SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTUREPost Comment SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE Nigeria
Education: Much importance is attached to education in Ebonyi State. The government is gen erally in control of most of the educational institu tions (except commercial and preprimary schools).
There is, however, an ongoing policy by the state government to return a number of the postprimary schools to the voluntary agencies that originally established them. The commercial and preprimary schools are owned by private or voluntary agencies
such as religious organisations. The state has 539 primary schools and eightyfive postprimary schools. There are also a number of higher educa tional institutions for the training of intermediate and highlevel manpower. These include Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki; Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic Dwana, Afikpo; Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu and the State College of Agriculture, lkwo.
Health Care Delivery: Ebonyi State govern ment has consistently pursued a policy of good health for all. The result is that, today, there is hard ly any local government area in the state without a general hospital or some standard healthcare insti tution, to cater for the health needs of the people.
In addition to the governmentowned hospitals and health centres, there are other medical centres owned and managed by voluntary organizations, especially missionary agencies. The state has, for a long time, enjoyed the unenviable distinction of being the greatest guinea worm infested area in Nigeria.
However, in 1998, decisive action was taken to reverse the situation. Boreholes have been sunk in each of the 30 most affected villages across the state, particularly in lkwo LGA.
Transport and Communication: Ebonyi State can be accessed either by
road or by water. The lat ter is along the Cross River in the Afikpo area. The
state has established the Ebonyi Transport Service (EBOTRANS) with a fleet of
over twenty buses. It also has a welldeveloped road network that links up important
centres of agriculture, trade and industry. The contract for the Abakaliki Afikpo
road has been awarded, thus making the stretch of road reasonably motorable.
The Abakaliki Enugu road has been reconstructed white the Abakaliki Ogoja
road leading to Cross River State has been undergoing reconstruction. Efforts
have also been made to open up feeder and community roads leading into foodproducing
areas of the state and linking up neighbouring villages and small towns.
Taxi cabs, buses and motor cycles ('Okada' or Inaga?') are mostly responsible
for urban transportation. In the rural areas, the most widely used transportation
modes are motor cycles, bicycles and human porterage.
Private operators provide most intra and interurban trans port services, using
mediumsized minibuses and smaller saloon vehicles. A railway line of the Nigerian
Railway Corporation, Eastern Division, crosses the state at Ishiagu in lvo LGA.
Telecommunications and radio broadcasting are under the monopoly of the Federal
and Ebonyi State Governments. Telephone and postal service are provided by the
Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) and the Nigerian Postal Service
(N I POST) respectively.
However, with the planned deregulation of Nigerian industries, it is expected that in the near future private operators will provide telephone and fax services; and also courier serv ices. In 1997, Ebonyi State government estab lished the Ebonyi State Broadcasting Service (EBBS) which transmits on 98.1 on the FM band.
Tourism and Recreation: Ebonyi State has a rich array of potential
tourist sites, which are mostly untapped. The agency charged with the responsi
bility for developing the tourist industry is the Ebonyi State Tourism Board.
The Board has inaugurated Tourism Committees in all the thirteen LGAs in the
state, as part of efforts to create awareness for the development of tourism
at the local level. Important tourist attractions in the state include the ultramodern
Golf course in Abakaliki, the Abakaliki Green Lake, Ezillo Lake, the Ehomu fish
ing lake and the lyieke Lake.
The last two are in Afikpo North LGA. Other tourist attractions are the revered
shrines of Ntoma Akpanwudele of lkwo, the Nkpum Nweze of Ezzamgbo and the Okimili
The state also has spectacular natural rock forma tions, like the perching rocks of Akpoha, Nkpurukem rocks/shrines in Afikpo North, Nkpuma Ekwaokuko rocks in Ndieze lzzi and the Otagbara rocks in lkwo. Of interest also is the Ogbodu coni cal mound in Ngbo in Ohaukwu LGA., which served as a precolonial defence and military observation post.
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