Geopolitical zones in Nigeria and their states

Geopolitical zones

The Federal Republic of Nigeria is divided into six geopolitical zones, commonly just called zones. They are a type of administrative division grouping the country’s states, created during the regime of president General Sani Abacha. Nigerian economic, political, and educational resources are often shared across the zones.

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The six zones were not entirely carved out based on geographic location, but rather states with similar ethnic groups, and/or common political history were classified in the same zone. Nigeria is made up of approximately 400 ethnic groups and 450 languages. There was a need for the government to merge similar groups for effective allocation of resources.

What do you know about geopolitical zones in Nigeria? Nigeria is the biggest country in Africa and one of the most populated countries in the world. Keeping all people in the country in peace is hard. Still, with geo political zones in Nigeria – it`s quite possible. Let`s take a look at Top 6 geopolitical zones in Nigeria!

Six Geopolitical Zones in Nigeria These zones are the key construction to Nigeria. This system of geopolitical zones and states under them was adopted under the regime of President Ibrahim Babangida. States in Nigeria are implemented into the zones. Nigeria contains more than 400 ethnic groups, which speak more than 450 languages. Therefore, it`s necessary to keep all people in harmony within these zones. The Federal capital territory and 36 states are distributed between these six geopolitical zones in Nigeria. The zones are divided according to economic, political and ethnical preferences of Nigeria. Yoruba takes South-West, Hausa takes North-East and North-West, and South-East is taken by Igbo. The states of Nigeria contain various ethnic population which is needed to be properly controlled. Clear sight of geopolitical zones can be seen on the map of Nigeria showing the six geopolitical zones.

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The six geopolitical zones are North-Central, North-West, North-East, South-South, South-East and South-West.

Geopolitical Zones in Nigeria and their States

North Central


This geopolitical Zone is made up of six states: the Niger, Benue, Nassarawa, Plateau, Kogi and Kwara states. The Federal capital territory is also included in this zone. The North Central Geopolitical zone is also referred as the middle belt of Nigeria. The top cities in this zone are Lafia, Jos, Minna, Makurdi, Lokoja, Ilorin and Abuja. The ethnic groups presented in this zone are Mangu, Berom, Gbagy, Nupe, Tiv, Mada-Eggon, Yoruba, Igala, Idoma, Gwandara and Idoma.



The North-West geopolitical zone is presented by seven states: the Jagawa, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi, Zamfara and Sokoto states. The top cities of the North-West geopolitical zone are Gusau, Dutse, Birnin-Kebbi, Katsina, Kano, Kaduna, Zaria, and Sokoto. This zone cover more than a quarter of the total population of Nigeria. The ethnic diversity is presented by Kanuri, Hausa-Fulani, Maguzawa, Zara, Baju, Gbagyi, Zuru, Jabba.



It`s one of the geopolitical zones in Nigeria presented by six states: the Gombe, Bauchi, Yobe, Borno, Adamawa and Taraba states. Top cities in the zone are Jalingo, Damaturu, Potiskum, Gombe, Bauchi, Maiduguri, and Yola. The ethnic diversity of the zone is presented by Fulani, Fulfulde, Babur, Kanuri, Tangalawaja, Balewa, Tiv and Mumuye. South-South The South-South geopolitical zone is presented by six states: the Akwa-Ibom, Cross-River, Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and Edo states. Top cities in this zone are Asaba, Yenagoa, Uyo, Warri, Calabar, Port Harcourt, and Benin. The South-South is populated by Ejagham, Annang, Efik, Ibibio, Ikwere, Ogoni, Itsekiri, Urhobo, Essan, Bini, IJaw.



The South-East geopolitical zone is presented by five states: the Abia, Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambara states. The largest cities in the zone are Abakaliki, Owerri, Enugu, Onitsha and Aba. The South-East is mainly populated by Igbos. South-West The South-West geopolitical zone is presented by six states: the Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ogun and Lagos. The top cities of the zone are Ado-Ekiti, Osgbo, Ogbomoso, Abeokuta, Akure, Ibadan and Lagos. The South-West is mainly populated by Yorubas.



Looking for the geopolitical zone that provides the economic mainstream of the country, the South-South region is the zone. This zone is made up of six states created from both the Western and Eastern regions of Nigeria on 27 May 1967 under the regime of General Yakubu Gowon.

This geopolitical zone also makes up a significant number of people in Nigeria’s population with top cities like Warri, Asaba, Port Harcourt, Benin, Calabar, Uyo and Yenagoa. Meanwhile, the strong ethnic diversity in the zone includes the Ijaw, Efik, Ibibio, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Ogoni, Essan, Bini, Ikwere, Annang, Ejagham, Isoko etc. 


SOUTH-WEST Geopolitical zones
SOUTH-WEST Geopolitical zone

The South-West geopolitical zone is a majorly Yoruba speaking region that is made up of six states in Nigeria with multiple different dialects even within the same state.

The southwest zone official language is Yoruba in diversity and arguably one of the most educated geopolitical zones in the country, with Ekiti reputed to have the highest number of professors in the country.

 The Six Geopolitical Zones In Nigeria And Their Economic Activities

The six geopolitical zones in Nigeria contribute immensely to the growth of the country by making Nigeria economic activities boom in different segments such as agriculture, mining, transport, oil, tourism, and more.

The key economic activities in the South-East zone are agriculture, commercial fishing and forest products industries. Also, Iron, glass, steel, and many chemicals such as shampoos, paints, and medicines are manufactured in the Northeast. The natural resources of the South-East zone include corn, apples, milk, birds, cranberries, potatoes, blueberries, soil and evergreen tree.

The south-south zone is undeniably one of the largest producers of oil and gas in the country and the economic activity of this zone includes farming, fishery, and lumbering.

The North-West geopolitical zone key economic activities are cattle, agriculture, commerce, livestock rearing and mining. The zone is also rich in gold, coal, tin, semi-precious stones. The northern part of the country is widely known for its farm production of tomatoes, onion, potatoes, flax and groundnut.

The economic activities of the southwest geopolitical zone include farming, livestock production especially poultry, rice, biter-kola, cashew, breadfruit, yam and cassava. 

The common economic activities of the South-East geopolitical zone are palm oil production, farming, trading, palm wine, textile, and industrialization.

The North Central geopolitical zone peculiar economic activities are farming, trading, weaving, blacksmiths, and mining.

Geopolitical zones

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