Katsina State, home to nearly 6 million people, was created in 1987. However, Katsina city, surrounded by walls 13 miles long, is believed to have been founded circa 1100. The state is known as the home of hospitality and is the centre of an agricultural region famous for producing groundnuts, cotton and hides. The current Governor is Ibrahim Sheema, who took over when the last Governor, Yar’Adua, became President of Nigeria.
The state has a reputation for prudence, conservatism and excellence in education. In 2011, SPARC supported the government in undertaking several self assessments of performance in governance, and is now building on the findings to strengthen financial management, development planning and the structure and functioning of the civil service – hoping to align the State’s resources (around £200 million per year) to delivering the Millennium Development Goals.