Niger state, which is located in North-Central Nigeria is actually the largest state in Nigeria in terms of area size. It has a total area of 76,363 km2 (29,484 Sq miles). In other words, it takes about 9 percent of Nigeria’s total land area. The state is located between latitudes 8o 20’N and 11o 30’N and longitude 3o 30’E and 7o 20’N.
Niger state is bordered to the north by Zamfara state, to the Northwest by Kebbi state, to the south by Kogi state, and to the southwest by Kwara state. It is also bordered to the Northeast by Kaduna, and to the Southeast by the Federal Capital Territory. In addition, it shares a common international boundary with the Republic of Benin at Babanna, in Borgu Local Government Area of the State.
The areas making up Niger state comprises of the Old Nupe and Kontagora Kingdoms, Abuja (which is the current part referred to as Suleja), and some areas of the famous Zazzau Kingdom. The Old Nupe Kingdom has now been administratively broken into the Bida emirate, the Agaie emirate and the Lapai emirate. The Old Kontagora Kingdom now comprises of the Kontagora emirates; which further contains chiefdoms such as Kagara and Wushish, the territories of Sarkin-Bauchi; all of which are administratively grouped into the Mariga, Magama and Rafi Local Governments.
Other Interesting Facts about Niger State
- Niger state is named after the Niger River.
- It was formed on the 3rd of February 1976, when the North Western was split into Niger state and Sokoto state.
- The capital city of Niger state is Minna. Other major and notable cities include Bida, Kontgora and Suleja.
- Niger state consists of 25 Local Government Areas. These are (in alphabetical order); Agaie, Agwara, Bida, Borgu, Bosso, Chanchaga, Edati, Gbako, Gurara, Katcha, Kontagora, Lapai, Lavun, Magama, Mariga, Mashegu, Mokwa, Munya, Paikoro, Rafi, Rijau, Shiroro, Suleja, Tafa and Wushishi.
- The major ethnic groups includes the Nupe tribe, the Gbagyi, the Kamuku, the Kambari, the Dukawa, the Hausa and the Koro tribes. Other tribes include;the Ayadi, the Kadanda, the Gulengi, the Abishawa, the Dibo, Ingwai, Shigini, Ganagana, Kadara, Mauchietc tribes.
- Niger state is home to two of Nigeria’s major hydroelectric power stations; the Kainji Dam and the Shiroro Dam.
- The largest National Park of Nigeria; the Kainji National Park, which contains the Kainji Lake, the Borgu game reserve and the Zuguma Game reserve, is located in Niger state.
- The famous Gurara waterfalls is situated in Niger state, in the Gurara Local Government Area. The Local Government Area is named after the Gurara River.
- Some other Tourists attractions in Niger state include; the Bina Footprints, First Railway Locomotive Engine, Lord Lugard Colonial Ruins, Zuma Rock, Mayanka waterfalls, Shiroro Dam Tourist resort.
- Niger state is also a host of the Durbar festival.