South East States in Nigeria {History & Profile}

States in the South East of Nigeria are simply the 5-Igbo speaking states of the nation.

south east states in nigeria

The total population in this region is estimated to be around 20 million or thereabouts, with Igbo being the dominant tribe.

Economic-wise, the South Eastern Nigeria contributes largely to the overall economy of the nation, and more importantly this region is among the geo-political zones with the highest number of indigenously owned companies and industries.

Ranging from, Innoson Motors, Tonimas group of companies in Abia, Tummy tumny noodle, B-lux paint.

In addition to the above, Onitsha Main market in Anambra is the current largest and busiest market in the whole of West African region.

It attracts a lot of buyers from Nigeria and beyond.

That being said, the major economic activities that take place in Southeastern Nigeria include – farming, fishing, mining, trading, local manufacturing, and the host of others.

The common natural resources in this region include but not limited to natural gas, crude oil, zinc, lead, rubber trees, and oil palms while the popular cities are Abakaliki, Owerri, Enugu, Onitsha, Aba, etc.

Tourism in Eastern Nigeria

  • Ngwo Pine Forest
  • Awhum Waterfall
  • Arochukwu Long Juju Slave Route
  • Ogbunike Caves
  • National War Museum
  • Arochukwu Cave
  • River Niger bridge
  • Ogba waterfalls
  • Amanchore Cave
  • Oguta lake
  • Ada Palm plantation Complex
  • Nekede Zoo

Furthermore, it is equally worthy to highlight that the level of literacy and exposure in the South Eastern States of Nigeria is relatively high.

They also have in place some educational facilities and resources, including high-ranked varsities like University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Ebonyi State University, Abia State University, Imo State University, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, among others.

History of South Eastern Nigeria

Nigeria got her independence on October 1, 1960 and at that time till 1963 there were just three (3) region – Northern region, Eastern region and Western region.

  • Fast forward to 1967 – 1976, part of the then Eastern region was further splitted into three under the Gowon Administration and was tagged “the East central state” (now known as South East Nigeria).
  • In 1976, the late military ruler of Nigeria, Murtala Muhammad created 2 states from east central state; Anambra and Imo.
  • In 1991, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida splitted part of Anambra and made Enugu from it. He also carved out Abia from Imo, increasing the total number of South Eastern States then to four (4).
  • Finally, General Sanni Abacha in 1996 carved out Ebonyi state from Enugu, making it the 5th and the last state added to the South Eastern Nigeria.

Facts about States in South East of Nigeria

The Igbo tribe is the dominant tribe in the South Eastern Nigeria.
Ada Palm Plantation Complex in Imo state is the biggest and most productive oil palm plantation in West Africa.

The South Eastern Nigeria is among the region with highest number of ingenious owned industries, Factories and companies (Innoson Motors in Anambra, Tonimas group of companies in Abia, Tummy tumny noodle in Anambra, B-lux paint in Abia, etc).

The Onitsha Main market in Anambra is the largest and busiest market in Nigeria and West Africa at large.

Anambra’s Nri Kingdom is ranked among the oldest continuous kingdom in Africa (existing since around 950 AD).

The highest selling novel in Africa ever, Things Fall Apart, was written by Chinua Achebe, a native south Eastern Nigeria (Anambra).

South East States in Nigeria

  • Abia
  • Anambra
  • Ebonyi
  • Enugu
  • Imo state

1.) Abia State

  • Nickname: God’s Own State
  • State Capital: Umuahia
  • Date Created: 27 August 1991
  • Current Governor & Deputy: Okezie Ikpeazu & Ude Oko Chukwu
  • Estimated Population: 3 million
  • Land mass: 6,320 square km

Number of Local Governments: 17.

  • Aba North
  • Aba South
  • Arochukwu
  • Bende
  • Ikwuano
  • Isiala Ngwa North
  • Isiala Ngwa South
  • Isuikwuato
  • Obi Ngwa
  • Ohafia
  • Osisioma Ngwa
  • Ugwunagbo
  • Ukwa East
  • Ukwa West
  • Umuahia North
  • Umuahia South
  • Umu Nneochi.

Tourism Attractions

  • National War Museum
  • National Museum of Colonial History
  • Arochukwu Cave
  • Museum of Antiquities
  • Azumini Blue River
  • Akwete Weavers
  • Kerang Volcanic Mountain
  • Kerang Volcanic Sites
  • Pundong Crater
  • Amurum Woodlands.

Popular Towns & Cities

  • Umuahia
  • Aba
  • Arochukwu
  • Ohafia
  • Bende
  • Omoba.

Top Tertiary Institutions

  • Abia State University
  • Clifford University
  • Michael Okpara University of Agriculture
  • Abia State Polytechnic.

2.) Anambra State

  • Nickname: Light of the Nation
  • State Capital: Akwa
  • Date Created: 27 August 1991
  • Current Governor & Deputy: Willie Obiano & Nkem Okeke
  • Estimated Population: 5 million
  • Land mass: 4,844 square km

Number of Local Governments: 21.

  • Aguata
  • Awka North
  • Awka South
  • Anambra East
  • Anambra West
  • Anaocha
  • Ayamelum
  • Dunukofia
  • Ekwusigo
  • Idemili North
  • Idemili South
  • Ihiala
  • Njikoka
  • Nnewi North
  • Nnewi South
  • Ogbaru
  • Onitsha North
  • Onitsha South
  • Orumba North
  • Orumba South
  • Oyi.

Tourism Attractions

  • Egbe Cham
  • Igbo-Ukwu Bronzes
  • Ogba Waterfalls
  • Rojenny Tourist Village
  • Agulu Lake
  • Idemili Cultural Centre
  • Odinani Museum
  • Ikenga Virgin Forest
  • Butu Lake
  • Okpu Ana Natural Spring
  • Obu Ofo-Nri Museum
  • Agulu/Nanka Erosion Site
  • The River Niger Bridge
  • Onitsha Main Market
  • Ajalli Cave
  • Obutu Lake
  • Ezu Nwobinagu Lake
  • Otuocha Sand Beach.

Popular Towns & Cities

  • Onitsha
  • Nnewi
  • Obosi
  • Ogidi
  • Abagana
  • Alor
  • Atani
  • Nnewi
  • Nkpor
  • Nnobi
  • Adazi Nnukwu
  • Adazi Enu
  • Adazi Ani
  • Oba
  • Ukpo
  • Umudioka
  • Okija
  • Awka-Etiti
  • Ekwulobia
  • Aguleri
  • Umuleri
  • Ihiala
  • Nanka
  • Agulu
  • Ozubulu
  • Oraifite
  • Isuofia
  • Igbo-Ukwu
  • Ichida.

Top Tertiary Institutions

  • Nnamdi Azikiwe University
  • Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University
  • Madonna University, Okija
  • Federal Polytechnic, Oko
  • Anambra State Polytechnic, Mgbakwu.

3.) Ebonyi State

  • Nickname: Salt of the Nation
  • State Capital: Abakaliki
  • Date Created: 1 October 1996
  • Current Governor & Deputy: David Nweze Umahi & Eric Kelechi Igwe
  • Estimated Population: 3 million
  • Land mass: 5,935 square kilometres.

Number of local governments: 13

  • Abakaliki
  • Afikpo North
  • Afikpo South (Edda)
  • Ebonyi
  • Ezza North
  • Ezza South
  • Ikwo
  • Ishielu
  • Ivo
  • Izzi
  • Ohaozara
  • Ohaukwu
  • Onicha.

Tourism Attractions

  • Amanchore Cave
  • Unwana and Ndibe Sand Beaches
  • Abakaliki Golf Course
  • Fati Abubakar Park
  • Abakaliki Green Lake
  • Ogbodu Conical Mound
  • Slave Market Route.

Popular Towns and Cities

  • Abakaliki
  • Afikpo
  • Amasiri
  • Edda
  • Ikwo
  • Ishiagu
  • Nkalagu
  • Okposi
  • Onicha
  • Onueke
  • Uburu
  • Unwana.

Top Tertiary institutions

  • Ebonyi State University
  • Alex Ekwueme Federal University
  • Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic.

4.) Enugu State

  • Nickname: Coal City State
  • State Capital: Enugu
  • Date Created: August 27, 1991
  • Current Governor & Deputy: Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi & Cecilia Ezeilo
  • Estimated Population: 3.9 million
  • Land mass: 7,161 square km

Number of Local Governments: 17.

  • Aninri
  • Awgu
  • Enugu East
  • Enugu North
  • Enugu South
  • Ezeagu
  • Igbo Etiti
  • Igbo Eze North
  • Igbo Eze South
  • Isi Uzo
  • Nkanu East
  • Nkanu West
  • Nsukka
  • Oji River
  • Udenu
  • Udi
  • Uzo-Uwani

Tourism Attractions

  • Nike Lake Resort
  • Iheneke Lake
  • Opi Lake Complex
  • Silicon Hill
  • Awhum Waterfall
  • Milken Hills
  • Africa Princess Resort
  • Ezeagu Tourist Complex
  • Ogelube Lake
  • Macdavos Resort
  • Eastern region parliamentary building
  • Enugu zoological garden
  • Institute of Management and Technology (lMT) sculptural garden and art gallery
  • Onuiyi Haven.

Popular Towns and Cities

  • Nsukka
  • Oji River
  • Awgu
  • Nkanu
  • Lejja
  • Amaokwe
  • Umana
  • Achi
  • Opi
  • Ezeagu
  • lnyi
  • Ngwo
  • Nenwe
  • Oduma.

Top Tertiary Institutions

  • University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN)
  • Enugu State University of Science and Tech (ESUST)
  • Caritas University
  • Institute of Management Technology, Enugu (IMTE).

5.) Imo State

  • Nickname: The Eastern Heartland (Land of Hope)
  • State Capital: Owerri
  • Date Created: 3 February 1976
  • Current Governor & Deputy: Chukwuemeka Ihedioha & Gerald Irona
  • Estimated Population: 5 million
  • Land mass: about 5,100 sq km

Number of local governments: 27

  • Aboh Mbaise
  • Ikeduru
  • Nwangele
  • Orsu
  • Obowo
  • Oguta
  • Oru East
  • Ohaji/Egbema
  • Oru West
  • Okigwe
  • Owerri Municipal
  • Onuimo
  • Owerri North
  • Orlu
  • Owerri West
  • Nkwerre
  • Ihitt/Uboma
  • Njaba
  • Ideato South
  • Ngor Okpala
  • Ideato North
  • Mbaitoli
  • Ezinihitte Mbaise
  • Isu
  • Ehime Mbano
  • Isiala Mbano
  • Ahiazu Mbaise

Tourism Attractions

  • Oguta Lake
  • Imo Wonderlake Resort
  • Amadioha Shrine
  • Abadaba Lake Resort
  • Nekede Zoo
  • Ngwu Spring Natural Water
  • Ada Palm Plantation Complex
  • Mbari Cultural & Art Centre
  • Eze Silver Ibenyi Ugbala II Palace
  • Palm Beach Holiday Resort
  • Rolling Hills
  • Edemili Lake.

Popular Towns and Cities

  • Owerri
  • Mbaise
  • Orlu
  • Oguta
  • Okigwe
  • Uzoagba
  • Emekuku
  • Mgbidi Nkwerre
  • Agu
  • Orie
  • Obowu
  • Ideato.

Top Tertiary Institutions

  • Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO)
  • Imo State University (IMSU)
  • Federal Polytechnic, Nekede (FEDPOLY NEKEDE)
  • Imo State Polytechnic (IMO POLY).

Wrapping it Up

The states in south east Nigeria are dominated by igbo speaking Nigerians.

There are total number of 5 states in the South Eastern part of Nigeria.

They share boundary with the South South states which are mostly the oil states of the country.

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My name is Rasaq Olayemi, i like anything science, engineering and technology. I enjoy learning new things and sharing what i know.