List of Local Governments in Cross River State

There are 18 local governments in Cross River State. Calabar is the state’s capital, while Akamkpa is the largest LGA by landmass. Each local government in Cross River is characterized by different things, but together, they make the state the 19th largest in Nigeria by area. 

The existence of Cross River as a Nigerian state started in 1967 as South-Eastern State before it was given its present name in 1976. Over time, the local government areas in Cross River State were created mainly for the purpose of serving as a grassroots government. The 18 local governments in the state contribute to the 774 Local Government Areas found in Nigeria.

How Many Local Governments Are in Cross River State?

There are 18 local governments in Cross River State. These LGAs are found in the three senatorial districts of the state, which include the Cross River Central Senatorial Zone, Cross River North Senatorial Zone, and Cross River South Senatorial Zone.

Cross River South zone has 7 local government areas while the North and South zones have 6 LGAs each. Furthermore, the LGAs in Cross River State are divided into 193 wards.

Here is a list of all the local government areas in Cross River State and their headquarters. The list is made according to the senatorial zone for easy identification.

Local Governments in Cross River South Senatorial District

  • Calabar Municipal – Calabar
  • Calabar South – Anantigha
  • Akpabuyo – Ikot Nakanda
  • Bakassi – Ikang
  • Akamkpa – Akamkpa
  • Biase – Akpet Central
  • Odukpani – Odukpani

Cross River North Senatorial District LGAs

  • Bekwarra – Abuochiche (or Abuo Chiche)
  • Biase – Akpet Central
  • Obanliku – Sankwala
  • Obudu – Ogudu
  • Ogoja – Ogoja
  • Yala – Okpoma

Local Governments in Cross River State

Local Governments in Cross River Central Senatorial Zone

  • Abi – Itigidi
  • Boki – Boje
  • Etung – Effraya
  • Ikom – Ikom
  • Obubra – Obubra
  • Yakurr – Ugep

Capital of Cross River state

Calabar is the capital and the most popular city in Cross River State. Many times, Calabar is also known as Callabar, Calabari, Calbari, and Kalabar. The state was previously called Akwa Akpa in the Efik Language.

Historically, Calabar was named by the Portuguese who were the first explorers of the city. It has passed through important stages in Nigeria, and among these include being the headquarters of the European administration in the Niger Delta before 1915 when Lagos became the headquarters of Southern Nigeria.

Calabar is one of the most famous and beautiful cities in Nigeria. It is known for being a tourist hub and for its extensive historical mark in Nigeria. The city is divided into the Calabar Municipal and Calabar South. Its size by area is 406 km2 (157 sq mi) while its size by population is over 657,000.

Calabar is home to ethnic groups such as Efik, Efut, and Ibibio. Because it is a socioeconomic and tourist center, there are other languages spoken in Calabar, but English is the most commonly found in interethnic gatherings.

Some major landmarks in the city are Hope Waddell Training Institution, the oldest secondary school in eastern Nigeria; Slave History Museum, and Tinapa Resort.

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Which is the Largest Local Government in Cross River State?

Akamkpa is the largest LGA in Cross River State by area, while Calabar is the largest by population. Akamkpa LGA sits on a 5,003 square kilometers (1,932 sq mi) area. Its headquarters is Akamkpa and it is found in the Cross River South Senatorial District.

The local government has 10 wards known as Akamkpa Urban, Awi, Eku, Iko, Ikpai, Mbarakom, Oban, Ojuk North, Ojuk South, and Uyanga. It also has 260 villages, which are grouped under 30 clans. This is solely for political and administrative purposes.

The LGA, which was created in 1976, shares borders with Cameroon and other LGAs in Cross River, such as Odukpani, Akpabuyo, Biase, Yakurr, Ikom, and Etung.

Akamkpa is a linguistically diversified local government area. The two indigenous ethnic groups found in the LGA are Iyong Iyong and Ejagham. Nonetheless, Efik and English languages are spoken widely.

The people of this local government are involved in several economic activities. This includes farming, mining, trading, and civil service.

Looking at the part of the population, Calabar Municipal is the most populated LGA in LGA. It has a population of over 657,000 people and is one of the fastest-growing cities in Nigeria.

Calabar is not only inhabited by indigenous people of Cross River State, but also by people from within and outside Nigeria. This is due to the city’s fame as a tourist, economic, and developed center.

When was Cross River State Created?

Cross River State was created by the General Yakubu Gowon regime on 27 May 1967 and is currently 57 years old. It was one of the 12 states that were first created in Nigeria. Others were Bendel State, Benue-Plateau, East Central State, Lagos State, Western State, North Central State, among others.

Cross River State was formed from the former Eastern Region and it is currently a state in the south-south geopolitical zone. At creation, it was named South-Eastern State before it was renamed Cross River in 1976 during the Murtala Mohammed regime. At the time of its creation, it was governed by Colonel Udoakaja Jacob Esuene. He served from May 28 1967 to July 1975 under the military regime.

Subsequently, and when it was named Cross River State, Paul Omu served as the first governor from 3 February 1976 to July 1978. He served under the military regime during the Generals Murtala Muhammed and Olusegun Obasanjo regimes.

In 1978, Cross River had its first civilian governor, Clement Isong, who came into power under the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).

At creation, Akwa Ibom State was a part of Cross River State before they were separated in 1987. This was at the time when General Ibrahim Babangida was Nigeria’s military head of state.

The state was named after the Cross River (natively known as Oyono), which rises from the Cameroon Mountains and flows southward.

The state shares boundaries with Benue State to the north, Ebonyi and Abia to the west, and Akwa-Ibom and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Cross River State also shares a boundary with a Cameroon.


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