Nasarawa State – “Home Of Solid Mineral”

Nasarawa State cultural dancers

Located in north-central geopolitical zone of Nigeria, Nasarawa State was created in 1996 out of neighbouring Plateau state. The state known as the ‘Home of Solid Mineral’ has 13 local governments and these are Awe, Akwanga, Doma, Karu, Keana, Keffi, Kokona, Lafia, Nasarawa, Nasarawa-Eggon, Obi, Toto, and Wamba.


History
Nasarawa State was one of the six states created in 1996 by the military regime of late General Sani Abacha. The state was carved out of the old Plateau State and ever since it was created, the state has grown to become one of the top tourist states with its magnificently beautiful landscapes and spectacular highlands.


People & Culture
Nasarawa has a diverse range of ethnic groups indigenous to the state and according to the 2006 census, the state has a population of a little less than 2 million very hospitable and culturally rich people. Nassarawa is composed of different ethnic groups each with its own distinct local dialect but Hausa is common among the people. They all have a common history and share similar social and cultural ideologies. Ethnic groups in Nasarawa state include Afo, Agatu, Akye, Alago, Baribari, Bassa, Egbira, Eggon, Fulani, Gade, Gbagyi, Gwandara, Hausa, Jukun, Kanuri, Mada, Ninzom, Arum, Rindei, Yeskwa and Tiv.

Farming is the main occupation of the people of the state and crops produced include cassava, yam, rice, maize, guinea corn, beans, soya beans, asha and millet. The state is blessed with precious mineral resources like columbite, coal and aquamarine.

Geography
Nasarawa State has a total land area of 27,137.8sqkm and it shares borders in the west by the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, in north by Kaduna State, in south by Benue and Kogi State, and in the east by Plateau and Taraba States. Nasarawa’s main economic activity is agriculture; cash crops such as yam, cassava andegusi (melon). Production of minerals such as salt is also another major economic activity in the state; Nasarawa produces a large proportion of the salt consumed in the country.

Nasarawa State map


Weather/Climate
Nasarawa State lies within the guinea Savannah region and has tropical climate with moderate rainfall (annual mean rainfall of 1311:75cm). The state is made up of plain lands and hills measuring up to 300ft above the sea level at some points. Nasarawa has some of the most beautiful sites and landscapes in the country and these include beautiful hills, striking and unique natural lakes etc.


Cities & Towns
Other important cities and towns include Lafia, Akwanga, Keffi, Karu, Wamba, Eggon, Nassarawa and Doma.

Attractions

Farin Ruwa Waterfall: Located between the boundary of Bokkos and Wamba local council, the waterfall is also about 120km away from Lafia and 30km away from Wamba. Farin Ruwa is just as spectacular as Canada’s Niagara Falls and Zambia’s Victoria Falls. Read more here


Dyeing Pits & Calabash Carving, Lafia: Located near the Kotal Pada at the Emir’s palace, it is one of the oldest dyeing pits where traditional clothes in various sizes and designs are woven and dyed.


Eggon Hills & Caves: Eggon Hills range over 30m and they are famous for adventure. The rocks which shaped like kopjes and inselbergs have long attracted visitors ever since the colonial rule. Europeans settled at the peak of these hills and constructed houses beside the slow flowing streams and unique rock formation.


Umaisha River Bank Resort: Umaisha is an old settlement built in the 14th century and its inhabitants are the Igbiras in is Toto local government area of the state. Behind the settlement is a river that runs across to River Benue where the local people celebrate the Ogani Fishing and Cultural Festival. It’s a water sport festival that involves activities such as swimming, fishing, regatta, diving and boating.


Peperuwa Lake: This is an elongated natural lake situated at the north-west of Assakio town in the Lafia local government area of the state. The lake which has an estimated surface more than 7km in length and 3.8km wide, is famous for such aquatic creatures such as manatees, fish, hippopotamus, water ducks and geese.


Oku Akpa Rock and Picnic Centre: This rock formation along the Nasarawa village is suitable for picnicking, mountaineering, hunting, bird watching etc.


Numan Rocks & Hills: Located at the outskirt of Andaha town, the rocks and hills stand spectacularly with striking peaks and sceneries along the road. From the top of the hills, most parts of the state and parts of Abuja city can be viewed.


Hunki Ox-Bow Lake: Located 30km away from Awe town and about 130kms from Lafia, the lake is like an Ox-bow, shaped in two arms with each of them measuring 6-7 kilometres long and 70 kilometres wide. The lake that derives its name from the host Hunki, a settlement in Tunga district of the Awe local government, has creatures such as hippopotamus, manatees, fish and more. It also host an annual fishing festival.


Keana Salt Village: Located in Keana, some 67km away from Lafia, the salt mining dates back to the 12th century when the salt discovered in the area. The village is littered with large pots and ridges laid out for mining salt and the technology in use here is purely traditional.


Akiri Salt Village: Located in Awe local government area and about 145km away from Lafia, Akiri village is another salt village in the state where local salt miners use spring water for salt processing.


Akiri Warm Spring: Also located in Awe local government area, the warm spring is known for its warmness all year round. The water gushes and bubbles at regular intervals and was said to have some medicinal powers.


Ara Rock: Ara rock is located at Ara town about 12km away from Nasarawa town and 220km away from the state capital, Lafia. Ara rock with a measurement of about 120m from the ground stands magnificently like a tower overlooking Ara town.


Doma Dam: Doma Dam is situated some 6km away from Doma town and it is about 30km away from Lafia. Doma is a man-made dam meant for agricultural irrigation and the dam is structured into three arms with each arm measuring more than 2km in length and 30m in width. The surrounding of the dam is hilly with thick vegetation. Fishing is permitted by the dam, which is a popular picnic site in the state.

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