BRIEF HISTORY OF NIGER STATE
Niger State was created the then North Western State on 3rd February, 1976 by the then regime of General Murtala Mohammed. It has Minna as it’s capital. Other major cities are Bida, Kontagora, and Suleja.
Located in the Middle Belt of Nigeria, Niger State covers 76,363 square kilometres. It is the largest Nigerian state by land area.
The state has a small majority of Muslims. The state is named for the River Niger. Two of Nigeria’s major hydroelectric power stations are located in Niger State: the Kainji dam and the Shiroro dam. Kainji National Park is also situated in Niger State. It contains the lake formed by the Kainji dam. It is the largest National Park of Nigeria, but a lot of the wildlife has disappeared.
Niger State shares boundaries with Kaduna State and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja States in the East and South-East respectively, Kebbi and Zamfara in the North, Kwara and Kogi States in the South and Benin Republic in the East.
GURARA WATERFALL NIGER
This is one of the biggest natural tourist attractions Nigeria has to offer. Gurara Waterfall is located 76 kilometers away from Minna, Niger State, Nigeria. It has its source from Kachia in Kaduna State and empties its volume into River Niger at a village called Dere near Muye in Lapai.
In times past, natives of Gurara waterfall used to worship the waterfall and offer sacrifices to it. Fast forward to present time where the only sacrifice made is climbing a steepy hill to see the waterfall. The Gurara waterfall is a prime tourist destination ideal for picnics, bird watching and appreciating nature.
KAINJI LAKE NATIONAL PARK
Kainji Lake National Park (KLNP) was the first National Park to be established among the eight that are currently present in Nigeria. The Park covers an area of 5,340.82 square km and is comprised of two sectors, Borgu and Zugurma, in Niger State.
The establishment of KLNP in 1976 marked the first attempt at managing wildlife for recreation in Nigeria. KLNP harbours diverse flora, fauna, hydrological, cultural and human resources.
The Park houses a lot of wildlife like: elephants, lions, buffaloes, antelope, hunting dogs, hippos, monkey, lion, python, Nile crocodile, leopard, hyena, buffalo, kob, cobra, green snake, bush buck, tilapia, mongoose, stone partridge, hadada ibis, Bee eaters, turtles, manatees, baboons, pringhorn antelopes, crocodile and so many others.
In addition, approximately 180 species of birds have been recorded to be housed by the park.
In the park, there are noticeable warning sign that states “No hunting in the park”. This inscription is to inform visitors of the dangers the wildlife is exposed to by poaching activities of local hunters in the region. At Kainji Lake, there is also a “No fishing policy” and “No littering policy”.
BIDA BRASS WORKS
Bida brass works was established in 18th century in Bida town, Niger state. It is notable as the home of beautiful brass works. Built by Etsu Usman Zaki in 18th century.
It is often said that before you can marry a woman in Bida, you have to pay the brass price. Bida which is home to beautiful brass works hopes to tell the story of its people via artistic expressions of copper and zinc.
MINNA AIRPORT NIGER
This is the airport serving Minna and the neighboring areas in Niger, opening up the state to air migration.
As the major link for the primarily Muslim Northern states, it serves Muslim pilgrims and hosts airlines that operate internationally. It is relatively well maintained too.
MINNA RAILWAY STATION
This is an inter-state train station. If you plan on journeying by rail to Lagos and other parts of the country, this is your starting point.
The town is known for its railway history. The laying of the Kano-Baro track in 1905 is the point at which Minna came to be. Then, the town served as a labour camp for workers who built the rail-lines – many of whose descendants still live in the area today. The first steam engine that chugged through northern Nigeria can be seen at the station. The 114-year old locomotive, which was built in Leeds, UK, was a Hunslet 0-6-0ST.
KWANTI NATURE RESERVE
Kwanti Nature Reserve is a wildlife park located in Niger State, a northern state of Nigeria. It is one of the most visited places in Niger State, especially since the state has witnessed a great influx of foreigners. Kwanti Nature Reserve is a great location for tourists, families, children and all who love to experience the thrill of a natural environment. Visitors are known to visit the park admire to enjoy its magnificence.
BARO INLAND WATER PORT
When Lord Lugard and his co-explorers arrived at Baro, then a small village at the bank of one of the tributaries of the River Niger during the course of their voyage which led to the establishment of an inland river port at Baro.
At Baro Inland Port, warehouses used by the Europeans to store goods can be seen. Besides the port, lies a plateau hill, where Lord Lugard found a conducive dwelling place.
Baro Inland water port is an inland water port regarded as the first settlement of the Governor General of Nigeria, Lord Lugard. It is frequently visited by tourist who wants to explore the history of colonial Nigeria.
BARO EMPIRE HILLS
The BARO Empire Hill is a unique Historical site in the History of Nigeria. It houses the president Fredrick Lord Lugard Lodge, his wireless transmission and radio mast, Barracks, Quarter guards, Colonial cemetery etc.
Lord Lugard Empire hill, Baro in Niger state Baro Empire hill is a flat-topped hill which commands a magnificent view across the River Niger. At the top of the hill lie the remains of Lord Fredrick Lugard’s first headquarters at the summit.
The relics of a high frequency radio station from where he communicated with the Queen and other personalities is still on the Baro hill.
The Baro Empire Hills represents some of the history of Nigeria making it a top spot for tourist. Visit the Home of the Governor-General Lord Lugard and explore the magnificent edifice.