Posted by on 1/30/2003 11:45:38 AM

Education: Much importance is attached to education in Enugu State. Government is general ly in control of the educational institutions (except most of the commercial schools) and invests about fortyfive per cent of its annual budget on them. The Commercial Schools are owned by private interests.

The state has more than 240 Secondary Schools, two Technical Colleges and 118 Commercial/Vocational Schools. Every community has at least one primary school, and primary school education is tuition free.

There are also a number of higher educational institutions for the training of intermediate and higher level manpower. They include Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu; and the College of Education, Eha Amufu. Two Universities exist in the state; the Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT) with cam puses at Enugu and Nsukka, and a federal univer sity, the University of Nigeria (UNN) with campuses again at Nsukka and Enugu.

The Institute of Ecumenical Education and OSISATEC, both locat ed at Enugu, are owned by voluntary agencies. The former is degree awarding through affiliation with ESUT. There are also in Enugu, a government approved school for delinquent children, a rehabili tation centre run by the combined efforts of the Federal and State Governments, and an Old People's Home, run by the Catholic Church.

Employment of the handicapped is automatic after completing any level of education which is usually sponsored by the state, local government or the community. The state's school for the handicapped at Ojiriver is a basic social infrastructure fully developed to meet all international standards.

Voluntary organisations such as women's asso ciations, professional bodies and missions, and also some motivated individuals run daycare cen tres and nurseries for children under three years of age. There are motherless babies' homes in the dif ferent towns staffed with social workers and nurses.

Through the defunct Better Life for Rural Women and Family Support Programmes (BLP and FSP), women in Enugu State were socialised to participate in national affairs. The programmes also helped to diversify skill acquisition by the rural women who now manufacture several items of trade in 'factories' located at their backyards. The Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP) also provided an added impetus.

Health Care Delivery: The provision of med ical facilities ranks second to education in the state's social infrastructural priorities. Hospitals and health centres are provided in all the local govern ment areas and maternity homes in almost every community.

There are also a good number of private hospitals and clinics in the towns and villages. Teaching and Specialist Hospitals in the state include the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu which occupies a position of excelence in the treatment of cardiac diseases; the Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu and the Psychiatric Hospital, Enugu.

There is a Dental Training School at Enugu, and the Park Lane Hospital, Enugu, is the state government's most highly developed general hospi tal. A Mobile free health service is operated in the State to ensure that modern medical care is deliv ered free of charge at the grassroots.

Transport and Communication: A well developed network of roads connects important centres of commerce and industry within the state and other parts of the country.

The state has four major trunk roads: EnuguAbakaliki which leads to Ebonyi, Abia and Cross River states; EnuguPort Harcourt which passes through Abia and Imo States to Porit Harcourt; EnuguOnitsha which leads out to Delta, Edo, Ondo and other western states and Lagos; Enugu (NinthMile Corner) to Makurdi which opens into far northern parts of Nigeria. The roads to Port Harcourt and Onitsha are twolane doublecarriage ways.

The former Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) helped very much in the construction of rural feeder and intracommuni ty roads. Taxi cabs, buses and motorcycles ("Okada" or "Inaga?") are responsible for passenger traffic movement within the towns. In the rural areas, it is the motorcycle mainly assisted by bicy cle, and headporterage.

Passenger service network is in private hands. The government, however, participates in the bus network service through its Enugu Transport Company (ENTRACO) for both intraand intercity services and limited interstate links. The Eastern District of the Nigerian Railway Corporation oper ates lines that terminate at PortHarcourt for south bound trains and at Makurdi for the northbound. Regular air services are frequent to and from the Enugu Airport.

In this, the Nigerian Airways com petes with such private airlines as Okada, Oriental, Concord and Kabo, amongst others. The Nigerian Postal Services Ltd. has remarkably improved postal services in the state, and a number of private courier services supplement the role of the Express Mail Service (EMS) of the post offices.

The state has a good federalowned telecom munications system made up of telephone, tele graph, telex and fax. It owns the Star Group of Newspapers which produce the Daily Star, the Weekend Star and The Star on Sunday. Foreign newspapers may be bought at the Nike Lake Resort Hotel, the Hotel Presidential and at the Airport, all located in Enugu.

There is a Press Centre at Enugu which has attained national importance; Nsukka town also has its own Press Centre. Telecommu nications and radio broadcasts are dominated by the Federal and the State Governments. There are only a few private ones. The Federal TV relays on Channel 8 (VHF) and the State TV on Channel 50 (UHF).

Tourism and Recreation: Tourism infrastruc ture is developed through the Enugu State Tourism Committee. The Committee works with cooperat ing agencies in a determined effort to transform several attractive spots in the state to viable tourist centres.

In this effort, hotels, zoological gardens and amusement parks have been built and devel oped. The Nike Lake Resort Hotel, a five star hotel built on the banks of the Nike Lake (known locally as 'Gwurugwuru'), is one of such hotels Zoological gardens are located in Enugu and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Campus, and amusement parks for public relaxation are to be found in several parts of Enugu and other major cities.

Important and revered shrines are preserved, such as the Omaba Opi in Nsukka and the "Ani Agbogugu." These shrines contain within them aweinspiring carvings and moulds, and other exquisite symbolisations of the presence of deities, male and female alike. In the same way, there are sacred streams regarded as the abode of some merciful gods and goddesses, and deemed to have curative powers.

Visitors make tourist pilgrimages to these streams among which are the Dugudu Lake of Umunkwo in lgboEtiti, the lnyi stream in OjiRiver, and the Adada River of Nsukka. The Opi lake complex at Opi, Nsukka is another tourist fea ture which excites interest: it consists of about eight lakes in an intricate arrangement, each inhabited by crocodiles. There are sacred squares and hills, some regarded as the cradle and bulwark of the lives of members of the community.

Such areas are used only tor oathtaking in settlement of disputes. There are also caves (Ogba) which inspire awe because of their natural structure, e.g. the Ogba Ebi of Odume Amoh, the Ogba and Ekwu of Obodo Akpu in Nenwe, and the Ogba Ike of lnyi. The Ezeagu Tourist Complex combines a cave, warm and cold springs and the lheneke Lake surrounded by variant vegetation of riverine lustre.

The lake is about three kilometres long. Galleries, art and craft shops, including works of contemporary art and museum pieces, are located in several parts of the state. These include the art gallery at the Institute of African Studies and the archaeological museum of the University of Nigeria Nsukka Campus.

There are also royal houses, administrative buildings, tra ditional factories and military defence posts which have some historical significance and cultural attraction. They have been identified by the Directorate of Culture and the Antiquities Commission for preservation.

These include the Chief Nwodo Royal House with the complement of a Royal Cemetery at Ukehe, the iron smelting site at Lejja which dates back to the 15th Century B.C., and the Iron smelting chamber at Urnundu, Nsukka, said to date back to the Iron Age. The masquerade festival is easily one of the greatest tourist attractions of Enugu State. The government has elevated it to international stan dards with the institution of the annual Mmanwu

(Masquerade) festival held in November each year. The major event displays a glittering array of no less than 2,000 masquerades in resplendent colours, led through the major streets of Enugu by uproarious drummers in the company of carvoting dancers. Masquerades from various parts of the country participate in the carnival.

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