Nigerian states Got Their Names – Guide

Nigerian States names in good breakdown. Nigeria is the giant of Africa. A land of Peace and Agriculture with wealth of oil. Nigerian states Got Their Names from different sources.

Nigerian states and Capital

First list of Nigerian states

Abia, the first on the list of Nigerian states according to alphabetical order. Similarly, it is an acronym from the four main groups of people in the state since its formation in 1991. Aba Bende Isuikwuato Afikpo.
Similarly, the capital of Abia is Umuahia.

abia man with cultural heritage in Nigerian states

2. Adamawa
Adamawa, the second state of Nigerian states on the list according to alphabetical order is named after a warrior, Modibbo Adama Bin Ardo Hassan in the 19th century.
Hence, the capital of Adamawa state is Yola.

fulani lady from Adamawa state of Nigeria

SECOND list of Nigerian states

3. Akwa-Ibom
Akwa Ibom, being the third state Nigerian states according to alphabetical order is named after the ‘ Qua Iboe’ or ‘Kwa Iboe’ River.
Further, Uyo is the capital of Akwa-Ibom

Ini Edo from Akwa ibom of Nigerian states

4. Anambra
The state craft its name from a popular river in the area, Oma Mbala (Ànyịm Ọma Mbala).
Therefore, Awka is the capital of Anambra.


THIRD list of Nigerian states

5. Bauchi
Bauchi, the capital of Bauchi get its name in three distinct versions:
Firstly, it means southern tops of Hausaland. Mostly referred to as Kasashen Bauchi, by olden days indigenes.
Secondly, It is named after Baushe. A famous hunter who settled before the 19th century.
Lastly, Bauchi means Slavery in another Hausa version


bauchi tribe

6. Bayelsa
The mathematical notation is BA + YEL + SA = BAYELSA.
Certainly, a combination of the acronyms of three different local government areas structured out of Rivers State.
1. Brass LGA known as BALGA
2.Yenegoa LGA known as YELGA
3.Sagbama LGA known as SALGA.
The capital of bayelsa is Yenagoa.


FOURTH list of Nigerian states

7. Benue
Benue state get its name after an old European corruption of ‘Binuwe’, the Batta word for ‘Mother of Waters’.
Further, the capital of Benue is Makurdi.


8. Borno
Gotten from the Kanuris, the ethnic group alongside other major tribes occupy the state.
Therefore, Maiduguri is the capital of Borno State.



9. Cross River
Cross River got its name from a River called Oyono or Cross River. Calabar is the main capital of Cross River.

cross river

10. Delta
Delta gotten from the inflow of River Niger as it enters the Atlantic Ocean. Capital of delta state is Asaba.


FIFTH list of Nigerian states

11. Ebonyi
Ebonyi is a version of ‘Aboine’, a river that bisects through Abakaliki, the state capital. The Eleventh state in alphabetical order.


12. Edo
This state inspired its name from Benin people who dwell in the area had always referred to themselves as Edo or Iduu. Benin City is its capital.


13. Ekiti
From origin, ‘Okiti’ is a term that is said to denote a settlement of many hills that later became ‘Ekiti’. Ado- Ekiti is the state’s capital. The thirteenth among Nigerian 36 states.


list of Nigerian states

14. Enugu
The state is named in Igbo, “Enu Ugwu” which means “top of the hill” because of many hills and rocky terrain in the area. The state got its name after an anglicised version, Enugu.


15. Gombe
Gombe is the dialect of Fulani language (Fulfulde) spoken in the area. In a clean states and capital tune by Nigerians; Gombe Gombe, same state and capital.


16. Imo
Imo got its name from the popular river, Imo Mmiri. Well known, the capita of Imo state is Owerri.



17. Jigawa
Marvelous, Jigawa state pinned its own name from its shining golden-coloured soil. Dutse its capital.


18. Kaduna
In Hausa language, Kadunas is the plural form of crocodile. The name is in existence because of many crocodiles in the state. Kaduna is the capital.


19. Kano
Kano state got its name from a blacksmith sourcing for ironstone who is from a tribe called ‘Gaya’. Same name given to its capital.


Nigerian states NAMES

20. Katsina
The state’s name is from the wife of a popular local ruler known as Janzama. Her name was Katsina, same name given to the capital.


21. Kebbi
From lot of sources, it has been said that Kebbi named after the Ka’abba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. But the capital is Birnin-Kebbi.


22. Kogi
Kogi derived from Hausa word for River, ‘kogin’.Lokoja is the state’s capital.


23. Kwara

Nupes at the Northern border of the state often referred River Niger as River Kwara.
Also, Ilorin is the capital of Kwara State.


24. Lagos
Former capital of Nigeria. Lagos get its name from Portuguese word for ‘lakes’. Consequently, the name is due to high numbers of lagoons and rivers within the area.



25. Nassarawa
Makama Dogo, founder of Nassarawa kingdom named the State.
Nevertheless, the name has a good meaning that is ‘victorious’.
Moreover, the capital is Lafia.


26. Niger
This state gets its name after the River Niger.
So, Minna is the capital of Niger. Similarly, it has the same name to an African country.


27. Ogun
The state is named after a river called Ogun River. Therefore, Capital of this state is Abeokuta.


28. Ondo
Ondo state named after the settlers of the old Ondo Kingdom.
On the other hand, Akure is Ondo state’s capital.


SECOND TO LAST list of Nigerian states

29. Osun
This twenty-ninth state according to alphabetical order of Nigerian states and capital, is also named after a river called the River Osun.
In addition, Oshogbo is its capital.


30. Oyo
Old Oyo Empire inspired the state’s name.
In short, Ibadan is the capital.


31. Plateau
Jos, the capital of Plateau get its name from the mispronunciation of the town ‘Gwosh’.
Consequently, the state was formally named after the picturesque Jos plateau.


32. Rivers
Rivers State, as the name presides, get its name after the many water bodies present in the area.
Moreover, Port Harcourt is the capital of rivers state.

rivers w

33. Sokoto
Sokoto named in anglicized version of the Arabic word ‘suk’ meaning ‘market’ or ‘place of commerce’. sokoto

LAST list 

34. Taraba
Jalingo is Taraba state’s capital.
Consequently, Taraba state get its name from a river called Taraba River.


35. Yobe
River Yobe ‘River of Yo’ inspired the name of this state.
So, Damaturu is the capital.


36. Zamfara
Named after Zamfarawa, one of the subdialect of Hausa group. So, Gusau is the capital.
In addition, it is the last of Nigerian 36 states.


In conclusion, Abuja is the capital of Nigeria.

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