The Gap

Know the 36 states and capitals in Nigeria

Know the 36 states and capitals in Nigeria

Nigeria is a federation of 36 states. These 36 states have their capitals situated in each state. It is the combination of all these sub-national entities and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) that make up Nigeria as a political entity.

36 states and capitals in Nigeria

Abia State | Umuahia

Abia State | Umuahia

Abia State, also known as Ha Abia in Igbo, is a state in Nigeria’s South-East geopolitical zone. It is bordered to the north and northeast by the states of Enugu and Ebonyi, to the west by Imo State, to the east by Cross River State, to the southeast by Akwa Ibom State, and to the south by Rivers State. Its name is an abbreviation for four of the most populous areas of the state: Aba, Bende, Isuikwuato, and Afikpo (but Afikpo was later joined with a part of Enugu state to create Ebonyi state in 1996). Umuahia serves as the state capital, and Aba is the biggest city and commercial hub in the state.

Adamawa | Yola

Adamawa | Yola

A state in Nigeria’s North-East geopolitical zone, Adamawa is bordered to the northwest by Borno State, to the west by Gombe, to the southwest by Taraba, and the east by a portion of the country’s border with Cameroon. It derives its name from the ancient emirate of Adamawa, whose former capital, Yola, now serves as the state capital of Adamawa. One of Nigeria’s most diverse states in the country, Adamawa State was created in 1991 from the previous Gongola State. The state has more than 100 indigenous ethnic groups.

Akwa Ibom | Uyo

Akwa Ibom | Uyo

Within Nigeria’s South-South geopolitical zone, Akwa Ibom State is bordered on the east by Cross River State, on the west by the states of Rivers and Abia, and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean. The Qua Iboe River, which divides the state in half and empties into the Bight of Bonny, gives the state its name. In 1987, the capital city of Akwa Ibom, Uyo, and its 31 local government units were separated from Cross River State.

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Anambra | Awka

Anambra | Awka

Anambra State is situated in the southeast of the nation. Anambra State is bordered to the west by Delta State, to the south by Imo State, to the east by Enugu State, and the north by Kogi State.

More than nine million people living, according to the 2022 census estimate. In 1976, the name of the state was created from the former East Central State. The river that flows through the state, the Omambala River, bears the state’s name. The Omambala’s anglicized name is Anambra. The State’s capital is Awka, a metropolis with a population that grew from 700,000 to more than six million people between 2006 and 2020. Onitsha, a pre-colonial port city with a long history, is still a significant hub for trade in the state.

Bauchi | Bauchi

Bauchi | Bauchi

Bauchi State is located in Nigeria’s North-East geopolitical zone. It is bordered to the north by Kano and Jigawa states, to the south by Taraba and Plateau states, to the east by Gombe and Yobe states, and to the west by Kaduna State. When the previous North-Eastern State was divided up, the state was created in 1976. It initially covered what is now Gombe State, which was given its statehood in 1996.

Bayelsa | Yenagoa

Bayelsa | Yenagoa

Bayelsa State is situated in the heart of the Niger Delta. It was split from Rivers State in 1996. The majority of Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State, is thought to be at high risk of flooding which is thought to happen annually. The Atlantic Ocean dominates its southern borders, and it has a border with Rivers State to the east and Delta State to the west.

Benue State | Makurdi

Benue State | Makurdi

With a population of around 4,253,641 million, according to the 2006 census, Benue State is one of the North-Central states in Nigeria. Established in 1976, The second-largest river in Nigeria, the Benue River, is where the state gets its name. In addition to its international border with Cameroon to the south-east, the state shares borders with Nasarawa State to the north, Taraba State to the east, Kogi State to the west, Enugu State to the south-west, Ebonyi and Cross-Rivers States to the south, and Taraba, Enugu, and Kogi states. The Tiv, Idoma, and Igede are the main ethnic groups that live there. The Etulo, Igbo, Jukunpeoples, and other minorities comprise Benue’s ethnic diversity. Makurdi is its capital.

Borno | Maiduguri

Borno | Maiduguri

Borno State is the only state in Nigeria that shares borders with three other countries. It is located in the North-East geopolitical zone and is bordered by Yobe State to the west, Gombe State to the southwest, and Adamawa State to the south. Borno State also shares portions of its eastern, northern, and northeastern borders with Cameroon, Niger Republic and Chad. The state was created from the previous North-Eastern State in 1976.

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Cross River | Calabar

Cross River | Calabar

Cross River State is a state in Nigeria’s South-South geopolitical zone. It was carved out of the eastern portion of the Eastern Region. Its capital is Calabar and its boundaries with other states are to the north through Benue, to the west through Ebonyi and Abia, to the southwest through Akwa Ibom, and to the east through Cameroon.

Delta | Asaba

Delta | Asaba

Delta State is situated in Nigeria’s South-South geopolitical zone. The state, which was created on August 27, 1991, from the former Bendel State is named after the Niger Delta, a substantial portion of which is located within the state. 

The twin cities of Warri and Uvwie serve as the state’s economic hub, while Asaba, the state capital, is situated along the River Niger on the state’s northeastern border.

Ebonyi | Abakaliki

Ebonyi | Abakaliki

Ebonyi State is one of the five states in the South-East geopolitical zone. It is bordered to the north and northeast by Benue State, to the west by Enugu State, to the east and southeast by Cross River State and the southwest by Abia State. Ebonyi State was created in 1996 from portions of Abia and Enugu state. Its capital is Abakaliki, and the state was named for the Abonyi (Aboine) River, which flows through a significant portion of the state’s southern region.

Edo State | Benin City

Edo State | Benin City

Edo State is the 22nd greatest land area of any state in Nigeria. Benin Metropolis, the capital and largest city of the state, is also the hub of Nigeria’s rubber industry and the country’s fourth-largest city. It was founded in 1991 out of the former Bendel State and is referred to as the Heartbeat of the nation. Edo State borders Ondo State to the west, Kogi State to the northeast, Anambra State to the east and Delta State to the southeast and south.

Ekiti | Ado Ekiti

Ekiti | Ado Ekiti

Ekiti State is a state in South-West Nigeria. It is bordered to the north by Kwara State, the northeast by Kogi State, the south and southeast by Ondo State, and the west by Osun State. Ekiti State was created from a portion of Ondo State in 1996 and has Ado-Ekiti as its capital. The state is named for the Ekiti people, a Yoruba subgroup that makes up the majority of the state’s population.

Enugu | Enugu

Enugu | Enugu

Enugu State is a state in the South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria. It is bordered to the north by Benue and Kogi states, Ebonyi State to the east and southeast, Abia State to the south and Anambra State to the west. The state takes its name from its capital and largest city, Enugu.

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Gombe | Gombe

Gombe | Gombe

Gombe State is a state in northeastern Nigeria. It shares borders with the states of Borno and Yobe to the north and northeast, Taraba State to the south, Adamawa State to the southeast and Bauchi State to the west. Gombe State was carved out of Bauchi State on October 1, 1996, and is named for the state’s capital and largest city, Gombe. This Nigerian state is one of many that speak different languages.

Imo | Owerri

Imo | Owerri

Imo State is a state in Nigeria’s South-East geopolitical region that is bordered to the north by Anambra State, to the west and south by Rivers State and the east by Abia State. It gets its name from the Imo River, which borders the state on the east. Owerri is the state’s capital and the state is known as the Eastern Heartland.

Jigawa | Dutse

Jigawa | Dutse

Jigawa State, one of Nigeria’s 36 states, is situated in the northern part of the nation. Jigawa State was carved out from the northeasternmost portion of Kano State. It is situated on the nation of Nigeria’s border with the Republic of Niger. Dutse is the largest city and the state capital.

Kaduna | Kaduna

Kaduna | Kaduna

Kaduna State is a state in northern Nigeria. The city of Kaduna, which bears the state’s name, serves as the state capital and, as of 2006, was ranked as the eighth-largest city in the nation.

Kano | Kano

Kano | Kano

Kano State is located in the North-West geopolitical region of the country. It was carved out from the defunct Northern Region in 1967. It is the most populous state in Nigeria, according to the 2006 national census and this was corroborated by the official estimates taken in 2016 by the National Bureau of Statistics.

Kano State borders Katsina State to the northwest, Jigawa State to the northeast, Bauchi State to the southeast, and Kaduna State to the southwest. The city of Kano serves as the state’s capital and commerce hub. The state has developed and maintained a diverse economy, establishing itself as a centre for industry in Nigeria.

Katsina | Katsina

Katsina | Katsina

Located in the North-West region of the country, Katsina State was carved out from Kaduna State in 1987. It is bordered by Kaduna, Zamfara, Kano, and Jigawa states.

Katsina State is the fifth largest state in the country by population and its slogan is “Home of Hospitality”. The city of Katsina is the state’s capital. It is the home state of the current Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, whose tenure elapses in 2023.

Kebbi | Birnin Kebbi

Kebbi | Birnin Kebbi

Kebbi State is bordered by the states of Sokoto and Zamfara; to the west, and it shares a border with the countries of Benin Republic and Niger. Kebbi state was created on August 27, 1991, from Sokoto state. Birnin Kebbi serves as both the state capital and the state’s largest city.

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Kogi | Lokoja

Kogi | Lokoja

Located in the north-central part of Nigeria, Kogi State is bordered to the west by the states of Ekiti and Kwara, to the north by the Federal Capital Territory, to the northeast by Nasarawa State, to the northwest by Niger State, to the southwest by the states of Edo and Ondo, to the southeast by the states of Anambra and Enugu, and to the east by Benue State. Only this state in Nigeria shares borders with 10 other states.

On August 27, 1991, a portion of Kwara State, Niger State, and Benue State were combined to establish Kogi State. It was given the Hausa name for the river (Kogi). The confluence of the River Niger and River Benue gives the state its nickname, Confluence State. The capital of Kogi is Lokoja.

Kwara | Ilorin

Kwara | Ilorin

Kwara State shares a border with Kogi State to the east, Niger State to the north, Ekiti, Osun, and Oyo States to the south, and a portion of the Benin Republic to the west. The state has 16 local government areas, with Ilorin serving as the capital.

Lagos | Ikeja

Lagos | Ikeja

Lagos State is a state in southwest Nigeria. It is the most populous and smallest state out of the 36. states in the country Lagos State is the only state in Nigeria that has only one state as a border; Ogun State to the northeast, while the Bight of Benin borders the state to the south and west, respectively. On May 27, 1967, the Western Region and the previous Federal Capital Territory were combined to form Lagos State. Ikeja is the capital city of Lagos State.

Nasarawa | Lafia

Nasarawa | Lafia

Nasarawa State is located in the north-central part of Nigeria. Nasarawa State borders Taraba and Plateau states to the east, borders Kaduna State to the north, Kogi and Benue to the south and the Federal Capital Territory to the west. The state was created on October 1st, 1996, from the western portion of Plateau State and was given the name of the historic Nasarawa Emirate.

Lafia, the state’s capital, is in the eastern area of the state. The state has thirteen local government areas.

Niger | Minna

Niger | Minna

Niger State is Nigeria’s largest state and it is located in the country’s north-central area. Minna serves as the state’s capital. Bida, Kontagora, and Suleja are additional significant cities. It was created in 1976 following the division of the former North-Western State into Niger State and Sokoto State. Two of Nigeria’s former military leaders, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar, hail from and reside there. The bulk of Niger State’s various indigenous tribes includes the Nupe, Gbagyi, Kamuku, Kambari, Gungawa, Hun-Saare, Hausa, and Koro.

Ogun | Abeokuta

Ogun | Abeokuta

Ogun State is bordered to the south by Lagos State, to the north by Oyo and Osun states, to the east by Ondo State and the west by the Republic of Benin. The capital and most populated city of Ogun State is Abeokuta. Other significant cities in the state include Sagamu and Ijebu Ode. The majority of Ogun state is covered in rainforest, with the northwest region of the state containing woody savanna.

Ondo | Akure

Ondo | Akure

Ondo State is a state in southwestern Nigeria. It borders Ekiti State to the north, Kogi State to the northeast, Edo State to the east, Delta State to the southeast, Ogun State to the southwest, Osun State to the northwest, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. The state’s capital is Akure. The State has a mangrove-swamp forest near the Bights of Benin.

Osun | Osogbo

Osun | Osogbo

Osun State is a state in southwest Nigeria that is occasionally referred to as the “State of Osun” by the state government. It is bordered to the east by Ekiti and Ondo states, to the north by Kwara State, to the south by Ogun State, and the west by Oyo State. The state is named after the River Osun, an important river that runs through it. Osogbo serves as the state capital.

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Oyo | Ibadan 

Oyo | Ibadan 

Oyo State is in South-West Nigeria. Ibadan, the state’s capital, Ibadan is currently the third-most populous city in Africa. Oyo State shares borders with Kwara State to the north, Osun State to the east, and Ogun State and the Republic of Benin to the southwest. Oyo State is the sixth most populated in Nigeria.

Plateau | Jos

Plateau | Jos

Plateau State is the 12th-largest state in the country by area. The Jos Plateau, which is home to the state capital and the entire plateau, is surrounded by several hills.

Rivers | Port Harcourt 

Rivers | Port Harcourt 

Rivers State is a state in the southern Niger Delta area (Old Eastern Region). It is bordered by Imo to the north, Abia and Akwa Ibom to the east, and Bayelsa and Delta to the west. The state is also the commercial hub of Nigeria’s oil sector.

The city of Port Harcourt serves as the state capital.

Sokoto | Sokoto

Sokoto | Sokoto

Sokoto State is situated on the continental border with the Republic of Niger in the far northwest of the country. Sokoto, the country’s largest city, serves as its capital. The Sokoto River and the Rima River meet close to where Sokoto is situated. Its estimated population in 2005 was about 4.2 million.

Taraba | Jalingo

Taraba | Jalingo

Taraba is a state in North Eastern Nigeria named after the Taraba River, which traverses the southern part of the state. Taraba state’s capital is Jalingo.

Yobe | Damaturu

Yobe | Damaturu

Yobe is a state located in northeastern Nigeria. A mainly agricultural state, Yobe State was carved out of Borno State. The capital of Yobe State is Damaturu and its largest and most populated city is Potiskum.

Zamfara | Gusau

Zamfara | Gusau

Zamfara is a state in northwestern Nigeria. The capital of Zamfara state is Gusau and its current Governor is Bello Matawalle. Until 1996, the area was part of Sokoto State.

And…

Federal Capital Territory (FCT) | Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory FCT, which is located in the North-Central region of the country and is in the central area of the country, is the political and administrative capital of Nigeria. It is the seat of power and houses the President, the Vice President, the National Assembly, the Supreme Court and other top functionaries and organs of government.

The FCT was formed in 1976, following a military decree by the late General Murtala Muhammed, the then military Head of State. It was formed from parts of the states of old Kaduna, Kwara, Niger, and Plateau states. It is bordered by Niger State to the West and North, Kaduna State to the northeast, Nasarawa State to the east and south, and Kogi to the southwest.

It is important to note that the FCT is not a state, but a capital territory. with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) serving as its political/administrative capital. It is managed by a Federal Minister, who the President appoints as a member of his cabinet.

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Esther is versatile writer who thrives in writing top-notch long-form articles. She enjoys research and has an eye for details. She's currently a writer at BlackDot Media.

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