Abuja () is the capital and eighth most populous city of Nigeria. Located in the centre of the country within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), it is a planned city built mainly in the 1980s. It replaced Lagos, the country’s most populous city, as the capital on 12 December 1991.
Abuja’s geography is defined by Aso Rock, a 400-metre (1,300 ft) monolith left by water erosion. The Presidential Complex, National Assembly, Supreme Court and much of the city extend to the south of the rock. Zuma Rock, a 792-metre (2,598 ft) monolith, lies just north of the city on the expressway to Kaduna.
At the 2006 census, the city of Abuja had a population of 776,298 making it one of the ten most populous cities in Nigeria (placing eighth as of 2006). According to the United Nations, Abuja grew by 139.7% between 2000 and 2010, making it the fastest growing city in the world. As of 2015, the city is experiencing an annual growth of at least 35%, retaining its position as the fastest-growing city on the African continent and one of the fastest-growing in the world As of 2016, the metropolitan area of Abuja is estimated at six million persons, placing it behind only Lagos as the most populous metro area in Nigeria.
Major religious sites include the Nigerian National Mosque and the Nigerian National Christian Centre. The city is served by the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. Abuja is known for being one of the few purpose-built capital cities in Africa, as well as being one of the wealthiest.
Abuja is Nigeria’s administrative and political capital. It is also a key capital on the African continent due to Nigeria’s geo-political influence in regional affairs. Abuja is also a conference centre and hosts various meetings annually, such as the 2003 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting and the 2014 World Economic Forum (Africa) meetings
Federal Capital Territory
The FCT is headed by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, who is appointed by central government. The FCT Minister appoints members to the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC)
The FCT’s ministers have been as follows:
- Mobolaji Ajose-Adeogun 1976–1979[
- John Jatau Kadiya, 1979–1982
- Iro Abubakar Dan Musa, 1982–1983
- Haliru Dantoro, 1983–1984
- Mamman Jiya Vatsa, 1984 – December 1985
- Hamza Abdullahi, 1986–1989
- Gado Nasko, 1989–1993
- Jeremiah Timbut Useni, 1993–1998
- Mamman Kontagora, 1998–1999
- Ibrahim Bunu, 1999–2001
- Mohammed Abba Gana, 2001–2003
- Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, 2003 – May 2007
- Aliyu Modibo, 2007–2008
- Adamu Aliero, 2008–2010
- Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, 2010–2015
- Mohammed Bello, 2015–present
At the 2006 census, the city of Abuja had a population of 776,298, making it then the eighth most populous city in Nigeria. United Nations figures showed that Abuja grew by 139.7% between 2000 and 2010, making it the fastest growing city in the world. As of 2015, the city is experiencing an annual growth of at least 35%, retaining its position as the fastest-growing city on the African continent and one of the fastest-growing in the world.
Abuja has witnessed a huge influx of people into the city; the growth has led to the emergence of satellite towns, such as Karu Urban Area, Suleja, Gwagwalada, Lugbe, Kuje and smaller settlements towards which the planned city is sprawling. The urban agglomeration centred upon Abuja had a population estimated at 2,440,000 in 2014. The metropolitan area of Abuja was estimated in 2016 as six million persons, the country’s second most populous metro area. The city has a large and growing immigrant community consisting mainly of nationals from the ECOWAS sub-region. The city has been undergoing a rapid pace of physical development over the last fifteen years.
Authorization for the new capital first came on February 14, 1976. The Federal Capital Development Authority, which oversaw the project, decreed that Abuja would be developed in four phases. Construction began on the first phase in 1977. By 2014, however, only two phases, the central business district and one of the major residential districts, have been completed. Nonetheless the city was opened for occupancy in 1991.
Abuja’s population includes over 250 ethnic groups from almost every corner of Nigeria. While English is the official language, other languages are spoken as well including Yoruba, Ibo, and Hausa. About half the FCT residents are Muslims, and Christians make up another 40%. Abuja has both the golden domed National Mosque that dominates the city’s skyline and the Nigerian National Christian Center, one of the largest Christian churches in the nation. The city’s largest park, 80 acre Millennium Park, was opened by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain on December 4, 2003.
Braimah, A. (2014, August 11). Abuja, Nigeria (1991- ). BlackPast.org. https://www.blackpast.org/global-african-history/abuja-nigeria-1991/
OURCE OF THE AUTHOR’S INFORMATION:
“Abuja City, Nigeria,” ‘Abuja City, Nigeria – CyBlug,’
http://www.abujacity.com/abuja_and_beyond/; Federal Capital Territory
Administration, “Profile of Senator Bala Mohammed, FCT Minister,”
Federal Capital Territory Administration, 2011,
“Abuja,” New World Encyclopedia,
Wikipedia Abuja Page
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