Rivers State is one of Nigeria’s 36 states located in the South-South geopolitical zone. Its largest city and capital is Port Harcourt.
It is bounded on the South by the Atlantic Ocean, to the North by the Anambra, Imo and Abia States, to the East by Akwa Ibom State and to the West by the Bayelsa and Delta State.
Rivers State was named after the many rivers that border its territory. It was part of the Oil Rivers Protectorate from 1885 to 1893 when it became part of the Niger Coast Protectorate. In 1900, the region was merged with the chartered territories of the Royal Niger Company to form the colony of Southern Nigeria.
In 1966, the people of Rivers tried to tackle the problems of underdevelopment in the region by succession and proclaimed a Delta Peoples Republic. The rebellion was immediately crushed by the Federal and the old Eastern Nigeria government.
These agitations led to the creation of Rivers State in 1967 out of the Eastern Region of Nigeria. It gained Ughelli from Bendel State and Opobo from the Cross-River State in 1976. Until 1996, the state contained the area which is now in the Bayelsa State.
Population and Ethnicity
The people of Rivers State have a total population of about 3 million. They occupy an area of 21,850 sq. km, two-thirds of which are in the Niger Delta geographical terrain. Dominant ethnic groups amongst the people of Rivers State include; Ijwa, Ikwere, Etche, Ogoni, and Ogba/Egbema. They speak languages like Ijaw and Ikwerre but pidgin English is the most likely language to be encountered in radio and television broadcasts. The people from Rivers State are known as Riverians.
The postal code for Rivers State is 500001.
Rivers State Map
Consulting a map would show you that Rivers State is bounded on the South by the Atlantic Ocean, to the North by the Anambra, Imo, and Abia States, to the East by Akwa Ibom State and to the West by the Bayelsa and Delta States.
Business in Rivers State
The inland part of Rivers state consists of tropical rainforests; towards the coast, the typical river delta environment features many mangrove swamps. Rivers State is most famous for its production of oil and gas with Port Harcourt being in the centre of the famous Oil industry.
Numerous international and local companies such as Shell Petroleum Company, AGIP, Texaco, Elf, NPRC, Michelin, West African Glass Industry, Alcan Aluminium, Metaloplastica, Risonpalm, NAFCON, Pabod Breweries, etc all have interests within the city.
With enormous reserves of crude oil and natural gas, Rivers State accounts for more than 40% of Nigeria’s crude oil production. Apart from this, there are many petrochemical related industries in the state which also harbour the first petroleum refinery in Nigeria. Nigeria’s gigantic liquefied natural gas project is located in Bonny in the state.
Agriculture, although overshadowed by the oil and gas industry, is the main occupation of the people of Rivers State. The agricultural policy of the state government is anchored in food production and this provides employment for young school leavers and university graduates. These agricultural activities are grouped under Community Block Farming Scheme, Community Fishing Scheme, Livestock Scheme and Rabbitry.
Due to its beautiful layout and peculiar topography, Port Harcourt, famously nicknamed Garden City, is accessible by road, rail, air and sea. Apart from being a railway terminus and having one of the busiest airports in Nigeria, Port Harcourt has the unique natural advantage of being the nation’s second-largest seaport with another seaport, the Ocean Terminal at Onne close by.
Rivers State has maintained its importance as a leading supplier of wealth to Nigeria. In 2007, the state ranked 2nd nationwide with a GDP of $21.07 billion and a per capita income of $3,965.
- Rivers State has 23 local government areas; Ogba/Egbema, Ndoni, Ahoada, Ikwerre, Etche, Andoni/Opobo, Bonny, Okrika, Iyigbo, Ehana, Gokana Tai/Eleme, Obio/Akpor, Emohua, Degema, Aseri Toru, Akuku, Abua/Odial, Omumma, Opobo/Nkoro, Ogu/ BolRo, Ahaoda West, Ahoada East and Eleme.
- The Garden City, Port Harcourt, has one of the busiest airports in Nigeria.
- Rivers State is most famous for the production of oil and gas, accounting for more than 40% of Nigeria crude oil production.
- The State does not play with education, having over 2,805 primary schools and 243 secondary schools.
- The main occupation of the people of Rivers State is agriculture and the agricultural policy of the state government is anchored on food production.