Jos: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Downtown Jos
Jos is located in Nigeria
Location in Nigeria
Coordinates: 9°56′N 8°53′E / 9.933°N 8.883°E / 9.933; 8.883Coordinates: 9°56′N 8°53′E / 9.933°N 8.883°E / 9.933; 8.883
Country Nigeria
State Plateau State
 - Chief Victor Pam
Elevation 4,062 ft (1,238 m)
 - Total 520,000
 Density 1,012.7/sq mi (391/km2)

Jos is a city in Nigeria's middle belt and is the administrative capital of Plateau State. It is located at 9°56′N 8°53′E / 9.933°N 8.883°E / 9.933; 8.883, 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 in 2001, 2008 and 2010.


City Facts

Jos has a population of 510,000, making it the 10th largest city in Nigeria.[1] The city is divided into three separate local government areas: Jos-North, Jos-South, and Jos-East which have a combined population density of 1,013 persons per square mile (391 persons per km²)[citation needed] making them the most densely populated parts of Plateau State.

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.[2] (An alternative etymology is that "Jos" is an acronym for Jesus Our Savior, established by missionaries.)[3][4] 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.[5]


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,[6] 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 operates one flight daily between Lagos and Jos.

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 Plateau State

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 area known today as Jos was a cluster of villages with indigenous peoples. Before it became a traditional settler town, it was convenient for the British to administer colonial rule over unexplored native lands through the Hausa--who had some resemblance of political control through their Islamic religion. The Hausa settler population in Jos had a Hausa Chief in the Tin Mine settlements, which they answered to. The indigenous tribe primarily the Berom felt the need to also organize themselves politically, especially after converting to Christianity. Under the influence of British Missionaries the British Administration felt the need to administer indirect rule through a Native Chief rather than a Hausa Chief because of their religious and ethnic peculiarities. This occurred in the late 1940s, when the title of any Chief of Jos became Gbong Gwom Jos. Again this Berom chiefdom is a political throne, which did not have an initial basis in Berom traditions as the Berom peoples until the 1940's remained an ethnic group with clan centred leadership.

  • 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.

Before the Berom assumed overlordship over the traditional institution in Jos, however, there were thirteen (13) Hausa rulers (Sarakuna, plural of Sarki in Hausa). These were: 1. Sarkin Jos Salihu, 1902 - 1904 2. Sarkin Jos Ahmadu Dan’inna, 1904 - 1907 3. Sarkin Jos Hashimu, 1907 - 1909 4. Sarkin Jos Buraimah, 1909 - 1914 5. Sarkin Jos Audu Sarkin Ningi, 1914 - 1915 6. Sarkin Jos Garba Dantafida, 1915 - 1920 7. Sarkin Jos Usuman Kura, 1920 - 1922 8. Sarkin Jos Samanja Dogo, 1922 - 1925 9. Sarkin Jos Garba Waziri, 1925 - 1927 10. Sarkin Jos Saidu, 1927 - 1935 11. Sarkin Jos Isiaku, 1935 - 1948. The other two rulers were Bunu and Barde who were appointed by the Emir of Bauchi to oversee the affairs of Jos. They ruled before 1902.

See also


  1. ^ Europa World Year Book 2005, pp.3269
  2. ^ Nigeria Exchange - Plateau State
  3. ^ Scott Baldauf (2010-01-19). "What's behind Christian-Muslim fighting in Nigeria?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2010-01-20. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ On the night of March 7, 2010 Moslem Fulani tribesmen attacked the village of Dogo Na Hawa, inhabited by Christians, and massacred the inhabitants. Conflicting counts of the dead range from 109 to 492. It is alleged tha the massacre was planned by an organization called "Thank Allah" in retribution for a massacre of Moslems by Christians in January 2010.Hundreds dead in clashes in Nigerian city: witnesses
  6. ^ Man, Vol. 52, Jul., 1952 (Jul., 1952), pp. 107-108 via Jstor

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Jos is the state capital of Plateau State at the center of Northern Nigeria. It's cool climate, due to it's breathtaking system of plateaux, and it's colonial importance as the tin mining center of Nigeria have made it a favourite tourist destination. Recent communal and religious violence have put this on hold.


Jos is inhabited by various ethnic groups chief of whom are the indigenous Birom, the Hausa-Fulani and more rcently, Yoruba and Igbo southerners displaced from other Northern cities in the aftermath of religious violence. The widely spoken language is Hausa although almost everyone speaks English.

Get in

Jos is served by many bus lines, chiefly Cross Country that runs air-conditioned mini-van services from Lagos and Abuja. The state government owned Plateau Line runs station wagon services, but these are mostly uncomfortably crowded trips. Many other state governments operate transport serices with terminuses in various Jos motor-parks from surrounding state capitals: Gombe, Lafia, Kaduna, Damaturu and even Yola. Other mini-bus or car services are private arrangements where you sit and wait for the vehicle to fill up, but are best avoided because the drivers tend to have dubious driving skills.

By plane

Arik air runs a once a day domestic flight from Lagos to Jos and back. The Jos airport is located some 30km from the town so it is best to have some money for a taxi fare to town (generally about 2,500 naira)if there will be nobody waiting for you.

By train

The old locomotive trains famed in Cyprian Ekwensi's 'The Passport of Mallam Ilia' no more bring the people in and the tin out.

Get around

There are many taxi cabs all over Jos, but they have to be shared with other passengers over defined routes. Some mini-bus routes are also defined but these are difficult to understand. The taxis and buses almost always tend to be rickety. Motorcycle taxis, commonly known as 'achaba' are also a choice but these can be very dangerous as the road network is filled with a lot of potholes and there is a general lack of safe practices. The achaba rides also tend to be more expensive that the taxi or bus rides but are very flexible.


The old tin mines are all on the outskirts of Jos. They have developed into lakes which might have some environmental concerns. The areas are generally safe but it is best to go with a guide. The Jos wildlife park is not very interesting as there is hardly anything interesting to see. There are many waterfalls on the outskirts of Jos.


The University of Jos has courses in most fields and has sufficient hostel accomodation. The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) has it's television college also located in Jos where courses in film production and editing are on offer.


The central business district is located around Ahmadu Bello Way in the center of Jos. There are many banks in the area as well. General merchandise may be purchased around here. For leather products at very good prices, Ferin Gada on Bauchi Road is the best place to go.


There are many eateries and restaurants that offer a range of cuisines. Local delicacies are also very abundant.


Shemshak, opposite The University of Jos gates is a local favourite where the price is reasonable.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010
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Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also jós




From the pronominal stem *jo-; the final -s may be an old lative suffix so this may originally be the lative singular of joka.


  • Hyphenation: jos
  • IPA: [jos]



  1. (subordinating) if

Derived terms

See also



jos f. pl.

  1. (third-person feminine plural) they




  1. (third-person singular feminine possessive) her

Northern Sami



  1. if



Latin deorsum




  1. down

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