Hill in the northeastern part of Jos
|Elevation||1,220 m (4,000 ft)|
Jos is a city in the Middle Belt of Nigeria. The city has a population of about 900,000 residents based on the 2006 census. Popularly called "J-Town", it is the administrative capital and largest city of Plateau State.
The city is located on the Jos Plateau at about 1,238 metres or 4,062 feet above sea level. During British colonial rule, Jos was an important centre for tin mining and is the trading hub of the state as commercial activities are steadily increasing.
The earliest known settlers of the land that would come to be known as Nigeria were the Nok people (circa 1000 BC), skilled artisans from around the Jos area who mysteriously vanished in the late first millennium.
According to the historian Sen Luka Gwom Zangabadt, the area known as Jos today was inhabited by indigenous ethnic groups who were mostly farmers. According to Billy J. Dudley, the British colonialists used direct rule for the indigenous ethnic groups on the Jos Plateau since they were not under the Fulani emirates where indirect rule was used. According to the historian Samuel N Nwabara, the Fulani empire controlled most of northern Nigeria, except the Plateau province and the Berom, Mwaghavul, Ngas, Tiv, Jukun and Idoma ethnic groups. It was the discovery of tin by the British that led to the influx of other ethnic groups such as the Igbo, Yoruba, thus making Jos a cosmopolitan city.
According to the white paper of the commission of inquiry into the 1894 crisis, Ames, a British colonial administrator, said that the original name for Jos was Gwosh in Afizere (the first settlers in the area) language which was a village situated at the current site of the city; according to Ames, the Hausa, who arrived there after, wrongly pronounced Gwosh as Jos and it stuck. Another version was that "Jos" came from the word "Jasad" meaning body. To distinguish it from the hill tops, it was called "Jas", which was mis-pronounced by the British as "Jos". 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". It was made capital of Benue-Plateau State in 1967, and became the capital of the new Plateau State in 1975. Jos has become an important national administrative, commercial, and tourist centre. Tin mining has led to the influx of migrants (mostly 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".
Jos is inhabited by predominantly Christian communities, but clashes have occurred between Christians and Muslims. In September 2001, riots occurred in Jos between the divided Christian and Muslim populations, in which about a thousand people were killed. In 2004, the former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, was suspended for six months for failing to control the violence.
In November 2008 and January 2010, further riots occurred in Jos. In December 2010, 32 people were killed in a quadruple bombing. In January 2011, there were almost daily clashes between Muslim and Christian mobs in villages around Jos; a series of bombs had been detonated during Christmas Eve celebrations a month earlier, killing scores of people. On 25 December 2011, a bomb and gun attack took place at a church in Jos. In May 2014, a twin bomb attack in Jos killed 118 people. Between August 2013 and December 2014, a peace process was undertaken by communities living in Jos: the HD Jos Forum ultimately led to a "Declaration of Commitment to Peace" signed by the participating communities (Afizere, Anaguta, Berom, Fulani, Hausa, Igbo, South-South and Yoruba, as well as women who were represented as their own distinct community). On 5 July 2015, a bombing at a restaurant killed 23 people and a suicide bombing at a mosque killed 21 people.
The city is divided into 3 local government areas of Jos north, Jos south and Jos east. The city proper lies between Jos north and Jos south. Jos east houses the prestigious National Center For Remote Sensing. Jos north is the state capital and the area where most commercial activities of the state takes place, although due to the recent communal clashes a lot of commercial activities are shifting to Jos south. The Governor's office is located in an area in Jos North called "Jise" in Berom language, "Gise" in Afizere (Jarawa) language or "Tudun-Wada" in Hausa language. Jos south is the seat of the Deputy Governor i.e. the old Government House in Rayfield and the industrial centre of Plateau State due to the presence of industries like the NASCO group, Standard Biscuits, Grand Cereals and Oil Mills, Zuma steel west Africa, aluminium roofing industries, Jos International Breweries among others. Jos south also houses prestigious institutions like the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), the highest academic awarding institution in Nigeria, the National Veterinary Research Institute, the Police Staff College, the NTA television college and the Nigerian Film Corporation. Jos north is the location of the University of Jos and its teaching hospital. The city has formed an agglomeration with the town of Bukuru to form the Jos-Bukuru metropolis (JBM).
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Situated almost at the geographical centre of Nigeria and about 179 kilometres (111 miles) from Abuja, the nation's capital, Jos is linked by road, rail and air to the rest of the country. The city is served by Yakubu Gowon Airport, but its rail connections no longer operate as the only currently operational section of Nigeria's rail network is the western line from Lagos to Kano.
At an altitude of 1,217 m (3,993 ft) above sea level, Jos' climate is closer to temperate than that of the vast majority of Nigeria. Average monthly temperatures range from 21-25 °C (70-77 °F), and from mid-November to late January, night-time temperatures drop as low as 7 °C (45 °F). Hail sometimes falls during the rainy season because of the cooler temperatures at high altitudes. These cooler temperatures have, from colonial times until the present day, made Jos a favourite holiday location for both tourists and expatriates based in Nigeria.
Jos receives about 1,400 millimetres (55 inches) of rainfall annually, the precipitation arising from both convectional and orographic sources, owing to the location of the city on the Jos Plateau.
|Climate data for Jos (1961-1990)|
|Average high °C (°F)||27.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||21.3
|Average low °C (°F)||12.7
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||0.4
|Average precipitation days||0.1||0.2||1.4||6.9||11.6||15.6||20.6||19.9||16.2||4.0||0.1||0.1||96.7|
|Average relative humidity (%)||14.1||13.6||19.6||38.7||58.3||66.0||75.8||76.2||64.2||42.0||20.8||16.5||42.1|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||282.1||254.8||238.7||204.0||204.6||198.0||158.1||139.5||177.0||238.7||285.0||288.3||2,668.8|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||9.1||9.1||7.7||6.8||6.6||6.6||5.1||4.5||5.9||7.7||9.5||9.3||7.3|
|Source 1: NOAA|
|Source 2: Climate-Data.org (altitude: 1185m, mean temperatures)|
Covering roughly 3 square miles (7.8 km2) of savannah bush and established in 1972 under the administration of then Governor of Benue-Plateau Joseph Gomwalk in alliance with a mandate by the then Organisation of African Unity to African heads of state to earmark one third of their landmass to establish conservation areas in each of their countries, It has since then become a major attraction in the state, attracting tourists from within and outside the country. The park has become a home to various species of wildlife including Lions, Rock pythons, marabou storks, Baboons, Honey Badgers, Camels as well as variant flora.
The National Museum in Jos was founded in 1952 by Bernard Fagg, 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 is also a part of the museum that has an exceptional collection of finely crafted pottery from all over Nigeria and boasts some fine specimens of Nok terracotta heads and artifacts dating from 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.
A 40,000 seat capacity located along Farin-Gada road which has become home to the Plateau United Football Club, Current champions of The Nigerian Professional League. The stadium has undergone major renovations under the administration of the current governor Barr Simon Bako Lalong.
The golf course located in Rayfield, Jos has hosted many golfing competitions with players coming from both within and outside the state.
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 is also 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.
Jos is a base for exploring 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 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.
The city is home to the University of Jos (founded in 1975), St Luke's Cathedral, an airport and a railway station. Jos is served by several teaching hospitals including Bingham University Teaching Hospital and Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), a federal government-funded referral hospital. The Nigerian College of Accountancy, with over 3,000 students in 2011, is based in Kwall, Plateau State.