From North to South: A Journey Through Nigeria’s 36 States

Nigeria's 36 states
Written by Robin Okwanma

Nigeria, the Giant of Africa, is a land of vast resources and hospitable people. The West African country has a vast network of waterways which include the two biggest rivers (Niger and Benue) and the Niger Delta. From North to South, these rivers journey through Nigeria’s 36 states, meandering through savannas, forests, and swamps. And they finally empty themselves into the Atlantic Ocean.


Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa – at over 220 million as of 2023. It is also a nexus of over 300 distinct ethnic groups with ancient origins and history. Suffice it to say that both the subterranean parts and topsoil of the Nigerian landscape are richly endowed. Join us as we take a brief journey through Nigeria’s 36 states and what makes each of them unique.

The Political Structure and Governance of Nigeria 

Nigeria’s 36 states altogether make up a federal entity. The country has a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) located at roughly the center of the country, namely Abuja. It runs a democratically-elected presidential system of government with a supporting cabinet of ministers. Its lawmakers are structured as members of the National Assembly; along with national and state House of Representatives who uphold and restructure the Constitution. Every constitutional amendment must be approved by no less than two-thirds of the lawmakers representing Nigeria’s 36 states.

Each state also runs a semi-autonomous government, thus sharing powers with the Presidency. Additionally, each of Nigeria’s 36 states is organized into Local Government Areas (LGAs). Altogether, there are 774 Local Government Areas in the country (as of 2023). 

Below is a quick brief of each of Nigeria’s 36 states, their capitals, slogans, mineral resources, notable monuments, and tourist sites.



Capital:  Umuahia 

Slogan: God’s Own State

Mineral Resources: Gold, Lead/Zinc, Limestone, Oil/Gas & Salt

Notable Tourist Sites: Chief Okoroji’s House; Arochukwu; Obu House (Elu Ohafia); Chief Ochu Kalu’s House (Ndi Okereke Abam); Omo Ukwu of Ndi Nzera Clan (Asaga-Ohafia)



Capital: Yola

Slogan: Highest Peak of the Nation

Mineral Resources: Bentonite, Gypsum, Kaolin & Magnesite

Notable Tourist Sites: Sukur Cultural Landscape (Madagali)



Capital: Uyo 

Slogan: Land of Promise

Mineral resources: Clay, Lead/Zinc, Lignite, Limestone, Oil/Gas, Salt & Uranium

Notable Tourist sites: Amalgamation House, King Otuo of Unyeada monument, Oron National Museum & Beach, Uyo Museum, Cenotaph of the Women War (1929), The Slave Dungeons, Bridge of no Return, Mary Slessor’s House, Jaja Palace Ruins, Ibeno beach, Iko Island beach



Capital:  Awka

Slogan: Light of the Nation

Mineral Resources: Clay, Glass-Sand, Gypsum, Iron-ore, Lead/Zinc, Lignite, Limestone, Phosphate & Salt

Notable Tourist Sites: Eze Nri monument, Igbo-Ukwu town, Ogbunike caves, Agulu lake, Owerre Ezukala waterfall, Nzam waterfall, National Museum of Colonial History, Rojenny Tourist Village



Capital: Bauchi 

Slogan: Pearl of Tourism

Mineral Resources: Gold, Cassiterite (tine ore), Columbite, Gypsum, Wolfram, Coal, Limestone, Lignite, Iron-ore & Clay

Notable Tourist Sites: Gidan Madaki (Kafin Madaki), Dutsen Damisa Rock Painting (around Gumje), Dutsen Zane Geji Rock Paintings (Toro), Shadawanka Rock Paintings, Shira Rock Paintings, The Cairn Of Stones (Kwandonkaya road, Toro), First Mining Beacon (Tilden Fulani) Bauchi State



Capital: Yenagoa 

Slogan: The Glory of All Lands

Mineral Resources: Clay, Gypsum, Lead/Zinc, Lignite, Limestone, Manganese, Oil/Gas & Uranium

Notable Tourist Sites: Akassa Wildlife Forest, Okpoama-Brass Beach, Oxbow Lake, Ibeno Beach, Christopher Iwowari Monument (Bassambiri), Oloibiri Oil Museum



Capital: Makurdi 

Slogan: Food Basket of the Nation

Mineral Resources: Barite, Clay, Coal, Gemstone, Gypsum, Iron-Ore, Lead/Zinc, Limestone, Marble & Salt

Notable Tourist Sites: Ogbiloko Statue, Open Fire Furnace, Andibilla Hills, Uwokwu Hills, Ikyogen Hills, Dajo Pottery (Makurdi), Anwase-Abande Ranges, Enemabia Warm Spring, Montane Games Reserve.



Capital: Maiduguri 

Slogan: Home of Peace

Mineral Resources: Bentonite, Clay, Diatomite, Gypsum, Hydrocarbon, Kaolin & Limestone 

Notable Tourist Sites: Gwoza Hills, Indimi Jumma’a Mosque, Sanda Kyarimi Park, Chingurmi-Dugoma Game Reserve, Lake Tilla, Rabeh’s Fort, Borno State Museum, Chad Basin National Park, Shehu of Borno Palace



Capital: Benin City 

Slogan: The Heartbeat of the Nation

Mineral Resources: Bitumen, Clay Dolomite, Phosphate, Glass-sand, Gold, Gypsum, Iron-ore, Lignite, Limestone, Marble & Oil/Gas

Notable Tourist Sites: Benin National Museum, Chief Ogiamen’s House (Benin City), Chief Aikoriogie’s House (Enogie of Obazagbon), Oba of Benin Palace, Benin City Walls and Moat (Benin City), Somorika Hills, Benin brass works



Capital: Asaba 

Slogan: The Finger of God

Mineral Resources: Clay, Glass-sand, Gypsum, Iron-ore, Kaolin, Lignite, Marble & Oil/Gas

Notable Tourist Sites: Palace of Chief Nanna Of Koko, Araya Bible Site, Oghara Beach, Eku Beach, Effurun Garden Park, Mungo Park House



Capital: Abakaliki 

Slogan: The Salt of the Nation

Mineral Resources: Gold, Lead/Zinc & Salt Ekiti Feldspar, Granite, Kaolin, Syenite & Tatium 

Notable Tourist Sites: Abakaliki Green Lake, Uburu Salt Lake, Unwana and Ikwo Beaches, Golden Sand Beaches, Mkpuma Ekwa Oku Rocks, Isinweze Water-falls, MacGregor Hill, Achiogba Water Falls, (Ekoli-Edda), Achiogba Waterfalls



Capital: Calabar 

Slogan: The People’s Paradise

Mineral Resources: Barite, Lead/Zinc, Lignite, Limestone, Manganese, Oil/Gas, Salt & Uranium 

Notable Tourist Sites: The Old Consulate (Calabar), Chief Egbo Bassey’s House (Calabar), Carved Stone Monoliths (Alok & Emaghabe), Tinapa Resort, Obudu Mountain Resort, Kwa Falls



Capital: Ado-Ekiti  

Slogan: Land of Honor and Integrity

Mineral Resources:

Notable Tourist Sites: Olosunta & Orole Hills (Ikere), Ikogosi Warm Springs, Adekunle Fajuyi Park, Ero Water Dam, Egbe Dam, Erinta Waterfalls, Esa Cave



Capital: Enugu 

Slogan: Coal City State

Mineral Resources: Coal, Lead/Zinc & Limestone

Notable Tourist Sites: Ani Ozalla Lake & Shrine, Awhum Waterfall & Cave, Akwuke-Atakwu Beach, Ngwo Pine Forest, Akirike Hills, Udi Hills



Capital: Gombe 

Slogan: Jewel in the Savannah

Mineral Resources: Gemstone & Gypsum

Notable Tourist Sites: Bima Hills, Tangale Peak Hill, Bubayero’s Tomb, Lake Dadin Kowa, Emir of Gombe Palace, Kaltungo Warm Springs



Capital: Owerri 

Slogan: Eastern Heartland

Mineral Resources: Gypsum, Lead/Zinc, Lignite, Limestone, Marcasite, Oil/Gas, Phosphate & Salt

Notable Tourist Sites: Oguta Blue Lake, Ngwu Natural Spring, Nekede Zoo, Imo Palm Plantation



Capital: Dutse 

Slogan: The New World

Mineral Resources: Butyles 

Notable Tourist Sites: Rock paintings at Dutsen Habude, Dutsen Zango & Dutsen Murufu (Birnin Kudu); Rock Inscriptions, Gong and Shelter (Dutsen Mesa in Birnin Kudu)



Capital: Kaduna

Slogan: Centre of Learning

Mineral Resources: Amethyst, Aqua Marine, Asbestos, Clay, Flosper, Gemstone, Gold, Graphite, Kaolin, Hyanite, Mica, Rock Crystal, Ruby, Sapphire, Sihnite, Superntinite, Tentalime, Topaz & Tourmaline

Notable Tourist Sites: Zaria City Walls, Kufena Hills, Steel foot Bridge (Built by Lord Lugard), Habe Mosque (Maigana), Nok settlement, Mastirga Falls, Kajuru Castle



Capital: Kano 

Slogan: Centre of Commerce

Mineral Resources: Cassiterite, Copper, Gemstone, Glass-sand, Lead/Zinc, Pyrochinre & Tantalite

Notable Tourist Sites: Habe Mosque (Bebeji), Gidan Makama Museum, Kano City Walls and Gate, Emir of Kano Palace, Gidan Dan Musa Museum, Kano Waje Central Mosque, Dala Hill, Murtala Mohammed Library



Capital: Katsina

Slogan: State of Hospitality

Mineral Resources: Kaolin, Marble & Salt 

Notable Tourist Sites: Gobarau minaret, Tumuli and Baobab Tree (aka Durbi-Takusheyi), Gidan Korau, Ganuwar Amina, The Seven City Gates of Katsina, Kusugu Well, Tomb of Saint Dan-Marna



Capital: Birnin Kebbi 

Slogan: Land of Equity

Mineral Resources: Gold

Notable Tourist Sites: Argungu Fishing sites/festival, Karishi Traditional Settlement, Kanta Museum. Girmache Shrine (Zulu), Kainji Lake National Park, Yelwa Warm Springs, Kamuku National Park, Jega’a Rick paintings 



Capital: Lokoja 

Slogan: The Confluence State

Mineral Resources: Coal, Dolomite, Feldspar, Gypsium, Iron-ore, Kaolin, Marble, Talc & Tantalite 

Notable Tourist Sites: Niger-Benue confluence, Ojogwu Atogwu Tumulus (near the Palace of the Attah of Idah), Ofejijij Falls, Iron of Liberty, National Museum of Colonial History, Mount Patti, Awo Tunnel, Koton-Karfe Cave, Lord Lugard’s Residence



Capital: Ilorin 

Slogan: The State of Harmony

Mineral Resources: Cassiterite, Columbite, Feldspar, Gold, Iron-ore, Marble, Mica & Tantalite

Notable Tourist Sites: Relics of the Steamer “Dayspring” (Jebba Station), Old West African Frontier Force Forts (Okuta & Yashikera), Stone Figures (Ofaro & Ijara), Owu Falls



Capital: Ikeja 

Slogan: Centre of Excellence

Mineral Resources: Bitumen, Clay & Glass-sand

Notable Tourist Sites: Ilojo Bar (Lagos Island), Iga Idunganran (Lagos Island), Water House (Lagos Island), Freedom Park (Lagos Island), Nike Art Gallery (Lekki), National Museum Lagos, Tarkwa Bay Beach, Lufasi Nature Park, National Theatre (Iganmu), Lekki Conservation Center, Elegushi Royal Beach



Capital: Lafia 

Slogan: The Home of Solid Minerals

Mineral Resources: Amethyst, Barytex, Barite, Cassirite, Chalcopyrite, Clay, Columbite, Coking Coal, Dolomite/Marble, Feldspar, Galena, Iron-ore, Limestone, Mica, Salt, Sapphire, Talc, Tantalite, Tourmaline Quartz & Zireon

Notable Tourist Sites: Farin Ruwa Falls, Eggon Hills and Caves, Keana Salt Processing centre (Akwanga), Hunku Lake (Akwanga), Akuriwari warm spring and crocodile Lake (Akwanga)



Capital: Minna

Slogan: The Power State

Mineral Resources: Gold, Lead/Zinc & Talc 

Notable Tourist Sites: Tsoede’s Tomb (Gwagwade), Mai Jimina’s House (Wushishi), Ruins and Site of colonial Government House at (Zungeru), The Katamba of the Palace of Etsu Nupe (Bida), Gurara Falls



Capital: Abeokuta

Slogan: The Gateway State

Mineral Resources: Bitumen, Clay, Feldspar, Gemstone, Kaolin, Limestone & Phosphate 

Notable Tourist Sites: Olumo Rock, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library & Wildlife Park, Sungbo’s ShrIne (Oke-Eri near Ijebu-Ode), Oyan River Dam, Ogunde Museum, Kuti Heritage Museum, Lisabi Forest, Oronna Statue



Capital: Akure

Slogan: The Sunshine State

Mineral Resources: Bitumen, Clay, Coal, Dimension Stones, Feldspar, Gemstone, Glass-Sand, Granite, Gypsum, Kaolin, Limestone & Oil/Gas

Notable Tourist Sites: Igbara Oke Petroglyphs, Iwo Eleru Cave, (Near Owo), The Old Palace of The Deji Of Akure



Capital: Oshogbo 

Slogan: Land of Virtue

Mineral Resources: Columbite, Gold, Granite, Talc, Tantalite & Tourmaline

Notable Tourist Sites: Sacred Grove Of Osun (Osogbo), Shrines of Osun in the King’s Market & Palace (Oshogbo), Erin-Ijesa waterfalls, Ita Yemoo (Ile-Ife), Carved Stone Figure (Igbajo)



Capital: Ibadan 

Slogan: The Pace Setter State

Mineral Resources: Aquamarine, Cassiterite, Clay, Dolomite, Gemstone, Gold, Kaolin, Marble, Sillimanite, Talc & Tantalite 

Notable Tourist Sites: Mapo Hills, Odu’a Museum, Bowers Tower, University of Ibadan Zoological Garden, Iyake Suspended Lake, Eleyele Lake, Old Oyo National Park



Capital: Jos 

Slogan: Home of Peace and Tourism

Mineral Resources: Barite, Bauxite, Bentonite, Bismuth, Cassiterite, Clay, Coal, Emerald, Fluoride, Gemstone, Granite, Iron-ore, Kaolin, Lead/Zinc, Marble, Molybdenite, Pyrochlore, Salt, Tantalite/Columbite, Tin & Wolfram

Notable Tourist Sites: Stone Causeways at Batura, Tading & Forof (Bokkos), Riyom Hills



Capital: Port Harcourt

Slogan: Treasure Base of the Nation

Mineral Resources: Clay, Glass-Sand, Lignite, Marble & Oil/Gas 

Notable Tourist Sites: King Jaja’s Statue (Opobo), Finima Nature Park, Port Harcourt Zoo, Port Harcourt Nature Park, Cultural Center (Port Harcourt)



Capital: Sokoto 

Slogan: Seat of the Caliphate

Mineral Resources: Clay, Flakes, Gold, Granite, Gypsum, Kaolin, Laterite, Limestone, Phosphate, Potash, Silica Sand & Salt

Notable Tourist Sites: Surame Cultural Landscape, Goronyo Dam, Sultan Palace Hall, Waziri Junaidu History and Culture Museum, Tomb of Usman Dan Fodio, Sokoto Museum



Capital: Jalingo 

Slogan: Nature’s Gift to the Nation

Mineral Resources: Lead/Zinc

Notable Tourist Sites: Shebshi Mountains, Mambilla Plateau, Gashaka-Gumti National Park, Barup Waterfalls, Donga River Basin Forest, Ngel-Nyaki Forest Reserve



Capital: Damaturu

Slogan: Pride of the Sahel

Mineral Resources: Soda Ash & Tintomite

Notable Tourist Sites: Dofarga Spring Water, Dogana Birds Sanctuary, Birnin Ngazargamu, Tulo-Tulowa Desert, Old Diniski Settlement, Graveyard of Emir of Fika, Fika Emirate Museum, Twin mouth well, Kadi (Goya) Valley, Gudi Settlement



Capital: Gusau 

Slogan: Farming is our Pride

Mineral Resources: Iron ore, Gold, Chromate, Granite, Clay, Limestone, Chamovite, Quartz, Copper, Manganese, Silica, Kaolin.

Notable Tourist Sites: Kwartakwashi Rock/Natural spring, Kanoma Hills, Dashi Natural Tunnels, Kiyawa rock paintings, Gidan Makama Museum, Kuyambana Game Reserve


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About the author

Robin Okwanma

Hi, I'm Robin Okwanma. Software Engineer || Django, Python || React, React Native || Blogger. Technical Writer.