Kaduna town, the state capital, was founded by the British in 1913, but the State extends well beyond its capital centre. In 1956, Kaduna town was declared the Capital Territory of the former Northern region, and later the capital of former North Central State, made up of the two colonial provinces of Zaria and Katsina. It has remains the unofficial political capital of the northern region.
In I976, when the General Murtala Mohammed administration created seven new States in Nigeria, the then North Central State, with capital at Kaduna, was renamed Kaduna State. In 1987, when the number of States in the country was increased again from nineteen to twenty-one, Katsina Province became Katsina State, while the old Zaria Province became the new Kaduna State. Administratively, States were initially divided into provinces and Native/Local Authorities. However, in 1976, the Murtala Mohammed administration introduced the Local Government Administration system, which delegated some responsibilities to elected/appointed councilors. With each successive Military Government, the number of the LGAs in Kaduna State was increased, from 14 in the early 1980s to 23 in 1998.
Kaduna State occupies almost the entire mid-central portion of the Northern parts of Nigeria and shares common borders with Zamfara, Katsina, Niger, Kano, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Plateau States, and the Federal Capital Territory to the South - West. The State is located globally between latitudes 9˚ 03¹N and 11˚ 32¹ North of the Equator and longitudes 6˚ 05¹ and 8o 38¹ East of the Greenwich Meridian. The total land mass occupied by the State is estimated at 46,053 sq km which is about 5% of the total land area of Nigeria . Kaduna State is the twelfth largest State in the Country.
Major Rivers in Kaduna State include the Kaduna (from which the State derives its name), Kogum, Gurara, Wonderful, (Matsirga) and Galma. The State experiences a tropical continental climate with two distinct seasonal climates, dry and rainy seasons. The wet season (May to October) is heavier in the southern part of the State than in the northern part. Mean annual rainfall in the southern part (in places like Kafanchan and Kagoro) is over 1,524 mm while in the northern part (Makarfi, Ikara and environ), it is 1,016mm.
This climatic pattern is suitable for the cultivation of subsistence and cash crops round the year, although dry season farming often needs to be complemented by irrigation. Kaduna State’s topography is favourable for small, medium and large-scale farming and for tourism.
The population of the state according to 2006 census stands as 6,113,503, using 3.18% growth rate as allowed by the National Population Commission, the projected population of Kaduna State stands at 7,474,369 [2013 projection], therefore, by the year 2018 the state population would stands at 8,446,417.Kaduna State is the third most populous state in the country. About 2 million people live in the two towns of Kaduna and Zaria. The population is culturally very diverse with distinct differences in religion, ethnicity, traditions and social norms between the predominantly Hausa/Muslim population in the northern part of the State and Christians of a variety of ethnic groups to the south. The population is spread across 23 Local Government Areas and 255 political wards across the three senatorial zones.
Kaduna State is made up of 23 Local Government Areas (LGAs). The LGAs were restructured in 2004 into 46 Development Areas in order to bring governance, development and participatory democracy nearer to the people.
The executive power of the State is vested in the Governor who is assisted by the Deputy Governor and a State Executive Council. The State has corps of Permanent Secretaries who implement the decisions of the Executive through such public establishments as Bureau, Offices, Ministries, Extra-Ministerial Departments, Commissions and Parastatals under the coordination of the Head of Service (HOS).
Culture and Tourism
Kaduna state has numerous tourist attractions and comfortable five star hotels such as Hamdala Hotel, among others, Tourist attractions include the Matsirga Water falls in Kafanchan, the Legendary Lord Lugard bridge in Kaduna town, the Kufena Hills in Zaria and the Palace of the Emir of Zaria. There are also modern parks and gardens.
Although the present state of tourism in Kaduna does not reflect the state's long history and its rich cultural developments, there are several tourist attractions in different parts. For example, the famous Zaria city walls, the Emir's legendary insignia and the palace drums are all in the old city. During Muslim festivals, like those mentioned above, mini-durbar "Hawan Daushe", is normally staged in the open field in front of the palace.
The origin of Nigeria's famous Nok terracotta and its rich cultural heritage in Jaba LGA and the annual traditional festival of "Tuk - Itamo" in Nok Village and Kwoi respectively; and the "Afan" festival among the peoples in Jema'a, Sanga and Kaura LGAs are held during Christmas and Easter and attract other Nigerians and foreigners, by thousands. The most recent Nok terracotta find is the dual face portraits (male and female said to predate the single female burst culture dated 258 BC. 13. Wildlife parks and games are very limited in the state, but there are some good spots of natural history and recreational sites, such as the Plateau scarp, "The Assob Falls and Kagoro hills bathylith with the Matsirga falls all in the Jema'a LGA.
The cultural heritage of Kaduna State has potentials to be tourist attractions but these potentials have neither been tapped nor utilized. One of the factors that militate against tourism promotion is its capital intensiveness, which poses significant challenges to the State’s meager resources. Very often, good topographies are equated to tourism potentials, but it takes more than natural topographical resources to develop a tourist economy. The Sector requires huge investments to turn natural endowments to secure and pleasurable sights. It also requires lots of skills and commensurate patronage on the side of the populace.
Presently, the following are the developed sites and activities for the Tourism industry.
Potential sites and activities that have been earmarked for further development include:
There are other festivals in the State which are not as visible as the aforementioned. Some of these are the Baranza festival celebrated by Bajju people, the Bakulu festival celebrated among Ikulu people and the Anghan festival celebrated among Kamantan people. Other festivals include the Adara festival celebrated by Kadara people, the Aninkon festival hosted by Kaninko people. Most of these festivals take place at the beginning of the year with a few at the end of the year or between April and May.
Also, one key activity during festivals in Kaduna State is the durbur especially during Sallah seasons. It features the decoration of horses from the Eid prayer ground to the palace of the traditional rulers where horse racing take place. Dressed in traditional regalia, horse-riders pay homage to the chief or Emir of the locality in the manner it was celebrated by fore-fathers. The significance attached to durbar is enormous, as various groups are identified by profession such as warriors, hunters and farmers.
The enormous tourist potentials of Kaduna State lie in its various heritage sites. All the geopolitical zones of the State have impressive heritage sites for viable tourist attractions. These are the sites;
1. Arewa House: This House was the residence of Sir Ahmadu Bello (Sardauna of Sokoto) a former Premier of the Northern Region, and the first Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. The House is located on Rabah Road off Ali Akilu Road in Kaduna. After the assassination of the Premier following the coup d’état in 1966, the ediface was then taken over by Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1976 and was transformed to a Centre for Historical Documentation and Research. The Centre has a well-equipped Research Library, an Archive and Exhibition Galleries. The Centre also has a magnificent Hall for conferences, seminars and workshops. A well preserved history of Northern Nigeria is available in the Centre. It is highly recommended for visiting research students and workers.
2. Kagoro Hills: The Kagoro Hills is situated in Kagoro town near Kafanchan in the southern part of the State. The Hills form a long range, with tall trees and rocky places at the base. On one part of the Hill, there are hilltop settlements. The Hills influences the weather of the area making turning it to temperate climate similar to that of the Jos Plateau. The landmark is good for rock climbing, hunting safaris, mountaineering and has very beautiful sceneries for picnics and relaxation. The scenery of Kagoro Hills is indeed one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Kaduna State. The State government is developing an international Holiday Resort on the stretch of the Hills.
3. Lugard Foot Bridge: This bridge was originally erected in 1880 by Sir Frederick Lord Lugard (the first Governor-general to administer the British Indirect Rule in the Northern Protectorate) at Zungeru. The bridge was transported to Kaduna in 1920 by Sir Lugard himself when he removed his headquarters from Zungru to Kaduna . The bridge is situated in the Kaduna Garden, (General Hassan Usman Park, a.k.a Gamji Gate), Swimming Pool Road, Kabala East, Kaduna. This bridge is unique and very attractive to view and walk on.
4. Lugard Hall: This is another edifice that was named after Sir Lord Fredrick Lugard the first Governor General of Northern Protectorate (1900-1908).The building was used as the House of Assembly and House of Chiefs during Nigeria’s First Republic. During the Second Republic (from 1979-1983), the Hall still retained its administrative status where it was also used as the legislative House. In the current administration, the Lugard Hall is still used as the Kaduna State House of Assembly Chambers. The building is magnificent, fascinating and attractive to tourists.
5. Magajin gari: Magagin Gari also known as Administrator’s Office is one of the Historical sites not only for Kaduna but for the whole Northen Nigeria. The Office was built in 1939 by the Native Authority (NA) for Colonial Administration in the North and was named Magajin Gari in memory of Magajin Gari Muhammed Sambo who was appointed by the then Emir of Zazzau, Mallam Jafaru in 1944. It was commissioned on 2nd January, 1960 by Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello (Sardauna of Sokoto). It is situated along Ahmadu Bello Way Abubakar Kigo Road Kaduna.
6. Matsirga Waterfalls: The Matsirga Water Falls is located around Madakiya, close to Kafancha town. The Waterfalls exhibits an exuberant power of nature where water gushes, tumbles and drops about 30 meters into a still and deep gorge that has been supported by beautiful rocks. The scenic beauty and serenity of the area as well as the fresh cool breeze around the waterfalls has so much to offer tourists.
7. National Museum, Kaduna: This magnificent edifice stores artifacts from all part of the country depicting Nigeria’s artistry. The Museum is located along Ali Akilu Road in Unguwar Sarki, Kaduna. The Museum has its Archaeological and Ethnographic collections ranging from terracotta figurines of human and animals from the famous Nok culture area dated to about 2,500 years ago, as well art works and crafts of both prehistoric and contemporary societies. Also found in the Museum are building structures constructed with the Hausa traditional architecture of mud and thatch. The Museum is a fascinating building recommended to tourists.
8. Nimbia Forest: This Forest reserve is owned by the Kaduna State Government and is located along Kagoro –Jos Road, near Gidan Waya in Jema’a Local Government Area.
9. Nok Village: Nok village is situated in Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna State. It is inhabited by the Jaba people of Southern Kaduna. Almost every household in the village, has sculpture figurine, which is kept either for history or decoration. Beside these figurines in the houses, there are some in the caves all over the village and environs. These caves are located in rocks and granites outcrops that characterize the area. The Nok culture is distinguished by an ancient tradition of sculpture in clay. It dates back to 300-500 BC and it is believed to be one of the oldest cultures in Black Africa.
10. Ruins of Zaria City Walls: These walls surround Zaria City and are between 14 and 16 kilometers long with eight beautiful and magnificent gates leading into the city. The walls were built with mud, with the sole aim of providing security to the growing population of Zaria as well as to protect the people against invading forces which were frequent in the area during pre-colonial period. The story of the Zaria City walls is actually a little obscure, but what is locally believed and accepted is that the original Zaria City walls were named after Amina, the older daughter of Bakwa Turunku who was the 22nd ruler of Zaria. The Zaria City walls remain one of the most impressive monuments among the cities of Northern Nigeria and a good tourist attraction. Kofar Doka, Kofar Jatau, Kofar Gayan, Kofar Galadima, Kofar Tukur-Tukur, Kofar Kuyanbana, Kofar Gayan and Kofar Bai. This wall was built by slaves and had their keepers to see that no enemy entered the town.
11. Saint Bartholomew’s Anglican Church: The Saint Bartholomew’s Anglican Church was built in 1929 by the first Christian missionaries in Northern Nigeria at Wusasa in Zaria. The Church was constructed using the typical traditional architecture. The walls are made with mud mixture and mud bricks and covered with a domed roof under which a grid of quadrangular bays were used and supported by pillars. The coffers in the roof are patterned with azara branches laid together in parallel lines or fit into triangles. The decoration within the Church building is primarily from the underlying patterning of structural elements with the walls plastered so that their lines could be revealed from the molding. These decorations are so unique that one’s eyes are always drawn to them. The old St. Bartholomew Anglican Church in Wusasa in Zaria is indeed a centre of attraction for tourists, adherents and admirers of traditional architecture.
12. Joseph Primary School: This primary school is the oldest in Kaduna Metropolis. It was established by the Colonial Governor, Lord Lugard when he arrived Kaduna from Zungeru.
13. Sultan Bello Mosque: This Mosque was originally built by the late Sir Ahmadu Bello (Sardauna of Sokoto) Premier of the Northen Region in 1962. The Mosque was named after the Premier’s grandfather, Sultan Muhammed Bello a direct descendant of Shehu Usman Danfodio. The Mosque became internationalized by the introduction of annual Ramadan Tafsir which is still being aired on most electronic media in the State. On February 4, 1994, the Mosque was commissioned by Alhaji (Dr.) Abdulwahab Iyanda Folawiyo, Baba Addini of Nigeria, after a construction work which began in 1979 was carried out on it.
14. The Emir of Zazzau’s Palace: pattered on Hausa traditional architecture this magnificent edifice was built many years ago. The Palace is one of the numerous cultural achievements in Zaria that has endured the trials or modernity. The Palace is situated inside the ancient city of Zazzau. It was built of mud, with traditional dexterity typical of Hausa architectural design. The Palace is surrounded with high walls with beautifully constructed gates. One of the gates is the main entrance gate while the other gates separates the residential area of the Emir and his family from his offices. The Palace, with highlights a sheer grandeur of beauty and elegance of the traditional Hausa culture of the Zazzagawa.
15. Turunku Village: It is one of the most important sites concerned with political development and evolution of Zazzau Kingdom. The village was named after Bakwa Turunku one of the earliest rulers of Zazzau. In this historical settlement are located the ancestral tombs of the great Bakwa Turunku and his ancestors. The capital was later moved from the town of Turunku to its present location in Zaria. Zaria town was named after Zaria one of the daughters of Bakwa Turunku.
16. Zaria Dam: Zaria Dam is situated in one of the transit routes from Kaduna through Zaria to Jos road. The dam is built across the Galma River to form a body of water about 3,000 meters wide and 24 kilometers long. The sound of the waterfalls at the spillway, the distinct yet obtrusive view of the town in the distance, the serenity of the water and the gentle slope of the site all add up to a most desirable location for relaxation.
17. Zaria Dye Pits: Kaduna State is a Centre of production of traditionally manufactured goods that are of great bearing to the people of the State. As such manufacturing is an important economic activity. One of such traditional industries is dying. This trade is as old as man. Most of the material needs of the industry are locally sourced.
Traditional institution has been generally regarded as the custodian of people’s traditions, heritage and culture, This makes them generally accepted and respected by their followers.
The following are the list of paramount rulers, emirates/ chiefdoms and their domains in Kaduna State:
1ST CLASS CHIEFS
1. His Highness Alhaji (Dr) Shehu Idris (CFR),
Emir of Zazzau
2. His Highness Mr. Ufuwai Bonet
Oegworok (Chief of Kagoro)
3. His Highness Alhaji Muhammadu Isa Muhammadu, (OFR)
Emir of Jama’a
4. His Highnes Alhaji Zubairu Jibrin Maigwari II
Emir of Birnin Gwari
Birnin Gwari Emirate
5. His Highness Mallam Tagwai Sambo (OFR),
Chief of Moro’a
6. His Highness Mallam Danladi Gyet Maude (OON)
7. His Highness Dr. Harrison Y. Bungon
8. His Highness Mallam Nuhu Bature,
9. His Royal Highness Mr. Paul Zakka Wyom,
10. His Highness Mr. Maiwada Galadima
Agom Adara III
2ND CLASS CHIEFS
11. His Royal Highness Mr. Gombo Makama,
12. His Royal Highness Dr. Danjuma S. Barde,
13. His Royal Highness Brig. Gen. Abubakar Garba Mohammed (Rtd)
14. His Royal Highness Alhaji Alhassan Adamu
15. His Royal Highness Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar,
16. His Royal Highness Mr. Yohanna Akaito,
17. His Royal Highness Alhaji Ja’afar Abubakar,
18. His Royal Highness Dr. Sa’ad Usman,
19. His Royal Highness Alhaji Ibrahim Yakubu,
3RD CLASS CHIEFDOM
20. His Royal Highness Alhaji Abdulsalam Abdullahi
21. His Royal Highness Alhaji Danlami Yahaya,
22. His Royal Highness Mr. Iliya Ajiya Antang
Chief of Godogodo
23. His Royal Highness Mr. Tanko Tete
24. His Royal Highness Mr. Sako Gajere
25. His Royal Highness Mr. Musa Didam
26. His Royal Highness Mr. yohanna Sidi Kukah
27. His Royal Highness Alhaji Musa Muhammadu Sani
Sarkin Saminaka II
28. His Royal Highness Dr. Damina I. Sabo
Bugwam Kurmi II
29. His Royal Highness Mr. Silas Angai
30. His Royal Highness Mr. Adamu Alkali
31. His Royal Highness Mr. Tobias Nkom Wada
32. His Royal Highness Alhaji Yahaya Mahammud
Commerce & industry
Kaduna State has made significant security-related improvements, helping to make Kaduna a safe and business-friendly state. These improvements include an increase in the quantity and quality of security resources such as vehicles, street lighting, and security personnel. The state has one of the best road systems in Nigeria with 2,820 kilometres of trunk roads radiating from Kaduna City and an additional 1,200 kilometres connecting other points in the state and in the capital. The central location of the state and advanced road and rail system, combined with increasing demand for food products and consumer goods in surrounding cities and states, makes it a suitable place for investors looking for a hub location to serve several markets. Railways converge at Kaduna city from Lagos in the southwest and Port-Harcourt in the south-south, and extend to Zaria, which connects to Kano and to Kaura Namoda in Zamfara State.
The state’s One Stop Investment Center facilitates investment in Kaduna by bringing all agencies relevant to starting a business to one location. Its services are available to all local and foreign investors. In order to accelerate growth, create sustainable economic development and attract more private investment, the state government has taken the issue of domestic Water Supply and Power very seriously.
Kaduna State has favourable opportunities that are attributed to its central position, easy accessibility and abundant natural resources, which can be exploited at commercial level. Such opportunities can be broadly classified as:
Other specific investment opportunities in the state include: