Cross River State, Nigeria

Capital: Calabar
Area: 20,156 km˛
Population: 3,104,446 (2005 est.)
Language: Efik
Governor: Benedict Ayade (PDP)
ISO 3166-2: NG-CR
Date Created: 27 May 1967
Population Rank: Ranked 28th


Cross River is a coastal state in southeastern Nigeria, bordering Cameroon to the east. Its capital is at Calabar, and it is named for the Cross River, which passes through the state.

The state was created in 1967 from part of the former Eastern Region, and was known as the 'South-Eastern State until 1976 when it adopted its present name. The state originally included what is now Akwa Ibom State.

Cross River State is located in Nigeria's Delta region.It is bounded on the North by Benue State, on the South by Akwa Ibom State, on the East by Cameroun Repulic and on the West by Anambra and Imo States.


Cross River State was created on May 27, 1967 from the former Eastern Region, Nigeria by the General Yakubu Gowon regime. Its name was changed to Cross River State in the 1976 state creation exercise by the then General Murtala Mohammed regime from South Eastern State. The present day Akwa Ibom State was excised from it in the state creation exercise of September 1987 by the then regime of General Ibrahim Babangida.


Efik is very widely spoken in Cross River State because it used to be a language of trade and commerce in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Other languages spoken are Ekoi, Etung, Boki and Becheve. The Becheve people have linguistic affinity with the Tiv of Benue State. The people's wood carving, stone sculpture, raffia and cane works, pottery and silver works are highly valued in and outside Nigeria.

Local Government Areas

The State has 18 Local Government Areas: Abi, Akampu, Akpabuyo, Bakassi, Bekwara, Biase, Boki, Calabar-Municipal, Calabar South, Etung, Ikom, Obanliku, Obubra, Obudu, Odukpani, Ogoja, Yakurr, Yala


There are more than 230 pre-primary schools, 648 primary schools, 145 post-primary school.

Tertiary institutions in the state are the University of Calabar and the Cross River State University of Technology both in Calabar, the Ibrahim Babangida College of Agriculture in Obubra and The Polytechnic, Calabar

Business Opportunities

The main crops are cassava, yams, rice, plantain, banana, cocoyam, maize, cocoa, rubber, groundnut and palm produce.

Mineral resources in Cross river State include limestone, titanium, tin ore, ceramic raw materials and hardstone


Places to visit in the state: Kwa falls, Kuya L.G.A. Natural RIVER * Agbokim falls, Ikom Natural L.G.A. * Obudu Cattle Ranch Resort (Man- made) * Coercopan, Ishie Close, zoo Calabar * Cross River National Park Eco-Tourism/ Wildlife * Drill Ranch, Calabar Zoo * Ekpe Masquerade Cultural * National Museum Monument * Rock with foot prints National

Festivals in the state:

The Cross River State Christmas Festival – 1 December to 31 December annually
The Cross River State Carnival Float – 26th and 27th December yearly
The Yakurr Leboku Yam festival – 28 August annually
The Calabar Boat Regata

Another Interesting Festival in cross River state is Anong Bahumono Festival which holds in Anong Village, during which different cultural dances are showcased, including Ikpobin (acclaimed to be the most entertaining dance in the state), Ekoi, Obam, Emukei and Etangala Dances.

Useful Resources

Schools on The Web:


State Liason Office:
26, Jose Marti Crescent, Asokoro District, Abuja