Nwaorieubi as an emerging urban centre in mbaitoli l.G.A,1976-2015


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The title of this study is to examine Nwaorieubi as an emerging urban centre in mbaitoli l.G.A,1976-2015. The main aim and objective of the study is to analyze and investigate Nwaorieubi as an emerging urban centre in mbaitolil.G.A. Specific objective of this study are to examine the growth of emerging urban centers, Attributes of urbanization and impact of Urban Attributes on the land and people. For the development of this work and its relevance or contribution to existing works, Articles, text books were consulted. Data which contributes to the development of this research was also gathered. This research work will make use of historical research method. Hence, findings from secondary sources are sourced; the secondary sources include written documents such as government publications, documentaries and newspapers. Added to these are descriptive accounts of experts on the impact of emerging urban centre.



1.1 Historical Background of Mbaitoli

Mbaitoli is a Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Nwaorieubi (or Nworieubi). It has an area of 204 km² and a population of 327,000. Mbaitoli is divided into 9 autonomous communities with 12 INEC wards. The principal occupations of these communities are farming and handicrafts.

Most of its festivals like the Mmanwu festival and Okorosha festival are held during the December holidays. Ekeleke Dancing Group which is performed by Umuomezume kindred Ofekata, Orodo on every Eke day starting from April to first week of June.

Communities and villages in Mbaitoli are Ifakala, Mbieri, Ubomiri, Ogbaku, Eziama-Obiato, Umunoha, Orodo, Afara and Ogwa.

Mbieri which was originally Mbaeri is a town in southeastern Nigeria and one of the indigenous Igbo clans that conquered parts of the old Owerri province. Mbieri is in Mbaitoli council of Imo State and it is the biggest of the original nine towns of Mbaitoli.Mbieri is blessed with abundant hydrocarbon that traversed the Obazu, Amaulu, Achi, Eziome and Umuagwu axis.

Mbieri town is made up of the following villages: Achi, Amankuta, Amaulu, Awo, Ebom, Eziome, Obazu, Obokwe, Ohohia, Ubakuru, Umuagwu, Umuahii, Umuneke,Umudagu, Umuduru, Umunjam, Umuobom, Umuomumu and Umuonyeali. Currently Mbieri is divided into the following autonomous communities; Amaike-Mbieri,Awo-Mbieri, Ezi-Mbieri, Ihitte isi-Mbieri, Obazu Mbieri, Obi-Mbieri and Umueze-Mbieri. It has boundary with the following communities; Iho, Akabo and Amatta (Ikeduru), Umuoba, Owalla, Orji, Amakohia, Akwakuma (Uratta, Owerri North), Ubomiri, Ifakala, Orodo and Ogwa (Mbaitoli). Works-layout Owerri is in Umudagu Mbieri. It is about 8 km north of Owerri.

Ubomiri is a town in Mbaitoli LGA of Imo State located near Owerri, capital city of Imo State, in southeastern Nigeria. The New Imo State International Market, also known as Ahia Rochas, is located in Ubomiri.

Umunoha is a town in southeastern Nigeria near the city of Owerri. It is a typical Igbo town. It is bounded on the north by Eziama Obiato and Afara communities; on the south and southwest by Ogbaku and Ejemekwuru communities; and on the south and southeast by Ifakala and Afara communities. It is served by the great east-west road, the Port-Harcourt-Lagos Highway. Umunoha is about thirteen kilometers from Owerri, the Imo State capital. It is a small, compact but thickly populated community with a projected 1997 population of twenty-five thousand people.

Mbaitoli LGA is one of the 27 local administrative districts in Imo State of Nigeria. The history of Mbaitoli dates back to 1955 when it started as a Rural District Council with Nwaoriubi as headquarters. It became a full-fledged District Council three years later, precisely, in October 1958. Following the military putsch of 1966, it was renamed County Council. With the dissolution and scrapping of all County Councils nationwide as an aftermath of the Dasuki-reforms of the mid-1990s, Mbaitoli became one of the two districts amalgamated to form the newly-created Mbaitoli/Ikeduru LGA. Mbaitoli became a distinct local administrative authority when the defunct Mbaitoli-Ikeduru LGA was dissolved on the 11th of May, 1989. Nwaorieubi has remained the administrative headquarters of Mbaitoli people till date. The Local Government Area has a landmass of 238 square kilometres. It shares boundaries with six other LGAs as follows: Oru-East, Njaba and Isu on the North; Owerri-West and Owerri-North on the South; Oguta on the West and Ikeduru on the East. It is the most populous LGA in Imo State with a population of 221,514 people, by 2005 estimates (IMSG, 2006). Mbaitoli LGA has a total of 31 autonomous communities and 17 electoral wards which is about the highest in Imo State. There are markets, schools, churches, town halls/village squares and other rural information institutions in each of these communities (and electoral wards) in Mbaitoli LGA. There are also a variety of cultural activities and festivals. The Local Government Area is neither urbanised nor highly industrialised. Infact, Mbaitoli fits, in several ways, into Odewale’s (1986) classification of a rural area as that with, among other features: a low level of literacy or a high level of illiteracy; limited educational and economic (including, jobs) opportunities; strong cultural, tribal and religious adherence and absence of large business and commercial institutions. Yet, it consistently receives the largest revenue allocation from the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) among the LGAs in Imo State. This is a testimony to its large population and expansive geographical size. However, following the passage of Imo State Law on Local Government Creation of 2003, the present Mbaitoli LGA was split into three distinct Local Government Development Areas (LGDAs). (Emenalor abd Akanwa, 2007:315). These LGDAs are Mbaitoli North, comprising Afara, EziamaObiato, Orodo and Ogwa; Mbaitoli South made up of Umunoha, Ifekala, Ogbaku and Ubomiri; and Mbieri comprising all communities in Mbieri clan (Emenalor and Akanwa, 2007:315)

1.2 Objective of Study

The main aim and objective of the study is to analyze and investigateNwaorieubi as an emerging urban centre in mbaitoli l.G.A. Specific objective of this study:

  • Examine the growth of emerging urban centers
  • Attributes of urbanization
  • Impact of Urban Attributes on the land and people

1.3 Significance of Study

The study reviews Nwaorieubi as an emerging urban centre in mbaitoli l.G.A,1976-2015. And will add more literature to the body of knowledge on the research topic and also give the ready emerging urban centre.

1.4 Scope and Limitation

The study this center on Nwaorieubi as an emerging urban centre in mbaitoli l.G.A,1976-2015. It is also limited in part to the information available from books, journals, books and internet resources. It shall be within the frame work of the economic policies with the international community.

1.5Research Methodology

For the development of this work and its relevance or contribution to existing works, Articles, text books were consulted. Data which contributes to the development of this research was also gathered.

This research work will make use of historical research method. Hence, findings from secondary sources are sourced; the secondary sources include written documents such as government publications, documentaries and newspapers. Added to these are descriptive accounts of experts on the impact of emerging urban centre. Desk study will also be made with those considered authorities in the field of history, urban region, political science and international relations to complement the other sources. Furthermore, this research work depends largely on archival materials both online and offline. Official publications cited on the websites will also be used. Books, journal articles, conference proceedings, seminar papers and finally other related publications will be used in gathering secondary information for this research.

1.6Literature Review

After decades of academic and policy skepticism on the role of urbanization in economic, social and cultural change, academic and political sentiments are shifting. The growing consensus on the positive correlation between urbanization and economic growth underpins the new global development agenda, including the New Urban Agenda and the 11th Sustainable Development Goal aiming to ‘make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’ (UN, 2015). Much emphasis is put on inclusive urban development that ‘leaves no one behind’ (McGranahan et al. 2016). In its demographic definition, urbanization is an increase in the proportion of the population living in urban areas, which in turn is driven by natural urban population growth, the reclassification of settlements from rural to urban and most importantly by rural dwellers moving to cities and towns. The latter refects the shrinking share of agriculture in national gross domestic product (GDP) and employment, and the related growth of industry and service sectors, which are typically more productive and tend to be located in urban centres where they benefit from agglomeration economies.

There is, however, much concern about the pace of urbanization and the capacity of national and local governments to manage it. As the UN’s 2013 World Population Policies report states, “among 185 countries with available data in 2013, 80% of governments had policies to lower rural to urban migration, an increase from 38% in 1996” (UN-DESA, 2013). This proportion is even higher, at 84 %, among low- and middle-income nations that are currently undergoing urban transitions, most of them in Africa and Asia (UN-DESA, 2013). This disconnect between the more positive view of urbanisation on the one hand, and the mounting apprehension about rural–urban migration on the other hand, overlooks the fact that the latter refects profound transformations in the rural ‘space’, which in turn are central to the understanding of the nature and pace of urban transitions. It also raises questions on whether ‘leaving no one behind’ is at all possible with a narrow, exclusive focus on either urban or rural domains. Small and intermediate urban centres have long been seen as potentially offering opportunities for regional development encompassing urban and rural areas, people and enterprises. The articles in this special issue of the European Journal of Development Research were originally prepared for the international conference Rural–Urban Connections in Sub-Saharan Africa held in Copenhagen in January 2016 as the closing event of the EU-funded RurbanAfrica project (www.rurban.ku. dk/) to explore important aspects of small town development in a range of Sub-Saharan African nations. The papers focus on changes in rural economies and the growing significance of income diversification, migration and multi-local living and how these rural–urban transformations intersect with market dynamics and the provision of services in small towns.


UN. 2015. Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. Sustainable developmentgoals.

McGranahan, G., D. Schensul, and G. Singh. 2016. Inclusive urbanization: Can the 2030 Agenda be delivered without it? Environment and Urbanization 28 (1): 13–34. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956247815627522

UN-DESA. 2013. World Population Policies 2013. Retrieved from New York:.

UN-DESA. 2018. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision. Retrieved from Online Edition.

Odewale, B.R, (1986). Developing and Planning Public Libraries in Rural Areas, Paper presented at the 3rd Kwara State NLA Conference, llorin, on November, 19th, 1986. p.8.

Emenalor and Akanwa, (2007). From Land of Hope to Eastern Heartland: Government and Peopleof Imo State From 1976 – 2006. Owerri: BAF Communications

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