On Enugu was declared the capital of the short-lived Republic of Biafra; for this Enugu is known as the "capital of Igboland." After Enugu was captured by the Nigerian armed forces, the Biafran capital was moved to Umuahia.
Industries in the city include the urban market and bottling industries.
The main educational establishment in the city is the Enugu campus of the University of Nigeria based in Nsukka, a town north of Enugu and in the same state.
It was through slave raiding that the Nike people acquired most of their lands, which were mostly unsettled.
The Nike used slaves for a defence strategy, placing slave camps at the edge of their territories so that it was harder for an enemy to access the free born.
Along with the Aro people who came to trade from Arochukwu in the south were the Hausa people who came to trade from the north.
The name Enugu is derived from the two Igbo words Énú Ụ́gwụ́ meaning "hill top" denoting the city's hilly geography.