Posted by on 2/5/2003 12:52:16 PM

Education: Formal education in Nassarawa is still a fledgling enterprise and its growth has been generally slow. Apart from primary schools, only Government College, Keffi, and the then Teachers College, Keffi, can be said to belong to the older generation of public educational institutions. These were established right from the Northern Nigeria days. Contributions on the part of Christian Missionaries in this regard have been quite com mendable.

Credit must also be given to them for the establishment of Government College, Lafia, (for mally Saint Augustine's Teachers College) and Government Girls College, Akwanga (formally Our Lady of Apostles Women Teachers College). Government has now assumed the responsibility of running all educational institutions in the state.

Currently, there are 981 public primary schools in the state, while the number of postprimary schools stands at 124, with government owning 106 and the voluntary agencies (VAs) still owning the remaining eighteen. (See Table 25.3). There are three tertiary institutions in the state i.e. School of Preliminary Studies, Keffi; College of Education, Akwanga; and College of Agriculture, Lafia. The fourth tertiary institution in the state, i.e. Federal Polytechnic, Nassarawa, belongs to the Federal Government.

Health Facilities/Services: Nassarawa State boasts of a number of health institutions and facili ties providing health services throughout the state. The priority placed on healthcare delivery can be seen in the quick efforts made in providing a Specialist Hospital in Lafia and s Federal Medical Centre in Keffi.

These are categorised as secondary health institutions. Government has also provided 328 health centres or dispensaries located in various places all over the state as primary health institutions for the dispensation of health services to the rural people. In addition, there are eighteen private hospitals, while private clinics and other health pro viding centres total 356 in the state. The distribution of these institutions is shown in Appendix IV.

Electricity and Water Supply: Until recently, the major supplier of electricity in most of the towns of Nassarawa State was the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). However, arrangements had also been made with the Nigerian Electricity Supply Company (NESCO), a private organization in Plateau State, to extend its services to Nassarawa State, generating its power from Kura falls.

This arrangement is expected to ensure more steady power supply to the state. However, until this arrangement becomes effective, many small generating sets will continue to be used to augment the epileptic power supply from NEPA. Public water supply is also fairly taken care of by the state government. The northern and north western parts of the state get their supply from the Keffi/Akwanga and Doma Water Supply Scheme.

Boreholes and smaller water schemes are also scattered throughout the state, especially in the urban centres. Majority of the people in the rural areas are, however, still largely dependent on hand dug open wells and surface water from the streams as their only supply source for both domestic and other uses.

Transportation and Communication: With an area of 27,137.8sq. km, Nassarawa State has a network of rural trunk giving it a density of 0.053km. of road per sq. km. In spite of this, the state is linked with the rest of the country through properly tarred Federal trunk roads.

For example, there is the i Abuja road; the TotoNassarawaKeffiKaduna road; AkwangaWambaFadan Karshi road; Lafia ShendamJos road; and the AkwangaGwantu Fadan Karshi road. Where as intercity transportation does not present much problem, rural transportation has several problems.All of the rural roads are laterite and largely seasonal, thus making some parts of the state inaccessible during the peak of the rains. Within the towns, the commonest means of passenger transport is by motorcycle.

This is because there are no taxis or bus services in any of the towns. The motorcycle thus dominates all intracity movements as well as rural passenger transport. Lafia, Keffi and Akwanga have telephone services while the other towns are provided with only postal services. The state has no airport but is served at the moment by the Abuja and Jos airports.

Tourism and Recreation: There are potentials for numerous tourist and recreational sites to be developed and utilised. Nassarawa Eggon, Akwanga and Wamba local government areas for example, offer sites within the mountain areas which could be explored and developed.

The Eggon rolling hills and caves, for example, provide beautiful tourist sites. Other sites of interest include the magnificent Ferin Ruwa Falls in Wamba Local Government Area and the Hunki Lake in Awe, among others (see Appendix II). In the meantime, however, the financial position of the state govern ment has not yet made it possible for this kind of investment to be embarked upon.

The state has, therefore, embarked on improving the Lafia Hotel as its starting point in the area of tourism. Other areas of interest in this respect include the famous traditional pottery industry in Keffi; the mountain villages around Wowen which can be a curious site for tourists, the Umaisha festival in Toto; and the OyoorereKeana festival in Keana and Doma.

Malloney Hill in Keffi is the site of the grave of the British Army Captain who was killed by the Keffi warriors during the colonial period. Keffi Club offers recreational opportunities for the relax ation of workers. Adequate recreational facilities are yet to be developed in the new state. Lafia town has an amateur football club, but there is only a very small, sandy practice pitch in the town which needs to be better developed by the state government.

Theso called stadium near the Jos road Mechanics Village is fenced with a wall but not yet well developed. Other social clubs are few in number. Lafia Club, the main recreational centre, is located in the state capital. Cinema halls and beer parlours are howev er located all over the streets of different towns and villages throughout the state.

They constitute the major places of relaxation by the common people. As is common with the rest of the country, the few infrastructural facilities for social services are concentrated in the urban centres.

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