Enugu State of Nigeria: Beautiful profile of a beautiful place and people.
Enugu (Énugwú, meaning “hill top”) is the capital of Enugu State in Nigeria and located in southeastern Nigeria. Enugu State has a population of 3,267,837 people according to Nation Census held in 2006 (presently estimated at about 4 million people). It is predominantly a home of Igbo people with a few Idoma/Igala people in Ette (Igbo-Eze North) of Enugu State, Nigeria. Enugu State shares borders with Abia State and Imo State to the south, Ebonyi State to the east, Benue State to the northeast, Kogi State to the northwest and Anambra State to the west. Enugu people are predominantly Christians, very hospitable and loving.
- Map of Enugu State
Enugu, the capital city of Enugu State, is approximately 2½ driving hours away from Port Harcourt, where coal shipments exited Nigeria. Enugu is also located within an hour’s drive from Onitsha, one of the biggest commercial cities in Africa and two hours’ drive from Aba, another very large commercial city, both of which are trading centres in Nigeria. The average temperature in this city is cooler to mild (60 degrees Fahrenheit) in its cooler months and gets warmer to hot in its warmer months (upper 80 degrees Fahrenheit) and very good for outdoor activities with family and friends or just for personal leisure. Enugu is also home to Nollywood with filming locations for directors of the Nigerian movie industry, known as Nollywood. Enugu’s main airport is the Akanu Ibiam International Airport.
Enugu has good soil-land and climatic conditions all year round, sitting at about 223 metres (732 ft) above sea level, and the soil is well drained during its rainy seasons. The mean temperature in Enugu State in the hottest month of February is about 87.16 °F (30.64 °C), while the lowest temperatures occur in the month of November, reaching 60.54 °F (15.86 °C). The lowest rainfall of about 0.16 cubic centimetres (0.0098 cu in) is normal in February, while the highest is about 35.7 cubic centimetres (2.18 cu in) in July.
- Map of Nigeria, showing Enugu State
History holds that the first European settlers arrived in the area in 1909, led by a British mining engineer named Albert Kitson. In his quest for silver, he discovered coal in the Udi Ridge. The Colonial Governor of Nigeria Frederick Lugard took a keen interest in the discovery, and by 1914 the first shipment of coal was made to Britain. As mining activities increased in the area, a permanent cosmopolitan settlement emerged, supported by a railway system. Enugu acquired township status in 1917 and became strategic to British interests. Foreign businesses began to move into Enugu, the most notable of which were John Holt, Kingsway Stores, the British Bank of West Africa and the United Africa Company. From Enugu the British administration was able to spread its influence over the Southern Province of Nigeria. The colonial past of Enugu is today evidenced by the Georgian building types and meandering narrow roads within the residential area originally reserved for the whites, an area which is today called the Government Reserved Area (GRA).
From being the capital of the Southern Provinces, Enugu became the capital of the Eastern Region (now divided into nine States), the capital of now defunct Federal Republic of Biafra, thereafter, the capital of East Central State, Anambra State, (old) Enugu State, and now the capital of the present Enugu State through a process of state creation and diffusion of administrative authority.
- Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Governor of Enugu State.
Economically, the state is predominantly rural and agrarian, with a substantial proportion of its working population engaged in farming, although trading (18.8%) and services (12.9%) are also important. In the urban areas trading is the dominant occupation, followed by services. A small proportion of the population is also engaged in manufacturing activities, with the most pronounced among them located in Enugu, Oji, Ohebedim and Nsukka. The state boasts of a number of markets especially at each of the divisional headquarters, prominent of which is the Ogbete Main market in the State capital, Enugu. There is also one of the largest grains market East of the Niger, the Orie Orba Market which plays host to most farmers from the North Central States of Benue, Kogi, Nassarawa and Plateau who use the market to dispose their produce for consumers in South-East and South-Southern Nigeria. Every four days, grains and other farm produce are found in large quantities and at highly competitive prices.
Power and Energy
Electricity supply is relatively stable in Enugu and its Environs. The Oji River Power Station (which used to supply electricity to all of Eastern Nigeria) is located in Enugu State. With the deregulation of electricity generation in Nigeria, and the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), it is hoped the State Government would assist private investors to negotiate the take over and reactivation of the Oji Power Station. This is more so with the proximity of the Enugu coal mines to the power station, a driving distance of about 20 minutes. There are also traces of crude oil in Ugwuoba, in the same Oji-River Local Government area of the state. The state will also negotiate with investors interested in investing in the coal mining in Enugu. The coal industry used to be one of the biggest employers of labour in the state and the state is looking to attract investors in the industry.
Every community in Enugu State has at least one Primary/Elementary school and one Secondary school, funded and run by State Government. There are also large numbers of private nursery, primary and secondary schools in Enugu State. Nigeria’s first indigenous university, (University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN)), is located in Enugu State. The University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) is located in Enugu State, as is the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital and College of Medicine. The state also hosts numerous other colleges, universities and polytechnics.
Politics and Administration of Enugu State
The State Government and the Local Government are the two levels of government in Enugu State as in all other states of Nigeria. Enugu State has 17 LGAs, namely: Aninri, Awgu, Enugu East, Enugu North, Enugu South, Ezeagu, Igbo Etiti, Igbo Eze North, Igbo Eze South, Isi Uzo, Nkanu East, Nkanu West, Nsukka, Oji River, Udenu, Udi and Uzo Uwani. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is the governor of Enugu State. He was elected by Enugu People in April 2015 and was sworn in on 29 May 2015. The governor administers the state with the help of commissioners. The governor and the commissioners form the state’s Executive Council. Government House, Enugu – popularly called the “Lion Building” is the seat of government.
Credit: Wikipedia and other online sources.