Skip to main content
Light of the Nation
Quick Fact
Population: 4,177,828 (2006 census figures) - 10th of 37
Percentage of Nigeria’s total population: 2.97%
Population density: 867 people per square kilometre - 2nd of 37
Landmass: 4816.2 square kilometres - 36th of 37
State capital: Awka
Local Government Areas: 21
Current Governor: Willie Obiano


Anambra State is one of the five states that make up the South East geopolitical zone of Nigeria. It has interstate boundaries with Delta State to the west, Imo and Rivers states to the south, Enugu State to the east, and Kogi State to the north. It derives its name from the Anambra River, a tributary of the River Niger. Its capital is Awka.

Land Mass, Location, and Population
Anambra State covers an area of 4,816.2 square kilometres. It lies at latitude 6°20’ north and longitude 7°00’ east. It has a population of 4,177,828 (2006 census figures) and a population density of 867 people per square kilometre. The state accounts for 2.97% of Nigeria's total population.

Main Towns and Cities
Awka (capital city), Abagana, Igbo-Ukwu, Ihiala, Nkpor, Nnewi, Okija, Onitsha, Otu-ocha and Umunya

History and Culture

The early settlers of Anambra State were the Igbo people. Archaeological discoveries of intricate works of art in bronze and other metals at Igbo-Ukwu point to the existence of a developed ancient civilisation. There are also a number of Igala people who live in the northwest of the state.

Anambra State was originally part of the Eastern region in the three region structure of 1954. In 1967, with the creation of twelve federal states by General Yakubu Gowon's  government, it became a part of the East-Central State. In 1976, the East Central State was divided into Anambra and Imo states by General Murtala Muhammed’s government. In 1991, General Ibrahim Babangida’s government brought the number of Nigeria’s states to 27 by creating eight new states; Enugu State, one of the new ones, was carved out of Anambra State.

The dominant religion in Anambra State is Christianity, although a number of its inhabitants practise traditional religion.

Economy and Educations

Anambra State’s vegetation is predominantly grassland, with scattered forests and woodland areas as well as tropical rainforest. Agriculture is important in the state: oil palm, corn, rice, yam and cassava are its main cash crops. Fishing in inland waterways is a significant commercial activity. The principal minerals found in the state are zinc, bauxite and lead. Anambra State also has natural gas and crude oil. The major industries in the state are breweries, textiles and soft-drink bottling. Locally-produced sculptures of wood and metal are also of commercial importance.

The tertiary institutions in the state include a federal university (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka), a state university (Anambra State University, Awka), two private universities (Tansian University, Oba and Madonna University, Ihiala), one federal polytechnic (Federal Polytechnic, Oko), a college of education (Federal College of Education, Umunze) and a university of education (Nwafor Orizu University of Education – formerly the Nwafor Orizu College of Education).


Further Description

Governors and Administrators

  • John Atom Kpera (Governor – Military): March 1976 – July 1978
  • Datti Sadiq Abubakar (Governor – Military): July 1978 – October 1979
  • Jim Nwobodo (Governor – Civilian (Nigerian People’s Party): October 1979 – October 1983
  • Christian Onoh (Governor – Civilian (National Party of Nigeria): October 1983 – December 1983
  • Allison Madueke (Governor – Military): January 1984 – August 1985
  • Samson Omeruah (Governor – Military) August 1985 – December 1987
  • Robert Akonobi (Governor – Military): December 1987 – August 1990
  • Herbert Eze (Governor – Military): August 1990 – January 1992
  • Joseph Abulu (Administrator – Military): August 1991 – January 1992
  • Chukwuemeka Ezeife (Governor – Civilian (Social Democratic Party): January 1992 – November 1993
  • Dabo Aliyu (Administrator – Military): November 1993 – December 1993
  • Mike Attah (Administrator – Military): December 1993 – August 1996
  • Rufai Garba (Administrator – Military): August 1996 – August 1998
  • Emmanuel Ukaegbu (Administrator – Military): August 1998 – May 1999
  • Chinwoke Mbadinuju (Governor – Civilian (People's Democratic Party): May 1999 – May 2003
  • Chris Ngige (Governor – Civilian (People's Democratic Party): May 2003 – March 2006
  • Peter Obi (Governor – Civilian (All Progressives Grand Alliance): March 2006 – November 2006
  • Virginia Etiaba (Governor – Civilian (All Progressives Grand Alliance): November 2006 – February 2007
  • Peter Obi (Governor – Civilian (All Progressives Grand Alliance): February 2007 – May 2014
  • Willie Obiano (Governor – Civilian (All Progressives Grand Alliance): May 2014 – Present

Local Government Areas:

  • Aguata
  • Anambra East
  • Anambra West
  • Anaocha
  • Awka North
  • Awka South
  • Ayamelum
  • Dunukofia
  • Ekwusigo
  • Idemili North
  • Idemili South
  • Ihiala
  • Njikoka
  • Nnewi North
  • Nnewi South
  • Ogbaru
  • Onitsha North
  • Onitsha South
  • Orumba North
  • Orumba South
  • Oyi

Did You Know

Onitsha Main Market, located by the banks of the River Niger, is believed to be the largest market in Africa. Historically an important trading site, the modern market was built duirng the 1950s and has over 3,000 stalls.

Notable Indigene

Nigerian high jumper and soldier Emmanuel Ifeajuna was the first black African to win a gold medal at a sporting event. He came first at the 1954 Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver.