They were killed on Wednesday along Abuja-Kaduna expressway on their way back to Kano from a business trip to Abuja.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State confirmed the incident in a statement by his spokesman, Abba Anwar, on Thursday.
The governor described the murder as devastating and frustrating.
The statement reads: “We were shocked with the bad news of the death of 16 Dambatta indigenes on Abuja-Kaduna highway, who was travelling from Abuja to Kano, as a result of an attack from unidentified gunmen.
“The news is devastating and frustrating. We commiserate with the families of the deceased, the people of Dambatta local government, and the people of Kano state.