- Category: States
- Published on Wednesday, 23 June 2010 08:28
- Written by Admin
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Official website: http://www.riversstate.gov.ng
Nick name: The People's Paradise
Rivers State, one of Nigeria's 36 States was created from the then Eastern Region of Nigeria by Decree No. 19 of 1967. Before then, the territory which until 1996 the had the area which is now in the Bayelsa State as part of it was referred to as Oil Rivers Protectorate, a name derived from its central role in the oil trades of the last two centuries.
First, the trade in palm oil and then crude oil. The state is the heart of the hydro-carbon industry, responsible for a huge chunk of the nation's foreign exchange earnings.It is accountable for over 48% of crude oil produced on-shore in the country and 100% of the liquefied natural gas that Nigeria is currently exporting to several countries of the world.The strategic importance of Rivers State in the economic equation of Nigeria earned it the name “Treasure Base of the Nation” Port Harcourt, the state capital, is known all over the world as the Garden City, because of its beautiful layout and decent environment. Port Harcourt is indeed one of the fastest growing metropolitan cities in Africa.
Rivers state, named after the many rivers that border its territory was part of the Oil Rivers Protectorate from 1885 till 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.
The State has a population of about five million people who have a rich and unique cultural heritage. Usually known to be friendly and hospitable, these people come from various ethnic nationalities namely,Abua, Andoni, Ekpeye, Engenni, Etche, lbaniIgbani, Ilkwerre, Kalabari, Ndoni, Okrika,etc. These ethnic groups have existed together for centuries, long before the creation of the State and are currently distributed in twenty three Local Government Areas.
The State is bounded on the South by the Atlantic Ocean, on the North by Anambra, Imo and Abia States,the East by Akwa lbom State and the West by Bayelsa and Delta States. Rivers State, which is in the Niger Delta,has topography of flat plans with a network of rivers and tributaries. These include New Calabar, Orashi, Bonny,Sombreiro and Bartholomew Rivers. With a tropical climate, numerous rivers and vast areas of arable land, the people of Rivers State have lived up to their tradition of agriculture,especially fishing and farming, commerce and industry.Besides Oil and Gas, Rivers State is blessed with many natural resources including timber, white sand beaches,ceramics from clay, (ash, yellow, and red) etc, all yearning for exploitation.
Rivers State is the second largest economy in Nigeria after Lagos State. With a total GDP in US$ of US$21,073,410,422 (2008 estimate). The State has two major refineries, two major seaports, airports, and various industrial estates spread across the state, particularly in the State capital.
In 1999 the state had 2,805 Government primary schools and 243 secondary schools. The secondary schools are concentrated mainly in LGA headquarter towns and in Port Harcourt. Tertiary institutions include the University of Port Harcourt, established by the Federal Government in 1975, the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Choba, Port Harcourt, founded in 1980 by the State government, the School of Health Technology, Port Harcourt, established by the State government, the federally-owned polytechnic at Omoku and the state-owned Rivers State Polytechnic at Bori, the State College of Education at Rurnuolumeni, Nkpolu Oroworukwo and Ndele and the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Rumueme, Port Harcourt. The Rivers State College of Arts and Science in Port Harcourt gained polytechnic status in 2006.
Port Harcourt, the state capital (Original Indigenous name" Igweocha") is Nigeria's second most important business/commercial centre (after Lagos) and has the second busiest seaport in also. This cosmopolitan city has a busy international airport with regular local and international flights to all parts of the country and some major cities of the world. It marks the eastern terminal of Nigeria's railway system. Besides, Rivers State with 23 Local Government Areas boasts of four degree-awarding institutions, two refineries, a petro-chemical plant, fertilizer plant and a liquefied natural gas plant. No wonder, Rivers State is described as the 'INVESTORS' haven'.
For more detailed information about Rivers state, visit http://www.riversstate.gov.ng