The state was created in 1991 from parts of Kwara State and Benue State. The state as presently constituted, comprises the people of the Kabba Province of Northern Nigeria. One of the first Qadi in the Kogi State was Faruk Imam.
There are three main ethnic groups and languages in Kogi: Igala, Ebira, and Okun (a Yoruba Group) with other such as Bassa-Nge, a people of Nupe extraction in Lokoja and Bassa Local Government Area, Bassa-Komo of Bassa Local Government Area, Gwari, Kakanda, Oworo people (A Yoruba Group), Ogori, Magongo, Idoma and the pure NUPE people of Eggan community.
Farming is the main occupation of the people of the state and crops produced include cassava, yam, rice, maize, guinea corn, beans, soya beans, asha and millet.
The name Nigeria, was coined in Lokoja by Flora Shaw, the future wife of Baron Lugard, a British colonial administrator, while gazing out at the river Niger .