Quick Facts: Central Nigeria
- Capital of Nigeria which is located within Central Nigeria: Abuja
- Major ethnic groups that live in Central Nigeria: Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba
- Central Nigeria covers two-fifths of Nigeria’s land but only houses one-fifth of the population
- Before 1970, large scale developments were not allowed on portions of the land in Central Africa due to government projects
- The capital of the country is situated in Central Nigeria as to be a neutral ethnic area in the hopes to create national unity
Introducing Central Nigeria
Central Nigeria is the least developed and most sparsely populated region of Nigeria with small patches of densely populated areas existing in the Jos Plateau. Due to poor climate and bare soil areas, the majority of this section of the country is unpopulated. Often referred to as the middle belt, the central region runs longitudinally through the centre of the country. Abuja, which lies in central Nigeria is the capital city of the country but is not the most populous.
Although the major cities in this area are developed, a lot of the land is left undeveloped and is the home to many rural, minor ethnic groups. The diversity of ethnicities and cultures that inhabit this area are vast and religious beliefs and languages differ from group to group. Central Nigeria is dominated by a savannah terrain which includes large patches of sandy, grass plains with few trees and rivers in between.
Some game reserves exist closer to the westerly side of the region and it is here where the environment and climate changes to a more tropical nature.
The size of Central Nigeria
The middle belt of Nigeria is undetermined due to the fact that it lacks borders. The area is instead defined by the people in the area as well as the topographical environment.
Major cities and towns
Abuja which can be found in the centre of Nigeria is the capital of the country and has a number of satellite towns surrounding the city due to the influx of westerners in the area. Other major cities in the area include Minna, Jos and Kaduna.
People and language
Due to the extensive mix of ethnicities and cultural groups that inhabit this region of Nigeria, the language differs from city to city and group to group. English is brought into the cities by the educated and the foreigners while the more rural the housing becomes the languages and people become more defined and rare as their culture and speech exists only in their ethnic group.
Topography and climate
Central Nigeria on a whole experiences three distinct seasons per annum. A warm, humid and rainy season is separated from a dry, scorching hot season by a brief period of dust haze brought on by the Harmattan West African trade wind.
This region of the country falls into the Guinean forest-savanna mosaic. This is an area of interlaced savanna, grassland and forest areas that runs from west to east across Africa. This area consists of mainly grassland with small patches of trees that exist near riverbeds and on hillsides. The denser forest areas that exist in western Central Nigeria are home to a rich variety of animal and bird life.
Access to Central Nigeria
Abuja houses an international airport that has flights offered by several commercial airlines.