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Nigeria is divided into states (Hausa: jihohin, Igbo: Ȯra, Yoruba: àwọn ìpínlẹ̀), which are federated political entities that share sovereignty with the Federal Government of Nigeria. There are 36 States in Nigeria, bound together by a federal agreement, plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which is not a state but a territory under the direct control of the Federal Government. The States are further divided into a total of 774 Local Government Areas.[1] Under the Nigerian Constitution, states have the power to ratify constitutional amendments.

States of Nigeria
Nigeria location map.svg
Category Federated state
Location Federal Republic of Nigeria
Number 36 States
Populations 1,703,358 (Bayelsa) – 9,383,682 (Kano)
Areas 3,580 km2 (1,381 sq mi) (Lagos) – 76,360 km2 (29,484 sq mi) (Niger)
Government State government
Subdivisions Local Government Area


Current states and the Federal Capital TerritoryEdit

A clickable map of Nigeria exhibiting 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 CityLagosIbadanKadunaKanoMaiduguri 
  1. Abia
  2. Adamawa
  3. Anambra
  4. Akwa Ibom
  5. Bauchi
  6. Bayelsa
  7. Benue
  8. Borno
  9. Cross River
  10. Delta
  11. Ebonyi
  12. Enugu
  1. Edo
  2. Ekiti
  3. Gombe
  4. Imo
  5. Jigawa
  6. Kaduna
  7. Kano
  8. Katsina
  9. Kebbi
  10. Kogi
  11. Kwara
  12. Lagos
  1. Nasarawa
  2. Niger
  3. Ogun
  4. Ondo
  5. Osun
  6. Oyo
  7. Plateau
  8. Rivers
  9. Sokoto
  10. Taraba
  11. Yobe
  12. Zamfara
Federal Capital Territory (FCT)

Former state boundariesEdit

Before and after independence in 1960, Nigeria was a Federal State of three Regions: Northern, Western, and Eastern. Provinces were also used in colonial times. In 1963, two provinces were detached from the Western Region to form the new Mid-Western Region. In 1967, the regions were replaced by 12 states due to a military decree; only the former Mid-Western Region escaped division, and formed a single state following the restructuring. From 1967 to 1970 the areas of Mid-Western State and the Eastern Region attempted to secede, as a nation called Biafra during the Nigerian civil war. In 1976, seven new states were created, making 19 altogether.[2]

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.[2] The latest change, in 1996, resulted in the present number of 36 states.


During this period, there were 30 states and the Federal Capital Territory.


During this period, there were 21 states and,
later, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.



During this period, there were 19 states.



During this period, there were 12 states.


During this period, there were 4 regions.



During this period, there were 3 regions.



As sovereign entities, States of Nigeria have the right to organize/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 amount of legislatures 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 called 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 called 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.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "USAID Nigeria mission: Nigeria administrative divisions" United States Agency for International Development, October 2004, last accessed 21 April 2010
  2. ^ a b 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


  • 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 1-59221-568-8. 
  • 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 linksEdit