NIGER STATEPost Comment NIGER STATE Nigeria
Historical Development: Niger State, previously Niger Province was part of the North western State under the Gowon
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administrations twelve State structure in 1967. In 1976, when a further state creation exercise was embarked upon by the General Murtala Mohammed administration, the previous North-western state was bifurcated into Sokoto and Niger States.
Niger State is located between latitudes 8°20'N and 11°30'N and longitude 3°30'E and 7°20'E. The state is bordered to the north by Zarnfara State, to the northwest by Kebbi State, to the south by Kogi State, to southwest by Kwara State; while Kaduna State and the Federal Capital Territory border the state to the northeast and southeast, respectively.
Furthermore, the State shares a common international boundary with the Republic of Benin at Babanna in Borgu Local Government Area of the state. Currently the state covers a total land area of 76,000 sq. km, or about 9 percent of Nigeria's total land area. This makes the state the largest in the country.
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Administrative Areas: Although at inception in 1967, the State had only eight LGAs, the series of other state and local government creation exercises and boundary adjustments between 1979 to 1996 have substantially increased the number of LGAs in the state to twentyfive. For easy and effective administration, the twentyfive LGAs have been divided into five administrative zones.
These include Minna, the state capital, Bida, Suleja, Kontagora and New Bussa. There are eight Emirate councils. These include Agaie, Bida, Kontagora, Suleja, Lapai, Kagara, Borgu and Minna . At the apex of this council is the Estu Nupe who is the Chairman, Niger State Council of Chiefs. This council plays advisory role to the state government.
Administrative Structure: The State is administered through three tiers of government State, Local and Emirate Councils. At the state level, there are three levels of authority. First, there is the Government which is elected on party basis and headed by the Executive Governor of the state.
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He is assisted by a Deputy Governor, Special Advisers, the Secretary to the Government and Head of Service, and the Commissioners who head each Ministry. All these form the Executive arm of government. They are responsible for the day to day administration of the state. Secondly, there is the legislature, membership of which is also elective on party basis.
The legislature is symbolised in the State House of Assembly and headed by a Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Majority and Minority leaders, and Party leaders, amongst others. The legislature is organised around committees with a chairman as the Head of each committee.
Thirdly, there is Judiciary, which is the independent arm of government and headed by the Chief Judge of the State. The Local Government Area is headed by a Chairman who heads the local government council made up of Councillors and an administrative secretary posted to it by the Local Government Service Commission.
They form the Executive Council at the LGA level. Again the 25 LGAs in the state are each divided into districts, each again with its District Head while villages are headed by village heads through out the State. Finally, as indicated earlier, there are eight Emirate Councils, with the Etsu Nupe, a first class chief as Chairman, Niger State Councils of Chiefs.