Makurdi (mäkōrˈdē) [key], town (1991 est. pop. 109,000), capital of Benue state, central Nigeria, a port on the Benue River. Sesame seeds and cotton grown in the region are collected at Makurdi for transshipment. The town has an airport and is a rail and road center and the terminus of a bridge across the Benue. Considerable limestone and marble reserves exist in the town's vicinity. Makurdi was developed by the British in the early 20th cent. as a transportation and local administration center.