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History of Kogi State

Encyclopedia » History

Image: Map of NIgeria showing the position of Kogi state




Kogi state came into being as a result of the state creation exercise on 27th of August, 1991 with the administrative headquarters in Lokoja.

The creation of the state was indeed a significant development for its citizens. This is because it brought about the reunion of a people who had shared historical roots and co-existed peacefully with the former Kabba province in the defunct Northern Region for more than 80 years.

The state which is structured into 21 LGA’s comprises of three major ethnic groups i.e. Igala, Ebira and Okun (Yoruba) other minor groups include – Bassa Komo, Bassa Nge, Kakanda, Kupa, Ogori-Magongo, Nupe, Oworo, Gwari etc.

There are 8 languages spoken as first language in Kogi State. Ebira, Igala, Nupe and Yoruba are major languages. The other languages are minority languages.


Kogi State has an average maximum temperature of 33.2oC and average minimum of 22.8oC. Lokoja the |State capital is generally hot throughout the year. The State has two distinct weather viz dry season, which lasts from November to February and rain season that lasts from March to October. Annual rainfall ranges from 1016mm to 1524mm.

The vegetation of the state consist of mixed leguminous (guinea) woodland to forest savannah. Wide expanse of fadama in the river basing and long stretches of tropical forest in the Western and Southern belt of the state.


Kogi state has a total land area of 28,313.53 square kilometres and a projected population of 3.3 million people. It lies on latitude 7.49oN and longitude 6.45oE with a geological feature depicting young sedimentary rocks and alluvium along the riverbeds, which promotes agricultural activities. The state features ferrasols soil type and famous hills like ososo hills, which spread from Edo State to the western part of Kogi State and aporo hill on the eastern part. Another famous mountain is Mount Patti, which lies in Lokoja and stands at about 750 metres above sea level.

Local Governments

Kogi State contains 21 of Nigeria's 774 Local Government Areas. They are:

  • Adavi
  • Ajaokuta
  • Ankpa
  • Bassa
  • Dekina
  • Ibaji
  • Idah
  • Igalamela-Odolu
  • Ijumu
  • Kabba/Bunu
  • Kogi
  • Lokoja
  • Mopa-Muro
  • Ofu
  • Ogori/Magongo
  • Okehi
  • Okene
  • Olamaboro
  • Omala
  • Yagba East
  • Yagba West


State House of Assembly

 first primary school in northern Nigeria

house of assembly

Picture of the first primary school in Northern Nigeria, founded in 1865 under Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, and thus representing the beginnings of boko learning and english literacy north of the Niger.
It stands in the grounds of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Lokoja, Kogi State, and is still a working primary school, under the control of government. 
As a historic monument and a working school, I hope you'll agree that this building is in need of both sympathetic material restoration, and support as a working institution.

House of Assembly Building


The House of Assembly as an Arm of the State Government derives its existence and authority under section 47-129 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. Its main function is to make laws for good Governance of the State and the Nation in general.

It operates under the political leadership of the Speaker and other House leaders namely: Deputy Speaker, Majority Leader, Minority Leader, Chief Whip. Others are Deputy Majority leader Deputy Chief Whip and Minority Whip.

The Legislative/Administration is headed by the Clerk of the House, a professional and accounting officer, together with his team of seconded professional staff from the State Civil Service. They collectively provide Administrative, Legislative and Finance Services to the Honourable House.


The Primary Aim 0f the House of Assembly is to make Laws for the Governance of the State and the Nation in general through the Legislative Process. Other Aims and Objectives are highlighted below: 

i)          Approval of Executive Appointments: The constitution requires the State Governor to submit his executive nomination and other important office appointments to the House for screening and approval before they are confirmed/announced. The House has the power to adjust or reject such nomination for appointment into public office.

ii)         Investigation and Resolution of Conflicts: The House of Assembly is an important organ for the registration of public opinion and grievances. Most of the nagging private and public problems of the citizenry are ventilated through the Legislature. In this regard protests, demonstrations and petitions in private and public capacities are lodged in the Legislature. The complaints/petitions committee of the House investigates and strives to resolve conflicts arising therein. The Legislature through these objectives becomes the guardian and protector of the citizens right. 

iii)         Financial Support: it approves and controls the spending of money and approves its proposed financial estimates by the executive. It passes the appropriation Law and performs oversight functions on the executive arm. 

iv)        Control of Activities: The House of Assembly controls the activities of other branch of government through the Legislative committees. The various committees of the House perform oversight functions on the Government Ministries/Departments to ensure that they are performing their statutory functions vise-a-vis the financial allocation appropriated to them.   

v)         Power of Impeachment: The House of Assembly is empowered to draw charges of impeachment against officials of the State Government. If the charges attracts 2/3 majority of the members then a vote is passed to refer to the matter to the judiciary for necessary action on charges brought against the accused official.


i) The relative peaceful co-existence between the Executive and Legislative Arms of the Government and the citizenry in general is due to the good laws emanating from the House of Assembly thereby promoting Governance of the present administration.

ii) The Hon. House since 1999 has passed thirty-nine (39) numbers of Bills into Laws and three hundred and six (306) of motions raised towards promoting peace and development of the State.


The following projects were embarked upon directly by the Hon. House and others on-going such as:

i) Purchase of 18-seater staff bus.
ii) Construction of Assembly Premises road network.
iii) Land scarping of parts of the Assembly Complex.
iv) Building of staff cafeteria and clinic (on-going)


Education is the state's main social industry. The Native of Kogi State take pride in the Education of their Siblings, playing a prominent role in Education Industry in Nigerian Nation and Diaspora. There are more than 20 Institutions of Higher learning presently in the State comprising State University, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education, Colleges of Agriculture, Advance Teachers Colleges, Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, Health Technology Colleges.

With the Full compliance to Primary Education Standard, having established Primary Schools in all 21 Local Government of the State, the State was recently awarded Certificate of Excellence.

In year 2005 Kogi State University was accredited to a Full Standard State University offering 29 courses.

The Making of Kogi State University
Kogi State University (KSU) in Anyigba was established in 1999. As at that time, the university was at best seen by many as a glorified secondary school after 21 of its 30 academic programmes presented for accreditation in March 2005 were denied accreditation by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

The University had been denied accreditation in 21 out of its 29 courses by the National Universities Commission, due to bad planning at the Institution by the earlier regime of Kogi State. In a swift and unprecedented response, the regime of Governor Ibrahim Idris took necessary steps to right the wrongs. He provided the sum of 1.2 billion Naira for provision of facilities, completion of abandoned projects and recruitment of senior academic staff and Professors at the Institution.

The University though new holds a lot of promises for indigenes of the states and its environs who over the years have been denied an indigenous university of their own. This would in no way ease the problems associated with gaining admission into higher institutions outside the state.


With adequate funding the school stand a bright chance of making a mark in the life of its students within and outside the state. At the helms of the affairs of the school presently is the one-time vice chancellor of University of Agriculture Makurdi, Professor Francis Idachaba. Ever since his appointment as the vice chancellor, he has introduced very stringent measures into the university system, thereby making student to devote a substantial amount of their time to the pursuit of what brought them there. Importantly, he has also set a standard for the qualification necessary for lecturers to be qualified for appointment in the new university. This has helped in no small ways to bring some sanity into the university environment.


Kogi state has very unique potentials in tourism. A very significant land mark is the Confluence of River Niger and Benue which is a natural source of attraction to visitors to the state.

A 5-star hotel has been constructed by the state government along the coast line with cruising g facilities and within view of the confluence. Other tourist attraction are relics of the colonial history of the ancient city of Lokoja which include

  1. The Royal Niger Company flag stand.
  2. The Confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue.
  3. The World War Cenotaph.
  4. European Colonial Cemeteries
  5. The Iron of Liberty, which marks the spot slaves were freed in late 19th century.
  6. Tombs of some deposed Northern Emirs
  7. Lord Fredrick Lugard’s first residence in Nigeria.
  8. First prison in Northern Nigeria.

These and many others combine to give Kogi state the reputation of being Nigeria's museum of colonial history.

Some of the natural tourist attraction in Kogi state include the expansive Mount Patti, Agbaja Plateau, Koton Karfe cave and the Eganaja Warm Spring : the Inikpi Statue which stands as the greatest reminder of the bravery of Inikpi, the daughter of the first Attah of Igala Kingdom who gave lher life for the freedom of her people –the Igalas.

Also of immense significance are the cultural festivals and ceremonies in the state. These include: Italo, Egbe, Ogani, Ekuechi, Ovia Osese, Oro, Ogaganyi, Ocho and a wide variety of fishing festivals.


So many festivals exists in Kogi State. These include: Italo, Egbe, Ibegwu and Ogani among the Igalas. Apanigbe fishing festival in Mopa, Emidun new yam festival among the Okun speaking people. Ovia Osese in Ogori-Magongo, Ekuechi etc. in the Central (Ebira)


So many hotels abound in the state to act as support services to investors or travelers. These include: Confluence Beach Hotel, Kogi Hotels, Nataco Hotel, Liberty Hotel, Pacific Hotel, Confluence Motel all in Lokoja. Anyigba Motel in Dekina LGA. Infact, hotels are spread all over the state to boast tourism.


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Updated 7 Years ago

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