aerial view of seaside town

Enugu: The Economic Value, History and Standard of Living of this Nigerian City

The City of Enugu

Enugu is the former capital of the entire Eastern Nigeria and as such has been set out from onset to be one the largest Nigerian cities. At the moment, it is not only one of the largest cities in the country, it is also the one of the fastest growing cities. Due to its history and central location and access to other important cities in Nigeria, Enugu has good economic value.

Enugu is well-populated with an estimated over a million residents and has good infrastructure like good roads, security and constant power supply making it a possible one of the best business locations. In addition, the people are well-educated, hospitable and skilled. This over 100 years city is a surely a remarkable destination for anyone.

Before we move on to stating the economic features of the city, we are going to focus on some questions that strangers ask about the city. There are misconceptions and fake ideas about the city which we would correct as well. The questions are below:

What’s the meaning of Enugu? Why and how is it used?

Enugu is an English corruption of the word, Enugwu. It means “on top of the hill.” This name is as old as the settlement of people at Ngwo where the British came first around Enugu before the city started expanding. Thus, since coal was discovered in the Udi Hills, the British settler chose to stay at Ngwo and Ngwo was located close or on top of Milliken Hill prompting the name “Enugwu Ngwo.” With time, Ngwo was removed as the city shifted away to its present location and became simply known as Enugu.

Presently, Enugu is used to note the city of “Enugu,” which is the capital of Enugu State. The name is also used to note the state. Thus, the name is used for the city as well as the state. Furthermore the term “Ndi Enugu” which means Enugu people is usually used  to note people from the state.

What’s the history of Enugu city?

Enugu city came about because of the discovery of coal around the city in 1909 in Udi Hills by the British explorers. The British administration began work on developing a place close to where coal was discovered, and this was how Enugu city was established. It was even given a town status before 1920.

The coal mining town as it was known as then was connected by rail to Port Harcourt for the transportation and exportation of coal. It was later made the administrative capital of Eastern Nigeria. It remained the capital even after independent till during Nigerian Civil War.

During the war, Enugu was the capital of short-lived Biafra. Its infrastructure was heavily destroyed during the war. After the war, many scholars believe it never really regained its status. However with the return of civilian rule in 1999, the city has made constant and great infrastructural growth and development.

Now, it is the largest city and administrative capital of Enugu State.

Where is Enugu? 

Enugu is in southeastern part of Nigeria. Nigeria is a country in the western part of Africa. Enugu sits on the Onitsha – Enugu- Port Harcourt highway/federal road. It can also be assessed through the Calabar – Abakiliki – Enugu highway. Thus, it is well linked to the southern and northern part of the country. It is the capital of Enugu State and very popular.

What is the culture of Enugu people?

Enugu people are members of the Igbo ethnic group. Their culture is part of the Igbo culture, although with slight uniqueness. The Enugu culture promotes independence of individuals, hard-work, hospitality and non-violence. The people are widely known as being peaceful and humble. They are also well-known for their love of masquerade festivals and other important traditional festivals.

Enugu people are hospitable. They are very welcoming and open to strangers.

What’s the size of Enugu city? What is the population?

In terms of land mass, Enugu is one of the largest cities in Nigeria. It is the largest city by landmass in southeastern Nigeria. It has a population of over a million people. There are people of different ethnic groups, different human races and civilizations living in the city. A good number of the residents are well-to-do or middle-class.

What businesses or goods is Enugu known for?

Enugu is more of an administrative location as the state and federal government offices and agencies are located here. The city also has large number of campuses and schools such as University of Nigeria, Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu State University of Technology, Caritas University, Osisatech Poly and many other tertiary and secondary schools.

However, the city is known for other businesses such as one of the biggest destination for IT and tech in Nigeria, good fashion industry, production and assembling of auto-mobiles and plastics, brewing and distribution of alcoholic drinks and other drinks, large hospitality industry and point of call for tourists.

There are industrial layouts in and around the city employing a good number of the younger population like in Emene and Ninth Mile.

This city also has a prospering entertainment industry (music, movie and literature), which has been on the decline for some years now. At the moment, literature and traditional ogene and highlife music rules the city. In the past, it was the center of Nollywood film shooting and witnessed the birth of popular actors and actresses like Patience Ozokwor, Chiwetalu Agu, Nkem Owoh, John Okafor, Pete Edochie, Kenneth Okonkwo and many more of Nigeria’s A-list actors.

It also witnessed the birth of hiphop, rap and highlife musicians such as Flavour, Phyno, Mr Raw, Bracket, Stormrex, Zoro and many more. Enugu is still a good location for film shooting and music but not as large as it used to be.

You should note that apart from being recognized as an administrative center, there are many other features that make Enugu outstanding. Thus, it should be best location for your business.

Why Enugu should be the best location for your business?

  • Infrastructure: Enugu city due to its age and long history as an administrative center, the city has good infrastructure to make a business do well. There are good roads, security, constant power supply and free flow of movement. There are also very good hospitals, schools, recreational centers and markets in the city.
  • Population: The city has a very educated population that is large in number as well. There are over 1 million residents in Enugu. Aside from this, it is also serving other parts of the state and surrounding southeast states like Anambra, Ebonyi, Imo and Abia. Due to its location in the southeast, a business owner can easily send out items to anywhere in the southeast and even to the north.
  • Location: Just like it has been stated, Enugu city’s location makes it close and accessible to good markets in other surrounding states and from anywhere in Nigeria. Furthermore apart from the roads leading to it, it also has an international airport thus it can be assessed from outside Nigeria.
  • Very Good Power Supply: Enugu has one of the best power supply in Nigeria at the moment. Thus for those into IT, tech, production and any business activity needing constant power supply, Enugu is your best bet. The city has an average power supply of 20 hours daily.


Enugu is not only the capital city of Enugu State and utilized for just schools and administration, it is also a city brimming with good level of industries and market. Enugu is a good bet for production of goods and supply to outside or within Nigeria. Enugu is also a good residential place due to the good infrastructure put in place, security, presence of schools, hospitals as well as good standard of education.

Go to Homepage

Leave a Comment