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Description of Kwara State
Kwara State is a state in Western Nigeria that shares international borders with Benin Republic to the west and Kogi State to the east, Niger State to the north, and Ekiti, Osun, and Oyo to the south.
There are 16 LGAs in the state, with the capital being in Ilorin.
Kwara, one of Nigeria's 36 states, is tenth in terms of land area but sixth in terms of population, with an estimated 3.2 million people living there as of 2016.
Kwara is ecologically divided between the Guinean forest-savanna mosaic in the west and the West Sudanian savanna in the east. The Awun, Asa, Aluko, and Oyun rivers flow through the interior, while the Niger flows along the northern border and into Lake Jeba before continuing as the border. Some of the last wild West African lions can be found in the Borgu region of Kainji National Area, located in the state's extreme northwest. The park is also home to grey herons, kobs, hippos, African bush elephants, olive baboons, and roan antelope. To the southwest, in a small section of Old Oyo National Park, you can find crowned eagles, martial eagles, African buffalo, oribi, and patas monkeys.
Over the centuries, many different peoples have made their homes in Kwara State. While the Yoruba are the state's dominant ethnic group, Nupe and Bariba (Baatonu) peoples can be found in the northeast, Busa (Bokobaru) peoples can be found in the west, and Fulani people can be found in Ilorin and migrating through the state as nomadic herders.
Part of what is now Kwara State was ruled by the Borgu Kingdoms, home to the Bariba, Boko, and Bissa people, and the Nupe Kingdom prior to colonization (1531-1835). Kwara, a contemporary state, was partially captured by the Fulani jihad in the middle of the 1800s, and its inhabitants were thereafter subject to the Sokoto Caliphate's Gwandu sphere of influence. Expeditions led by the British invaded the region in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, eventually annexing it to their Northern Nigeria Protectorate. Northern Nigeria joined with British Nigeria in 1914; by 1960, the country had become independence as Nigeria. After independence, the Northern Region was split in two, and the area that is now known as Kwara State became the West Central State. The state was renamed Kwara State in 1976 and remained whole until the 1990s, when a portion of its southeast was separated to form Kogi State and its far northwest Borgu division was absorbed into the Borgu division of Niger State.
Southern Kwara state is forested, but the majority of the area is woodland savanna. By the early 19th century, the Fulani had taken control of the vast majority of the region's savanna, and it had remained a part of the Fulani empire until 1897, when the armies of Sir George Goldie's Royal Niger Company fought the emirs of Nupe and Ilorin. Kwara state was established in 1967, after Nigeria was partitioned into 12 new states by the federal military administration. Prior to that, it had been part of the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria in 1900, the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria in 1914, and the Northern region in 1954. When Nigeria's 19 states were created in 1976, it lost the three Igala divisions east of the Niger River to Benue state. Portion of its northwest territory was ceded to Niger State in 1991, and some of its southeast area was ceded to Kogi State.
In terms of population density, Kwara is very low. The majority of its people are farmers and Muslims; they speak languages including Yoruba, Nupe, Busa, and Baatonun. Among the most widely grown crops in the Niger floodplains are yams, corn (maize), sorghum, millet, onions, and beans, with rice and sugarcane also playing key roles as cash crops. Produces include cotton and tobacco, while common handicrafts include cotton weaving, ceramics, and raffia mats.
According to the 2006 Nigeria Census, the Kwaran population was 2.37 million. This group accounts for 1.69 percent of the country's overall population and is highly dependent on immigration for economic and population growth. The Yoruba, Nupe, Fulani, and Baruba are the country's most prominent ethnic groupings.
Kwara State relies heavily on its agricultural industry, particularly the production of coffee, cotton, groundnut, cocoa, oil palm, and kola nuts. Animal husbandry, particularly of cattle, goats, and sheep, and the provision of services, particularly in the city of Ilorin, also contribute significantly to the economy. Among the states of Nigeria, Kwara has the largest concentration of universities and the joint-twentieth highest Human Development Index.
Mainstays of the economy, cotton, cocoa, coffee, Kolanut, tobacco, beniseed, and palm fruit are all cash crops. Shonga Farms is a collective of 13 commercial farmers in Kwara, formed as part of a government-sponsored "Back-to-Farm" initiative. The state is rich in a variety of minerals, including oil, gold, limestone, marble, clay, kaolin, quartz, and granite.