The geo-political entity called Ukum local government was carved out of Katsina-Ala local government on 31st October 1991, with headquarters at Sankerra. The local government is situated in the North-East of Benue State. Ukum local government shares boundaries East ward with Wukari local government in Taraba state. In the south East and south-west, it is bounded by Katsina-Ala and Logo Local government areas. It has a population of 183,422 (1991 census) and a landmass of 429.10 sq. km. The inhabitants of the local government are predominantly Tiv and are farmers. Those settling in the area include Hausa, Ibo, Jukun, Idoma etc who are mainly traders. The local government area is made up of thirteen (13) council wards.
Although Ukum local government is part of a geological formation with lots of mineral deposites, feasibility studies to determine the viability of industrial exploitation of these deposits is yet to be done. However, there is a crude salt industry in Tsav ward which is locally exploited by the local people, producing unrefined salt for consumption as well as medicinal purposes.
Agriculture is the main stay of the economy of Ukum local government. The area is indeed endowed with abundant rich and fertile agricultural soil. The bulk of yams in the country is produced in the local government area. Furthermore, Ukum local government area provides the biggest tuber market in Africa south of the Sahara. Other food crops that are grown and produced substantially here include groundnuts, maize, citrus, and guinea corn.
Over the years, the local government has made concerted efforts to provide the necessary infrastructures to stimulate investment, using these raw materials. Such infrastructures include hotels like Paradise, Samco, Forum Guest House, Twar Villa, Kate Guest House, Inland Hotel, John Lan Garden, Bintex Guest House, Country Side Guest House, Tine-Nune Carter for the accommodation needs of visitors to Ukum local government area.
A trunk ‘A’ bitumen road runs through the local government from Katsina-Ala through Zaki-Biam and Kyado towns to Wukari in Taraba state. This road is joined by several feeder roads to ensure easy evacuation of goods. The local government is served by two commercial banks; the United Bank for Africa PLC (UBA) Zaki-Biam and the Peoples Bank of Nigeria also in Zaki-Biam town. Kyado, Tine-Nune, Sankera and Jootar towns are served with electricity supply from the National Electricity Power Authority (NEPA). These towns enjoy full electricity supply from Yandev – Wukari power line. These infrastructures provide the much needed environment for investment. The local government’s main internal revenue sources include markets, motor parks and market dues, licenses, permits, fees and fines. The major markets include Zaki-Biam, Vaase, Kyado and Gbeji. The highest point of revenue collection in these markets is normally recorded during yam harvest season between August and March every year.