Rivers state is situated in the SouthSouth geopolitical zone of Nigeria and has the city of Portharcourt as its capital. Rivers state is bordered by the Atlantic ocean, Imo, Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, and Delta state. The most populous ethnic groups in Rivers state include the Ikwerre, Ibani, Eleme, Okrika, Ogoni and Kalabari. Rivers state has a total number of 23 LGAs which include Abua Odual, Ahoada east, Ahoada west, Akuku-Toru, Andoni, Asari Toru, Bonny, Degema, Eleme, Emohua, Etche, Gokana, Ikwerre, Khana, Obio Akpor, Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni, Ogu-Bolo, Okrika, Omuma, Opobo-Nkoro, Oyigbo, Port harcourt, and Tai with an estimated total population of about 5,185,400 inhabitants. Rivers state is the 6th most populous state in Nigeria with a rapidly growing population that tripled in the 15 years between the 1991 and 2006 population census.
Christianity and traditional religions are the the most widely practiced faiths in Rivers state. Transportation in Rivers state is mostly by Land or by water with movement of people and goods facilitated by buses, taxicabs, tricycles and ferries. Rivers state is popular for a number of local cuisines with the most popular being the Boli and fish which consists of roasted ripe plantain served with a sauce made of fish and several spices. Rivers state has one of the highest literacy levels in the entire southsouth region with Male literacy pegged at 53 percent and female literacy at 48 percent. Rivers state is also a multilingual society with the over 20 ethnic affiliations such as the Abua, Ikwerre, Ibani, Opobo, Eleme, Okrika, Kalabari, Etche, Ogba, Ogoni, Engenni, Egbema, Obolo, Ekpeye, Andoni, Bille, Kula, Ndoni, Nkoro, and Saro that populate the state having their own languages and/or dialects. English is a common means of communication with its variant widely known as pidgin English being very popular among the state's inhabitants. Tertiary Institutions in Rivers state include the National Open University of Nigeria, Nigerian Institute of Safety Professionsals, University of Port harcourt, Rivers state College of Arts, Rivers state College of Health Science and Technology, Rivers state University of Science and Technology Port harcourt, Ignatius Ajuni University of Education and the Port harcourt Polytechnic.
Popular landmarks in Rivers state include the Adoke Amesiamaka stadium, the University of Portharcourt, Orashi forest reserve, Finima Beach and Nature Park, Zoological garden, Isaac Boro, Garden Park, Port harcourt tourist beach, Port harcourt Cultural center, Statue of King Jaja of Opobo, Biseni Forest, Okrika Acquatic stadium, Water glass Boatyard, Rivers state Museum, Ifoko Beach, Bonny Island, Port harcourt zoo and the Portharcourt oil refinery. Festivals held in Rivers state include the Owu-Aru-Sun, the Port harcourt Carnival,and the New Yam festivals.
The Governor of Rivers State is Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
Treasure Base of the Nation
Rivers state has features of both the Tropical rainforest and Mangrove swamp and has quite a number of rivers within its territory. Rainfall distribution is quite appreciable at 4300 mm per annum. Average temperature of Rivers state is 26 degrees centigrade. The rainy season lasts from March till December with the dry season lasting only two months.
The topography of Rivers state can be broadly classified into three variants , the freshwater and mangrove swamps plus the coastal sand ridges. The coastal land ridges are characterized by sandy loam soils and are suitable for the cultivation of several crops such as coconut, oil palm and cocoyam. The terrestrial parts of Rivers state account for about 60 percent of the states total area while the riverine areas make up the remaining 40 percent.
Rivers state has very large deposits of crude oil and natural gas and has played a prominent role in the Nation’s oil and gas sector. Other mineral resources found in Rivers state include glass sand, clay, marble, Lignite, Crude oil, natural gas, and silica sand. Fishing is also a popular economic engagement of the people of Rivers state. Also, farming provides a source of income for the inhabitants of Rivers state with the cultivation of oil palm, melon and plantain at an appreciable level. Rivers state also has an international airport, two seaports and a plethora of industries scattered over the state's territory. Several multinational companies in the oil and gas sector are present in Rivers state with the notable ones being the Royal Dutch shell, Agip, and Mobil.
Trade also booms in Rivers state with the state playing host to several markets which include the Oil mill market, Choba market, Borokiri market, Bori camp market, Mile 1 market, Mile 3 market, Ikoku spare parts market, Rumuokoro market, as well as the Rumuwoji and Agbonchia markets.
Rivers state was created in the year 1967 from the old eastern region and derives its name from the several rivers that are found within the state’s territory. The state which derives its name from the several rivers that flow within its territory was part of the Oil Rivers Protectorate for a period between 1885 and 1893. In 1893, Rivers state became part of the Niger coast protectorate. In the year 1900, there was a merger between the territories of the Royal Niger Company to create the colony of Southern Nigeria. Rivers state was formed following the disintegration of the Eastern Region. Rivers state lost territory in 1996 when Bayelsa state was carved out of it.
Former Governors of Rivers state include
Alfred Diete Spiff- 1967-1975
Zamani Lekwot- 1975-1978
Suleiman Saidu- 1978-1979
Melford Okilo- 1979-1983
Fidelis Oyakhilome- 1984- 1986
Anthony Ukpo- 1986-1988
Ernest Adelaye- 1988-1990
Godwin Abbe- 1990-1992
Rufus Ada George- 1992-1993
Dauda Komo- 1993-1996
Musa Shehu- 1996-1998
Sam Ewang- 1998-1999
Peter Odili- 1999-2007
Celestine Omehia- May 2007- October 2007
Rotimi Amaechi- 2007-2015
Nyesom Wike- 2015- date.
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