HistoryPolitical History

How Nigeria Got to 36 States (Timeline of State Creation in Nigeria)

creation of states in Nigeria

Let’s Start With The Definition Of A State

What is a state?

A state is a politically organised body of people inhabiting a geographical entity with a well legitimate government. You can see our comprehensive post on State and its features here.

How Did Nigeria Move From The First 3 Regions To The Last 36 States?

Below Is The Timeline Of State Creation In Nigeria

1960 -1963 => Northern Region, Western Region and Eastern Region.

1963 -1967=> Northern Region, Western Region, Mid Western Region (carved out of Western Region), Eastern Region.

General Yakubu Gowon Created The Following States

1967 -1976 => Northern Region was divided into North Eastern State, North Western State, Kano, Kaduna, Kwara, Benue-Plateau. Lagos (carved out of the Western Region), Western State. Mid Western region was renamed Bendel. Eastern Region was divided into East Central State, Cross River and Rivers.

General Murtala Mohammed Created The Following States

1976 – 23 September, 1987 => Abuja (FCT) was carved out of Niger State. North Western State was divided into Sokoto and Niger, while North Eastern State was divided into Borno, Gongola and Bauchi. Benue-Pleateau was seperated into Benue and Plateau. Western State was divided into Oyo, Ogun and Ondo. East Central State was divided into Anambra and Imo.

General Ibrahim Babangida Created The Following States

23 September, 1987 – 27 August, 1991 => Katisna was carved out of Kaduna. Akwa Ibom also came into existence.

27 August 1991 – Oct. 1996 => Abia came into existence. Gongola was divided into Adamawa and Taraba. Enugu was created. Bendel was divided into Edo and Delta. Jigawa was carved out of Kano and Yobe, out of Borno. Kebbi was created from Sokoto and Osun from Oyo. Kogi also came into existence.

General Sani Abacha Created The Following States

1996 – 1998 => Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Nasarawa, Zamfara, Gombe and Ekiti were created.

That is the timeline of state creation in Nigeria.


Cite this article as: Teslim Omipidan. (August 3, 2018). How Nigeria Got to 36 States (Timeline of State Creation in Nigeria). OldNaija. Retrieved from https://oldnaija.com/2018/08/03/how-nigeria-got-to-36-statestimeline-of-state-creation-in-nigeria/


    1. States created by Gen. Yakubu Gowon ==> Their Capital
      1. North Western State ==> Sokoto
      2. North Eastern State ==> Maiduguri
      3. Kano State ==> Kano
      4. Benue-Plateau State ==> Jos
      5. Kwara State ==> Ilorin
      6. Lagos State ==> Ikeja
      7. Mid-Western State ==> Benin City
      8. Western State ==> Ibadan
      9. Cross River State ==> Calabar
      10. Rivers State ==> Port Harcourt
      11. Kaduna State ==> Kaduna
      12. East Central State ==> Enugu

  1. Nice post.
    Although arranging it in a manner of:
    ‘States created, who created them, year Created’
    Would have been very helpful.

  2. History is one of my best subject even in secondary school and I luv people talking about history or given a history of their lifetime

  3. Sir, l strongly believes you I’ll also. notice with me that some state deserve to be spite terms population and their sizes they deserve it.

  4. Nice post,but putting the total states created by those administrations will give you 38 instead of 36,don’t you think there is mistake.

  5. This history didn’t capture abia state..I this in every history, before u bring to the public domain,u need to make total research.. Nevertheless, Weldon.

  6. You have tried but if I may be correct Murtala Mohammed created 7 states not 9 as reflected in your buttom note please.

  7. i was little comfused when i heard bendal and gongola state. But when i checked it i learned alot.. Nice.. God bless nigeria

  8. Means murtala muhammad create Abuja but Babangida shifted it to became FCT in 1991.nice for your contribution to hu

  9. The British handed over 3 regions namely; Northern region,Western region and eastern region to the leadership of Nigeria and today,we have 19 states from one region(North) out of 36 states. And 6 geopolitical zones of which 3 are from that same one region(north).
    It is now open to everyone that the the political structure of Nigeria is a conspiracy of Northern millitry rulers to forever dominate in the affairs of Nigeria and oppress the rest of other regions.

  10. so educative, pls keep it up…. not all that will be teach in schools with this one can be more current…. God bless u all

  11. pls we need Nigeria to create more state so that we can benefit from civilian government.like Oke-ogun out of the present Oyo state

  12. Really appreciated your positive effort of providing this interested and meaningful national history, thanks alot

  13. pls keep it up for our children is very important to know about the state creation in Nigeria God bless you

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