Tuesday 9:53 PM
| Akwa Ibom State|
| 26°C, Wind SW at 6 km/h, 91% Humidity|
Eket is the second largest city in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The name also refers to the indigenous ethnic group of the region and to their language. The city itself, an industrial city that in recent years has become a conurbation engulfing separate villages, has a population of over 200,000, while entire urban area, which covers Okon, Nsit Ubium, Afaha Eket and Esit Eket, has a combined population of 364,489, the second largest urban population in Akwa Ibom state.
An oil refinery is currently under construction in the outskirts of the city along the Oron road. The city has a stadium complex, an airstrip as well as other infrastructures of importance. It also has a number of hotels such as Villa Marina, Royalty Hotels, Crystal Palace Hotel, Roseboom Hotels, Eden Hotel, La Imperial Hotel Ltd and others.
Eket due to its industrial nature is a relatively expensive city. The government has plans of upgrading the city by the provision of further major roads in the city and the construction of housing estates.
In the 1990s, western environmentalists were concerned over the activities of oil exploitation in and around Eket, such as Shell and Mobil. The area is now newly "oil-rich" and Eket is the thriving hub of a new oil and gas business, with more than 250 companies providing support services such as catering, flights, and exports. However, this success has caused problems, especially a reluctance by local young men to engage in traditional work such as fishing. There are vocal local campaigns to increase the percentage of oil revenue that is given to the local community. Eket as an ethnic group comprises Eket, Esit Eket, Ibeno and Onna L.G.As
The Eket are a people who live in this region. They are a sub-group of the Ibibio people. Eket is also the name of the main sub-language that they speak, a Benue–Congo language. Both languages are similar, but sufficiently distinct to give away the precise district the speaker originates from. The Eket have a form of caste or class society, with the "Amama" being the highest caste, and these are notable for undertaking traditional potlach-like feasts in which the poorer people are fed en masse. In addition to the Amama, groups of "Ekpo Ndem Isong" class rule individual villages and towns, and their will is enforced by the "Ikan" class (traditional masked police) to which entry is by merit rather than birth.
The local religion is one of ancestor-worship, worship of Ala the "earth deity", and seasonal agricultural festivals. Water is abundant in the Niger delta, and the vegetation luxurious. However, over-farming and poor farming practices are depleting soil nutrients on many farms and plots.
Popular surnames include Ukpong Etteh (actually meaning father), Udofia, Ukoetuk, Uku, Abia and Essien. Just like the remainder of West Africa, the family name normally is an indicator of which specific region one is from.