town and river port, capital of Kogi state, south-central Nigeria, on the west bank of the Niger River opposite the mouth of the Benue River. British merchants established a trading post at the Benue-Niger confluence in the late 1850s; and in 1860 William Balfour Baikie, the Scottish explorer, founded Lokoja. Besides being an important commercial settlement, the site (originally ceded in 1841 to the British by the Ata [King] of Idah, 50 miles [80 km] south) was selected for the first British consulate in the interior (1860-69) and for the military headquarters for Sir George Goldie's Royal Niger Company (1886-1900). Formerly the capital of Kabba province, Lokoja was part of Kwara from 1967 to 1991, when it became the capital of the newly formed state of Kogi.
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