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Geography Paper 2 , Nov/Dec 2008  
Questions:   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   Main
General Comments

Question 5

Write explanatory notes on the Niger – Benue Trough under the following headings:

(a) Peoples and population;
(b) Resources and economic activities
(c) Problems of development



This question was attempted by few candidates and most of those who did it performed poorly because they misunderstood Niger – Benue Trough for Niger Delta.

The people and population of the Niger – Benue Trough included:

- Several small ethnic groups such as the Idoma, Igala, Gwari, Tiv, Nupe, Jukun, Bassa and a host of others;
- Two major ethnic groups which are the Tivs and Nupes.
- Mostly rural settlers;
- Sparsely populated area;
- Average density of 20 persons per km2;
- Dispersed settlements;
- Major population concentrations at New Bussa, Lokoja, Makurdi, Yola, etc.

The resources and economic activities include:

- presence of rivers which support fishing;
- aboundance of fertile valley plains supporting agriculture;
-  presence of good sites for HEP generation e.g. the   Kainji at Jebba and Shiroro on Kaduna river;
- mineral resources include salt, limestone, iron ore, marble;
- transportation along the rivers;
- cultivation of crops like sugar cane, beniseed, rice, soya beans, etc;
- local crafts like pottery, brass work;
- industrial activities – limestone mining in Gboko, cement manufacturing, etc.

The problems of development include:
sparse nature of the population does not encourage siting of major industries;
- harsh weather conditions (e.g. too wet for northern crops and too dry for southern crops);
- prevalence of diseases and pests;
- high cost of provision of social amenities and infrastructure;
- land conflicts;
- frequent flood disasters;
- seasonality of rivers;
- rapids and falls along rivers, etc.





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