With a population of 4,780,389 (2006 census), the state is made of several ethnic groups: Tiv, Idoma, Igede, Etulo, Abakpa, Jukun, Hausa, Akweya and Nyifon. The Tiv are the dominant ethnic group, occupying 14 local government areas, while the Idoma and Igede occupy the remaining nine local government areas.
Most of the people are farmers while the inhabitants of the riverine areas engage in fishing as their primary occupation. The people of the state are famous for their cheerful and hospitable disposition as well as rich cultural heritage unfortunately these nature’s endowments have been left to waste with no attention given them.
Tourism is rated one of the world’s greatest Revenue generating industries with countries developing their versions from culture to education, health and religious tourism. These nation’s have since began reaping billions from thus sector of the economy; leading the pack are nation’s like Israel, Germany, India and the Caribbeans.
With much being discussed about the need for the Nigerian economy to divert from her dependence on oil as it’s only source of foreign exchange, much is yet to be desired as other money spinners like agriculture and tourism are yet to be explored.
Nigerian is endowed with numerous natural and man made tourist attractions which are yet to be fully harnessed; Benue state is not left out in this case as it is is a hot bed for many tourist attractions which have been left to fallow and thus loosing plenty revenue.
Ikyogen Hills: The hills exude wild weather conditions which ensures steady green vegetation and a round the year grazing of animals in the area which is also known as Ikyogen cattle ranch. This ranch which was developed in 1983 by the Aper Aku regime has not witnessed any development since the exit of that regime through a military coup. Successive governments have either paid lip service to it or used the project as a conduit pipe to syphon government funds with no effort to revitalise it.
Dajo Pottery, Makurdi: Dajo Pottery is a centre where pots are made locally. Methods and art in which pots are made traditionally are shown to tourist who shows interest. This privately owned pottery has international acclaim for it products which are been exported to other countries while it has been designated as a study center fro local and international students. However the centre is in dire need of infrastructural development and assistance.
Anwase-Abande Ranges: Located in Kwande local government area on Nigerian-Cameroon border and stretches adjoining the Obudu-Cameroon range, this place features temperate climate and beautiful scenery of forests, dissected hills, dykes, dozens of fast flowing streams and incised valleys. It is a beautiful place for camping, sight viewing and picnicking. Even as this nature’s gift is a rare spectacle, the area lacks the basic amenities of portable water and even good roads to encourage hospitality investments like hotels and entries or lodges to welcome willing tourists.
The Rare Manatee, Katsina-ala River: African manatee a rare herbivorous mammals found in their natural environment close to the Katsina Ala river.
Tor Tiv Palace, Gboko: This is the official residence of the king of Tiv people. The palace is rich in historical artifacts about the Tiv people and their history.
Ochi Idoma Palace, Otukpo: This is also the official residence of the paramount ruler of the Idoma people. The palace is rich in historical artifacts about the Idoma people and their history.
Ushongo Hills: The place also offers climate weather condition that makes it a most fulfilling spot tourists and adventurers. This rare mountainous belt also is in lack of basic amenities and hospitality facilities to invite tourists who will certainly enjoy the unique atmosphere and weather.
Ikwe Holiday Resort: One of the top destinations in the state where visitors can enjoy most of their time undisturbed. The resort offers visitors an opportunity to experience the work of nature. Unfortunately since its establishment in the early nineties this potential money spinner has never lived to its proposed performance as it has since been abandoned even as the present government proposed millions into its revitalisation to no end. A visit to the site by our reporter shows that the resort has become a home for reptiles and wild animals.
Enemabia Warm Spring: One of the famous attractions in Benue State which is particularly prized for its warm water. It is available for both night and day for tourists who cherish swimming. Though famed and rare this spring unlike its likes a cross the nation, has not been developed to a tourist friendly site since its discovery and thus cannot accommodate tourists.
Montane Games Reserve: is one of the very few game reserves in the state for animals in their natural habitat. This reserve like it’s counterpart tourist attractions has become a farmland for the host community as no activity had ever taken place there and all the animals turned game for the local hunters.