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.
Learn more about Lokoja with a free trial on Britannica.com.