Profile of Kaduna State

Zulai Balarabe MusaBackground Information

Present Kaduna State especially its capital, Kaduna was the centre of the Northern Regional Government from 1957 – 1967. Later the state was known as North Central State between 1967 – 1975. In 1976, when the General Murtala Mohammed administration created seven new states in Nigeria, North Central State, with capital at Kaduna, was renamed Kaduna State. It was made up of the two colonial provinces of Zaria and Katsina.

In 1987 Kaduna State was divided into two to create Katsina State out of the then Kaduna State. There are twenty three local government areas (LGAs) in the state, although the number of ethnic groups is much larger.


Kaduna State occupies the central portion of Northern Nigeria and lies between latitude 90 and 140 North of the equator with a time of one hour ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time.

The State has two distinct seasons, the dry season and rainy season. The temperature is hot during the dry season and cool during the rainy season, from November to February the cold dry hamattan wind blows across the State, the Northern part of the state being, affected most. The southern part of the State enjoys heavier rainfall than the Northern part; lasting between 5-6 months in the Southern part and 4-5 months in the Northern part of the state. Generally the rains start in April and end in October.

Kachia roadThe state extends from tropical grassland (savannah) in the South to Sudan Savannah in the North. The Savannah region of the State covers the Southern part stretching to Gwantu, South of Kafanchan with prevailing vegetation of tall trees. The Sudan or Sahel Savannah covers the northern part of the state, stretching from Zaria down to Ikara and its environs. The grasses (called “veld”) with short trees are sparsely distributed. The plants here are draught resistant. A common tree here is the Baobab which in appearance resembles an Oak tree. Also found are Ocacia trees. Kaduna State shares common borders with Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Niger, Nassarawa, Plateau, Bauchi States and Abuja the Federal Capital Territory. Its landmass of 45,567 square kilometers, with an estimated population of 6,066,562 makes it the 3rd most populous State in the Federation.

The State has vast expanse of fertile land growing both food and cash crops like rice, cassava, ginger, potatoes, millet, groundnut, shea-nut, benni-seed and soya beans aside from animal husbandry. Its major rivers are River Kaduna (from where the State derives its name), Gurara, Kogon, Matsirga (River Wonderful) and Galma, in addition to several streams. All of these-provide opportunities for irrigation and fish farming. Available studies shows that Kaduna State has huge deposits of mineral resources like Gold, Kaolin, Columbite, Aquamarine and Sapphire to mention a few that exist in the 23 Local Government Area.

The life of the people of the State has been greatly influenced by this geographical setting. The two climatic conditions in the State greatly influence activities of the people, thus the people are predominantly occupied in agriculture during the rainy season which lasts for about six months from May to October, while they engage in hunting and petty trading during the dry season.

Kaduna State Local Governments
Map of Kaduna State senatorial zones

The People

Kaduna State has over 60 ethnic groups. Major languages spoketh in the State include Hausa, Fulani, Gbagyi, Bajju, Atyap, Jaba, Koro, Kaninkon, Adara, Chawai, Atakar, Gure, Ikulu, Kurama, Kagoma, Kahugu, Kagoro, Maro’a, Numana, Gwandara and many more. Like other parts of Nigeria, English is spoken as the official language, while Hausa is widely spoken which makes it a Lingua-franca in the State.


Kaduna State is one of the most densely populated states in the Federation. This is as a result of its liberal nature as it accommodates people of diverse culture. It has a population of over 6 million (2006 census) some of the major ethnic groups in the State include Hausa,Gbagyi, Fulani, Bajju, Ham, Atyap, Moroa, Ikulu, Akurmi, Gwong, Aegrok. Adara, Chawai, Ninzo and Numana.

Below are population figures of Kaduna State, covering the 23 Local Government Areas based on the 2006 census:

Kaduna State Population

Following is population figures of Kaduna State, Nigeria based on Local Government Area based on the 2006 census

BIRNIN GWARIBirnin Gwari252,363
KADUNA SOUTHMakera402,390
SABON GARISabon Gari286,871
ZANGON- KATAFZonkwa316,370


With a vibrant, highly educated and industrious manpower, Kaduna State is a fertile ground for investment especially in agriculture, agro-allied ventures. Kaduna city is a major centre for thriving manufacturing and service industrial activity. Kaduna State is blessed with abundant mineral resources such as molbite, aquamarine sapphires, and gold. Cash crops grown in the State include cotton, groundnut, tobacco, sugarcane, ginger, chilies, sheanut and soya bean. Animal reared in the state are cattle, sheep, goat and poultry.

Agriculture, Forestry and other Basic Activities:
The agriculture and forest resources are enormous. On the gentle rolling high plains, the tropical ferruginous soils have been intensively used for cereal and cotton cultivation. Although the soils are poor because of leaching and poor cover management, but with good conservation and land management practices it is capable of supporting calciumrich annual grass for livestock develop ment.

In the north of latitude 10°N, the soil is good for production of large quantities of cotton lint and seed for which Soba, Makarfi, Kudan, lkara, Kubau, Kauru and Lere LGAs are known. Yam and maize have successfully been producing high yields with the use of fertiliser in recent times, especially in Igabi, Giwa and Bimin Gwari LGAs. In the well watered southeastern part, the rich darker soils are used for cultivating cereals, cassava, rice and the famous Southern Kaduna ginger (“Chitta” in Hausa).

Farming in southern part of Kaduna StateIn the fadamas, the dark grey clay soils (vertisols) have become highly valued and are focused on for intensive agricultural activities especially dur ing the dry season. Large areas of such fadamas are being used for economically valuable market gardening for growing tomatoes, chillies, sweet pepper, okra, onion, Irish potato and sugar cane using traditional “shadoof” irrigation (in the flood plains/fadama of Galma and Tubo basins).

Presently, the traditional irrigation scheme is too small and laborious to cope with the rate of expan sion and agricultural development of the fadama lands. The State Government is intensifying feasi bility studies and seeking interested industrialists and agroallied companies to invest in the area. In April 1993, the State Government approved the commissioning of pilot schemes for sugar process ing industry in Makarfi, Kudan, lkara and Kubau LGAs using the sugar cane grown under irrigation and rain systems.

Recently, grapevine growing has been intro duced and has gained wide acceptance on small but intensively cultivated farms. A few large scale vineyards have also been established on the lower Galma valley near Zaria. Small farm holdings of ten to fifteen vines produce between 200 and 300 kg. That these small farms produce mainly for local markets, in Kaduna, Kano, Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory, suggests that the state has con siderable potential for vineyard development. Except in some favourable localities along the riverine areas and in the southern LGAs, there is limited forest resources.

Much of the woody shrubs in the northern parts have been felled for fuel wood. Because of the annual bush fires during the long dry season, the grass straw traditionally used for roofing in the rural areas are becoming scarce. In the south, there are good stands of hard tropical trees such as mahogany and raffia palm bushes.

These are still being exploited for building construction. State and local governments are embarking on improving the vegetation cover in the state by planting fastgrowing and drought resistant trees in large plantations, called Forest Reserves. Despite a substantial fraction of the state’s annual budget being allocated to the development of agriculture, productivity is still comparatively low.

This is partly because of the shyness of the State Government in getting involved in commercial agriculture and partly because of the many different arms of the Ministry that make demands on the limited financial resources. So, like the Federal Government, Kaduna State has concentrated on encouraging farmers, by providing certain capital intensive infrastructure (e.g. irrigation, earth dams like in the Tubo valley), supplying them with improved seeds and subsidising farm inputs.

Since most farmers lack the capital and are not ready to take risks, only a handful of individuals (mostly retired military officers and top civil servants) have involved themselves in mediumscale commercial agriculture. Even so, majority only grow grains (especially maize and beans) to meet local market demands or use it for personal small livestock breeding. An entrepreneur, UAC Farms, in the late 1980s, started investing in commercial grain farming at Kidandan, some 90km east of Zaria along Birnin Gwari Road.

However, the venture is now produc ing improved seeds for farmers, mainly maize, sorghum and rice. Certainly, with increasing demands for cereals, livestock feeds and as raw materials for breweries; and presently, because it is practically nonexistent in the state, commercial agriculutre in grains on a large scale will be highly profitable.

Despite the present poor rangeland conserva tion and management practices, Kaduna State has the potentials to produce large quantities and good quality livestock for consumption in the state and for interstate trade. Indeed, the area bounded by parallel 10°30′ and longitude 8°00′ westward, possess es development potential for excellent range land to support largescale livestock production. The National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) at Shika near Zaria also offers good vet erinary/technical advice and services.

There is good infrastructure already established for good takeoff of beef, mutton, pork, poultry and dairy products in large quantities for national markets. Furthermore, based on the livestock rearing habits, love for it as food, and a probably large market for pork in the area and many southern states, there is need for a good piggery industry in the southern Kaduna area.

Livestock: Livestock resources in the state are still on a small scale, and are used mainly to raise cash during emergencies or meet demands during religious festivals. Based on the 1991 live stock survey in urban Zaria and its rural fringe alone, there were over 16,000 heads of cattle (zebu), about 180,000 goats,138,000 sheep and rams, 10,000 pigs, 55,000 rabbits and over 880,000 birds (poultry, mainly chicken, kept in commercial farm pens and on traditional freerange in compounds).

In the southern parts, pig rearing is dominant. The number of pigs in the area is not known. However, considering the urban livestock surveys in Zaria and Kaduna in 1991, most of the pigs are kept and owned by people from Jama’a, Sanga, Zango Kataf, Jaba, Kachia and Kagarko LGAs.

In Birnin Gwari LGA, the graphite, kyanite and rutile reported to be in large quantities are good sources of raw materials for pencils and welding electrodes and ceramic industries. Even the ease to mine magnetite/haematite in the same locality is still being exploited locally for making local iron implements; but it has the potential to support small to medium furnace for productioh of iron billets that can in turn be used in small scale industries. Also, some broad river valleys in the north western quadrant are rich sources of sand and granite rocks (for crushing) and clay (especially) kaolinite that are already being exploited in the building industry.

Existing Industries:
Central Bank of Nigeria, Kaduna branchAlmost all the industries in Kaduna State are located in Zaria and Kaduna urban centres. Indeed, all the heavy manufacturing industrial establishments are concentrated in Kaduna alone. Certainly, the locations are influ enced by government policy and probably market. For example, the high concentration of textile manufacturing industries in Kaduna with just two in Zaria, and none in Soba, Maigana or Saminaka which are cottonproducing towns, illustrate the strong governmental control.

Also, the Federal Government’s decisions in the mid1970s to locate a petroleum refinery and an automobile assembly plant (PAN) in the city, further widened its industrial growth base and increased the agglomeration in Makera/Tudun Wada, Kakuri, along Kachia Road. Other major manufacturing industries in the city include Super Phosphate Fertiliser Company Ltd., National Oil and Chemical Company Ltd and Petro chemical Company Ltd. Again, all these are Federal Government Parastatals.

Local Sourcing of Raw Materials:
Some cultivated crops require special mention for their potentials as sources of raw materials in some localities of the state. Sugar cane, grown in the flat fadamas, has been discussed. Its production is still in small individual farmers’ plots of 1 hectare along the Galma and Tubo valleys.

There are two varieties, the white and brown. However, the brown variety has gained more popularity recently because it gives higher yield per hectare. On aver age, an individual farmer harvests 1215 tonnes of the cane per year which sells for between N10,000.00 and N15,000.00.

Apart from its use as a refreshment among the local people, some quan tity is being used for making local candy (“Alawa” in Hausa) and brown sugar (“MazarKwoila” in Hausa) in Makarfi and lkara LGAs in the Galma river sys tem. Ginger, a spicy rhizome plant grown in the local government areas south of latitude 10°00′N, was a major national export up till the onset of heavy petroleum exportation in the mid 1960s.

High pro duction from the state made Nigeria a world pro ducer of ginger since the 1930s. Although export has declined, production in large tonnage has not abated. A market survey carried out in Kwoi district, a major producing area, estimates that up to 460 tonnes are produced annually in Jaba LGA alone.

Another agricultural commodity that is already an industrial raw material is tobacco leaf, grown mainly in Soba LGA since the 1930s. The success of a tobacco pilot farm project at Maigana, gave the district the lead in becoming a major national tobac coproducing area with a curing centre.

A training school was established for local farmers in 1986 and is located at Tashar Iche for Fifteen -thirty students at any one time/season. Besides, a factory with current labour force of over 3,500 is located in Zaria. The company manufactures several brands of cigarettes running into several million sticks annually. Cotton is also an important agricultural product that has high development potentialities.

The trial of a crossbreed of the local variety, the Gossypium hirsutum and the 26J (N.A) at Zaria during the first decade of the last century, gave Kaduna State a long history of its production. By the mid1930s, cotton production from northern Nigeria, mainly centred in Zaria, increased and now produced over 98 percent of the total cotton lint demands. With the establishment of ginneries, the Cotton Agricultural Processing Company (former BCGA), cotton seed is processed for oil and livestock feeds.

However, as yet, there are only two textile manu facturing industries in Zaria (Tarpaulin Manufacturing). Certainly, the establishment of other light textile industries or cotton yarn will fur ther stimulate cotton production in Soba, Igabi, Giwa and Zaria LGAs.


Improvement in the health status of the people of Kaduna State is been achieved by the Ministry of Health through the following:

1. Healthcare Leadership and Governance
Creation of the State Primary Health Care Agency (SPHCA) to improve access to integrated and qualitative health care to people at the grassroots level.

Creation of the Drug Management Agency (DMA) to ensure availability of affordable and quality drugs at all times in all health facilities in the state.

Implementation of 90% CONMESS and 70% CONHESS in the Health Sector which has served to motivate the Health workforce.

Professionalization of the Ministry of Health by appointing health professionals to key positions.

Development and dissemination of Kaduna State Strategic Development Plan (2011-2015).

Barau Dikko Hospital, KadunaDevelopment of medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) from where our annual operational plans are prepared. This has introduced fiscal discipline in budgeting and expenditure.

The regular implementation of “incentive based” rural posting.

Active personal commitment and involvement of His Excellency, Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa in health programs especially the polio eradication initiative.

2. Health Services Delivery
Sustenance of pro-poor programmes:
a) Free maternal and child health programme for pregnant women and children below the age of 5 years
b) War against Malaria – 2.5 million LLITNs distributed with 87% coverage achieved.
c) Anti Retroviral treatment programmes
d) Tuberculosis and Leprosy treatment programmes
e) Conduct of free medical missions: this year, over 600 patients benefited from various types of surgeries carried out on them
f) Highly subsidized eye care servives: 21,793 patients benefited from surgeries, eye glasses and other forms of treatment.
g) Deferrals and Exemptions (D&E) from our sustainable drug supply system. This programme caters for indigent patients and accident victims.
h) Emergency Transport System (ETS) – over 600 pregnant women in labour were transported free of charge to health facilities from March – October 2012. This programme is in collaboration with PATHS-2 and NURTW and covers only four LGAs for now. Efforts are actively on to scale it up to the remaining LGAs.

Production and dissemination of Kaduna State Standard Treatment Guidelines and Essential Medicines List to all health facilities in the state.

Various contracts have been awarded for construction of new units (Intensive care unit, Dialysis and academic block), rehabilitation, expansion, remodeling of existing units and upgrading of Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital to a Teaching Hospital.

Contracts for the construction and expansion of 68 Primary Health Care Centres (PHCs) spread equitably over the three senatorial zones of the state have been awarded.

Work on rehabilitation, expansion and upgrading of one PHC to a Rural Hospital has reached advance stage.

Procurement of Endoscopic Machines which have been installed in three referral and zonal hospitals (Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital, general Hospital Kafanchan and Hajiya Gambo Sawaba general hospital, Zaria). This will improve the quality of service provided.

3. Human Resources for Health
A Human Resources for Health Policy Guidelines and Human Resources for Health Strategic Plan were developed and disseminated.

There are over 100 Medical, Pharmacy, Laboratory Science and B.Sc Nursing students that have reached their clinical years in training. Government has already employed them and is paying them salaries. This policy is serving to increase the Health workforce.

There are 20 health professionals (Medical doctors and medical laboratory scientists) undergoing post-graduate training in various specialities.

4. Partnerships for Health
Government created the enabling environment through its policies and reforms for Development partners working to support the effort of government in the provision of Healthcare services to the people of Kaduna State.

Capitalization of 295 Health Facilities in the state and drugs and medical supplies worth N1.2 billion is ongoing.

Commissioning of special chest clinic in General Hospital, Kafanchan to increase acewss to care and to address the problem of multiple drugs resistant tuberculosis

Arts & Culture

Kaduna State has a rich cultural heritage in terms of festivals, music, dance, drama, craft and even administration. It has 32 autonomous traditional institutions in the form of Emirate councils mostly in the northern part and chiefdoms, in the southern part. The people of Kaduna State are highly religious, the major religions in the State are Islam and Christianity, with Islam predominantly practiced in northern part and Christianity in the southern part.

Traditional dancers from Kaduna StateTraditional religion is still practiced in some areas within the State side by side, the two orthodox religions. Culturally, Kaduna State is the home of the internationally acclaimed NOK culture in NOK village in Jaba Local Government of the State. This is where the NOK Terracotta head was discovered dating as far back as 500BC.

Cultural activities include: The Eid-El-Fitr and Eid-El- Kabir Festivals, the Tuk Ham, the Afan the Christmas and Easter Celebrations as well as the Kallan-Kowa celebrations.

Major Festivals in Kaduna State

This is an annual festival organized by Kaduna State Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It is a forum where all the 23 Local Government in the State, and private cultural organizations, show case their culture, expose talent, and through these, promote unity and encourage tourism in the state. It takes place in November/December of every year.

This is scheduled on the 1st of shawwal and the 10th of Dhul-Hajj respectively according to Islamic Calendar for 3 days. Usually Muslims all over the world celebrate the end of the Ramadan fasting period and the conclusion of he Hajj (Pilgrimage) rites. Most of the Emirates in Kaduna State and other parts of the northern part of the country celebrate it with a colourful Mini Durbar.

This takes place every December 25th/26th to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ by Christians all over the world.

It takes place April/May of every year to commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ by all Christians.

This was originally a thanks giving festival for ham people which lasts for 2 days. It is now a forum where all sons and daughter of Ham come together annually, for colourful display of the rich culture of the people in Jaba Local Government area.

This is celebrated every 1st of January, Kagoro. It has assumed an international standard with the sons and daughters of Aegworok land coming together to discuss issues that need their attention and to display their rich cultural heritage.

This is purely a cultural festival that is celebrated in the northern part of the state. It is a kind of thanks giving festival celebrated after the harvest season (Nov/Dec.). it entails young men and women coming together, in a peaceful and friendly atmosphere, to entertain themselves. It is celebrated in Bomo Village, Samara, in Sabon Gari Local Government Area of the State.

h. Other Cultural Festivals

Other similar but less pronounced are the Tuk-Gwong, the Baranzan (Bajju), the Bakulu (Ikulu), the Anglian (Kamantan), the Adara (Kadara). The Aninkon (Kaninko) the Moroa, the Ninzo, the Kataf and th Attakad. Most of them take place at the beginning of the year in January with a few at the end of the year.

Traditional Institutions

The State has 32 traditional council comprising of Emirate and Chiefdoms which include: Zazzau Emirate, Birnin Gwari Emirate, Jema’a Emirate, Atyap Cheifdom, Bajju Chiefdom, Ikulu Chiefdom, Aghan Chiefdom, Gbagyi Chiefdom, Adara Chiefdom, Kajuru Chiefdom, Piriga Chiefdom, Kagarko Chiefdom, Jere Chiefdom, Koro Chiefdom, Maro’a Chiefdom, Atakar Chiefdom, Kagoro Cheifdom, Godo-Godo Chiefdom, Gwong Chiefdom, Kaninkon Chiefdom, Fantswam Chiefdom, Jaba Chiefdom, Nyanfan Chiefdom, Numana Chiefdom, Ninzo Chiefdom, Ayu Chiefdom, Kauru Chiefdom, Tsam Chiefdom, Kumana Chiefdom, Lere Chiefdom, saminaka Chiefdom, Kurama Chiefdom.

Relevant information on the composition and status of the Emirates and Traditional Councils in the State confirms that, at the moment, there are thirty-two (32) Emirates and Cheifdoms in the State which are classified into there (3) categories in terms of status as follows:

(a) 1st Class status: This is made up of ten (10) Emirates and Chiefdoms comprising of Zazzau, Kagoro, Jema’a Birnin Gwari, Moro’a, Jaba, Atyap, Bajju, Gwong and Adara.

(b) 2nd Class Status: Consists of nine (9) Emirates and Chiefdoms, comprising Numana, Kauru, Kajuru, Kagarko, Koro, Gbagyi, Lere, Jere, Ninzo.

(c) 3rd Class status: This category has thirteen (13) Chiefdoms comprising of Saminaka, Kurama, Kumana, Piriga, Tsam, Anghan, Ikulu, Fanstwan, Kaninkon, Godogodo, Ayu, Takad and Nyenkpa.

The basis of the classification of the status of Emirates and Chiefdoms is based on population, land mass, historical antecedents or all. There are 32 paramount traditional rulers and in each emirate or chiefdom, there are council members, king makers, ruling houses and succession pattern while some are on merit, others are rotational. Below is the summary of the classification:-


Kaduna State is richly endowed with abundant tourism resources. To further boost attractions, the hospitality of the people keeps beckoning visitors. Past tourist attractions in the State includes:, Arewa House-the official residence of the late premier of the Northern region Sir Ahmadu Bello the Sarduana of Sokoto, Northern Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) building, along Ahmadu Bello Way, the famous Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Zaria city walls and gates, the Emir’s palace’s central Mosques built by Muhammadu Durugu, St. Bartholowmew’s Church in Wusasa Zaria, Nok settlement where the first and biggest terracotta was discovered and dated back to 500BC located in Jaba Local Government Area, chains of Kagoro hills, the famous Queen Amina site in Turunku, Matsirga water falls, the Kajim water spring in Manchock, Gburuku, water stream in Kagarko, Katagwan foot print, grave and abode in Kagoro Gurara water falls and Dam, Lugard foot bridge at General Hassan Usman Katsina Park, the swimming pool also located at the General Hassan Katsina park where the West African Frontier Force (WAFF) were trained, the Emir of Zauzau’s palace and Lugard Hall presently used as the States’ Assembly Complex among others.

Crocodile Hotel, KadunaIts diverse people’s customs and tradition as well as the peoples hospitality makes Kaduna State one of the best tourist attractions in Nigeria. Its strategic location in the heartland of Nigeria also makes it accessible by air, road and rail from any part of the country to take care of all categories of visitors in the State. The State, espacially major cities (Kaduna, Zaria) has private hotels such as Hamdala, Crystal Garden, Asaa Pyramid Hotel, Adriel Hotel, Aso Motel, Crocodile Hotel, Zaria Hotel, etc. The Government Hotels/motels are in all parts of the state.

All these Hotels/Motels serve all dishes that meet the needs of all classes of Tourist to the State with Traditional dishes/Snacks that don’t fail to entice all visitors.