Historical Background

Following the amalgamation of Nigeria by British, the present geographical entity now known as Benue State, was known as Benue province until 1918 before adopting its name from one of the dominant geographical feature, the River Benue.

Then Nigeria was divided into four regions namely:

  1. West,
  2. North,
  3. East, and
  4. Middlebelt

On the 5th of May, 1967, the structure of the federation of Nigeria was divided into twelve (12) administrative states by (then) General Yakubu Gowon military administration namely:

  1. North-Western State,
  2. North-Eastern state,
  3. Kano State,
  4. North-Central State,
  5. Benue-Plateau State,
  6. Kwara State,
  7. Western State,
  8. Lagos State,
  9. Mid-Western State,
  10. A Rivers State,
  11. A South-Eastern State, and
  12. An East-Central State

Benue was merged together as Benue-Plateau State.

In another restructure on the 3rd of February, 1976; Benue State was created out of the defunct Benue-Plateau as an administrative unit among Seven States created by the Military Administration headed by Late General Murtala Murtala Mohammed which increases the number of Nigeria States from Twelve (12) to Nineteen (19).

In yet another restructure of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1991, part of Benue State, the Igala segment that was made up of Ankpa, Idah, Ayangba and Dekina Local Government Areas carved out merging with part of Kwara State creating Kogi State.

Presently, benue has Twenty Three Local Government Areas.

Location:

Benue state is located in the so-called Middle-Belt axis of Nigeria due to its roughly central placement on the Nigerian map.

The state lies between latitude 6o25l and 8o8lN and longitudes 7o47lE and 10oE.

Landmass:

Its land area of about 34,059km2

Bordering States:

  1. Nasarawa State to the North,
  2. Taraba to the North-East,
  3. Ebonyi and Cross River to the south,
  4. Enugu to the South-West, and
  5. Kogi State to the west.

There is also a short international boundary between the state and the Republic of Cameroon along Nigeria’s South-East border.

Population:

According to the National Population Commission of Nigeria:

4,223,641 (Male: 2,114,043; Female: 2,109,598) making it the seventh most populated state in Nigeria.