Enugu (i/eɪˈnuːɡuː/ ay-NOO-goo; Igbo: Énugwú) is the capital of Enugu State in Nigeria. It is located in southeastern Nigeria. The city has a population of 722,664 according to the 2006 Nigerian census. The name Enugu is derived from the two Igbo words Énú Ụ́gwụ́ meaning “hill top” denoting the city’s hilly geography. The city was named after Enugwu Ngwo, under which coal was found.
Since the 17th century the location of present day Enugu has been inhabited by the Nike (/niːˈkeɪ/ nee-KAY) subgroup of the Igbo people; one of Enugu’s neighbourhoods still retains the village’s old name Ogui. In 1900 the Southern Nigeria Protectorate was established by the colonial administration of the British Empire. The discovery of coal by the colonialists led to the building of the Eastern Line railway to carry coal from the inland city to the port of Port Harcourt, a city created for this purpose located 151 miles (243 km) south of what was called Enugu Coal Camp. Enugu was then renamed simply Enugu and developed as one of the few cities in West Africa created from European contact. By 1958 Enugu had over 8,000 coal miners. As of 2005[update] there are no significant coal mining activities left in the city.
Enugu became the capital of the Eastern Region after Nigeria’s independence in 1960; a succession of territorial adjustments in 1967, 1976 and 1991 led to Enugu becoming the capital of what is now Enugu State. On 30 May 1967 Enugu was declared the capital of the short-lived Republic of Biafra; for this Enugu is known as the “capital of Igboland.” After Enugu was captured by the Nigerian armed forces, the Biafran capital was moved to Umuahia.
Industries in the city include the urban market and bottling industries. Enugu has become a preferred filming location for directors of the Nigerian movie industry, dubbed “Nollywood”. Enugu’s main airport is the Akanu Ibiam International Airport. The main educational establishment in the city is the Enugu campus of the University of Nigeria based in Nsukka, a town north of Enugu and in the same state.
The main indigenous people of the city are Ogui Nike who live in the areas surrounding Hotel Presidential and Obiagu and Ama-Igbo areas, as well as Ihewuzi and Onu-Asata areas. Other groups include the Awkunanaw people, who live mainly in the Achara Layout and Uwani areas; Enugwu Ngwuo people, who live on the hilltop with their farm lands sprawling all over the valley. The discovery of coal deposite in their land gave rise to settlements around the foot of the hills and as the population grew, the city expanded into the areas of other indigenous inhabitants. The city was called Enugwu Ngwuo before it was changed to just Enugu. Nike indigenes live mainly around the Abakpa, Iji-Nike, and Emene areas of the state capital.
Enugu has three main tertiary institutions: the Enugu State University of Science & Technology (ESUT); the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNEC); and the Institute of Management & Technology (IMT). It also boasts some of the best secondary schools in the country, notably the College of the Immaculate Conception, Federal Government College and the University secondary school. Among the city’s television and radio stations are the Nigerian Television Authority’s network affiliate (NTA Enugu), Enugu State Broadcasting Service Television (ESBS-TV), the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) network affiliate station (Radio Enugu), and Cosmo FM 93.5 (a radio station alleged to be owned by the former state governor). Prominent hotels in the city include the Presidential Hotel, Enugu, Zodiac Hotels, Enugu, Modotel Enugu, and the Nike Lake Resort Hotel. The main stadium, Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, has a capacity of 25,000 and a first division professional league team, the Enugu Rangers.