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Jos is a city in Nigeria's middle belt and is the administrative capital of Plateau State. It is located at Template:Coord, high on the Jos Plateau. During British colonial rule it was an important centre for tin mining. In recent years it has suffered violent religious clashes between its Muslim and Christian populations, both in 2001 and in 2008.

City Facts

Jos has a population of 510,000, making it the 10th largest city in Nigeria.<ref>Europa World Year Book 2005, pp.3269</ref> Jos North, Jos South and Jos East have a combined population density of 1,013 persons per square mile (391 persons per km²)Template:Fact making them the most densely populated parts of Plateau State. The city is divided into three separate local government areas: Jos-North, Jos-South, and Jos-East.

With an altitude of 4,062 feet (1,217 m) above sea level, it enjoys a more temperate climate than much of the rest of Nigeria (average monthly temperatures range from 70° to 77°F or 21° to 25°C). These cooler temperatures have meant that from colonial times until present day, Jos is a favourite holiday location for both tourists and expatriates based in Nigeria. Situated almost at the geographical centre of Nigeria and about 179 km (109 miles) from Abuja, the nation's capital, Jos is linked by road, rail and air to the rest of the country.


The earliest known Nigerians were the Nok people (around 3000 BC), skilled artisans from around the Jos area who mysteriously vanished in the late first millennium.

Jos was established in 1915 at the site of the village Gwosh. The name of the city is most likely derived from the village Gwosh, which was subsequently pronounced as Jos by Hausa traders.<ref>Nigeria Exchange - Plateau State</ref> It grew rapidly after the British discovered vast tin deposits in the vicinity. Both tin and columbite were extensively mined in the area up until the 1960s. They were transported by railway to both Port Harcourt and Lagos on the coast, then exported from those ports. Jos is still often referred to as "Tin City". In 1967 it was made capital of Benue-Plateau State, becoming the capital of the new Plateau State in 1975.

Jos has become an important national administrative and commercial centre. Tin mining has led to the influx of migrants, mostly Hausas, Igbos, Yorubas and Europeans who constitute more than half of the population of Jos. This "melting pot" of race, ethnicity and religion makes Jos one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Nigeria. For this reason, Plateau State is known in Nigeria as the "home of peace and tourism". Despite this, in 2001, the city witnessed violent riots between the divided Muslim and Christian populations in which several thousand people died. In 2004, the former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, was suspended for six months for failing to control the violence. In November of 2008, clashes between Christians and Muslims killed almost 400 and wounded many.<ref>Hundreds dead in clashes in Nigerian city: witnesses</ref>


The city is home to the University of Jos (founded in 1975), St Luke's cathedral, an airport and railway station. Jos is served by several teaching hospitals including ECWA Evangel Hospital and Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), a Federal Government-funded referral hospital.

The National Museum in Jos was founded in 1952 by Bernard Fagg,<ref>Man, Vol. 52, Jul., 1952 (Jul., 1952), pp. 107-108 via Jstor</ref> and was recognized as one of the best in the country. It has unfortunately been left to fall to ruin as is the case with most of the cultural establishments in Nigeria. The Pottery Hall has an exceptional collection of finely crafted pottery from all over Nigeria. The museum boasts some fine specimens of Nok terracotta heads and artifacts dating from between 500 BC to AD 200. It also incorporates the Museum of Traditional Nigerian Architecture with life-size replicas of a variety of buildings, from the walls of Kano and the Mosque at Zaria to a Tiv village. Articles of interest from colonial times relating to the railway and tin mining can also be found on display. A School for Museum Technicians is attached to the museum, established with the help of UNESCO. The Jos Museum is also located beside the zoo.

Jos has two golf courses, Rayfield and Plateau, plus a polo club, a stadium and other sports/entertainment offerings. Hillcrest School, an international missionary school, is also located in Jos. The school has been running for more than fifty years (since 1942) and contains a large international student population.

The Jos Wildlife Park is another attraction. It covers roughly 3 square miles (8 km²) of savannah bush. Visitors are able to see animals ranging from lions to pythons to pygmy hippopotami.

Other local enterprises include food processing, beer brewing, and the manufacture of cosmetics, soap, rope, jute bags, and furniture. Heavy industry produces cement and asbestos cement, crushed stone, rolled steel, and tire retreads. Jos also is a centre for the construction industry and has several printing and publishing firms. The Jos-Bukuru dam and reservoir on the Shen River provide water for the city's industries.

The Jos Airport situated at Heipang has one of the most modern buildings in the country with a long enough runway for the jet airlines. The airport is served at the moment by a private airline - Arik Air, which operate one fliehgt daily to Lagos - to Jos and Jos to Lagos.

Jos is a great base for exploring the beauty of Plateau State. The Shere Hills, seen to the east of Jos, offer a prime view of the city below. Assop Falls is a small waterfall which makes a pleasant picnic spot on a drive from Jos to Abuja. Riyom Rock is a dramatic and photogenic pile of rocks balanced precariously on top of one another, with one resembling a clown's hat, observable from the main Jos-Akwanga road.

Civilian Governors of Jos

1979 to 1984 - Chief Solomon Danshuep Lar (NPP), 1990 to 1995 - Mr Fidelis Tapgun (SDP), 1999 to 2006 - Chief Joshua Chibi Dariye (PDP)Impeached, 2006 to 2007 - Chief Michael Botmang (PDP), April 2007 - Chief Joshua Chibi Dariye (PDP)Reinstated, 2007 to date - Rtd Air Commodore Jonah David Jang,

Chiefs of Jos

The Berom chief of Jos is known as Gbong Gwom

  • 1947 to July 14 1969 - Rwang Pam was the first paramount chief of the Berom, one of the largest ethnic groups in Plateau State. He was also the chief under which the city of Jos was reorganised politically. He died on the throne in 1969.
  • 1969 to 2002 - Fom Bot was his successor, whose reign lasted up to December 2002 when he also died on the throne after a protracted illness.
  • 2002 to 2009 - Victor Pam a retired Deputy Inspector General of the Nigerian Police.
  • 2009 to date - Buba Gyang a retired Controller-General of Nigerian customs was capped the new
File:Locator Map Jos-Nigeria.png
Location of Jos in Nigeria

See also



External links