States creation in Nigeria and their creators: Full list with all the details

States creation in Nigeria and their creators: Full list with all the details

Nigeria is a federation comprising one federal capital territory (FCT) and 36 states. These states were created at varying times in Nigeria's history and by various regimes. Each state is a semi-autonomous political unit that shares powers with the country's federal government as stated in the Nigerian constitution. What do you know about state creation in Nigeria and their creators?

who created the 36 states in Nigeria
A map of Nigeria with its flag's colors. Photo:, @GDJ
Source: Depositphotos

State creation in Nigeria began in 1967 when the then regions were replaced by states. After that, various regimes made changes to the country's structure until 1996, when the last states were created.

State creation in Nigeria and their creators

Here is a quick look at the important timelines in the creation of states in Nigeria and their creators.


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When Nigeria became attained independence from colonial rule in 1960, it was a federal state with three regions. These were the Eastern, Northern, and Western regions. There were also provinces which served as a legacy of colonial rule. These were later abolished in 1976.

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In 1963, a new region was created, bringing the total to four. The new region was known as the Mid-Western Region and was created from the Western Region.


In 1967, the country's military regime replaced the four regions with 12 states. Between 1967 and 1970, the former Eastern Region attempted to secede from the rest of Nigeria, resulting in the infamous Biafran Civil War.

The states created in 1967 resulted from General Yakubu Gowon's rise to power via a coup d’état.

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There were 7 additional states created in 1976, bringing the total to 19. The 19 states of Nigeria in 1976 included the Federal Capital Territory, created from Niger State. In 1987, two more states (Akwa Ibom and Katsina) were created, bringing the total to 21. This was done under the military rule of General Ibrahim Babangida.


On August 27, 1991, the number of states in Nigeria increased to thirty as General Babangida thought it fit to create another nine states, bringing the total to 30.


In 1993 when General Sani Abacha came into power, the government was under immense pressure to create additional states. The reigning military regime, under recommendation from the National Constitutional Conference (NCC), decided to create six more states. This was done in October 1996, bringing the total to the current 36 states.

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States creation in Nigeria

Here are the Nigerian states created in 1991 and 1996.

StateDate createdCreator
Bayelsa 1 October 1996Sani Abacha
Ebonyi 1 October 1996Sani Abacha
Ekiti 1 October 1996Sani Abacha
Gombe 1 October 1996Sani Abacha
Nasarawa 1 October 1996Sani Abacha
Zamfara 1 October 1996Sani Abacha
Abia27 August 1991Ibrahim Babangida
Adamawa27 August 1991Ibrahim Babangida
Delta27 August 1991Ibrahim Babangida
Edo27 August 1991Ibrahim Babangida
Enugu27 August 1991Ibrahim Babangida
Jigawa27 August 1991Ibrahim Babangida
Kebbi27 August 1991Ibrahim Babangida
Kogi27 August 1991Ibrahim Babangida
Osun27 August 1991Ibrahim Babangida
Akwa Ibom23 September 1987Ibrahim Babangida
Katsina 23 September 1987Ibrahim Babangida

Here is a list of 12 states created in Nigeria in 1976 and others in previous subsequent years.

StateDate createdCreator
Taraba3 February 1976Gen. Murtala Mohammed
Yobe3 February 1976Gen. Murtala Mohammed
Anambra 3 February 1976Gen. Murtala Mohammed
Bauchi3 February 1976Gen. Murtala Mohammed
Benue3 February 1976Gen. Murtala Mohammed
Borno3 February 1976Gen. Murtala Mohammed
Imo3 February 1976Gen. Murtala Mohammed
Niger27 May 1967General Yakubu Gowon
Ogun27 May 1967General Yakubu Gowon
Ondo27 May 1967General Yakubu Gowon
Oyo27 May 1967General Yakubu Gowon
Plateau27 May 1967General Yakubu Gowon
Sokoto27 May 1967General Yakubu Gowon
Kano 27 May 1967General Yakubu Gowon
Cross River27 May 1967General Yakubu Gowon
Kaduna27 May 1967General Yakubu Gowon
Kwara27 May 1967General Yakubu Gowon
Lagos27 May 1967General Yakubu Gowon
Rivers27 May 1967

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Who created states in Nigeria in 1976?

1976 saw the creation of 7 states by General Murtala Mohammed. This brought the total to 19 states. Later in the year, General Ibrahim Babangida created two more states.

Who created the 36 states in Nigeria?

They were created by different leaders under different regimes. These include General Murtala Mohammed, General Ibrahim Babangida, General Yakubu Gowon, and General Sani Abacha.

Who created 21 states in Nigeria?

who created states in Nigeria in 1976
A map of Nigeria. Photo: @cartopostersmaps
Source: Instagram

By 1987, the country had 21 states. These had been created by General Ibrahim Babangida (2), General Murtala Mohammed (7), and General Yakubu Gowon (12).

Who created 12 states in Nigeria?

General Yakubu Gowon created Nigeria's first 12 states in 1967.

The history behind state creation in Nigeria and their creators is quite fascinating. The country saw 36 states created in five regimes. These administrative units replaced the regions and provinces left by the British.

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READ ALSO: What are the 10 economic problems that Nigeria is facing? recently explored the main economic problems plaguing Nigeria. Like other middle-income countries with emerging markets, the country has witnessed gradual expansion in communication, technology, finance, manufacturing, and service sectors.

However, problems such as poor health facilities, high levels of crime, unemployment, and corruption continue to be pressing issues in the country's economy.


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