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Food Basket of the Nation
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Location in Nigeria
Coordinates: 7°43′50″N8°32′10″E / 7.73056°N 8.53611°E / 7.73056; 8.53611 Coordinates: 7°43′50″N8°32′10″E / 7.73056°N 8.53611°E / 7.73056; 8.53611
Country Flag of Nigeria.svg Nigeria
State Benue State
  Local Government Chairman and the Head of the Local Government CouncilJuliana Audu
 (2007) [1]
Climate Aw

Makurdi is the capital of the Benue state, Nigeria. The city is located in the Middle Belt along the Benue River and holds the base for the Nigerian Air Force's MiG 21 and SEPECAT Jaguar aircraft squadrons. In 2007, Makurdi had an estimated population of 500,797. [1]

Benue State State in Nigeria

Benue State is one of the North central states in Nigeria with a population of about 4,253,641 in 2006 census. It is inhabited predominantly by the Tiv, Idoma and Igede peoples, who speak Tiv, Idoma, and Igede languages respectively. Its capital is Makurdi. Benue is a rich agricultural region; popularly grown crops includes; sweet potatoes, cassava, soya bean, guinea corn, flax, yams, sesame, rice, and groundnuts, Palm Tree.

Nigeria Federal republic in West Africa

Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa, bordering Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. Its coast in the south is located on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. The federation comprises 36 states and 1 Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja, is located. The constitution defines Nigeria as a democratic secular state.

The Middle Belt is a term used in human geography to designate a belt region stretching across central Nigeria longitudinally and forming a transition zone between Northern and Southern Nigeria. It is characterised by its lack of a clear majority ethnic group, and is the location of Nigeria's Federal Capital Territory. The eminence of manifold minority groups, to some degree, constitutes an ethno-linguistic barrier in the country and draws a separation between the principally Islamic North and the mainly Christian south.



The major ethnic groups are the Tiv, Idoma, Igede and Etulo.

Tiv people ethnic group

Tiv is an ethno-linguistic group or ethnic nation in West Africa. The group constitutes approximately 3.5% of Nigeria's total population, and number about 6.5 million individuals throughout Nigeria and Cameroon. The Tiv language is spoken by about 7 million people in Nigeria with a few speakers in Cameroon. Most of the language's Nigerian speakers are found in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa States. The language is a branch of Benue–Congo and ultimately of the Niger–Congo phylum. In precolonial times, the Fulani ethnic group referred to the Tiv as "Munchi", a term not accepted by Tiv people. They depend on agricultural produce for commerce and life.

Idoma people ethnic group

The Idoma are people that primarily inhabit the lower western areas of Benue State, Nigeria, and kindred groups can be found in Cross Rivers State, Enugu State and Nasarawa State in Nigeria. The Idoma language is classified in the Akweya subgroup of the Idomoid languages of the Volta–Niger family, which include Alago, Agatu, Etulo and Yala languages of Benue, Nasarawa and Northern Cross river states.. The Akweya subgroup is closely related to the Yatye-Akpa sub-group. The bulk of the territory is inland, south of river Benue, some seventy-two kilometers east of its confluence with river Niger. The Idomas are known to be 'warriors' and 'hunters' of class, but hospitable and peace-loving. The greater part of Idoma land remained largely unknown to the West until the 1920s, leaving much of the colorful traditional culture of the Idoma intact. The population of the Idoma is estimated to be about 4 million. The Idoma people have a traditional ruler called the Och'Idoma who is the head of the Idoma Area Traditional Council while each community has its own traditional chief such as the Ad'Ogbadibo of Orokam, Chief D.E Enenche. The Palace of the overall Och'Idoma is located at Otukpo, Benue State. The present Och'Idoma, HRH Elias Ikoyi Obekpa was installed into office in 1997 and the position is for life.

The Igede people are a Nigerian ethnic group in Lower Benue State of Nigeria. They are native to the Oju and Obi local government areas of Nigeria, where 2006 population figures stand at an estimated 267,198 people. However, many Igede people are dispersed across the state and the Nation. For instance, the Igede language is also spoken in Nigeria's Cross River State, and many Igede communities exist in Osun State and Ogun State. The Igede language is a member of the Benue-Congo subgroup of the Niger-Congo language family.


Makurdi is home to Benue State University, University of Agriculture Makurdi and Nigeria Army School Of Military Engineering, Makurdi.

Benue State University is a state-owned university in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. Its 2006 student enrollment was over 19,000 served by 429 faculties. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs with a catalog of over 50 graduate programs across seven colleges. It is accredited by the National Universities Commission. The current Vice-chancellor is Professor Msugh Moses Kembe who took over from Professor Charity Angya on November 5, 2015.

The University of Agriculture in Makurdi (UAM) is a higher education institution in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria.


Climate data for Makurdi (1961–1990)
Record high °C (°F)38.5
Average high °C (°F)34.8
Daily mean °C (°F)26.4
Average low °C (°F)18.4
Record low °C (°F)10.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)3.7
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average relative humidity (%) (at 15:00 LST)26.326.837.050.361.566.669.971.368.663.345.131.951.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 217.0212.8210.8210.0213.9183.0151.9145.7162.0201.5240.0232.52,381.1
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source #1: NOAA [2]
Source #2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (extremes and mean temperature) [3]


Makurdi is located on the banks of Benue River, a major tributary of the Niger River. It is on the main narrow gauge railway line running north from Port Harcourt. There are regular bus services linking Makurdi to neighbouring towns.

Benue River tributary of the Niger River in Cameroon and Nigeria

The Benue River, previously known as the Chadda River or Tchadda, is the major tributary of the Niger River. The river is approximately 1,400 kilometres (870 mi) long and is almost entirely navigable during the summer months. As a result, it is an important transportation route in the regions through which it flows.

Niger River River in West Africa

The Niger River is the principal river of West Africa, extending about 4,180 km (2,600 mi). Its drainage basin is 2,117,700 km2 (817,600 sq mi) in area. Its source is in the Guinea Highlands in southeastern Guinea. It runs in a crescent through Mali, Niger, on the border with Benin and then through Nigeria, discharging through a massive delta, known as the Niger Delta or the Oil Rivers, into the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. The Niger is the third-longest river in Africa, exceeded only by the Nile and the Congo River. Its main tributary is the Benue River.

Port Harcourt Metropolis in Rivers, Nigeria

Port Harcourt is the capital and largest city of Rivers State, Nigeria. It lies along the Bonny River and is located in the Niger Delta. As of 2016, the Port Harcourt urban area has an estimated population of 1,865,000 inhabitants, up from 1,382,592 as of 2006.

Until a road rail bridge was built in 1932, a train ferry was used to cross the Benue river.

Train ferry ferryboat carrying railroad cars onboard

A train ferry is a ship (ferry) designed to carry railway vehicles. Typically, one level of the ship is fitted with railway tracks, and the vessel has a door at the front and/or rear to give access to the wharves. In the United States, train ferries are sometimes referred to as "car ferries", as distinguished from "auto ferries" used to transport automobiles. The wharf has a ramp, and a linkspan or "apron", balanced by weights, that connects the railway proper to the ship, allowing for the water level to rise and fall with the tides.


Benue State is predominantly an agricultural area specialising in cash crops and subsistence crops.

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Yola, meaning 'Great Plain' or 'Vast Plain Land', is the capital city and administrative center of Adamawa State, Nigeria. Located on the Benue River, it has a population of 336,648 (2010). Yola is split into two parts. The old town of Yola where the Lamido resides is the traditional city but the new city of Jimeta is the administrative and commercial centre. Generally the term Yola is now used to mean both. To the north are the Mandara Mountains and the south are the Shebshi Mountains with Dimlang (Vogel) Peak the second highest point in Nigeria after Chappal Waddi. Yola is an access point to the Gashaka Gumpti Nature Reserve, which is the largest national park in Nigeria, the Ngel Nyaki montane forest reserve, the Mambilla Plateau, The Sukur UNESCO World heritage site, which is Africa's first cultural landscape to receive World Heritage List inscription, The Yadin Waterfalls, The Kiri Dam on the Gongola River, The Benue national park in nearby Cameroon, The Waza National Park, and Cameroonian town of Garoua, which lies across the Border, on the Benue river.

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Samuel Ioraer Ortom is a Nigerian philanthropist, businessman, politician and administrator. He was a Minister of State Trade and Investments in Nigeria during the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan. Ortom was elected governor of Benue State as a member of the All Progressives Congress in 2015. He was re-elected as governors on 29th of May, 2019. But during his tenure as APC governor, Ortom's administration owed state workers billions of naira due to the strain on Nigerian economy by the recession of 2017 caused, largely, by mismanagement of federal funds and state funds. As of 2019, the Benue state workers are still waiting for the outstanding salaries withheld from them during the recession. Also in early 2017, the state government retired some high ranking Chief Nursing Officials without gratuities or pensions paid to them and to the date of writing this no comments or explanation came from them.

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  1. 1 2 "The World Gazetteer". Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2007.
  2. "Makurdi Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  3. "Klimatafel von Makurdi / Nigeria" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 10 August 2016.