the most oil of any state in the country.[15] It includes the following oil- producing Local Government Areas: Ibeno, Mbo, and Eastern Obolo.[16]

Key minor industries are based on agriculture; the state has substantial cocoyam, yam, and plantain crops, along with fishing and heliciculture.

Despite its vast oil revenues, Akwa Ibom ranks as seventeenth among the states List of Nigerian states by Human Development Index#2019 in the Human Development Index. Years of systemic corruption have resulted in such revenues being diverted from improving infrastructure, education and welfare of the people.[17][18][19]


Dancers in Akwa Ibom traditional attire

In the pre-colonial period, what is now Akwa Ibom State was divided into various city-states like the Ibom Kingdom and Akwa Akpa before the latter became a British protectorate in 1884 as a part of the Oil Rivers Protectorate.[20] Prior to the British colonization, no central government had existed among the people of what is now Akwa Ibom State. The various ethnic peoples were largely organized into clan communities, based on kinship and relations.

Several Scottish missionaries went to Calabar in 1848, and Ibono in 1887. The British government did not attempt to establish more control over the area until 1904. In that year, they organized the Enyong Division, encompassing the area of the current state of Akwa Ibom, with headquarters at Ikot Ekpene, a predominately Annang city. Noted Africanist Kaanan Nair, noted this city as the cultural and political capital of the Annang and Ibibio peoples. The greater Southeast was largely dominated by the majority Igbo people. The creation of Enyong Division encouraged collaboration among the numerous minority ethnic groups in the area. They created the Ibibio Welfare Union, later renamed Ibibio State Union. This social organization was first established as a local development and improvement forum for educated African persons and groups who in 1929 were still excluded from the colonial administration. It was dominated by British colonists and their appointees.[citation needed][21]

In the early 1900s, the British actually gained formal control of the area before incorporating the protectorate (now renamed the Niger Coast Protectorate) into the Southern Nigeria Protectorate which later merged into British Nigeria; after the merger, much of modern-day Akwa Ibom became a centre of anti-colonial resistance during the Women's War and political activism through the Ibibio State Union.[22]

After independence in 1960, the area of now-Akwa Ibom was a part of the post-independence Eastern Region until 1967 when the region was split and the area became part of the South-Eastern State. Less than two months afterwards, the Igbo-majority former Eastern Region attempted to secede as the state of Biafra; in the three-year long Nigerian Civil War, now-Akwa Ibom was hard-fought over in the prelude to the Invasion of Port Harcourt while people from Akwa Ibom were persecuted by the Biafran forces as they were mainly non-Igbos.[23] At the war's end and the reunification of Nigeria, the South-Eastern State was reformed until 1976 when it was renamed Cross River State.

Eleven years later, Cross River State was divided on 23 September 1987, by the Military Administration of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.[24]

This division resulted in the creation of the state of Akwa Ibom, Uyo was chosen as the state capital in order to encourage development in all regions of the state.[25]



Akwa Ibom has a tropical monsoon climate (Classification: Am) and is 42.58 meters (139.7 feet) above sea level. The city's average annual temperature is -0.99% lower than Nigeria's averages at 28.47 °C (83.25 °F). 342.56 millimeters (13.49 inches) of precipitation and 294.37 rainy days (80.65% of the time) are typical annual totals for Akwa Ibom.[26][27]

The Akwa Ibom region regularly has tropical monsoons. All year long, there are high temperatures and a lot of rain. The region of Akwa Ibom has an average yearly temperature of 60 degrees and 672 inches of precipitation. The average humidity is 80% and the UV-index is 7. It is dry for only 52 days of the year.[28]

The climate of Akwa Ibom is tropical with significant rainfall and a short dry season.[29][30][31]



Politics in Akwa Ibom State are dominated by the three main ethnic groups: the Ibibio, Annang, and Oro. Of these three, the Ibibio remain the majority and have held sway in the state since its creation.

Ministries, Departments and Agencies


The list of ministries in Akwa Ibom State include the following:[32]

Local Government Areas


Akwa Ibom State consists of thirty-one (31) local government areas. They include:

Meridien Akwa Ibom park



Ethnic groups


The main ethnic groups of the state include: Ibibio, Anaang, Oro and Obolo.



The people of Akwa Ibom are predominantly Christians.

Pioneer Qua Iboe Church Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State

976,791 Catholics (2020) in the two dioceses of Uyo[1] (1989) with 74 parishes under Bishop John Ebebe Ayah (2014), and Ikot Ekpene (1963) with 53 parishes under Bishop Camillus Raymond Umoh (2010), both suffragans of the Archdiocese of Calabar.

The Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Uyo within the Church of Nigeria is Prince Asukwo Antai (2014).[34]



Like their Efik neighbors of Cross River State, people of Akwa Ibom speak various dialects of the Ibibio-Efik languages, which belong to the Benue–Congo language family, forming part of the Niger–Congo group of languages.

The following table lists languages of Akwa Ibom State, and the local government areas in which they are spoken:[35]

Language LGA(s) spoken in
Anaang Abak, Essien Udim, Ika, Ikot Ekpene, Oruk-Anam, Ukanafun, Etim Ekpo, Obot Akara.
Obolo Eastern Obolo
Ekid Eket, Esit Eket
Etebi Esit Eket
Ibibio Etinan, Ibiono Ibom, Ikono, Ikot Abasi, Itu, Ibesikpo-Asutan, Mkpat Enin, Nsit Atai, Nsit-Ibom, Nsit-Ubium, Onna, Uruan, Uyo, Ini.
Ibuno Ibeno
Ika Oku Ika
Nkari Ini
Itu Mbon Uso Ini
Idere Itu
Efik Itu, Uruan
Ebughu Mbo, Oron
Efai Mbo
Enwan Mbo
Oro Mbo, Oron, Udung Uko, Urue-Offong-Oruko
Iko Eastern Obolo
Okobo Okobo
Ilue Oron
Khana Oruk-Anam



The Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Education is tasked with monitoring the education sector of the state.

The current part of Akwa Ibom State that was within the former Calabar Kingdom, was the first site of Western education in Nigeria. The Hope Waddell Training Institute was founded at Calabar in 1895, and the Methodist Boys' High School, Oron in 1905. Other top schools, such as the Catholic seminaries Holy Family College at Abak and Regina Coeli College in Essene, were also soon founded.

Some educational institutes in the state today are:



Federal highways

  • A342 east from Aba (Abia State) via Uyo to Oron,
  • A4-1 east from A342 at Utu Ikot Ekpenyong to Cross River as the Ekot Ekpene-Calabar Rd.

Other major highways include:

  • the Ikot Akan-Deyor Chara Rd across the Imo River at Kalaoko to Rivers State,
  • the Nto Obo-Obon Ebot Rd west to Abia State at Azumini,
  • the Umuahia Rd north from A342 at Ikot Ekpene to Abia.


Victor Attah International Airport (2009) 24 km southeast of Uyo has services to Abuja and Lagos, and Eket Airstrip for domestic flights.

Notable people




The State government is led by a democratically elected governor who works closely with the state house of assembly. The capital city of the state is Uyo.[71]

Electoral system


The electoral system of each state is selected using a modified two-round system. To be elected in the first round, a candidate must receive the plurality of the vote and over 25% of the vote in at least two -third of the State local government Areas. If no candidate passes threshold, a second round will be held between the top candidate and the next candidate to have received a plurality of votes in the highest number of local government Areas.[72]

Notable places.

Four points by Sheraton Ikot Ekpene. It's a hotel located at the heart of Ikot Ekpene town. Four Points by Sheraton Ikot Ekpene has an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, a terrace and restaurant in Ikot Ekpene, with free WiFi access as well.

Akwa Ibom state has one of Nigerians international stadiums situated in Uyo which was named after the former Governor Godswill Akpabio. The stadium has hosted both local and international matches of the Nigeria football team. [73]

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