You have been posted to Benue state for your NYSC and now wondering what Benue looks like, how long it will take to travel to Benue state, how to locate the NYSC camp in Benue etc ???. Though, I did not serve in Benue but I am working presently in Benue, Otukpo precisely. Hence, I have decided to share with you,some info that might help you.
Benue is a state in the MidEast region of Nigeria with Makurdi as the capital. It is not a typical "Hausa" state as most people think. Tiv, Idoma, and Igede are spoken predominantly. Nevertheless, you will still find traces of Igbos and Yorubas in the state. David Mark (current Senate President), Tuface and TerryG (Popular Nigerian Musicians) are all from Benue State.
The state is referred to as the "Food Basket of the Nation" because it's a rich agricultural region. Hence, if you are the type that likes food alot, don't worry, you can eat the way you like without having to drain your allowee account..lol. Food is cheap and there are plenty fruits!
If you are posted to Makurdi and its environs, be ready to cope with a hot weather during the dry season. The south-eastern part of the state adjoining the Obudu-Cameroun mountain range, however, has a cooler climate similar to that of the Jos Plateau.
The NYSC camp in Benue state is located at Wanunne. Makurdi to wannune(NYSC camp) is about 40 minutes. The State secretariat is located at Railway Bye-pass, Makurdi and the other secretariats can be found at the different local government offices in the state.
Lagos to Benue state by road is about 10 - 11 hours if you do not encounter any delay on the road. You can get direct bus to Makurdi or Gboko from Iddo Park, Oyingbo (around Yaba), Lagos. Transport fare as at the time of publishing this is around N5,000. It's better you book ahead a day before you travel. If not, you should try and get to the park as early as possible. First Buses leave Lagos around 7-8 am. If you live along Badagry express road, i.e from Mile 2 down to Badagry and think you can't get to iddo Park that early, you can get Pleasure Travels just opposite Army Barracks.
If you are coming from the East, I am not sure if you can get a direct bus to Makurdi but you can ask around. I know "Peace Transport" is very popular in the East. You can go to their park to find out. They also have a park at "Obollo Affor". Hence, if they are not coming directly to Benue, you can enter a "Peace" bus coming to Obollo. From Obollo, you will get a direct bus to Otukpo (Not OtukpA). From Otukpo, you can easily get to Makurdi and from there, locating the camp is easy. Another alternative from East, is through 9th mile from where you'll easily get Otukpo or if you're lucky, a direct bus going to Makurdi.
For those who can't make it to Wanunne, you can sleep in any of the numerous hotels and guest houses in Makurdi,Otukpo etc. then proceed to Wannune the next morning. For those that can't go to a hotel,just go to the NCCF family house and pass the night. You will be welcomed there and been in the midst of others will even help you with what to expect in NYSC camp and outside. When the bus from Lagos or wherever stops you at Wurukum Park in Makurdi, just take a bike from there to NCCF Family house at Ankpa Quaters, beside the state INEC office. The fare should not be more than 100naira.
You can reach me if you need any other info as I would be glad to be of assistance especially if you are posted to Otukpo after the orientation camp. I know you will enjoy your stay.
You might be interested in List of NYSC Orientation Camp Addresses in Nigeria, 10 Ways Of Making Money At NYSC Orientation Camp and basic things you need to take to NYSC Orientation camp. In one of my future posts, I hope to share how I won a state award during my NYSC year in Anambra Benue State. Just make sure you subscribe to this blog for you not to miss my future articles.
If you have questions to ask, contributions to make or want to share your NYSC experience at Benue, please let me hear from you via comments.