Benue State is a remarkable Nigerian state located in the North-central region of the country. Known as the “Food Basket of the Nation,” the state is blessed with abundant agricultural resources, including fertile soil, favorable weather conditions, and abundant water resources. With a population of over 4 million people and a rich cultural heritage, Benue State is home to several ethnic groups, each with its unique traditions and festivals. In this content, we will explore the beauty, richness, and diversity of Benue State, from its bustling markets to its scenic hills and rivers, and everything in between.
Top 10: Interesting Facts About Benue State, Nigeria
1. Benue State is located in the North-central region of Nigeria, and it was created on February 3, 1976, during the military regime of General Murtala Muhammed. It was carved out of the former Benue-Plateau State, which was later renamed Plateau State. Benue State is bordered by Taraba State to the east, Nasarawa State to the south, Cross River State to the southeast, and Kogi State to the west.
2. The state is known as the “Food Basket of the Nation” because of its vast agricultural resources and production of crops such as yam, cassava, rice, maize, sorghum, and so on. The state’s fertile soil, favorable weather conditions, and abundant water resources make it ideal for farming. Agriculture is the mainstay of the state’s economy, providing employment for over 70% of the population. Other sectors of the state’s economy include mining, commerce, and services.
3. The state has a population of over 6 million people, and it is inhabited predominantly by the Tiv, Idoma, and Igede ethnic groups. The Tiv people are the largest ethnic group in Benue State, accounting for about 35% of the population. The Idoma and Igede are the second and third-largest ethnic groups, respectively. Other minority ethnic groups in Benue State include the Etulo, Igbo, Jukun, and Hausa people. The people of Benue State are known for their hospitality, rich cultural heritage, and traditional festivals.
4. Makurdi is the capital city of Benue State, and it is the largest city in the state. Makurdi is located on the banks of the Benue River, and it is a major commercial and administrative center. The city is home to several government institutions, including the Benue State University, the Federal University of Agriculture, and the Federal Medical Center. Makurdi is also known for its bustling markets, such as the Wurukum Market, where a wide range of goods and services are traded. Other major towns in Benue State include Gboko, Otukpo, Katsina-Ala, and Adikpo.
5. Benue state is home to several tourist attractions that showcase the natural beauty of the region. The Gboko Hills and Ikyogen Hills are two such attractions that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
6. The Benue and Katsina-Ala rivers are two major bodies of water that flow through the state. These rivers provide water for irrigation and fishing activities, which are important sources of income for many residents of the state.
7. The state is proud of its rich cultural heritage, which is celebrated through various festivals and events. The Tiv Kwagh-Hir and Idoma Agba festivals are two of the most popular cultural events in the state, showcasing traditional music, dance, and art.
8. With a total area of 34,059 square kilometers (13,150 square miles), Benue state is the 11th largest state in Nigeria. The state is located in the central region of the country and is bordered by several other states.
9. Benue state has a diverse religious landscape, with Christianity and Islam being the major religions practiced by residents. However, traditional African religions are also practiced by some communities in the state.
10. Over the years, Benue state has produced several notable personalities in various fields, including politics, entertainment, and sports. Former Senate President David Mark, actress Susan Peters, and musicians Tuface and Terry G are just a few of the many individuals who have made their mark in their respective fields.