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ABIA - POPULATION AND SETTLEMENTS:

POPULATION AND SETTLEMENTS:


National Census of Nigeria carried out in 1991 puts n the provisional population
of Abia State at 1,976,805. Out of this figure, 920,268 are males g and 956,434
are females.


In almost all local government areas of Abia State, the population of females
is more than that of males except in Aba area (Aba North and Aba South LGAs)
where the population of males is more than that of females. Settlement Pattern:
Abia State has two main urban centres, namely: Umuahia and Aba. Umuahia, the
state capital, has become the administrative , educational and cultural centre
of the It state. In addition, the city is located at the centre of an extensive
agricultural region which covers rnost of the central part of Abia State. It
is also strategically located along a well established north-south trading and
transportation route.


The village is the traditional unit of settlement ir Abia State like any other
lgbo speaking community.The people are good farmers and keen business men. The
dispersed type of village settlement is traditional among the lgbos. Each homestead
is made up of houses arranged in an oblong fornr o around a compound.


At the gate or in the middle of the compound is a shrine for the gods. The
hut of the head of the household is separated from those of his wives anc other
adult members of the household. Compounds in lgbo communities are walled, thus
sepa- rating one compound from the other. Traditional houses are built of local
materials such as clay for the walls and roofed with mat or thatch or, in more
recent times, with corrugated aluminium sheets as a demonstration of increasing
prosperity.


The Problem Of Urban Primacy:

Of the two major towns in Abia State (Aba and Umuahia), Aba is the largest.
The town is situated on a plain with Aba River Valley on its eastern side as
the only prominent physical feature. It is about 60 km south of Umuahia, the
state capital. According to the 1991 provisional census, the population of the
area, now split into two LGAs (Aba North and Aba South), was 494,152 people.









National
Civil war relics at the National War museum grounds, Umuahia

The town is accessible by road from all parts of the eastern states (Imo, Ebonyi,
Cross River, Rivers, Akwa lbom, Anambra and Enugu States). Aba is one of the
railway stations on the eastern railway. It has the largest concentration of
people in the state. It is the largest commercial centre in the state with the
famous Ariaria Market sited west of the town, close to the Port-Harcourt-Enugu
Expressway.


Besides, there is the Ngwa Market, the Cemetery Market and virtually every
street in Aba has its share of the business activities for which the town is
known. There is a good number of both public and private industrial establishments
as well as financial institutions


As a result of the primate role enjoyed by Aba in the hierarchy of settlements
in the state, enormous environmental problems have become manifest. These include
refuse heaps, traffic congestion, overcrowding of residential areas, and the
pollution of water bodies.


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