TARABA STATEPost Comment TARABA STATE Nigeria
Historical Development: Taraba State which comprises the pre1976 divisions of Muri, Mambilla and Wukari, was created
Entrance Gate into Wukari
on 27th August, 1991, along with eight other states by the Federal Military government of the Babangida administration. The state creation exercise was the result of a continuing process of spatio-political devolution, which started in 1963, to make Nigeria a politically stable and economically strong country.
Taraba State, with its numerous small ethnic groups and remote location, was a particularly neglected and grossly underdeveloped part of the former Gongola State. Because of its rugged topography, lack of access roads from other parts of the country, and indeed, the neglect it suffered from past administrations, the state still remains largely peripheral to the nation's economic and political life.
The need to diffuse centres of economic growth and draw the peripheral population
into the mainstream of the nation's economy, which are among the important reasons
adduced to justify state creation exercises in the country, are therefore most
relevant to Taraba State.
With an estimated land area of about 54,428 sq. km, the state lies roughly between latitudes 6°25'N and 9°30'N and between longitudes 9°30'E and 11°45'E. It is bordered on the west by Gombe and Plateau States, and by Adamawa State to the northeast. It also shares its southwestern boundary with Benue State. An international boundary on the east, separates Taraba State from the Republic of Cameroun.
Administrative Areas: To achieve the objectives of spatiopolitical devolution, Taraba State was subdivided into twelve Local
Taraba State Polytechnic, Wakari
Government Areas (LGA) at the time of its creation (in 1991). These include Bali, Dondga, Gashaka, Ibi, Jalingo, Karim Lamido, Lau, Sardauna, Takum, Wukari, Yorro and Zing. In 1996, three new local government areas namely Ardo Kola, Kurmi and Ussa, were carved out of Bali, Takum, and Jalingo LGAs respectively.
This brings the number of administrative units to sixteen currently. These are further subdivided into eighteen district areas. The district areas are units based essentially on cultural factors which seek to emphasize ethnic circumstances. Unlike the local government units which officially operate and are recognized as the third tier of government, the districts are administered traditionally through a hierarchy of chiefs, village and ward heads.
The traditional setup of the district level administration serves as an important linkage between the grassroots population and the local government administration. This arrangement, though not sufficiently exploited yet, has no doubt helped to enhance peace and harmony among the various ethnic groups in the state.
Perhaps it may be necessary to allude that the future spatial plan ning for development in Taraba State should encourage the reemergence and proper integration of the districts or a system of development areas in each local government area, as an integral part of a grassroot based development strategy that recognizes the fourth dimension administrative structure.