Brief History of Enugu state

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ENUGU STATE, South-East of Nigeria, is one of the thirty-six states constituting the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It came into being on August 27, 1991 when the administration of the then military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, finally acquiesced to the long agitations of Waawa people for a state they could truly call their own. Enugu state derives its name from the capital city, ENU UGWU (top of the hill), which is regarded as the oldest urban area in the Igbo speaking area of South-East Nigeria. The city owes its geopolitical significance to the discovery of coal in 1909 by a team of British geologists.

The discovery of the solid mineral in the area brought about the emergence of a permanent cosmopolitan settlement which influenced the construction of a railway line to link the Enugu coal fields with the sea port in Port Harcourt for the evacuation of the mineral to Europe. In fact, by 1917 Enugu had acquired township status and assumed strategic importance to British interests. Foreign businesses began to move into Enugu, the most notable of which were John Holt, Kingsway Store, United Bank of West Africa and United Africa Company. By 1929, Enugu had become the capital of the former Eastern Region, and has since then retained its old status as the regional industrial and business hub as the political capital and rallying point of the lgbo people.

Geographical Location

Situated on much of the highlands of Awgu-Udi-Nsukka hills and the rolling low lands of the Idodo River basin to the east and Oji River basin to the west, the state is bounded by five other states with which it shares common boundaries. It spreads southwards to the borders with Abia and northwards to Benue State. Apart from a chain of low hills running through Abakaliki in neighbouring Ebonyi State in the east to Nsukka in the west and then southwards through Enugu and Awgu, the rest of the state is made up of low lands, crisscrossed by numerous streams and rivulets of which the major ones are the Adada, Oji, Ekulu, Nyama, Nvene and Ajalli Rivers.

The People Enugu State has a population of 4,545,458 (2017 Mid-Year Projection) with a population density that is two and a half times the national average. Its people are lgbo by ethnic grouping. They are widely known to be hospitable, very resourceful and hard-working. Skilled manpower resources are therefore readily available in almost every sphere of human endeavor. The vernacular spoken is lgbo but English is widely used and a visitor can make himself understood even in the humblest hamlet if he can speak a modicum of English.

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 mostly the public service, although the private sector, encouraged by the present state government’s investment friendly disposition, is gaining increasing impetus.


The latest Blue Print on Agriculture was developed in 2009 under the chairmanship of Dr. Eric Oluedo. The new Blue Print shifted government policy (a) to Public Private Partnership (PPP) in agriculture, (b) to produce Farm Managers of international standard that will develop further and sustain the Enugu State Mechanized and Commercial Farm Program (MECFAP) Initiative that will  fill the lacuna of practical knowledge and apathy to agriculture so as to reverse the current negative Food Security status and finally put Enugu State in the World Map of food Producers and Exporters, and (c) to achieve the State Policy Declaration on Vision 20-2020 on Agriculture of “achieving sufficiency in food Production and Agro- Allied Products by  2015 and 80% Export Capacity by 2020”. This resulted in (a) the engagement of Songhai Regional Center, Port Novo and San Carlos Pineapple Company, Mexico, (b) training of 172 Youth graduates in Integrated zero waste commercial farming at the Songhai Regional Center, Port Novo and the establishment of Enugu State College of Agriculture and Agro Entrepreneurship Iwollo (now Polytechnic), and (c) the successful acquisition of over 100,000 HAs of land from the 17 LGAs for the take off of the 21 Rural Green Cities in the state.

The State Ministry of Agriculture is advised to ensure the execution of this current Blue Print because of the huge benefits that await the state and the nation.


Enugu State is endowed with a lot of tourist resources, facilities and potentials. These exists in natural features such as lakes, caves, hills, falls, springs and cultural festivals as well as such man-made features like hotels, telecommunications and transportation outfits, galleries and monumental or archaeological collections. Some of these potentials are developed, others are yearning for development. Some of the existing tourist events in Enugu include the Enugu Culture and Tourism Fiesta and the New Yam Festival (Iri-i)

Political Structure

In accordance with government’s development policy of opening up the hinterlands and bringing the benefits of democracy and good governance closer to the people, there are sixty-eight (68) Development Areas within the given 17 LGAs, each run by a Ten-member development area committee (DAC) headed by an Administrator. Each Development Area has at least three women in the Committee. This structure makes for better and equitable participation of the people in governance.

The state is also divided into 260 Registration Areas, 24 State Constituencies, 8 Federal Constituencies, 3 Senatorial districts, viz: Enugu-East, Enugu-North and Enugu West.