Geopolitical Zones In Nigeria {States, Economic Activities}


Nigeria is one of the most populous countries in Africa and world at large. Presently, there are 6 different geopolitical zones in Nigeria, ranging from North central, North West, North East, South-south, South East, and South West. The fortunate thing is that each region has some special peculiarities that distinguish it from others.

geopolitical zones in nigeria

That being said, would you like to know more about geopolitics zone in Nigeria, their main economic activities.

Common natural minerals, Top cities, Estimated population, Tourist attractions?
If you just said YES to the above, then the answers you’ve been longing for is here. Before going into the main article at all, it is important to let you know the reason why the nation was even subdivided into various places.

Why Was Nigeria Grouped Into Zones?

Contrary to the belief of most people, the 6 geopolitical zones were carefully carved out in order to ensure even classification of ethnic groups in the nation rather than using the mere geographical location.

Now that you’ve known part of the reasons Nigeria was divided into regions, let’s take a look at each zone and what they stand for.

Geopolitical Zones In Nigeria

Here are all the six zones of Nigeria and everything you need to know about each of them.

1.) North Central (The Middle Belt States)

The North Central Geopolitical zone is often regarded as the middle belt of Nigeria. It is made up of 6 states, including Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nassarawa, Niger, Plateau, as well as Federal Capital Territory Abuja.

The dominant ethnic groups in the middle belt are Mangu, Berom, Gbagy, Nupe, Tiv, Mada-Eggon, Yoruba, Igala, Idoma, Gwandara and Idoma.

Due to the presence of certain natural resources, fertile soil and nearness to River Niger and Benue, people in this region often engage in Agriculture, especially mining, farming, and fishing.

Main Economic Activities

  • Farming
  • Mining
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Trading
  • Weaving
  • Blacksmithing
  • Dying
  • Mat Making.

Common Natural Mineral

  • Tin
  • Columbite
  • Gold
  • Iron Ore
  • Limestone.

Top Cities

  • Lafia
  • Jos
  • Minna
  • Makurdi
  • Lokoja
  • Ilorin
  • Abuja.

Estimated Population

  • 20.1 million.

Tourist Attractions

  • Millennium Park
  • Abuja Arts And Crafts Village
  • Kainji National Park
  • Zuma Rock
  • National Arboretum Abuja
  • Anwase-Abande Ranges
  • Montane Games Reserve
  • Holy Trinity Primary school (first primary school in Northern Nigeria)
  • Mount Patti
  • Mungo Park Cenotaph
  • Owu Waterfalls
  • Shiroro Dam Tourist Resort.

Popular Universities

  • University of Ilorin
  • Federal University of Technology Minna
  • University of Jos
  • Usmanu Danfodiyo University
  • Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi
  • Benue State University
  • Kogi State University
  • Nasarawa State University
  • Federal University Lafia.

2.) North East

The North eastern part of Nigeria is made up of 6 states, including Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe state.

This region has a fewer natural resources compared to some other zones of the federation and it is also the least populated region in the Northern part of Nigeria [the population of people here is estimated to be around 19 million].

Some of the ethnic groups found in this zone include Fulani, Fulfulde, Babur, Kanuri, Tangalawaja, Balewa, Tiv and Mumuye.

Major Economic Activities

  • Farming
  • Fishing
  • Livestock production
  • Mining.

Top Cities

  • Jalingo
  • Damaturu
  • Potiskum
  • Gombe
  • Bauchi
  • Maiduguri
  • Yola.

Estimated Population

  • 19 million

Tourist Attractions

  • Sambisa Game Reserve
  • Yankari National Park
  • Gashaki-Gumpti National Park
  • Abraka Beach Resort
  • Wikki Warm Springs
  • Tafawa Balewa’s Tomb
  • Tunga Dutse
  • Mandara Mountains
  • Koma Hills
  • Lamurde Hot Spring
  • Sanda Kyarimi Park
  • Tula Highlands/Hills
  • Buba Yero tomb.

Popular Universities

  • Adamawa State University
  • University of Maiduguri
  • Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University
  • Taraba State University
  • Bauchi State University
  • Federal University Kashere
  • Yobe State University.

3.) North West (Most Populated Geographical Zone)

With more than 48 million people, the Northwestern part of Nigeria is the most populated zone in the nation and also covers more than a quarter [1/4] of the entire population of the country.

There are 7 major states in this region, and this includes Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara state. The dominant tribes in North West are Kanuri, Hausa-Fulani, Maguzawa, Zara, Baju, Gbagyi, Zuru, and Jabba.

Major Economic Activities

  • Farming
  • Fishing
  • Livestock Rearing
  • Mining.

Top Cities

  • Gusau
  • Dutse
  • Birnin-Kebbi
  • Katsina
  • Kano
  • Kaduna
  • Zaria
  • Sokoto.

Estimated Population

  • 48 million

Tourist Attractions

  • Kajuru Castle/Hills
  • Nok Culture and Art
  • Queen Amina’s Wall
  • Surame Cultural Landscape
  • Ancient Kano City Walls
  • Binin Kudu Rock
  • Baturiya Dyeing Birds Sanctuary Wildlife
  • Matsirga Hills
  • Gidan Makama Museum
  • Usman Dan Fodio’s Tomb
  • Kotorkoshi Hills.

Popular Universities

  • Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria
  • Bayero University Kano
  • Federal University Dutse
  • Kebbi State University
  • Federal University
  • Birnin Kebbi
  • Kaduna State University
  • Sokoto State University.

4.) South East (Igbo Speaking States)

The southeastern part of Nigeria is the least populated geopolitical zone in the federation with just 18 million plus people.

This zone is where you will find the 5 Igbo-speaking states in Nigeria, which includes Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo state. Igbo is the dominant tribe in this region and the vast majority of the most people here are into farming as well as private businesses.

Major Economic Activities

  • Farming
  • Fishing
  • Mining
  • Trading
  • Local Manufacturing.

Common Natural Resources

  • Natural Gas
  • Crude Oil
  • Zinc
  • Lead
  • Rubber Trees
  • Oil Palms.

Popular Cities

  • Abakaliki
  • Owerri
  • Enugu
  • Onitsha
  • Aba.

Estimated Population

  • 18 million

Tourist Attractions

  • Ngwo Pine Forest
  • Awhum Waterfall
  • Arochukwu Long Juju Slave Route
  • Ogbunike Caves
  • National War Museum
  • Arochukwu Cave
  • River Niger Bridge
  • Ogba Waterfalls
  • Amanchore Cave
  • Oguta Lake
  • Ada Palm plantation Complex
  • Nekede Zoo.

Popular Universities

  • University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN)
  • Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO)
  • Madonna University
  • Caritas University
  • Ebonyi State University
  • Abia State University
  • Imo State University
  • Michael Okpara University of Agriculture.

5.) South South (Oil States)

Often regarded as Niger Delta, the south south region of Nigeria consists of Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross-River, Delta, Edo and Rivers state – all of which are oil-producing states.

The zone is at the southernmost part of the Nigerian map and is made up of riverine communities.

Unlike the middle belt zone, people in the south south region don’t practice agriculture on a larger scale and prefer opting for other commercial activities like crude-oil production, trading, fishing, etc.

Some of the dominant tribes in the south-south Nigeria include Ejagham, Annang, Efik, Ibibio, Ikwere, Ogoni, Itsekiri, Urhobo, Essan, Bini, and IJaw.

Their land provides for the majority of Nigeria’s GDP but that might change very soon as the price of oil in Nigeria and globally has been crashing.

Major Economic Activities

  • Crude-oil Production
  • Crop Farming
  • Fishing
  • Trading
  • Banking
  • Sea Port Business

Popular Cities

  • Asaba
  • Yenagoa
  • Uyo
  • Warri
  • Calabar
  • Port Harcourt
  • Benin.

Estimated population

  • 23 million

Tourist Attraction

  • Okomu National Park
  • Obudu Mountain Resort
  • The Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary
  • The Giant Footprint of Ukhuse Oke
  • Port Harcourt Tourist Beach
  • Alok Ikom Monoliths
  • The Royal Palace Of Oba Of Benin
  • Nana Living History Museum

Popular Universities

  • University of Benin
  • University of Port Harcourt
  • University of Uyo
  • University of Calabar
  • Rivers State University of Science & Technology
  • Delta State University Nigeria
  • Cross River State University of Science & Technology Calabar
  • Federal University Otuoke
  • Akwa Ibom State University of Technology.

6.) South West (Yoruba Speaking States)

The southwestern zone encompasses the 6 Yoruba-speaking states in Nigeria, including Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo state.

The total population in this region is estimated to be around 30 million plus, making it the second most populated geographical zone in Nigeria just below the Northwestern Nigeria that boasts of more than 48 million people.

Yoruba is the leading tribe in the southwestern zone and also the vast majority of people there are enlightened and educated.

Major Economic Activities

  • Trading
  • Farming
  • Entrepreneurship.

Popular Cities

  • Ado-Ekiti
  • Osogbo
  • Ogbomoso
  • Abeokuta
  • Akure
  • Ibadan
  • Lagos.

Estimated Population

  • 30.1 million

Tourist Attractions

  • The New Afrika Shrine
  • Osun-Osogbo Grove
  • Coconut Beach
  • Bar Beach
  • Ikogosi Warm Spring
  • Oroke Ewo War Centre
  • Oluminrin Waterfall
  • Idanre Hills
  • Owo Museum
  • Olumo Rock
  • Bilikisu Sungbo Shrine
  • Lekki Conservation Centre
  • Erin-Ijesha Waterfalls.

Popular Universities

  • University of Ibadan (UI)
  • University of Lagos (UNILAG)
  • Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)
  • Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA)
  • Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko (AAUA)
  • Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB)
  • Covenant University.

Wrapping it Up

Inside this write up are the geopolitical zones that we have in Nigeria including their tourist attraction, economic activities, popular cities, population and popular universities.


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