Ebonyi State is one of the youngest states in the nation. There are lots of things you probably still don’t know about this fast-growing South-Eastern state. You probably have heard about Abakaliki rice, right? or maybe you even have it in your house right now (I bet, you do). Maybe that is even all you know about Ebonyi State. Let me introduce you to what you may not know about Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
Perhaps, you haven’t eaten the rice before, I recommend you should. It is one of the best kind of rice in Nigeria. I’ll come back to this…
Before then, let’s explore the young and promising Ebonyi state together…hop in!
Ebonyi is one of the youngest states in Nigeria, created in 1996 out of two other states in the Southeastern part of Nigeria, namely; Enugu and Abia.
The state share borders with Benue to the north, Enugu to the west, Cross River to the east, Abia and Imo to the South. The capital is the Abakaliki city, also nicknamed AI city.
Ebonyi is called the “salt of the nation” because of the huge salt deposit in Okposi and Uburu salt lakes. This has also been interpreted by Ebonyians to mean; “The state that gives taste to the Nation”
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The state is divided into three(3) senatorial zones: Ebonyi North, Ebonyi Central and Ebonyi South, in these zones are the 13 local government that make up the state.
With an estimated population of 2,176,947 (according to 2006 census) covering an area of 5,533 km², the area now known as Ebonyi state is characterized by a variety of beautiful terrains and landmarks.
There are flatlands and red clayey soil in the northern part of the state, which includes Abakaliki city, Izzi, Ohaukwu, Ebonyi, and ishielu LGAs. Whereas the southern and some of the central parts are characterized by uplands, rocks and sands. It is worthy of note that the moisture and high salinity of the Ebonyi land contribute to the production of high-quality rice and other staple foods.
As there are slight differences in geographical features across the state, there also exist slight cultural and dialectical differences amongst the various people now called Ebonyians generally.
In the northern and central part of the state are the Izzi, Ezza, Ezzamgbo and Ikwo people who are culturally and dialectically bound together. These people are also neighbours to the people of northern Cross River state, namely; Yala, Yakur, Ogoja, Ugep, etc.
There are also the Effium, Ntezi and Okpoto people who are closer some parts of Benue state, in the north-central part of Nigeria.
Down to the south are the Afikpo, Edda and Ohaozara people who were formerly known as the old Afikpo zone, then in Abia state. Afikpo, Unwana and especially the Edda people are dialectically and culturally affiliated to the Ohafia and Arochukwu people of Abia state.
Further down south are found the Ishiagu and Akaeze people who were formally part of Aninri in Enugu state, where their ancestry can be traced to as well.
This slight diversity in dialect and culture amongst Ebonyians can be hinged on the fact that the state is carved out of Enugu and Abia states. However, these differences do not pose any threat to the unity and peace in the state.
No doubt Ebonyi is one of the youngest states in Nigeria, which also receives one of the lowest federal allocations and having meagre IGR. It is often said to be a poor and backward state, educationally and socially.
However, there have been great signs of awakening in Ebonyi, there have also been tremendous infrastructural developments in the state especially in recent times, with an infrastructural minded governor, Engr, Chief Dave Umahi, at the helm of affairs in the state.What you may not know about Ebonyi state
The state’s economy has recently been taunted to be the fastest growing economy in the south-east of Nigeria, with an exponential increase in rice production and other agro-based industries sprouting in the state.
Ebonyi state is fast becoming a safe haven for investors to put in their monies.
The state has also developed educationally as there are over six(6) sound tertiary institutions now in the state, including the newly established Alex Ekwueme University, Ikwo which has been acclaimed one of the top quality citadels of learning in the country.
Ebonyi state now plays host to many people from other states who come in their droves to acquire quality education from the various citadels of learning in the state.
Ebonyi Rice Industry (Abakaliki rice)
You sure want to know more about Abakaliki rice…
Rice production is currently the leading source revenue for Ebonyi state. As a matter of fact, Ebonyi state is among the first five states in Nigeria with the largest rice production capacity.
There are currently three(3) rice Mills/ production locations in Ebonyi state, namely; Izzi, Oso Edda and Ikwo.
In recent years, more advanced technologies have been put into making the process of planting, harvesting and milling of rice in Ebonyi state a lot effortless.
In the past, consumers complained about the presence of stones in the rice, but currently, the milling is no longer done manually, therefore, the rice is now ‘destoned’ and well packaged.
Abakaliki rice is just as nutritious as imported rice, or even more. It is also relatively cheap when compared to the parboiled foreign Rice usually imported from China, Thailand and India.
Apart from rice production, Ebonyi state also boasts of the large deposit of limestone in Nkalagu, which is expected to yield the state huge revenue when fully exploited and utilized.
Perhaps, you want to visit Ebonyi state any time soon, you may like to take note of these tourist sites and you’ll be delighted if you visit them.
Unwana, Ndibe and Ozizza Sand Beaches:
These beaches are respectively located at Unwana, Ozizza and Ndibe in Afikpo North LGA. The three beaches are part of extensive scenic golden sand beaches along Cross River basin. They are ideal centres for relaxation, sunbathing, swimming, sport fishing, canoe-racing, and yachting.
Abakaliki Golf Course:
Situated along Ezza road and spanning 11/12km, the golf course has a modern golfing topography, it is indeed a beauty to behold.
Abakaliki Green Lake:
During the colonial era, the green lake served as a leisure and relaxation centre for the colonial masters. It has since been upgraded with modern facilities, making it a must-visit tourist centre.
Slave Market Route, Ezza:
Located in Ezza, Ezza-South LGA of the state, this market route is a historic location where slaves were first collected before being moved to places for trade during the slave and inter-tribal war years.
Amazing Natural Rock Formations:
These amazing rock formations at Akpoha and Ibii in Afikpo-North Local Government Area are among the beautiful landscape figures to be appreciated in Ebonyi State.