Posted by on 2/12/2003 10:29:31 AM

Ethnic Composition, Languages, Cultures and the Arts: Early settlers in the FCT were main ly of the Kwa language

The Judiciary Complex
The Judiciary Complex

group, found predominantly around the NigerBenue confluence. They are known to have settled in the area many centuries before the jihad of the 19th century.

Other ethnic groups in the territory include the Bassas, Gades, Gwandaras, Koros and Ganaganas, all of which have strong linguistic affiliations with the Kwa language group that dominated the present middle belt region of northern Nigeria. At the time of the FCT's creation, the main architectural design was the round mud house type of the Sudanese style, with few rectangular types.

By the side of the houses are usually situated some cone shaped granaries, indicating the people's strong attachment to agriculture. With more influx of people into the territory, leading to creation of some forms of cosmopolitan coinhabitation practices, the rounded styled houses are gradually disappearing, paving the way for dominance of rectangular mud structures and in some cases bricks houses owned by the more affluent.

Federal Secretariat Complex
Federal Secretariat Complex

Though traditional religious worshippers still remain in the territory, majority of the inhabitants belong to either the Christian or Muslim faith. The persistence of traditional religious practices in the territory, despite the aggressive ways in which Islam and Christianity spread over northern Nigeria is itself an indication of the attachment which the people still have with their past cultural practices.

Population Structure and Distribution: According to the 1991 population census (Provisional figures), the population of the FCT was 378,671 and is now (Year 2000) projected at over half a million . However, as it shows quite clearly, it was only 170,575 by 1981. A 1984 survey shows that this population was then overwhelmingly Gwari although the Bassa ethnic group was also fairly represented.

Analysis of the 1991 National Population Census data in respect of the FCT shows a some what equitable distribution of the population among six out of the nine main age groups (namely 69, 1014, 1519, 2024, 2529, 3034, 3539), with each one constituting about ten percent of the entire population of the territory. Three other groups (namely 4044, 4549, 50 and above) each constitutes about five percent of the total population of the territory.

Federal Radio Corporation Headquarters Building
Federal Radio Corporation Headquarters Building

The results further indicate that litera cyrate is higher among the former age groups, sug gesting that those of ages of between six and thirtynine are comparatively better educated in the territory.

In the case of the proportion of the active workforce engaged in various economic activities, the results also shows that as at 1991, of the estimated active working population of about 122,265, about fifteen percent each were engaged in professional and technical related sales and service works.

On the other hand, about six percent each belong to the production and agricultural sectors respectively. With the influx of people, especially after the 1991 formal movement of the nation's seat of power to the territory, it is expected that such distributional charactesristics of the population would have been greatly distorted. In the absence of another census since that of 1991, it is difficult for this to be ascertained now.

Urban and Rural Development and Pattern of Human Settlement: By 1981, no settlement in the FCT could be

National Mosque
National Mosque

described as a town since none had a population anywhere near 5,000 not to talk of 20,000. The settlements with populations remotely approaching this were Karu, Abaji and Gwagwa lada with populations of 4,125, 3,360 and 2,395 described as urban in so far as they have popula tions of 20,000 or more.

These include the Federal Capital City (FCC) itself, Gwagwalada, Abaji and r Nyanya/Karu. Other settlements belonging to this ) category include Kwali, Bwari, Rubochi, Karshi, Kuje, Gwagwa and Karmo. It should naturally be expected that as urbanisation intensifies in the territory, urban crises (slums, insecurity, waste accumulation etc.) would escalate.

National Ecumenical Centre
National Ecumenical Centre

Rural development in the FCT hinges largely on agriculture, the main occupation of the area's inhabitants. Fortunately, the climate of the territory, is quite favourable for agriculture. The FCT Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), creat 5 ed in 1989, is particularly involved in rural transformation in the territory, especially through enhanced farming activities and provision of rural infrastruc future.

Problem of Urban Primacy: Because most of the government establishments are located in the Municipal area of the territory, this part of the FCT has for long been enjoying the privilege of being a primate city. However, of recent, high land values within the municipal council is necessitating the drift , away of people and their activities to other urban and semiurban areas of the territory.

Also, some policies of the government are causing some important government agencies and institutions to be located outside the Municipal area. For instance, several institutions under the Federal Ministry of Education are cited outside the Municipal area. With time, therefore, the primacy of the Municipal area will continue to diminish.

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