Kwara State (Redirected from Kwara State, Nigeria)

Flag of Kwara
Seal of Kwara State
Location of the State of Kwara in Nigeria
Location of the State of Kwara in Nigeria
Coordinates: 8°30′N 5°00′E / 8.500°N 5.000°E / 8.500; 5.000
Country Nigeria
Geopolitical ZoneNorth Central
Date created27 May 1967
Number of LGAs16
 • BodyGovernment of Kwara State
 • Governor
Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman (APC)
 • Deputy GovernorKayode Alabi
 • LegislatureKwara State House of Assembly
 • SenatorsC: Saliu Mustapha (APC)
N: Suleiman Sadiq Umar (APC)
S: Lola Ashiru (APC)
 • RepresentativesList
 • Total36,825 km2 (14,218 sq mi)
 • Rank9th of 36
(2006 census)
 • Total2,365,353
 • Rank30th of 36
 • Year2021
 • Total$8.91 billion
35th of 36
 • Per capita$2,401
26th of 36
Time zoneUTC+01 (WAT)
postal code
ISO 3166 codeNG-KW
HDI (2018)0.571
medium · 20th of 37
Website"Kwara State Government"

Kwara State (Yoruba: Ìpínlẹ̀ Kwárà) is a state in Western Nigeria, bordered to the east by Kogi State, to the north by Niger state, and to the south by Ekiti, Osun, and Oyo states, while its western border makes up part of the international border with Benin Republic. Its capital is the city of Ilorin and the state has 16 local government areas.

Of the 36 states of Nigeria, Kwara is the ninth largest in area, but the sixth least populous, with an estimated population of about 3.2 million as at 2016. Geographically, Kwara state is split between the West Sudanian savanna in the west, and the Guinean forest–savanna mosaic ecoregion in the rest of the state. Important geographic features of the state include rivers, with the Niger flowing along the northern border into Lake Jeba, before continuing as the border, while the Awun, Asa, Aluko, and Oyun rivers flow through the interior. In the far northwest of the state is the Borgu section of the Kainji National Park, a large national park that contains populations of grey heron, kob, hippopotamus, African bush elephant, olive baboon, and roan antelope, along with some of the last remaining West African lions on Earth. In the far southwest, a small part of the Old Oyo National Park contains crowned eagle, martial eagle, African buffalo, oribi, and patas monkey populations.

Kwara state has been inhabited for years by various ethnic groups, primarily the majority Yoruba people that live throughout the state, but there are sizeable minorities of Nupe people in the northeast, Bariba (Baatonu) and Busa (Bokobaru) peoples in the west, and a small Fulani population in Ilorin, moving through the state as nomadic herders.

In the pre-colonial period, majority of the area that is now Kwara state was part of the Oyo Empire, with part of the western portions in the Borgu Kingdoms peopled by the Bariba, Boko and Bissa people, and Nupe Kingdom (1531-1835). In the mid 1800s, the Fulani jihad annexed some part of what is now the state of Kwara and placed the area under the Gwandu sphere of the Sokoto Caliphate. In the 1890s and 1900s, British expeditions occupied the area and incorporated it into the Northern Nigeria Protectorate. The Northern Nigeria later merged into British Nigeria in 1914, before becoming independent as Nigeria in 1960. Originally, the modern-day Kwara state was a part of the post-independence Northern Region until 1967, when the region was split and the area became the West Central State. In 1976, the state was renamed Kwara state and the name remained until the 1990s, when its southeast was split off to form a part of Kogi state and its far northwest Borgu division was annexed into the Borgu division of Niger state.

Economically, Kwara state is largely based around agriculture, mainly of coffee, cotton, groundnut, cocoa, oil palm, and kola nut crops. Other key industries are services, especially in the city of Ilorin, and the livestock herding and ranching of cattle, goats, and sheep. Kwara state has the joint-twentieth highest Human Development Index in the country and numerous institutions of tertiary education.


Kwara state was created on 27 May 1967, when the Federal Military Government of General Yakubu Gowon broke the four regions that then constituted the Federation of Nigeria into 12 states. At its creation, the state was made up of the former Ilorin and Kabba provinces of the then Northern Region and was initially named the West Central State but later changed to "Kwara", a local name for the River Niger, in the Hausa language.

Kwara state has since 1976 reduced considerably in size as a result of further state creation exercises in Nigeria. On 13 February 1976, the Idah/Dekina part of the state was carved out and merged with a part of the then Benue/Plateau state to form Benue state.

On 27 August 1991, five Local Ggvernment areas, namely Oyi, Yagba, Okene, Okehi and Kogi were also excised to form part of the new Kogi state, while a sixth, Borgu Local Government Area, was merged with Niger state. The major populated local governments are Ilorin and Offa.

Kwara state has numerous mineral resources such as tourmaline, tantalite, and many mineral deposits in the northern part. Cocoa and Kolanut in the Southern parts Oke - Ero, Ekiti and Isin LGA.


As of 2006, the population of Kwarans was 2.37 million, based on the Nigerian 2006 Census. This population size constitutes about 1.69% of the nation's total population having relied upon immigration for population growth and socioeconomic development. The principal ethnic groups are Yoruba, Nupe, Fulani, and Baruba.

Residents of the state are sometimes referred to as Kwarans.


Languages of Kwara State listed by LGA:

LGA Languages
Asa Yoruba
Baruten Baatonum
Edu Nupe
Ekiti Yoruba
Ifelodun Yoruba
Ilorin East Yoruba
Ilorin South Yoruba
Ilorin West Yoruba
Isin Yoruba
Irepodun Yoruba
Kaiama Bokobaru
Moro Yoruba
Offa Yoruba
Oke Ero Yoruba
Oyun Yoruba
Pategi Nupe

Other languages spoken in Kwara State include Busa, Boko, and Sorko.

Local Government Areas

Kwara State consists of sixteen Local Government Areas. They are:

Governor of Kwara State

Like every other state in Nigeria, Kwara State has had a mix of civilian and military Governors. The first Governor of Kwara state was David Bamigboye. The current governor of Kwara State is Governor Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman, who emerged victorious in the March 9, 2019's governorship election, with the political party APC. AbdulRahman AbdulRazak was sworn in on May 29, 2019, making him the 4th democratic governor of Kwara State and the 20th governor of Kwara State overall.Kayode Alabi is serving as the deputy governor of Kwara state under AbdulRahman's administration.


Kwara State University, Malete

Kwara State has a federal university, the University of Ilorin, a state university, Kwara State University , and seven other privately owned Universities: Al-Hikmah University, Landmark University, Summit University, Offa Crown Hill University, Thomas Adewumi University, Ahman Pategi University and University of Offa. Kwara state also has five approved polytechnics; a federal polytechnic, Federal Polytechnic Offa, a state-owned polytechnic, Kwara State Polytechnic , and three privately owned: The Polytechnic Igbo Owu, Lens Polytechnic, and Graceland Polytechnic. Of the fifteen Colleges of Education in Kwara state, eleven are owned by private establishments: College of Education Ilemona, Muhyideen College of Education, Kinsey College of Education, Ilorin, Kwara State, Moje College of Education, Erin-Ile, Imam Hamzat College of Education, ECWA College of Education, College of Education Offa, Nana Aisha College of Education, Adesina College of Education and Pan African College of Education. Four colleges of education in Kwara state are funded by the star government: Kwara State College of Education Ilorin, College of Education Oro, Kwara State College of Education (Technical) Lafiagi, and one federal government's institution offering NCE, the Nigeria Army School of Education. There is also a Navy school, Nigerian Navy School of Health Science, Irra Road, Offa, and an aviation college, International Aviation College, Ilorin.


Kwara State has many hospitals and medical health cares; these include:

  • General Hospital Illorin
  • University of Illorin Teaching Hospital
  • Life Line Hospital
  • Lifefount Hospital
  • Balm Hospital
  • Sadiku Hospital
  • kwara State Civil Service Hospital
  • Sobi Specialist Hospital
  • Anchormed Hospital
  • Mimtaz Hospital
  • Asa Dam Hospital


Drummers in Ijomu Oro village, Kwara State.

Important tourist attractions in Kwara state include Esie Museum, Owu waterfalls, one of the highest and most spectacular waterfalls in West Africa. Imoleboja Rock Shelter, Ogunjokoro, Kainji Lake National Parks, now in Niger state , and Agbonna Hill—Awon Mass Wedding in Shao. There is also Sobi Hill amongst others, which is the largest landform in Ilorin, the state capital. A huge natural reserve also divides the state into East and West. Ero Omola waterfall is also a tourist attraction


Located at an elevation of 286.86 meters (941.14 feet) above sea level, Kwara has a Tropical wet and dry or savanna climate (Classification: Aw). The city's yearly temperature is 29.54 °C (85.17 °F) and it is 0.08% higher than Nigeria's averages. Kwara typically receives about 101.45 millimeters (3.99 inches) of precipitation and has 148.38 rainy days (40.65% of the time) annually. It is located at 4.3874051 longitude and 8.9668961 latitude.

The table below has data for the whole year as an average taken from last 12+ years of historical data for Ilorin.

Month Day Night Rain Days
January 36°c 21°c 1
February 38°c 23°c 1
March 38°c 24°c 4
April 36°c 25°c 9
May 34°c 24°c 15
June 31°c 23°c 17
July 29°c 22°c 18
August 28°c 22°c 18
September 29°c 22°c 20
October 31°c 23°c 15
November 35°c 23°c 1
December 36°c 21°c 0


According to reports, a boat capsized and broke in two on June 12, 2023, in the Niger River close to Pategi, in Kwara State, Nigeria. The guests on the boat were originally arriving on motorcycles, but the intense rain left them stranded. It was confirmed that at least 108 people have died and many are absent.

On October 25, 2023, a tree fall killed two people and injured at least five.


Ilorin Train Station in Kwara
Ilorin Train Station in Kwara

The Nigerian Railway Corporation extends services from Lagos through the state to the northern part of the country. Ilorin Airport is a major center for both domestic and international flights and has now been built up into a hub for transportation of cargoes.


Agriculture is the main source of the state's economy and the principal cash crops are : cotton, cocoa, coffee, kola nut, tobacco, sesame and palm produce. Kwara state is home to Shonga Farms, a product of the Back-to-Farm project of one of the past administrators of the state, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki. Shonga Farms is made up of 13 commercial farmers. Mineral resources in the state are Petroleum, Gold, limestone, marble, feldspar, clay, kaolin, quartz and granite rocks, and laterite found majorly in omuaran.


  • Hygiene and Sanitation

The government of Nigeria is increasingly aware of problems emanating from poor environmental sanitation, and Kwara state is working on improving its environment and sanitation. On September 22, 2020, the Kwara state governor officially commenced the 'Clean Kwara' Campaign to end open defecation and promote good hygiene in the state. The state government is working to fix all the roads and waterways to ensure free water flow, putting in efforts to ensure water sanitation, building toilets , and making clean water accessible. This is also to promote Sustainable Development Goals 3 & 6 (general access to safe and affordable drinking water and access to adequate and equitable sanitation, hygiene for all, and end open defecation by 2030)


Sporting activities are managed by the State Sports Council. The importance attached to sports led to the construction of a stadium, named—Kwara State Stadium Complex. The facilities available at the stadium complex are mainbowl, indoor sports hall, hostel, recreational press center as well as an Olympic size swimming pool. The state is actively represented both in football and basketball. The state is the home to the Kwara United Football Club, ABS FC and Kwara Falcons Basketball Club.

Notable people

See also

This page was last updated at 2024-01-19 04:56 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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