North East States in Nigeria: The Full List

The states in the North East of Nigeria include Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe, Borno, Bauchi and Gombe.

In this post, we take a look at a brief profile of each of these states.

North East States in Nigeria


Adamawa is one of the states located in northeastern Nigeria. The state was created in 1991 when Taraba state was carved out from Gongola State.

The state was formerly called Gongola State which was made up of four administrative divisions – Adamawa, Ganye, Mubi and Numan.

Adamawa is home to two major tertiary institutions. The private university, American University of Nigeria in Yola and the Modibbo Adama University of Technology are located in Yola in Adamawa. Yola is the capital of Adamawa state.

Adamawa is one of the largest states of Nigeria and occupies an estimated 36,917 square kilometres. It is bordered by the states of Borno to the northwest, Gombe to the west and Taraba to the southwest. Its eastern border forms the national eastern border with Cameroon.

In Adamawa, the major occupation of the people is farming as reflected in their two notable vegetational zones, the Sub-Sudan and Northern Guinea Savannah zones. Their cash crops are cotton and groundnuts while food crops include maize, yam, cassava, guinea corn, millet and rice.

Adamawa State is home to the headquarters of two indigenous churches, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN Church) with its headquarters in Mubi in the northern zone of the state, and the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN Church) with headquarters in Numan in the southern zone of the state.


Bauchi is also located in the North East. The capital of the state is Bauchi. The state was formed in 1976 when the former North-Eastern State was broken up. Gombe state was carved out of Bauchi state in 1996.

The state is home to the prestigious Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University located in the capital city Bauchi. Other educational institutions located in the state include Bauchi State University and Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi.


Borno is another state in the North East. It was formed in 1976 from the split of the North-Eastern State. It used to include Yobe state which was created in 1991.

The state is dominated by the Kanuri people. The other ethnic groups include Lamang, Babur/Bura and Marghi. There is also the Shuwa Arabs, descendants of Arab people.

Borno state is rich with history. The state was invaded by the British, French and Germans at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1902, the British officially incorporated Borno into the Northern Nigeria Protectorate and established a new capital at Maiduguri or Yerwa in 1907, which still retains this status to this day.

In recent times, Borno state has been affected by the Boko Haram terrorist group. In 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Northeast Nigeria including Borno State along with the neighbouring states of Adamawa and Yobe.

In 2014, over 200 girls were kidnapped from the Chibok area in Borno and this received attention from the international community with the popular hashtag #bringbackourgirls igniting calls to find the kidnapped girls.

Due to the Boko Haram insurgency, the agricultural sector has suffered mostly which has led to acute food insecurity.


Gombe is also located in the Northeastern part of the country. the capital of the state is Gombe.

The slogan of the state is the Jewel of Excellence. The state was formed in October 1996 from part of the old Bauchi State by the Military Government.

The state shares borders with the following states: Borno, Yobe, Taraba, Adamawa and Bauchi.

The state has an area of 20,265 km² and a population of around 2,365,000 people based on the 2006 census.

Gombe state has two distinct climates, the dry season (November – March) and the rainy season (April – October) with an average rainfall of 850mm.


Taraba is one of the North East states. The name of the state comes from the Taraba River which traverses the southern part of the state. The capital of Taraba state is Jalingo. It was created out of the former Gongola State on 27 August 1991, by the Military government of General Ibrahim Babangida.

Taraba State is bounded in the west by Nasarawa State and Benue State, northwest by Plateau State, north by Bauchi State and Gombe State, northeast by Adamawa State, east and south by Cameroon.

Taraba State lies largely within the middle of Nigeria and consists of undulating landscape dotted with a few mountainous features. These include the scenic and prominent Mambilla Plateau. The state lies largely within the tropical zone and has a vegetation of low forest in the southern part and grassland in the northern part. The Mambilla Plateau with an altitude of 1,800 meters (6000 ft) above sea level has a temperate climate all year round.

The main rivers in Taraba include the Benue, Donga, Taraba and Ibi. These rivers rise from the Cameroonian mountains, straining almost the entire length of the state in the North and South direction to link up with the River Niger.

The major occupation of the people of Taraba State is agriculture. The cash crops produced in the state include coffee, tea, groundnuts and cotton. Crops such as maize, rice, sorghum, millet, cassava, and yam are also produced in commercial quantity.

Also, the state is known for cattle, sheep and goat rearing which takes place along the Mambilla Plateau, and along the Benue and Taraba valleys. Additionally, the people undertake other livestock production activities like poultry production, rabbit breeding and pig farming in fairly large scale. Communities living on the banks of River Benue, River Taraba, River Donga and Ibi engage in fishing all year round.

Other occupational activities such as pottery, cloth-weaving, dyeing, mat-making, carving, embroidery and blacksmithing.


Yobe is a state located in Northeast Nigeria. The state is an agriculture-based state. Yobe was created on August 27, 1991. It was carved out of Borno State and the capital is Damaturu.

Yobe state share borders with Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, and Jigawa. Also, it borders the Diffa Region and the Zinder Region to the north in the Republic of Niger.

The state lies mainly in the dry savanna belt; the conditions are hot and dry for most of the year, except in the southern part of the state which has a milder climate.

On 14 May 2013, the former President, Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Yobe State along with neighbouring Borno State and Adamawa State, due to the activities of the terrorist network Boko Haram.

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