Borno State, Nigeria

Capital: Maiduguri
Area: 70,898 km˛
Population: 4,588,668 (2005 est.)
Major Languages: Hausa, Fulani
Governor: Kashim Shettima (APC)
ISO 3166-2: NG-BO
Date Created: 3 February 1976
Population Rank: Ranked 12th



Borno State is a state in north-eastern Nigeria. Its capital is Maiduguri (sometimes known as 'Yerwa').

The state was formed in 1976 by the split of the North-Eastern State. Until 1991 it contained what is now Yobe State.

The state is dominated by the Kanuri ethnic group, and is an example of the endurance of traditional political institutions in some areas of Africa. There, the emirs of the former Kanem-Bornu Empire have played a part in the politics of this area for nearly 1000 years.

Borno State occupies the greater part of the Chad Basin and is located in the North-Eastern corner of Nigeria. The State shares borders with the Republics of Niger to the North, Chad to the North-East and Cameroun to the East.

Within Nigeria, Borno State shares boundaries with Adamawa State to the South, Gombe State to the West and Yobe State to the North-West.


Borno tradition has it that the people originally migrated from Kanem under the leadership of their Seifawa rulers who build their capital at Gazargamo in the centre of the Komadugu Yobe valley. This town remained the centre of Borno culture and supremacy for well over 300 years. The most famous among the rulers of this period was Mai Idris Alooma. As a result of persistent Fulani onslaughts and the inability of the Seifawa rulers to repel the attacks, Gazargamo was burnt down forcing the people to move further eastwards to Kafela where they again settled and built a capital. Even then, the attacks did not cease and the Seifawa rulers were forced to negotiate an alliance with Muhammed Al-Amina Ibn Mohammed El-Kanemi, a scholar with vast military skills based in Ngala. He surceeded in securing the States and in effect the Seifawa dynasty, with the help of his Shuwa allies.

The succeeding power intrigues between the Seifawa and El-Kanemi resulted in the destruction of both Kafela and Kukawa, El-Kanemi's town and the execution of the last Seifawa ruler in 1846. El-Kanemi's son, Umar, then succeeded to the Seifawa Kingship and consolidated the capital of Borno at kukawa, making Borno in the process, once more a State and one that caught the attention of European States.

The beginning of the 20th century however marked the decline of the glorious Borno empire with Rebeh Fadel Allah, a Cchadian war monger defeating Borno in 1893 and unleashing a seven year reign of terror on the empire. Rabeh so much exhausted Borno of her human and economic resources that the British met with little resistance in their conquest of Borno in 1902. Borno was occupied and diviced between Britain and Germany; thus the origin of the two Borno Emirates i.e. Borno and Dikwa Emirates.

The Emirates of Biu, Fika and Bade though distinct in language, have a lot of cultural similarities with Borno and also trace their genealogy to the Komadugu Yobe valley. Yamtarawala, the legendary founder of the Biu dynasty is said to have contested the Mais-ship at Gazargamo but lost to Mai Mohamed. The establishment of the Chiefdoms of Gwoza, Uba, Askira and Shani originated in this century. The family history of the Chief of Shani starts with Bila Wati, the first of a long line of succession. Askira and Uba became independent Chiefdoms as a result of boundary adjustments between Adamawa and Borno in 1921. Gwoza which is the most cosmopolitan of the Chiefdoms is linked with Haman Yaji who was a famous warrior for some; the notorious marauder for others; and, for the rest, opponent of colonial imperial advances.


Local Government Areas

There are 27 Local Government Areas in the State. These are Shani, Kwanga-Kusar, Hawul, Biu, Askira/Uba, Dumboa, Gwoza, Konduga, Bama, Kaga, Magumeri, Gubio, Mobbar, Kukawa, Nganzai, Monguno, Marte, Ngala, Dikwa, Mafa, Maiduguri, Jere, Abadan, Chibok, Guzamala, Kale/ Balge and Bayo.


  • University of Maiduguri
  • Ramat Polytechnic,
  • Borno College of Education
  • Borno College of Science and Technology
  • Borno College of Legal and Islamic Studies (BOCOLIS)
  • Borno College of Agriculture
  • Federal Staff Training Centre, Maiduguri

Business Opportunities

Agriculture and livestock farming which are the main stay of the state's economy have vast developmental potentials. The State is rich in millet, rice, cassava, date palms, fruits vegetables, sorghum, wheat, sweet potatoes, cowpeas, sugar cane, groundnut, cotton, gum arabic and many others.

Diatomite, Potassium/Sodium, Clay, Limestone and Uranium are found in Borno State. Crude oil is also explored in the Chad Basin Area.


The natural resources, history, rich traditions and cultural heritage of the people of Borno state provides ample tourist attractions which include - . Jaffy falls, Kuya - Located in Kwaya- Kusar local Government area. The falls flow throughout the year and drop from a plateau, with a height of about fifty feet (50ft), into a valley.

Sanda Kyarimi Park Zoo - A 42 acre wildlife sanctuary which includes a botanical park, the Sanda Kyarimi Zoo is located within the metropolis along Shehu Laminu way. It was established in 1970 as a communal forest reserve.

Lake AIau - A natural water storage formed by River Ngada, it provides water to the Maiduguri Metropolis through the water treatment plant and irrigation to farmers especially during the dry season for the cultivation of spinach, onions and tomatoes, etc. The lake derives its name ‘Alau from legend which says that Idris Aloma, a famous warrior and leader of the ancient Kanem Bornu Empire, is buried there.

Shehu of Borno's Palace - Located at the end of Dandal way in the Maiduguri, the palace reflects therelics and architectural design of the Arab civilization. It is built of burnt-bricks and was constructed by Kanuri Masons and Architects. It is used for Durbar Festivals and the turbanning of traditional rulers.

Useful Resources

Schools on The Web:


Borno State Liason Office:
 Plot 1512, T.Y Danjuma Street, Off Yakublol Gowon Crescent, Asokoro, Abuja