Abuja äbo͞o´jə [key], city and federal capital territory (2006 provisional pop. 1,405,201), central Nigeria. Plans to move the capital from Lagos were approved in 1976, and a 3,000-sq mi (7,770-sq km) capital territory was created near the old town of Abuja (renamed Suleja). The site was chosen for its location near the center of the country, its good climate, and small population. The planned city of Abuja is located in the center of the federal capital territory. Construction was carried on throughout the 1980s and Abuja officially became Nigeria's capital in 1991. A light rail system opened in the city in 2018.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Nigeria Political Geography