Plateau State is the twelfth largest Nigerian state. It is located near the centre of Nigeria and includes a range of hills surrounding the Jos Plateau,[6] its capital, and the entire plateau itself. Plateau State is described as "The Home of Peace and Tourism".[7] With natural formations of rocks, hills and waterfalls, it derives its name from the Jos Plateau and has a population of around 4.7 million people.[8]

Location of Plateau State in Nigeria
Location of Plateau State in Nigeria
Coordinates: 9°10′N 9°45′E / 9.167°N 9.750°E / 9.167; 9.750
Country Nigeria
Date created3 February 1976
 • BodyGovernment of Plateau State
 • Governor[2]Caleb Mutfwang (PDP)
 • Deputy GovernorJosephine Piyo
 • LegislaturePlateau State House of Assembly
 • SenatorsC: Diket Plang (APC)
N: Pam Mwadkwon Dachungyang (ADP)
S: Simon Lalong (APC)
 • RepresentativesAhmed Idris Wase (APC)
Vincent Bulus Venman (APC)
Ajang Alfred Iliya (LP)
John Moenwul Dafaan (APC)
Fom Dalyop Chollom (LP)
David Ishaya Lalu (APC)
Gagdi Adamu Yusuf (APC)
Daniel Asama (LP)
 • Total30,913 km2 (11,936 sq mi)
 • Rank12 of 36
 • Total3,206,531[1]
 • Estimate 
 • Rank26 of 36
 • Year2021
 • Total$9.69 billion[4]
 • Per capita$2,014[4]
Time zoneUTC+01 (WAT)
postal code
ISO 3166 codeNG-PL
HDI (2021)0.564[5]
medium · 22nd of 37
Terminus market

Geography edit

Boundaries edit

Plateau State is located in the North Central Zone out of the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.[9] With an area of 26,899 square kilometres (10,386 sq mi), the state has an estimated population of about three million people. It is located between latitude 8°24' N and 10°30' N and longitude 8°32' E and 10°38' E.[10] The state is named after the Jos Plateau, a mountainous area in the north of the state with rock formations.[11] Bare rocks are scattered across the grasslands, which cover the plateau.[12] The altitude ranges from around 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) to a peak of 1,829 metres (6,001 ft) above sea level in the Shere Hills range near Jos. Years of tin and columbite mining have left the area strewn with deep gorges and lakes.[13]

Adjacent states edit

Climate edit

Although situated in the tropical zone, the higher altitude gives the state a near-temperate climate, with an average temperature between 13 and 22 °C. Harmattan winds cause the coldest weather between December and February, with the warmest temperatures usually in the dry season months of March and April. The mean annual rainfall varies between 1,317 mm (52 in) in the southern part to 1,460 mm (57 in) on the plateau, with the highest rainfall during the wet season in July and August. The cooler climate has led to a reduced incidence of some tropical diseases such as malaria. The Jos Plateau is the source of many rivers in northern Nigeria, including the Kaduna, Gongola, Hadeja and Damaturu rivers.[14]

Geology edit

The Jos Plateau is thought to be an area of younger granite which was intruded through an area of older granite rock, making up the surrounding states. These "younger" granites are thought to be about 160 million years old. This creates the unusual scenery of the Jos Plateau. There are numerous hillocks with gentle slopes emerging from the ground like mushrooms scattered with huge boulders. Also, volcanic activity 50 million years ago created numerous volcanoes and vast basaltic plateaus formed from lava flows. This also produces regions of mainly narrow and deep valleys and pediments (surfaces made smooth by erosion) from the middle of rounded hills with sheer rock faces.[15] The phases of volcanic activities involved in the formation of Plateau State have made it one of the mineral rich states in the country.[16]

Tourism edit

Plateau State is known as The Home of Peace and Tourism in Nigeria.[17] Although the tourism sector is not thriving, its natural endowments are still attractions to tourists, mostly from within Nigeria.

  • The Wildlife Safari Park
    Wildlife Park Jos
    sits in the middle of 8 km2 (3 sq mi) of unspoiled savanna bush, about 4 km (2 mi) from Jos.[18]
Elephant at Jos Wildlife Park
  • The National Museum in Jos was founded in 1952. It is known for its archaeology and pottery collections, and with some fine Nok terracotta heads and artefacts dating from 500 BC to 200 AD.[19]
  • The Museum of Traditional Nigerian Architecture is adjacent, with life-size replicas various of buildings, from the walls of Kano to a Tiv village. Items from colonial times relating to the railway and tin mining are on display.[20]
  • Solomon Lar Amusement Park in Jos city
    is named after Chief Solomon Lar, a former governor of Plateau State.[21]
  • Jos Zoo was established in 1957 and has a good stock of animals, birds and reptiles.[22]
  • Assop Falls is perhaps, the most notable of Nigeria's many waterfalls. Located at the edge of the Jos Plateau, about 40 miles (64 km) from Jos city, on the road to Abuja. It is used as a filming location for soap operas and advertisements.[23]
  • Kurra Falls is a tourist area some 77 km southeast of Jos and is the location of the state's first hydroelectric power station.[24]
  • Wase Rock is a dome-shaped inselberg which juts out of the ground to a height of 450 meters.[25] It is located about 216 km southeast of Jos, near Wase town. It is one of only five breeding sites of the white pelican in Africa. Because of this, the government now protects about 321 acres (130 ha) around the rock as a bird sanctuary and for wildlife development.
    Kerang Highlands
    The Kerang highlands are located about 88 km from Jos. These volcanic hills are the source of natural mountain springs, which are use for bottled spring water.[26]
  • The Shere Hills include some of the plateau's highest peaks. They are a range of hills to the east of Jos which have views of the city below and attract mountain climbers and hill walkers.[27]
  • Riyom Rock is a rock formation 25 km southwest of Jos, near Riyom town.[28]
  • Pandam Game Reserve is a largely unspoiled wildlife sanctuary with hippopotami, crocodiles, and several snake species. Park rangers track game on foot and guide the visitors.[29]
  • Kahwang Rock Formation of basalt rocks, is located in Bangai village in the Bachi district of Riyom.[30]

Natural resources edit

Basalt Rock Formation at Plateau State

Natural resources in the state include: barite, bauxite, bentonite, bismuth, cassiterite, clay, coal, emeralds, fluoride, granite, iron ore, kaolin, lead / zinc, marble, molybdenite, pyrochlore, salt, tantalite / columbite, and tin / wolfram.[31]

History edit

Topaz from the Jos Plateau in Plateau State

Plateau state has been adjusted to its present borders many times. Colonial manipulation was from a desire to protect the railway construction and guarantee safe passage of mined tin to the coast. There was also an attempt initially to create a province of largely non-Muslims under one Resident. Later alterations came from strong local desires for self-government.

The British began to exert colonial control of Nigeria in the early 20th century. At that time, much of Plateau State was part of Bauchi Province. In 1926, Plateau Province, made up of Jos and Pankshin Divisions, was carved out of Bauchi.[32] The border changed several times in subsequent years as the government sought not to split ethnic groups. In May 1967, Benue and Plateau Provinces were merged to form the large Benue-Plateau State. At this time Nigeria had twelve states.[14]

Following the civil war, Benue-Plateau State was one of several large states which were further split up following pressure on the federal government. Under the military administration of General Yakubu Gowon, the country was further divided into nineteen states in 1976 and Plateau State was created from Benue-Plateau covering the area of the original Plateau Province. In 1996, Plateau State was further subdivided to create Nasarawa State which was carved out of the western half of Plateau State by Sani Abacha's military regime.

Tin mining activities began in 1902 under the British and continue to the present day.

21st century conflicts edit

During the 21st century, there have been several major attacks in Plateau State, including in the capital city of Jos, including riots and bombings by jihadist Boko Haram insurgents. Plateau State has been a venue of clashes between the minority Muslim Hausa-Fulani herders and predominantly Christian farmers like the other states of Middle Belt area of Nigeria.[33] In June 2018, ethnic violence in Jos killed 86 people.[34] The group Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported that 238 people were killed by Fulani herders in one weekend in June 2018 alone, and 1,061 were killed in the first three months of 2018.[35] In November 2021, Al Jazeera reported that while said clashes in the state are often viewed through an ethnic and religious lens, some analysts point to climate change and land scarcity as exacerbating tensions.[36] In 2022, a bandit gang attacked several villages. In December 2023, at least 200 died during a series of new massacres.[37]

Government edit

The Plateau State administrative structure consists of the state cabinet, the House of Assembly and local government areas.[12]

The state government is run by the governor (chief executive), deputy governor, secretary to the state government, commissioners (cabinet members), special advisers, permanent secretaries, board chairmen and general managers. The current governor is Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang.[38] He was sworn in on 29 May 2023 under the party PDP.[39]

The House of Assembly consists of 25 members and 11 special advisers.[40] The current Speaker of the house is Rt. Hon. Moses Sule who was elected on 13 June 2023 by the members of the 10th assembly.[41]

The local government is headed by a chairman, who is the chief executive, while his cabinet consists of elected councilors who make up the legislative arm.[42]

Plateau State is also divided into 17 local government areas, each encompassing ethnic groups who share common affinities or distant bloodlines.[43] Leaders of these local government areas are elected by the people from amongst several contestants who may not be related to any past chiefdom leaders.[44]

Local government areas edit

In 1976, Plateau State consisted of fourteen local government areas (LGAs). New LGAs were carved out of the large ones in 1989, 1991 and 1996, so that the new Plateau State is subdivided into the following seventeen LGAs:[45]

Demographics edit

Male figure, Montol People, Nigeria, early 20th century. These figures were used by men's societies in healing rituals. It is currently kept in the National Museum Of Scotland, Edinburgh

The state has over forty ethno-linguistic groups. Some of the indigenous ethnic groups in the state are:

These ethnic groups are predominantly farmers and have similar cultural and traditional ways of life. People from other parts of country have come to settle in the state; these include the Idoma, Igbo, Yoruba, Ibibio, Annang, Efik, Ijaw, and Bini.

Each ethnic group has its own distinct language, but as with the rest of the country, English is the official language in the state; Hausa is also a common medium of communication and commerce as is the case in most parts of the North and Middle Belt of Nigeria.[46]

Religion edit

Mainly Christian with a Muslim minority.

The Roman Catholic Church includes 830,714 faithful in the Archdiocese of Jos (1934) with 60 parishes under Archbishop Matthew Ishaya Audu (2020), and two suffragan dioceses of |Pankshin (2014) with 32 parishes under Bishop Michael Global Gokum (2014), and Shendam (2007) with 31 parishes under Bishop Philip Davou Dung (2016).

The Anglican Diocese of Jos (1980) within the Province of Jos, is led by Bishop Benjamin Kwashi (2008).

Transport edit

Federal Highways edit

A3 highway (Nigeria) northeast from Kaduna State at Jenta via Makera, Bukuru and Jos to Bauchi State at Rafin Jaki

A236 highway (Nigeria) northwest from Jos as the Kakwonka-Tudun Wada Rd via Mista Ali and Jere to Kaduna State at Jengre as the Pambeguwa-Jengre Rd.

Other major roads edit

  • south from A3 at Mararaba Jama'a via Ban, Heipang, and Kassa Hausawa, to Barakin Gangare.
  • the Baarakin Ladi-Pankshin Rd east from Barakin Gangare via Doorowa, Soko Ca Futa, Mongu, Mangu, Duwop, and Vodni to Angwan Sarki.
  • the Jos Rd continues southeast from Angwan Sarki via Duk, Gwolong, Kabwir, Amper and Rek to Langtang
  • the Langtang-Zamko-Yelwa Rd south from Langtang via Zamerum and Zamko to Inshar.
  • south from Inshar via Ajikemai, Yamini and Mato to Taraba State at Ikputu.
  • the Amper-Bachumbi Rd west from Taraba State at Zurak via Zok, and Gaji to Bashar
  • the Langtang-Wase-Bashar Rd south via Angwan Nasarawa and Yola to Wase,
  • the Mavo Wase Rd east from Wase via Mavo Wase to Gwiwan Kpgi,
  • the Lafia-Shandam Rd west from Inshar via Lonvel, Shendam, Pershiep, Shepwan, Der, Kurgwi, Kwande, Layi, Taram and Namu to Nasarawa State at Ungwan Mai,
  • west from A3 at Makera via Kwakwi to Garuwa,
  • the Jos Kafanchan Rd from Kaduna to Garuwa,
  • the Kagoro-Dutsen Kato Rd north and east from Garuwa continuing the Jos-Kafanchan Rd as the Vom Rd to A3 at Bukuru.

Railways edit

The 1067 mm Cape Gauge Eastern Line north from Lafia in Nasarawa State via Jos to Bauchi State.[47]

Airport edit

Yakubu Gowon Airport in Jos with flights to Abuja and Lagos.

Education edit

Tertiary institutions in Plateau State include:

Languages edit

Languages of Plateau State listed by LGA:[56]

LGA Languages
Barkin Ladi Berom; Ron; Ibaas
Bassa Amo; Buji; Cara; Iguta; Izora; Janji; Jere; Kuce; Panawa; Rigwe; Sanga; Chokobo; Jere; Gus; Bache (Rukuba); Tarya; Lemoro;
Bokkos Bo-Rukul; Duhwa; Hasha; Horom; Kulere; Mundat; Nungu; Ron; Manguna;
Jos East Afizere
Jos North Afizere; Iguta; Berom; Hausa
Jos South Berom
Kanam Boghom; Duguri; Ngas; Tarok; Yangkam; Saya
Langtang Ngas; Tarok; Wãpha; Yangkam; Ywom
Langtang South Wapan; Tarok
Mangu Mwaghavul, Jipal, Pyem and Chakfem.
Mikang Ywom
Kanke Ngas;
Pankshin Fyer; Mhiship; Ngas; Mupun; Pai; Sur; Tal; Tambas
Qua'an-pan Kofyar (Pan:- Doemak; Kwagalak; Mernyang; Bwal, Doka; Teng), Ngas,
Riyom Berom; Iten
Shendam Boghom; Dass; Goemai; Jorto; Koenoem; Miship; Montol; Pyapun; Tiv; Wapan; Wãpha; Ywom
Wase Boghom;

Bole; Como Karim; Tarok; Wãpha; Yangkam; Fulani

others Ganang

Notable people edit

See also edit

References edit

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External links edit