THE QUARRY INDUSTRY IN ABAKALIKI, 1970-2007
In spite of the existence of the quarry industry in Abakaliki not much has been written on its history and the contribution of the industry to the people of Abakaliki. The study intends to fill the gap. The work traced the origin of the industry to the Colonial period, pointing out when, how and where it started at a section of the juju hill at the back of the present Ebonyi State Government House. The industry assisted the colonial administrators in bridging the infrastructural gap during the period. The work also discussed the economy of Abakaliki before 1970 indicating that from time immemorial Abakaliki economy was mainly agriculturally based, though trade and traditional industries were practiced. The consequences of the industry on Abakaliki was looked at which shows its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages include employment generation, execution of community development projects, educational empowerment, and execution of some State Government projects. On the other hand the disadvantages of the industry indicated, decline in agriculture, environmental degradation, destruction/dis-articulation of societal rvalues, traditions and norms, energy crisis and health hazards. The conclusion one can draw from the activities of the industry is that much more could be done for the people by both the government and the quarry industry if both sides can encourage the welfare of Abakaliki people.