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NIGER STATE
PHYSICAL SETTING
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PHYSICAL SETTING
Posted to the web: 2/6/2003 8:54:38 AM
 
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Geology: Niger State, like other states on the same latitude, is covered by two major rock formations the sedimentary and basement complex rocks. The sedimentary rocks to the south are characterised of sandstones and alluvial deposits, particularly along the Niger valley and in most parts of Borgu, Bida, Agaie, Lapai, Mokwa, Lavun, Gbako and Wushishi LGAs.

Central Mosque, Minna
Central Mosque, Minna

This subarea also contains the extensive flood plains of the River Niger and this has made the state to be one of the largest and most fertile agricultural lands in the country. It also provides the best area for rice growing in Nigeria. Perhaps this may account for the location of the National Cereals Research Institute at Badeggi in the State.

To the north is the basement complex, characterised by granitic outcrops or inselbergs which can be found in the vast topography of rolling landscape. Such inselbergs dominate the landscape in Rati, Shiroro, Minna, Mariga and Gurara

Climate: The State experiences two distinct seasons the dry and wet seasons. The annual rainfall varies from about 1,600mm in the south to 1,200mm in the north. The duration of the rainy season ranges from 150 210 days or more from the north to the south.

Mean maximum temperature remains high throughout the year, hovering about 32°F, particularly in March and June. However, the lowest minimum temperatures occur usually between December and January when most parts of the state come under the influence of the tropical continental air mass which blows from the north. Dry season in Niger State commences in October.

Soils and Vegetation: Three major soils types can be found in the State. These include the ferruginous tropical soils,

Sudan Savannah alongside the floodplains of the river
Sudan Savannah alongside the floodplains of the river

hydromorphic soils and fer rosols. The most predominant soil type is the fer ruginous tropical soils which are basically derived from the Basement Complex rocks, as well as from old sedimentary rocks. Such ferruginous tropical soils are ideal for the cultivation of guinea corn, maize, millet and groundnut.

Hydromorphic or waterlogged soils are largely found in the extensive flood plain of the Niger River. The soils arepoorly drained and are generally greyish or some times whitish in colour due to the high content of silt. Ferosols which developed on sandstone for mations can be found within the Niger trough.

Their characteristic red colour enriched with a clay sub soil is noticeable in the landscape. Termite hills dot the landscape, particularly between Mokwa, Bida and Kontagora. These can been seen along the major highways in the state. The Southern Guinea Savannah vegetation covers the entire landscape of the state.

U.K. Bello Arts Theatre and Museum, Minna
U.K. Bello Arts Theatre and Museum, Minna

Like in other states of similar vegetation, it is characterised by woodlands and tall grasses interspersed with tall dense species. However, within the Niger trough and flood plains occur taller trees and a few oil palm trees. In some areas, traces of rain forest species can be seen.

Ecological Problems: The major ecological problem in the state is flooding, particularly when the Niger River overflows its banks. During such incidents, as happened recently (1999), several villages were nearly submerged, thousands of people displaced and property worth millions of naira destroyed. Uncontrolled bush burning is another ecological problem in the State.

 

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