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Southeast Zone Aerial View
Southeast Zone Aerial View


Nigeria has six geo-political zones.

The Southeastern zone or region has five beautiful states, namely;

Anambra, Abịa, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo state.

Each of these states is beautiful and amazing at its own pace, but in this article, we will be focusing on the top ten fastest-developing cities in all of these states.

1. Onitsha, Anambra State

Onitsha, also known as Ọ̀nị̀nchà Mmili or just Ọ̀nị̀nchà, is a city in Anambra State, Nigeria, on the eastern bank of the Niger River.

Onitsha Aerial view
Onitsha Aerial view

Onitsha, a large city, is renowned for its river port and for being a center for business, industry, and education.

Onitsha River Port (aerial view)
Onitsha River Port (aerial view)

It is home to the Onitsha Main Market, which is the biggest market in Africa in terms of both geography and merchandise volume.

Onitsha Main Market
Onitsha Main Market

Onitsha’s estimated city proper population in 2016 was 1,080,000.

Onitsha Main Market
Onitsha Main Market

In early 2022, Onitsha’s population was predicted to be 1,553,000.

Onitsha Niger Bridge
Onitsha Niger Bridge

Onitsha’s are native Igbos and are speakers of the Igbo language. Ndi Onicha is the name given to the Onitsha People.

2. Owerri, Imo State

Imo State’s capital, Owerri, is located right in the middle of Igboland and is called Owèrrè in Igbo.


It is also the biggest city in the state, ahead of Orlu, Okigwe, and Ohaji/Egbema.

Owerri is made up of three local governments—Owerri Municipal, Owerri North, and Owerri West.


Owerri had an estimated population of 1,401,873 as of 2016. Its total area was roughly 100 square kilometers (40 square miles) as of 2016.

Statues in hero's square, Owerri
Statues in hero’s square, Owerri

The Otamiri River and Nworie River both abut Owerri on its eastern and southern sides, respectively.

The motto of Owerri is Heartland.

Sam Mbakwe International cargo airport, Owerri
Sam Mbakwe International cargo airport, Owerri. Federal airport authority Nig.

Because of its abundance of roomy hotels, high-end casinos, production facilities, and relaxation hotspots, it is now known as Nigeria’s entertainment capital.

Miss Heartland and Miss Adanma, two yearly beauty pageants, are held there.

3. Nnewi, Anambra State

Southeast Nigeria’s Anambra State contains the economic and industrial city of Nnewi.

It is situated in the southern region of Anambra State and is the second-largest and second-most populous city in the state.

Nnewi Aerial view
Nnewi Aerial view

Nnewi North is the only local government area that makes up the metropolis of Nnewi.

There are four quarters in Nnewi North: Otolo, Uruagu, Umudim, and Nnewichi.

Nnewi Aerial view _Anaedoonline

The first entirely Made-in-Nigeria motorcycle, the “NASENI M1,” was produced in Nnewi, as was the country’s first auto manufacturing facility.

Nnewi's Nwafor Orizu Roundabout
Nnewi’s Nwafor Orizu Roundabout _Owusi’s lens

According to the Nigerian census, Nnewi’s population was predicted to be 391,227 as of 2006.

Nnewi, Nigeria
Nnewi, Nigeria

Over 900,000 people live in Nnewi, according to the 2019 population estimate. The metropolis in Anambra State covers more than 200 square miles (520 km2).

Nnewi is larger than all other units in terms of dimensions because it was recorded in the 1953 census as the largest inland town in the Eastern states of Nigeria.


With an expected 5.18 percent increase between 2020 and 2025, it is predicted to be the tenth fastest-growing city on the continent of Africa.

4. Abakaliki, Ebonyi State

The state capital of Ebonyi State is Abakaliki, which is situated 64 kilometers (40 miles) southeast of Enugu in southeast Nigeria.

Abakaliki flyover

Igbo people make up the majority of the population. Before the Southeastern State was founded in 1967, it served as the provincial capital of Ogoja.

Ebonyi State University, permanent site

As in the past, Abakaliki is a major trading hub for agricultural goods such as yams, cassava, rice, and both palm oil and palm kernels.

Abakaliki flyover and road networks

Additionally, it is well-known for its nearby lead, zinc, salt, and limestone quarrying. They have several hotels and a golf course.

Abakaliki stadium (aerial view)
Abakaliki Stadium (aerial view)

915,438 people were living in Abakaliki at the last count (year 2019). This represented 0.253 percent of all Nigerians. In Abakaliki, it is predicted that there will be roughly 1,179,280 people living there in 2022, assuming that the population growth rate will be the same as it was from 2006 to 2015 (+15.31 percent/year).

Abakaliki’s beautiful flyovers

Abakaliki has an amazing network of good roads, it has the highest rate of good roads in the state and its environs, a lot of flyovers, and other beautiful infrastructures.

Abakaliki’s aerial view
Udensi roundabout, aerial view

The night view is more like a tourist attraction.

Abakaliki Aerial view at night with a beautiful network of roads
Abakaliki at night

Below is the famous Mrs Margaret Umahi international market.

Mrs. Margaret Umahi international market
Mrs. Margaret Umahi international market_Arlin TV
Aerial view of Mrs. Margaret Umahi’s international market with a flyover

5. Aba, Abia State

The capital of Abia State located in the southeast of Nigeria is the city of Aba. Aba was split into two local governments, Aba South and Aba North, at the creation of Abia state in 1991.

Aerial view of Aba

The capital and beating heart of Abia State in southeast Nigeria is Aba South. On the Aba River is where it is situated.

The good side of Aba

Several villages from Ohazu, including Aba-Ukwu, Eziukwu-Aba, Obuda-Aba, Umuokpoji-Aba, and others, amalgamated to become Aba for administrative reasons.

The Ngwa tribe of the Igbo people of Nigeria founded Aba as a market town, and the British colonial government later constructed a military garrison there in 1901.

It is situated at the junction of roads heading to Port Harcourt, Owerri, Umuahia, Ikot Ekpene, and Ikot-Abasi along the west bank of the Aba River.

Following the British-built railway’s passage through the city to Port Harcourt, it turned into a hub for the collection of agricultural goods.

Aba is a significant urban area and a key commercial hub in a region that is surrounded by minor towns and villages.

The Ngwa are the native inhabitants of Aba. Aba, the most populous city in South Eastern Nigeria, is well recognized for its artisans. A 2016 estimate put the population of Aba at 2,534,265.

“God’s own State” is the motto of the state.

6. Awka, Anambra State

The Igbo word for Awka is Ọ́kà. It is the capital of Anambra state. After the establishment of Anambra and Enugu state, which transferred the capital from Enugu to Awka, the city was proclaimed capital on August 21, 1991 (an administrative center since pre-colonial times).

Aerial view of Awka

According to a 2018 estimate, more than 2.5 million people are living in the city, up from an estimated 301,657 in the 2006 Nigerian census.

Aroma, Awka flyover at night

The city is situated in the center of South East Nigeria’s highly populated Igbo heartland, 199.1 kilometers (123.7 miles) straight north of Port Harcourt.

Kwatar, Awka Aerial view

Awka is connected to other significant towns like Oko, Ekwulobia, Agulu, Enugwu-Ukwu, Abagana, and Nnewi by the West-East Federal Highway and several local roads.

Benin City, Asaba, Onitsha, and Enugu are also connected to Awka via this route.

Awka was strategically chosen as the administrative hub for the colonial rulers and is still the base for the Anambra State government because it is situated halfway between two important cities in Northern Igboland, Onitsha, and Enugu.

Nnamdi Azikiwe University gate

It is also the seat of the prestigious Nnamdi Azikiwe University popularly known as UNIZIK.

Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka gate

7. Enugu, Enugu State

Enugu, the Nigerian  Enugu state capital  (Igbo: Énugwu) is located in the southeast of Nigeria.

The 2006 Nigerian census found 722,664 people living in the city. The two Igbo terms “Énu and gwu”, which translate to “hilltop” and indicate the city’s mountainous topography, are the source of the name Enugu.

Enugu aerial view_shutterstock photos

The Nike subgroup of the Igbo people have lived in the area where the modern-day Enugu is today since the 17th century; one of Enugu’s neighborhoods still goes by the name of the original hamlet, Ogui.

The colonial government of the British Empire founded the Southern Nigeria Protectorate in 1900.

Over 8,000 coal miners worked in Enugu in 1958. There were no substantial coal mining operations in the city as of 2005.

Enugu aerial view

Enugu’s first colonists’ discovery of coal led to the establishment of what was at the time known as the Enugu Coal Camp, which was called after the adjacent community of Enugu Ngwo, where coal was originally discovered.

The neighboring Port Harcourt, which is situated 243 kilometers (151 miles) south of the camp, was built to export this coal. People from all over the area came to Enugu for the opportunity to mine coal, which formed the nucleus of the first urban community that is now known simply as Enugu.

One of the few West African cities shaped by European contact is Enugu.

Following Nigeria’s independence in 1960, Enugu was made the capital of the Eastern Region. Subsequent territorial changes in 1967, 1976, and 1991 made Enugu the capital of what is now Enugu State.

Enugu aerial view

Enugu is referred to be the “capital of Igboland” because it was designated as the short-lived Republic of Biafra’s capital on May 30, 1967. The Biafran capital was relocated to Umuahia when the Nigerian military seized Enugu.

The urban market and the bottling industry are among the city’s industries. Enugu serves as one of the main shooting places for directors in the “Nollywood”-style Nigerian film industry. The Akanu Ibiam International Airport serves as Enugu’s primary airport.


8. Umuahia, Abia State

The state capital of Abia State is Umuahia, which is located in southeast Nigeria. Umuahia is situated alongside the train line that connects Enugu City to the north and Port Harcourt to the south.

Umuahia aerial view

359,230 people were counted in Umuahia in the Nigerian census of 2006. Umuahia’s native people are Igbo.

Traders and farmers from nearby towns come to Umuahia to sell their goods, including yams, cassava, corn (maize), taro, citrus fruits, and palm oil and kernels. Umuahia is known for being a railway and agricultural market center.

God’s own state

Its economy is supported by several businesses, including a brewery and a palm oil processing facility.

The National Root Crops Research Institute of Nigeria is located in the nearby town of Umudike.

The state capital of Abia State is Umuahia, which is located in southeast Nigeria. Umuahia is situated alongside the train line that connects Enugu City to the north and Port Harcourt to the south. 359,230 people were counted in Umuahia in the Nigerian census of 2006. Umuahia’s native people are Igbo.

Several colleges are also located in Umuahia, such as Trinity College (theological), Government College Umuahia,  along with facilities like the Federal Medical Center, Umuahia, Umuahia Government College, Holy Rosary Girls Secondary School, and Trinity College (theological), Umuahia (formerly Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Umuafai,Agbama road, Umuahia_Nairaland forum

Umuahia is divided into Umuahia North and Umuahia South, two local government areas. Clans like those in the Umuopara, Ibeku, Olokoro, Ubakala, and Ohuhu villages are also represented in these local administrations.

9. Orlu, Imo State

With 420,600 residents, Orlu is the second-largest city in Imo State, Nigeria.

Orlu, Imo

It has a lengthy history and was crucial in serving as the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and aided the organization’s main offices during the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War.

Orlu, Imo State
Orlu, Imo State

The city is home to the British Cheshire Home’s Nigerian headquarters.

Hill view of Orlu
Orlu, Imo State

After Owerri, it is the second most developed city in Imo state.

10. Abiriba, Abia State

A historical Igbo-speaking region in southeast Nigeria, Abia State is home to the ancient Enuda kingdom of Abiriba.

Abiriba, Aerial view
Victory arcade, Abiriba

It is located in the Ohafia local administrative region.

The Abiriba people are renowned for their diligence in both trade and crafts; nonetheless, their desert environment makes it difficult for agriculture to thrive.

They became well-liked among Nigeria’s Igbo people as a result.


Ameke, Amogudu, and Agboji are the three primary settlements that make up Abiriba.

A monarchical system of government is in place in Abiriba. Enachioken refers to the “Eze,” also known as the monarch or king.

Because of Abiriba’s remarkable layout and its distinctive mansions’ thoughtful placement inside the village, it has earned the moniker “Small London.”

Abiriba, small London

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