Jos City: Location, History, Urban Growth and Climate

Photo of Jos City: Location, History, Urban Growth and Climate

Location and Geography of Jos Plateau

Picture of a Road leading to Jos from Bukuru
Picture of a Road leading to Jos from Bukuru

 

Jos Plateau State is located in the middle belt zone of Nigeria; it lies between latitude 90 5545.56N and longitude 805331.63E, According to the 2006 census, Jos plateau was said to have a population of 9000,000. The Jos plateau shares a common boundary with Bauchi state in the north, Taraba state in the east, Nasarawa state in the east, Kaduna state in the west and Benue state in the south. It covers about 9400km2 in the crystalline complex in Nigeria. It has its highest elevation of about 1829m above sea level at the Shere hills. Jos city is divided into three local government areas such as Jos north, Jos south and Jos east. The city proper lies in Jos north. Jos north is the state capital and the heart of the city, most commercial, social and educational activities takes place in this area. However due to urban growth and the recent communal clashes, a lot of commercial activities have been shifted to Jos south and to other nearby local government areas within plateau state.

History of Jos Plateau

Picture of Jos City viewed from a high hill
Picture of Jos City viewed from a high hill

 

Jos came from the word “Jasad” which means body was formally known as Gwosh, as the Hausas and other foreigners who settled there wrongly pronounced it as Jos. Jos Plateau is known as a home of peace and tourism. It is a large commercial city known for tin mining activities; the tin was discovered by Colonial masters in plateau and Dilimi was the first tin mining centre in Jos before other places were discovered.

The very first settlement in Jos was at Naraguta village before the city began to grow and the settlements expanded to other places. Jos Plateau is purely a geomorphologic or relief area, it has it heights elevation above the surrounding plains as the only distinguished features. The Jos plateau comprises of many ethnic groups including Afizere, Berom, Ngas, Mwaghavul, Ron-Kulere, Miango, Challa, Anaguta, and 17 other local governments within Plateau state surround it. Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba and many other minority tribes dominate the city of Jos.

Urban growth in the City

Picture showing expansion of settlements in Jos city
Picture showing expansion of settlements in Jos city

 

Presently, Jos is experiencing a large influx of population due to previous tin mining activities and there is a high rate of urbanization in the state and across Nigeria as a whole; this rapid growth has led to rapid expansion and sprawl of smaller settlements resulting in land use demand, land cover changes and rapid increase in economic activities. This growth has further transformed the entire landscape of Jos from a small city to a large urbanized area.

Additionally, the city has formed anagglomeration with Bukuru town to form the Jos-Bukuru metropolis (JBM), hence the metropolis growth is experienced both in population size and in spatial coverage and it is due to rural-urban migration, educational development, economic growth, residential development and pattern of transportation routes. However, this rapid growth has made the urban area of Jos to encroach into some of the rural lands. There are many industries, infrastructures, suburbs and houses, road network, internet access and tourist centres in Jos plateau and for these reasons, Jos Plateau is one of the cosmopolitan cities in Nigeria. Because of the city broad mindedness, it has been able to accommodate people with different ethnic groups, culture and backgrounds (non-indigenes), however, the city is termed as a cosmopolitan city and it is often refers to as home of peace and tourism.

Economic Activities

Jos main market (terminus)
Jos main market (terminus)

 

Jos plateau has a rich industrious heritage, the people are engaged in different economic activities, but their primary occupation is on agriculture and trading, the people farm a lot of fruits and vegetable crops such as carrots, cucumbers, okra, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, rice, beans, groundnuts, maize, water melon among other things. Another occupation used to be the tin mining which started as far back during the British colonial rule in 1902. The state in general is the highest producers of tin mining in the world. The 2nd world war caused a decrease in the tin mining production..

Today, tin mining is no longer the source of revenue to the state, there are other new industries growing out at almost every corner of Jos City, which make Jos a metropolitan City and such industries include Jos main market (Terminus), Bukuru market, Rukuba market, Faringada market, NASCO group, Naraguta Leather Work, Swam Bottle Water Industry, Jos University teaching Hospital, aluminium roofing industries, NTA Television College. Other industries in this city include National Veterinary Research Institute, National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Jos national museum, Airport, college of accountancy, Zoo, Eateries, Relaxation parks, and host of other industries.

Both tin andcolumbitewere heavily mined in this area until the 1960s. The minerals were usually transported by railway to bothPort HarcourtandLagoson the coast, and then were later exported from those ports to other countries of the world. Until today, Jos is still referred to as “Tin City”. In 1956, oil was discovered in Niger Delta which replaced the tin mining business and inturn serve as source of revenue to Nigeria as a whole.

Climate of Jos Plateau

Picture showing large chunks of hail stone during rainy season in Jos City
Picture showing large chunks of hail stone during rainy season in Jos City

 

Jos plateau has a unique weather when compared to other states in Nigeria, it is the type of weather that is described as tropical and it is classified with a symbol aw based on Koppen classification of climate. This weather condition is a bit similar with that of Pankshin local government; the dry season receives more rainfall and it lasts for about 6months (April-September), the rainfall is sometimes accompanied by hailstone and storm. While the dry season starts from October- March. Jos City receives an annual rainfall of 1,400mm (55 inches). The rainfall in this area is described as convectional and orographic type, this is due to the location and the numerous hills found in the City of Jos.

In addition, the dry season is usually very sunny, but most days or weeks, the city experiences harmattan which resumes around from November- January; this harmattan period is mostly accompanied by smog and sometimes with fog. Jos plateau receives an average monthly temperature of 210C250C (7077F). From November to late January, the temperatures could drop to as low as 11C (52F) mostly during the night times.

Master plan of Jos plateau

Shere hills- the highest peak of Jos Plateau
Shere hills- the highest peak of Jos Plateau

 

Master plan of Jos plateau was designed to give an uplift nature. About two million years ago, the whole area present in plateau state was uplifted and the Jos Plateau came into existence. This uplift occurred shortly by volcanisms and various development that took place. The uplifting plan was adopted in 1975; the plan tried to respect the physical geomorphology to a cosmopolitan City; in 1970, urban suburb was experienced, the city grew in a scattered pattern,In 1980, satellite towns weredeveloped.

Recently, there has been a new master plan stated out in 2012 by the previous Governor of Plateau State (Jonah Jang) to name all the streets and to give numbers to all the houses within Jos City and the neighbouring local government Area (Jos North, South and East including Basa and Barkin Ladi). Secondly, the governor of the state based on the great Jos master plan, has also promised to build affordable housing units to Jos dwellers such that will be of benefit to the low income earners. This new development is aimed at preserving the cultural heritage and to create sense of belonging to the dwellers. This new development has started already in Jos East and with time, it will kick off in other parts of the City.

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