Onitsha is a city on the east bank of the Niger River, in the Anambra State of Nigeria. Onitsha is a metropolitan city known for its river port and as an economic hub for trade , industry, and education. It hosts the Onitsha Main Market, Africa’s biggest market in terms of geographic size and volume of goods.
Onitsha had an estimated city population of more than a quarter a million people in the 2006 Nigerian census and had an estimated urban population of 7,425,000 as of 2016. Onitsha’s indigenous people are Igbo, and speak the language of Igbo. The people of Onitsha are termed Ndi Onicha.
As a tourist who has visited most of Nigeria ‘s cities, I can categorically say that Anambra’s Onitsha city has the highest residential buildings in Nigeria. I am not referring to the headquarters and offices of government offices and corporations. I am referring to single residential homes and buildings.
In general, I think the pattern of high-rise residential buildings is very common among Igbos. Traveling to all southeast cities it’s still the same pattern.
I have been in Uyo, Port Harcourt, Benin, Warri, Ibadan, Lagos, Kano, Kaduna and Sokoto. The people in there with their bungalows and duplex houses are very comfortable. Igbo people still replicate the feat of building tall storey buildings in Kano and Lagos where we have huge Igbo population. Go to Port harcourt, to Festac, Sabon Gari and Diobu. You will verify everything I say.
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The following are the reasons why Onitsha has the tallest Nigerian residential buildings.
1. Wealth:The Igbos still rose like a Phoenix bird, despite being battered by the harshness of the Biafran war. They picked up their broken pieces, and worked assiduously to become Nigeria ‘s wealthiest group. The Igbos invested hugely in real estate with such stupendous wealth. This saw them building buildings like these all over their enclave.
2. Economic importance: Onitsha is a major commercial hub in Nigeria, with a thriving market that attracts traders and buyers from all over Africa. This has led to the construction of many commercial buildings and highrise towers to accommodate the growing population of business activities.
3. Population density: Onitsha is the most densely populated cities in Nigeria, with a population of over 7 million people. The demand for accommodation and office space has led to the construction of more high-rise buildings to cater to the needs of the growing population.
4. Land scarcity: The city is located on the banks of the River Niger, which limits the availability of land for building. To maximize the use of available land, developers have resorted to constructing tall buildings.
5. Urbanization: Onitsha is experiencing a rapid transformation from a rural to an urban settlement. This has led to the construction of more high-rise buildings to replace the traditional low-rise structures.
6. Government support: The Anambra State Government has been supportive of real estate development in the city, providing incentives such as tax breaks and favorable land policies to encourage the construction of high-rise buildings.