A street in Asaba
|• Total||268 km2 (103 sq mi)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||560/km2 (1,400/sq mi)|
Asaba is a city located at the western bank of the Niger River. It is the capital of Delta State, Nigeria and one of the 3 towns of Oshimili South Local Government Area, A fast developing urban area, Asaba had a population of 149,603 as at the 2006 census, and a metropolitan population of over half a million people. Asaba is well known for social activities due to the presence of large people and social amenities such as hotels, clubs, cinemas, malls, event centre, etc. It holds a yearly program named Delta Yaddah which always host series of gospel singers among others. Due to its large population, crime rate is high. Crimes such as pick pocketing, sideways robbery, etc, is rampart in Asaba. Because of the existence of foreigners in the state, cost of living is high in Asaba. The Onitsha bridge is the boundary between Delta and Anambra state, as the bridge separates Asaba and Onitsha.
The city of Asaba was once the colonial capital of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate. It was founded in 1884. Between 1886 and 1900, it hosted the Royal Niger Company, which the British authorities set up to stimulate trade and the exportation of goods to England. That company has grown today into UAC Nigeria PLC. Scottish explorer William B. Balkie, when signing a trade treaty with Igbo chief Ezebogo in Asaba on August 30, 1885, remarked "After our salutations, I spoke of friendship, of trade, and of education, and particularly enlarged upon the evils of war, and the benefits of peace, all of which was well received".:318
Owing to Asaba's influential history and geography, and current strategic political and economic influence in Nigeria, Asaba is generally known as the regional capital of the Anioma area. The clamour for creation of Anioma state has been going on for decades.
Asaba is situated on a terrace of the lower Niger River, overlooking the point where the Anambra River flows into it. Beyond the river banks, on the high plains which are far more extensive than the river basins, secondary forest vegetation flourishes. The historic Niger River is a trans-African link beginning from West Africa and down into the Atlantic Ocean. Asaba forms a connector between western, eastern and northern Nigeria through the Niger River from the north and via the Asaba Niger Bridge, an east-west link and a Nigerian landmark.
Asaba lies approximately 6 degrees north of the equator and about the same distance east of the meridian; about 160 kilometres (100 mi) north of where the River Niger flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The greater Asaba occupies an area of about 300 square kilometers. It maintains an average tropical temperature of 32 °C during the dry season and an average fertile rainfall of 2,700 millimetres (106 in) during the rainy season.
Asaba is culturally led by the highly revered Asagba of Asaba, to whom the leaders (individually referred to as the “Diokpa”) of each of the five settlement quarters (locally identified as Ebos) report directly on matters affecting the community. The Asagba is assisted by the Iyasele of Asaba [Iyase] who is the customary Prime Minister as well as a council of chiefs and elders [Olinzele, Otu Ihaza, Oloto, etc].
Igbo people constitute sixty-three percent of the total population of Asaba.
Since becoming the administrative capital of Delta State, Asaba has grown in population to over half a million people. Today, it maintains a cosmopolitan population of predominantly non-indigenous people. Some of the other groups in the city include Urhobo, Isoko, Ijaw, Hausa, Itsekiri and Yoruba people.
Asaba is an administrative area and seat of government established during the time of the Royal Niger Company (now UACN), and is the administrative capital of Delta state. Thus civil service leads the economy and economic activities of the city's inhabitants. The Nigerian government through the administration of Samuel Ogmemudia established the Asaba Textile Mills and a power substation at Asaba. The city of Asaba hosts some pharmaceutical companies that manufacture medicines and there is also a steel mill within the city. Tourism is also attracts revenue into the city, which has resulted to a booming hotel and hospitality business.
The Stephen Keshi Stadium at Asaba, which had a face-lift to satisfy local fans, has hosted several international competitions and soccer events since it was upgraded by the administration of Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa and commissioned by Nigeria's former president Olusegun Obasanjo. The stadium is the home of Delta Force FC.
The city of Asaba and neighbouring cities are accessible by air through the Asaba international airport.
The Asaba-Benin express road is an important road which connects parts of eastern Nigeria with western Nigeria. There is also a road that connects areas of Asaba with Ughelli, while the Asaba-Ebu road connects the city with northern Nigeria.
Asaba is served by water transportation available through the Niger River, which surrounds most parts of the African city.
- Chief Dennis Osadebay
- Joseph Chike Edozien
- Maryam Babangida
- Emma Nyra
- Ike Nwamu
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