By Razaq Adeniyi
These are facts about Kogi, a state which is one of the youngest in Nigeria. It was created in August 1991 by the then military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida.
Recently the state has been in the news for several reasons and some of the interesting facts below have been left out of the news.
See below some beautiful facts about Kogi State:
The word “NIGERIA” was first mentioned in Kogi State
Many people are not aware that the name of our dear country Nigeria was coined in Lokoja, the kogi state capital by Miss Flora Shaw, the British journalist who later became the wife of Lord Lugard. Flora Shaw did that while observing the beauty of the greatest river in Nigeria, the river Niger.
Lokoja was the first capital of Nigeria
Lokoja town was established in 1857 by the British explorers. After the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria in 1914, Lokoja remained an administrative town for the British colonial government. Therefore, the first British Governor-General, Sir Frederick Lugard, governed Nigeria from Lokoja.
The oldest primary school in northern Nigeria is in Kogi
Holy Trinity school Lokoja was established in 1860 by Bishop Ajayi Crowther. It is the first primary school to be established in Northern Nigeria.
Kogi State has enough coal deposit to supply Nigeria with at least 400 years of power supply
One of the coal-rich areas in Kogi State is the Okaba district of Ankpa LGA, this area alone holds reserves of 99 million tonnes of coal. Therefore Kogi state alone has enough deposit of coal to supply the whole of Nigeria with electricity for 400 years non-stop.
The “Junction State”
Another fact about Kogi is that the state should have been called the ‘junction state’ because the state has a boundary with the highest number of states in Nigeria. Kogi is the only state in Nigeria which shares a boundary with ten other states.
The ten states sharing borders with Kogi are:
Federal Capital Territory (Nigeria) – to the north
Nasarawa State – to the north east
Benue State – to the east
Enugu State – to the south east
Anambra State – to the south
Edo State – to the south west
Ondo State – to the west
Ekiti State – to the west
Kwara State – to the north west
Niger State – to the north
The Iron of Liberty
Lokoja was an important centre for slave trade in ancient times. Lokoja became a collection centre for slaves seized from slave merchants that are meant to be set free.
The spot where the slaves were freed is marked with a piece of iron, and the place is now called the Iron of Liberty. It is a monument any tourist in Lokoja should visit.
With the huge deposit of limestone in Obajana, Kogi State, Dangote Cement company decided to site it’s largest cement producing factory in the state.
Obajana boasts of 13.25mt of capacity across four lines, the newest of which was commissioned in 2014. Obajana uses gas for its kilns and power plants until late 2014 when it was replaced with coal. Obajana has limestone reserves of 647 million tonnes expected to last for about 45 years. The plant is supported by a fleet of 2,370 trucks.
The Inikpi Statue
The Inikpi statue was built in memory of Inikpi, the daughter of the first Attah of Igala kingdom who was buried alive on the instruction of the Oracle to restore peace and freedom in Igala land. Another historic site that cannot be ignored.
Palace of the Ohinoyi of Ebira land
The AZAD PALACE is owned by the Ohinoyi of Ebira land, HRM Dr. Ado Ibrahim. The palace is considered one of the most interesting and beautiful palaces in West Africa. It is located in Okene, Kogi State.
Ajaokuta Iron and Steel
The multi-billion dollars iron and steel industry, the largest in Nigeria was established in 1971 on a 24,000 hectare land.
When fully harnessed, Ajaokuta has the potential to provide 90 thousand direct and indirect employments.
This industry is viewed as a potential bedrock for the industrialization of Nigeria.
Confluence of River Niger and Benue
Lokoja is well known and celebrated for is its confluence. Lokoja is where the two great rivers of West Africa: Niger and Benue meet. A natural tourist site to behold.
The Mount Patti Hill is 1503 feet tall. It is a mountain and also a tourist attraction in Lokoja, Nigeria. It is known for being the place where British journalist and writer Flora Louise Shaw gave Nigeria its name.
The Confluence point of Rivers Niger and Benue can be seen clearly from the flat top of Mount Patti.
Kogi State has large deposit of at least 30 mineral resources
Kogi State is blessed with mineral resources in commercial quantity.
Some of the minerals resources are: Crude oil, gold, coal, bitumen, gemstones, iron ore, cassiterite, tantalite, and columbite, limestone, marble, clay, mica, feldspar, dolomite, silica sand, gypsum, kaolin, talc, tin, Magnesium, quartz, etc.