Makurdi is the richest local government in Benue State, and it is also the Benue State capital and home to the Tivs, the sixth largest ethnic group in Nigeria. There are several other rich LGAs in Benue. Many of these local governments earn their fortunes from allocations, shares from Value Added Tax (VAT), personal income tax, special levies, income from investments, property and tenant rates, court fines, and other commercial ventures.
Despite the many things that contribute to the wealth of some local governments in Benue State, one thing that remains peculiar about them is their riches in agriculture. For this reason, the state is dubbed the “food basket of Nigeria”. Some major agricultural produce in Benue include yam, cassava, rice, fruits, and fish.
Which is the Richest Local Government in Benue State?
1. Makurdi Local Government
- Population: 450,000
- Primary source of livelihood: civil service, farming, and entrepreneurship
Makurdi, the capital city of Benue, is the richest local government area in the state. The LGA hosts some of the biggest industries and colleges in Benue. For this reason, Makurdi generates most of its income from taxes.
Some of the industries that have helped in building Makurdi’s wealth are Benue Brewery, Pal Pensions, African Center For Social and Economic Research, MIKAP Rice Limited, and several banks.
Another important source of Makurdi’s wealth is farming and allocations from a higher tier of government.
2. Gboko Local Government
- Population: 488,000
- Primary source of livelihood: trade
Another rich LGA in Benue State is Gboko which was created in 1970. It is one of the most populated LGAs in Benue, and it is an important commercial center in the state and north-central Nigeria. The LGA has 5 districts, and in each district, there is at least one major market that produces fortune for the local government.
One other important way that Gboko has gathered its wealth is through farming. The LGA cultivates crops such as rice, yam, maize, and cassava.
In addition, the local government is known for its mineral resources. Some of these include limestone, granite, Barite, and alluvia clay.
Besides that, Gboko has several industries that have opened the community to job opportunities and increments in taxes. One of the biggest industries found in the LGA is Dangote Cement LTD which is owned by the richest black man, Aliko Dangote. Another major landmark is the TBT Hospital Gboko.
3. Ukum Local Government
- Population: 313,300
- Primary source of livelihood: farming and trading
Ukum Local Government Area prides itself in utilizing its fertile soil to breed great agricultural produce. In turn, it has led the LGA to become one of the richest among the 23 local governments in Benue State. While at it, the local government expands its mode of getting wealth as it also relies on levies, taxes, and allocations.
4. Otukpo Local Government
- Population: 359,600
- Primary source of livelihood: civil service, trading, farming
Taxes remain an important part of how this Local Government Area earns its fortune. In any case, the settlers of this community are involved in different things such as farming, trading, civil service, and hunting, among others.
With respect to the farming prowess of the LGA, which has contributed to making it rich, Otukpo is famed for the production of crops. They include yam, cassava, guinea corn, and maize. Other commercial activities in Otukpo are sandal-making cottage industries, rice mills, and restaurants and bars.
5. Katsina-Ala Local Government
- Population: 325,500
- Primary source of livelihood: farming
Much of the population of Katsina-Ala depend on farming as a primary source of wealth. The most notable crops produced in the LGA are cassava, yellow melon, sesame, soybeans, and groundnut. Apart from that, it is also home to some major industries, colleges, and major landmarks. One major landmark in Katsina-Ala is the A344 highway – one of the east-west roads linking the main south-north roads.
Another important thing about the LGA is that it is home to an important archeological site where artifacts of the Nok culture have been found. With this, the local government gets to earn from tourism.
6. Agatu Local Government
- Population: 166,900
- Primary source of livelihood: fish farming and trading
Another rich local government in Benue State is Agatu. It is known for its wealth in fish farming, among other types of farming. In fact, Agatu is responsible for about 80% of the fish production in Benue State.
Apart from this, the LGA also farms major produce such as rice, beniseed, beans, and cassava. It is also rich in mineral resources and numerous forest resources such as iroko, obeche, and mahogany. Regardless of this, other main sources of wealth in Agatu are taxes, income from investments, and court fines.
7. Ogbadibo Local Government
- Population: 232,001
- Primary source of livelihood: Farming and trading
Ogbadibo was created in 1991, and it is a famous LGA in Benue. Its main town and headquarters is Otukpa. There are numerous markets in the LGA that have contributed immensely to the wealth of the LGA. In fact, only Otukpa has two major markets which have been generating millions over the years.
Like many other local governments, Ogbadibo is also a place that relies a lot on agricultural produce to contribute to its wealth companies, such as Benue Links Park.
8. Kwande Local Government
- Population: 359,000
- Primary source of livelihood: entrepreneurship and farming
Kwande local government area was created in 1972, and its headquarters is Adikpo, one of the most renowned towns in Benue State. Other major commercial towns in Kwande are Jato-Aka, Ikyogen, and Koti.
From cultivating numerous crops, Kwande prides itself as an LGA that earns a lot from agricultural produce. More to this, Kwande has a lot of markets that generate income for the LGA.
9. Vandeikya LGA
- Population: 338,700
- Primary source of livelihood: trading and farming
Vandeikya, an LGA principally dominated by Tiv people, is important to Benue State’s wealth. The LGA’s major source of income is farming.
Although there are no major industries in Vandeikya, there are small-scale cottage industries such as rice mills, block industries, standard fashion homes, and furniture companies.
10. Ado Local Government
- Population: 266,200
- Primary source of livelihood: farming
Ado was created in 1989 and moved to become one of the richest LGAs in Benue. It is also famous as one of the first areas in Idoma to have contact with European missionaries.
The LGA is rich in agriculture and produces larger yam tubers than many other LGAs in the state. In addition, it is rich in oranges and palm wine which are transported and sold to other parts of the state and neighboring states.