What You Need To Know
Benin City is a city and the capital of Edo State in southern Nigeria. It is situated approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of the Benin River and 320 kilometres (200 mi) by road east of Lagos. Benin City is the centre of Nigeria’s rubber industry, and oil production is also a significant industry.
The original people and founders of the Ẹdo Empire and the Ẹdo people, initially were ruled by the Ogiso (Kings of the Sky) dynasty who called their land Igodomigodo. Igodo, the first Ogiso, wielded much influence and gained popularity as a good ruler. He died after a long reign and was succeeded by Ere, his eldest son. In the 12th century, a great palace intrigue and battle for power erupted between the warrior crown prince Ekaladerhan, son of the last Ogiso and his young paternal uncle. In anger over an oracle, Prince Ekaladerhan left the royal court with his warriors. When his old father the Ogiso died, the Ogiso dynasty was ended as the people and royal kingmakers preferred their king’s son as natural next in line to rule.
Population: 1.496 million(2015)
Area: 1,204 km²
The Nigerian Naira is the currency of Nigeria. The currency code for Nairas is NGN, and the currency symbol is ₦. It is subdivided into 100 Kobo.
Benin City has a tropical climate. In winter, there is much less rainfall than in summer. The Köppen-Geiger climate classification is Aw. The average annual temperature is 26.1 °C in Benin City. About 2025 mm of precipitation falls annually. The warmest month of the year is April, with an average temperature of 27.5 °C. In July, the average temperature is 24.5 °C. It is the lowest average temperature of the whole year.
Edo language is a Volta–Niger language spoken primarily in Edo State, Nigeria.
Benin City is home to some of Nigeria’s institutions of higher learning, namely, the University of Benin located at Ugbowo and Ekenwan, the College of Education Ekiadolor, Igbinedion University, the Benson Idahosa University and Wellspring University. Secondary schools in Nigeria are, among others, Edo College, Edo Boys High School (Adolo College), Western Boys High School, Garrick Memorial Secondary School, Asoro Grammar School, Eghosa Grammar School, Edokpolor Grammar School, Niger College, Presentation National High School, Immaculate Conception College, Idia College, University of Benin Demonstration Secondary School, University Preparatory Secondary School, Àuntie Maria College, Benin Technical College, Headquarters of Word of Faith Group of Schools, Lydia Group of Schools, Nosakhare Model Education Centre and Igbinedion Educational Center, Federal Government Girls College, Benin City, Paragon Comprehensive College, Itohan Girls Grammar School. Some of the vocational schools in Benin City include Micro International Training Center, Computer Technology and Training Center. Okunbor Group Of Schools.
Attractions in the city include the National Museum, the Oba Palace, Igun Street (Famous for bronze casting and other metal works). Other attractions include various festivals and the Benin Moats (measuring about 20 to 40 ft), the King’s Square (known as Ring Road) and its traditional markets.
The Binis are known for bronze sculpture, its casting skills and their arts and craft. Benin City is also the home of one of the oldest sustained monarchies in the world. Various festivals are held in Benin City yearly to celebrate various historic occasions and seasons. Igue festival is the most popular of the festivals where the Oba celebrates the history and culture of his people and blesses the land and the people. It is celebrated at a time between Christmas and New Year.
Getting around in Benin isn’t too difficult. Despite its bad roads, the city is well linked and networked. If you come in by air, there are taxis at the airport to take you probably anywhere you wish to go for an affordable price. And if you come in by road and are taken to the terminal of the transport service, you will also find taxis ready to take you anywhere. Officially, taxis and buses are painted red or rather wine on their body and yellow on the roof. But there are some buses and taxis that don’t obey that code.
Most roads lead to the ring road, so to get to some places, you actually have to get to the ring road and then take another bus or cab to your destination. Moving from one part of town to another is usually done by bus but on some routes, you can also take a taxi. There are now standard bus stops in the city for the new green painted “Comrade Buses” although as these are free for school children they can be very crowded at school starting and finishing times. When you are in a commercial vehicle that has reached your destination, you would alert the driver by saying “STOP” or “DROP”, and then he would come to a halt. Don’t hesitate to say this as the driver will certainly take you past your destination if you don’t.
Getting around at night time is pretty much the same as getting around during the day time but keep in mind that some routes become more dangerous at night time. You should be a bit skeptical about entering a commercial vehicle at night if it has no passengers.
Apart from buses and taxis you used to be able to get around the city with motor bikes…..but these have now been made illegal and no longer operate.