Lord Frederick Lugard, the Governor-General (1914-1919) of Nigeria, moved the Northern Region's capital from Zungeru to Kaduna. In 1967, Kaduna became the North Central State's capital, created from the Northern region. By 1976, General Murtala Mohammed gave the state its name.
In 1987, the military administration of General Ibrahim Babangida created the state of Katsina from Kaduna. Interestingly, the Nok tribe, one of Africa's earliest civilisations, is located within the area that makes up Kaduna.
The state slogan is "The Centre of Learning" because it is home to several prestigious institutions. The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Nigerian College of Aviation, Barewa College and Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, to name a few.
From the colonial era to the contemporary period, Kaduna has maintained a reputation as a state with a huge pull factor. Numerous tribes around Nigeria have settled in Kaduna and called it their home for years. Till today, the state continues to be a hub for cosmopolitanism.
Kaduna State is in the north-central part of Nigeria and shares a common border with Kano, Katsina and Zamfara to the north, Bauchi and Plateau to the east and Nasarawa to the south. Niger to the west and the Federal Capital Territory – Abuja to the southwest. It is the fourth largest and third most populous state in Nigeria, with 46,053 square kilometres and about 10m residents. The population in Kaduna State is young, with 85% of its inhabitants under 35 Years.
Kaduna is a multi-religious and multi-cultural State with over 60 ethnic groups. The capital - Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan are the main urban areas. Kaduna State is a significant economic hub in the region, a trade centre and a transportation axis to nearby agricultural areas and states. The State’s GDP is N3.19tn (2019 est.), and in 2020, Kaduna State surpassed its IGR target of N43B and generated N50.77B despite the COVID- 19 pandemic.
Kaduna State is a leading industrial hub in Nigeria, manufacturing products like textiles, machinery, steel, aluminium, petroleum products.
Kaduna State is endowed with mineral resources such as clay, nickel, tourmaline, serpentine, asbestos, amethyst and gold. The climate in Kaduna is tropical with dry and wet seasons with an average annual temperature of 25ºC. Additionally, it is blessed with arable land and a variety of crops. Kaduna State is the number one producer of maize and ginger and second in soybeans.
Kaduna State has operationalized the ease of doing business charter to break down barriers to investments and expand the fiscal space. Through these extensive investment efforts, Kaduna State has attracted investments worth about $2.6Bn and attained the position of the No. 1 State in Doing Business (World Bank, 2018, Doing Business in Nigeria).
The state's tourist attractions include the ancient Nok Culture site at Kwoi, Jaba LGA, the Matsirga Water Falls in Kafanchan, Kajuru Castle and the Fifth Chukker Polo & Country Club within Kangimi Resorts in Igabi LGA. Other points of interest are Kagoro Hills, Kaduna National Museum and Monument and Arewa House.
The North Central State with Kaduna as its capital had two military governors, Abba Kyari (1967 – 1975) and Usman Jibirin (1975 – 1977). Since the inception of the state as Kaduna in 1976, it has had nine military governors and seven civilian governors.
Group Captain Mukhtar Muhammad was the military Governor of Kaduna from 1977 – 1978. Group Captain Ibrahim Mahmud Alfa, held the position from 1978 – 1979, In 1979, the second republic began under a civilian government led by President Shehu Shagari, who replaced Group Captain Ibrahim Mahmud Alfa. Alhaji Balarabe Musa was elected as the first civilian Governor of the state under the People's Redemption Party (PRP). He served from 1979 to 1981, when the Kaduna State House of Assembly controversially impeached him. His deputy, Abba Musa Rimi, who completed the tenure till 1983, succeeded him.
In 1983, Lawal Kaita was elected as the Governor of Kaduna under the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). However, another military coup took power from civilian authority once again. The new military regime of General Muhammadu Buhari appointed Air Vice Marshall Usman Muazu as the Military Governor of Kaduna. He served from 1984 – 1985. Two years later, another coup led by General Ibrahim Babangida appointed Colonel Dangiwa Umar as the Military Governor of Kaduna from 1985 to 1988. Abdullahi Sarki Mukhtar replaced Colonel Dangiwa Umar and ran the state from 1988 to 1990.
The last Military Governor appointed by General Ibrahim Babangida regime was Abubakar Tanko Ayuba. He ran Kaduna from 1990 to 1992 and handed over power to a civilian elected governor in the ill-fated and short-lived Third Republic. Mohammed Dabo Lere became the third elected civilian Governor of Kaduna. He emerged victorious from the 1992 elections under the platform of the National Republican Convention (NRC). His rule was short-lived due to the last military coup in Nigeria's political history, engineered and led by General Sani Abacha. As a result, Colonel Lawal Jafaru Isa was appointed as the seventh military Governor of Kaduna. He ruled the state from 1993 to 1996.
General Sani Abacha appointed Colonel Hamid Ali as the eight Military Governor. The current Director-General of Nigerian Customs ran Kaduna from 1996 to 1998. General Sani Abacha's sudden death and the emergence of General Abdulsalam Abubakar as the Head of State led to Umar Faruk Ahmed's appointment as the Military Governor of Kaduna in August 1998. He served until 1999 and handed over to a civilian Governor after the end of the transitional regime.
The Fourth republic began in 1999 and has continued to endure. Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) emerged victorious in the 1999 gubernatorial elections. After serving two consecutive terms of four years, Makarfi was succeeded by Architect Namadi Sambo, who ran the state from 2007 to 2010. After the death of President Umaru Yar'adua, President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Governor Namadi Sambo as his Vice President. Thus, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, his deputy, took over as the Governor of Kaduna. Governor Patrick Yakowa ran for elections under the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in 2011 and won. However, he died a year later in a tragic helicopter crash which led to his deputy, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, as Governor.
Mukhtar Ramalan Yero ran the state from 2012 to 2015. He unsuccessfully ran for re-election in 2015 but he lost out to Mallam Nasir El-Rufai of the All Progressive Congress (APC). Nasir El-Rufai became the first opposition politician to govern Kaduna since the birth of the Fourth Republic. He is the incumbent Governor of the state after being sworn in for his second tenure on May 29, 2019.
Population (2020 est.)
Local Government Areas
GDP (2019 est.)
In Doing Business
World Bank, (2018) Doing Business in Nigeria