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KWARA STATE Date Created: May 27, 1967 Capital: Ilorin

Main Towns: Jebba, Offa, Oro, Esie, Omu-Aran, Lafiagi, Oke-Oyi, Pategi, Ilorin and Ajasse Ipo. Kwara State was one of the twelve States created in May 1967. It consists of the former Ilorin and Kabba provinces before the creation of more States in 1976. The creation of more states in august 1991 led to the excision of Yagba, Oyi, Okene and Kogi local government areas from Kwara State. Kwara State is bounded in the north by Niger State, in the south by Osun and Ondo States, in the east by Kogi and in the west by Oyo State and has international boundary with Benin Republic. Because of its unique geographical position, the State is referred to as the "gateway" between the north and the south of the country. The Local Government Councils in the state are: Asa, Baruten, Edo, Ekiti, Ifelodun, Ilorin-East, Ilorin West, Kaiama, Moro Offa and Oyun, Pategi, Osin, Oke-Ero, Irepodun and Ilorin. Kwara State is well linked by a good network of roads with five states. The Nigerian Railway Corporation extends services from Lagos through the state to the northern part of the country. The Ilorin Airport is a major centre both for domestic and international (Hajj) flights. Good telecommunication service also link the state with other parts of the country.

The main ethnic groups are Yoruba, Fulani, Nupe and Barubas. Islam and Christianity are the major religions in the state. Agriculture is the main stay of the economy and the principal cash crops are: cotton, cocoa, coffee, kolanut, tobacco, benseed and palm produce. Agricultural institutes located in the state are the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute, (ARMTI), the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation and Niger River Basin Authority all located in Ilorin and the Agricultural Research Project of the Obafemi Awolowo University at Balla provide farmers with vital information on modern agricultural techniques. Also, mineral resources abound in the state. Among these are limestone, marble, feldspar, clay, kaolin, quartz and granite rocks. Education received priority in the state. There are many primary and secondary schools. Higher institutions in the state include the federally owned University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Federal Training Centre, Ilorin, State College of Education, Ilorin and Oro, Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin and the Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, Ilorin.

Health services also receive adequate attention. Apart from the private health and medical establishments in the State, there are the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, three Specialist Hospitals, six General Hospitals,, six Rural Health Centres, 15 Basic Health Clinics and seven District Health Units. Industries in the state include Kwara Breweries, Ijagbo Global Soap and Detergent Industry, United Match Company, Tate and Lyle Company, Resinoplast Plastic Industry, Phamatech Nigeria Limited, Kwara Textile and Kwara Furniture Company all in Ilorin. Others are Paper Manufacturing Industry, Jebba, Okin Foam and Okin Biscuits, Offa, Kay Plastic, Ganmo and Kwara Paper Converters Limited, Erin-Ile. Others are Sugar Producing Company, Bacita, Kwara animal Feed Mall, Ilorin and the Agricultural Products Company, Bacita. Kwara State has a very rich and highly interesting cultural heritage. Among these are Durbar associated with Edu, Ilorin-West and Ilorin-East Local Government Areas. The Durbar is usually held in honour of a new Emir or Chief, to welcome an August visitor and on Muslim festivals of Idel-Kabir and Id-el-Adha. There is also Pategi regatta which is an annual festival featuring boat displays, fishing and swimming competitions. Also, the Awon festival is held annually at Shao; in remembrance of Awo goddess. During the festival all the marriageable girls are given out in marriage in one day. Egungun festival, held in remembrance of the dead ancestors hold every year among the Igbomina people of Irepodun, Ifelodun and Ekiti Local Government areas. It usually features dancing by masquerades for five to nine days. Back to Top In tourism, Kwara state possesses several fascinating historical and cultural monuments, which include the Esie Museum and Stone images at Esie, in Irepodun L.G.A. of the state. The stones were said to have been discovered in the 17th century. Others are the spectacular Owu Falls at Owa Kajola, in Ifelodun Local Government Area; the remains of Mungo Park's wrecked boat - the `D Spring' and Mungo Park's Monument both at Jebba, Okuta Ilorin, from where the capital was derived, the Jebba Dam which is one. of the major sources of hydro-electric power in the country.