Abakaliki is the capital and largest city of Ebonyi State, Nigeria.


It is located at the intersection of Enugu, Afikpo and Ogoja Roads.

Abakaliki is 64 km (40 mi) southeast of Enugu.

The name Abakaliki originally means ‘Aba Nkaleke’ and is the name of a community, Nkaleke, in Izzi land.

Izzi people
The earlier inhabitants of Abakaliki were mostly the Izzi, a largely agrarian Igbo-speaking community people.

Ezza, Ikwo, Onicha and Ngbo people
With time, people from neighboring villages including the Ezza, Ikwo, Onicha and Ngbo people, as well as migrants and traders from other towns gradually settled in Abakaliki.

Headquarters of Old Ogoja Province
Before it became state capital in 1996, Abakaliki was the headquarters of the Old Ogoja Province which is now part of the neighboring Cross River State.

Previously a small town with food markets
Before it became the State capital, Abakaliki was a small town known for its overflowing food markets.

Slave trade
Abakaliki was a major center for the slave trade in the 17th century.

The slave trade continued in the area with Aro raids into Abakaliki and surrounding areas through the 18th century.

The people of Abakaliki and their neighbors were predominantly farmers who took advantage of the abundant and fertile to produce rice, fruits, vegetables, livestock and non-food items like limestone, rocks and gravel – all of which are abundant throughout the area.

Remarkable growth
Since it became state capital, Abakaliki has grown into a much larger city with modern facilities and a workforce that includes a growing number of civil servants, service providers and migrant workers who commute to work from neighboring towns and states.

Abakaliki of olden days
Abakaliki of today, especially after being made state capital

Some facilities in and around Abakaliki
The State Government House and offices for several government ministries and departments.

The State House of Assembly complex.

The State High Court complex.

Ebonyi State University (popularly known as EBSU) which has several campuses in and outside Abakaliki.

A golf course

Many quarry factories.

Food processing factories including dozens of rice mills.

A fertilizer blending plant.

A large poultry (Nkali Poultry) reputed to be one of the largest in Nigeria.

The largest market in Ebonyi State.

Dozens of hotels, restaurants and night clubs.

An amusement park and other relaxation joints.

A Federal medical center and teaching hospital.