Ebonyi State was created as a separate state on 1st October, 1996 out of the old Abia and Enugu States with Abakaliki as the state capital. The state has an area of about 5,935 square kilometres and an estimated population of 2.3 million with thirteen Local Government Areas. The state is bounded on the North by Benue State, on the East by Cross River State, on the West by Enugu State, and on the South by Abia State (see Fig. 1 below). About 25% of the population of the state live in urban areas while the rest are found in the rural areas. Agriculture is the mainstay of the people of Ebonyi State with more than 75% of the people engaged in farming and related activities. The farmers cultivate yams, rice, maize, and cassava and other crops in large quantities and these bring income to the people and the State.
The state is also endowed with many natural resources and solid mineral deposits. Mining activities have been going on in some parts of the state for more than eighty years following the discovery of large deposits of limestone, copper, coal and lignite, lead and zinc ores, and other associated mineral deposits like barites and salt.Colonial geologists and mining engineers were very active in this area of the country in the years preceding Nigeria’s independence from Britain Mining activities in different parts of the state have left their imprint on the landscape of various places and this clearly is an issue that would need to be firmly addressed. The advent of the oil boom in the country in the 1970s adversely affected the growth and development of almost every other sector in Nigeria, particularly the mining and agricultural sectors. There are four tertiary educational institutions in the state, namely the Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwana, the Federal School of Agriculture, Ishiagu, the Ebonyi State College of Education, Ikwo, and the Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.
To meet the challenges facing the state and the country in general the Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (FUNAI) has adopted advanced training in the fields of natural and medical sciences, technology, humanities and social sciences, and management as part of its major goals. FUNAI is mounting programmes that will help develop the requisite capacities in these fields. The university intends to nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship and thus produce graduates that can stand on their own and create jobs, thus positively impacting the country and with its graduates being able to adapt to the ever-changing labour situations in the country.
FUNAI will concern itself with the production of high quality graduates and with the establishment of a reputable centre of research and learning that will attract experts from all over the world while providing solutions to the problems of the immediate environment and the country as a whole.