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Sokoto, Nigeria

Sokoto is the capital of the State with the same name, Sokoto State. It is situated in the extreme northwest of Nigeria near the meeting point of the Sokoto River and the Rima River. Sokoto has a population of over 420 000 people. Sokoto is also the home of the Sokoto Caliphate with the Sultan who heads the Caliphate being the widely recognised leader of Nigerian Muslims. The name Sokoto is derived from the Arabic name Sakkwato, it represents "suk" or "market". Sokoto does go by many names, which include Sakkwato and Birnin Shaihu da Bello which means "Capital of Shaihu and Bello".

Sokoto is served by Sadiq Abubakar III International Airport (IATA: SKO, ICAO: DNSO) the airport also goes by the name of Sultan Saddik Abubakar Airport. Sultan Saddik Abubakar airport is considered an International airport yet there are no scheduled international flights operating from there currently. The airport was named after the legendary Sultan of Sokoto, Sadiq Abubakar, who had reigned for more than 50 years.

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Domestic flights

Sokoto is not one of the large Nigerian cities, but due to it's geographical and religous importance there was need for an airport there. There are regular scheduled flights from Sokoto to Abuja and Lagos.

Airline Destination(s)
Virgin Nigeria Abuja, Lagos
Arik Air Abuja, Lagos
Aero Contractors Lagos ( via Abuja)

General Info (Climate, Economy, The Sultan)


Sokoto is located in the transition zone of the Sahara dessert into the Sudanian Savannas. It is surrounded by sandy savannah and isolated hills. Sokoto is infamous for it's "HOT" weather with it being undoubtedly the hottest city in Nigeria. Although this is not noticable during most of the year where temperatures average 28.3°C. During February to April daytime temperatures can exceed 45°C. The highest recorded temperature is 47.2°C and this is also the highest recorded temperature in Nigeria.


Sokoto is a agricultural city and more than 80% of the inhabitants of the city are involved in agricultural activities. Crops that are produced in Sokoto include millet, guinea corn, maize, rice, potatoes, cassava, groundnuts and beans. These are the crops that provide sustenance to the people's of Sokoto. Cotton, wheat and vegetables are often produced and sold for cash. Many resident's of Sokoto that are situated along the Sokoto River take part in fishing. Sokoto has a large animal population and it provides ranks second in livestock production of Nigeria. Sokoto also has many miinerals which inlcude Kaolin, gypsum, lime, yellow and green phosphate, shade clay and sand. Generally Sokoto has very rich and fertile soil and is definitely one of Nigeria's bread-baskets.

The Sultan

The Sultan of Sokoto is the religous leader of Nigerian Islamists and is also the head of the Sokoto Caliphate or Fulani Empire. The Sokoto Caliphate dates back as far as 1809 and was one of the most powerful empires in sub-Saharan Africa before colonization. The current Sultan is Amirul Mumineen Sultan Muhammadu Sa'ad Abubakar III who was the younger son of the 17th Sultan Siddiq Abu Bakar dan Usuman who reigned for over 50 years.

The legendary Sadiq Abubakar III Muhammed Sa'adu Abubakar

The legendary Sadiq Abubakar III and the current sultan (right) Muhammed Sa'adu Abubakar.