The 6 geopolitical zones in Nigeria divided the nation into 6 zones based on similarity in culture, ethnic groups and history. It is not based on any geopolitical location, it is not constitutional. It was introduced during the regime of Former Head of State Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida in order to divide the nation into manageable unit for allocation of resources. This was because though the nation is heterogeneous ethnically, there are some similarities observed between the over 400 ethnic in the country and this can be exploited to create manageable units.
While each of the six geopolitical zones is made of people with some similar culture, it is important to note that the North Central is the most diverse of the zones. This article will discuss the 6 zones, their states, ethnic groups, economic activities and other interesting details.
1. NORTH WEST
The North west geopolitical zone of Nigeria is one of the largest zones in the country with a landmass coverage of 216,065kmsq making it cover 25.75% of the land area of Nigeria. It is also one of the most populous zones. There are 7 States that makes up this zone. These include Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi,Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara. Talking of major cities in the North-west, we can talk of Kano, Zaria, Kaduna, Birnin Kebbi, Dutse, Sokoto and Gusau.
The major ethnic groups in the North West zone geopolitical zone include the Hausa-Fulani, Kanuri, Gbagyi, Zuru, Jabba, Baju, Maguzawa, etc. The people here are mostly into agriculture and they are major producers of Sorghum, Maize and Rice as well as other cereals and tomatoes.
2. NORTH EAST
The North East Geopolitical zone consists of 6 states which are Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba and Gombe. The most important economic activity here is farming and rearing of animals. This zone together with North West and North Central are the major agricultural zones in the country and provides most of the food consumed in the country. The major cities in the North West are Potiskum, Yola, Bauchi, Maiduguri, Gombe and Jalingo and Damaturu.
The major ethnic groups here are the Kanuri, Mumuye, Fulani, Fulfulde, Balewa, Tiv, Babur, Tangalawaja, etc. This zone is the most terrorized zone in the country.
3. NORTH CENTRAL
The North Central zone also known by many as the middle belt is the geopolitical zone in Nigeria that hosts the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja). Aside this, it is also a home to 6 states which are Niger, Nasarawa, Kogi, Kwara, Plateau and Benue. As stated earlier, it is the most diverse region in Nigeria with a lot of ethnic groups. However, the Gbagyi, Tiv, Igala, Idoma, Igbira, Nupe, Eggon-Mada, Berom, Yoruba and Mangu, are the major ethnic group in the North Central Geopolitical zone.
The major towns here include Abuja, Minna, Lokoja, Jos, Makurdi, Jos, Lafia and Ilorin.
4. SOUTH WEST
The Yoruba dominated South West is located on the Western Upland otherwise known as the Yoruba Highland. It is made up of Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Oyo and Ekiti. This is the zone with the highest number of academics in the country. Major cities here include the popular and fast growing Lagos, Ibadan, Osogbo, Abeokuta, Ado-Ekiti and Ogbomoso and Akure. The most important economic activity in the South West zone is agriculture. There are two oil producing states in this region. These are Lagos and Ondo.
5. SOUTH EAST
Just like the South West, the South East is fairly homogenous with Igbo as the dominating ethnic group. The states in this zone includes Abia, Anambra, Imo, Enugu and Ebonyi. Out of the 5 states that makes up the South East zone, only 2 can be said to be truly oil producing and they are Imo and Abia. The most important economic activity in the South East is farming. A large number of it population also engage in trading. The South East is notable for producing the highest number of serious businessmen in the country.
6. SOUTH SOUTH
South South is the 6th geopolitical zone in Nigeria and the largest oil producing region in Nigeria. All the states in this region except Cross River are major oil producers. The 6 states in South South geopolitical zone includes Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Cross River, Rivers and Edo. These states together with Abia, Imo and Ondo makes up the region known as the Niger Delta Region.