Delta State

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Delta State
Aerial view of Inter-bau roundabout, Asaba, Delta State
Aerial view of Inter-bau roundabout, Asaba, Delta State
Nickname(s): 
The Big Heart
Urhobo: urhiobọ òghẹnẹ
Location of Delta State in Nigeria
Location of Delta State in Nigeria
Coordinates: 5°30′N 6°00′E / 5.500°N 6.000°E / 5.500; 6.000Coordinates: 5°30′N 6°00′E / 5.500°N 6.000°E / 5.500; 6.000
CountryNigeria
Date created27 August 1991
CapitalAsaba
Government
 • Governor
(List)
Arthur Okowa Ifeanyi (PDP)
 • Deputy GovernorKingsley Otuaro
 • SenatorsOvie Omo-Agege

James Manager

Peter Nwaoboshi
Area
 • Total17,698 km2 (6,833 sq mi)
Area rank23rd of 36
Population
 (2006 census)[1]
 • Total5,663,400
 • Rank9th of 36
 • Density320/km2 (830/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Deltan
GDP (PPP)
 • Year2007
 • Total$16.75 billion[2]
 • Per capita$3,990[2]
Time zoneUTC+01 (WAT)
postal code
320001
Dialing Code+234
ISO 3166 codeNG-DE
HDI (2018)0.655[3]
medium · 4th of 37
Websitewww.deltastate.gov.ng

Delta State (recognized on August 27, 1991)[4] is an oil and agricultural producing state in Nigeria. It is situated in the region known as the South-South geo-political zone with a population of 4,112,445 (males: 2,069,309; females: 2,043,136).[5] The capital city is Asaba, located at the northern end of the state, with an estimated area of 762 square kilometres (294 sq mi), while Warri is the economic nerve center of the state and also the most populated. It is located in the southern end of the state.[6] The state has a total land area of 16,842 square kilometres (6,503 sq mi).[7]

Geography[edit]

The state covers a landmass of about 18,050 km2 (6,970 sq mi), of which more than 60% is land. The state lies approximately between 5°00' and 6°45' E and 5°00' and 6°30' N.[8] It is geographically located in Nigeria's midwest, bounded in the north and west by Edo State, the east by Anambra, Imo, and Rivers States, southeast by Bayelsa State,[9] and on the southern extreme is the Bight of Benin which covers about 160 kilometres of the state's coastline. Delta State is generally low-lying without any remarkable hills. The state has a wide coastal belt inter-lace with rivulets and streams, which form part of the Niger River Delta.[10]

History[edit]

Delta State was defined out of the former Bendel State on 27 August 1991.[11] The state was actualized following agitations for the realization of a separate distinct state by the peoples of the old Delta Province.[12] There was yet another state request proposed as "Anioma State" comprising the Asaba and Agbor divisions of the old Midwest region.[12] The then Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, recognized Delta state but chose "Asaba" a prominent town within the "Northwestern Lower Niger" as capital city.[12] The proposed capital was a virgin land in the heart of the two constituent divisions that constitutes the Northwestern Lower Niger.[12] Delta state was once integrated in the Mid Western state from 1963 to 1976 and later Bendel state, from 1976 to 1991. The name "Bendel" (Ben-Del) coined from the old Benin and Delta Provinces of Western Region-Delta to reflect the integration of Benin and Delta provinces.[13]

Demographics[edit]

Delta State is predominantly inhabited by the Urhobo, Ukwani, Isoko, Ijaw, Ika, Aniocha-Oshimili, Itsekiri and the Olukumi people.[12] The population of other groups in the state are negligible.

The Urhobo-Isoko are the most predominant people inhabiting the state[12] and currently more than 4 million[citation needed]. The Igboid group populating Delta State are referred to as the Anioma (People Of Good Land[14]) people.[12] The Itsekiri speak a language very closely related to Yoruba but have been culturally influenced by the Edo from neighbouring Edo state, as well as the Urhobo, and Ijaw.[12] The Ijaws are a group of people related to the predominant people of neighbouring Bayelsa State,[15] while the Olukumi are becoming culturally and linguistically extinct,[16] due to acculturation and assimilation.

The vast majority of inhabitants are Christian, with very few practicing traditional religions.

Administration[edit]

Arthur Okowa Ifeanyi, a member of the People's Democratic Party, was elected Governor and chief executive of Delta State in April 2015.[17] His deputy is Barr. Kingsley Otuaro.[18] The state has three National Senatorial Districts (South, North and Central). In 2011 and 2013, the elected senators were James Manager, Arthur Okowa Ifeanyi and Emmanuel Aguariavwodo who replaced Pius Ewherido who died in 2013 at National Hospital, Abuja.[19] In 2015, Chief Ighoyeta Amori was elected Senator of Delta Central but his election was annulled and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege sworn in as Senator of Delta Central,[20] James Manager retained his position and Chief Peter Nwaoboshi was elected Senator of Delta North. The Executive, Legislative and Judicial Chambers are housed in Asaba with a government house annex in Warri.[21]

Past & present administrations[edit]

Legislative house

Local Government Areas[edit]

Delta State consists of 25 Local Government Areas (shown with 2006 population figures):

Delta Central Senatorial District 1,575,738 Delta North Senatorial District 1,293,074 Delta South Senatorial District 1,229,282
Ethiope East 200,942 Aniocha North 104,062 Bomadi 86,016
Ethiope West 202,712 Aniocha South 142,045 Burutu 207,977
Okpe 128,398 Ika North East 182,819 Isoko North 143,559
Sapele 174,273 Ika South 167,060 Isoko South 235,147
Udu 142,480 Ndokwa East 103,224 Patani 67,391
Ughelli North 320,687 Ndokwa West 150,024 Warri North 136,149
Ughelli South 212,638 Oshimili North 118,540 Warri South 311,970
Uvwie 188,728 Oshimili South 150,032 Warri South West 116,538
Ukwuani 119,034

Local Governments/languages[edit]

Languages of Delta State listed by LGA:[32]

LGA Languages
Aniocha North Igbo
Aniocha South Igbo
Burutu Izon
Bomadi Izon
Ethiope East Urhobo,
Ethiope West Urhobo
Ika North Ika
Ika South Ika
Isoko North Isoko
Isoko South Isoko
Ndokwa East Ukwuani

Isoko

Ndokwa West Ukwuani
Oshimili North Igbo
Oshimili South Igbo
Okpe Urhobo
Patani Izon, Urhobo
Sapele Urhobo,
Udu Urhobo,
Ughelli North Urhobo
Ughelli South Urhobo
Ukwuani Ukwuani
Uvwie Urhobo,
Warri North Itsekiri, Izon
Warri South Urhobo, Itsekiri,Izon
Warri South West Izon, Itsekiri

Natural resources[edit]

There are various solid mineral deposits within the state - industrial clay, silica, lignite, kaolin, tar sand, decorative rocks, limestone, etc.[33] These are raw materials for industries such as brick making, ceramics, bottle manufacturing, glass manufacturing, chemical/insulators production, chalk manufacturing and sanitary wares, decorative stone cutting and quarrying.[34] But these minerals are under-utilized.

Delta state also has huge deposits of crude oil and is also one of the largest producers of petroleum products in Nigeria.[35] Sales of petroleum products is what majorly drives its economy.

Higher education[edit]

Institutions of higher learning in Delta state include:[12]

Tourist attractions[edit]

Delta State has some historical, cultural and socio-political tourist centers that attract visitors from around the globe. Some of these sites of tourism include:[12]

  • The Nana's Palace built by Chief Nana Olomu of Ebrohim. He was a powerful 19th century indigenous entrepreneur who traded with the British. The relationship eventually turned sour. Later, he surrendered (not without putting up a fight) and was exiled to Ghana. His personal effects are housed in this grand palace.[61]
  • The River Ethiope which is reputed to be the deepest inland waterway in Africa (at 176 km). Its source is at the foot of a giant silk-cotton tree at Umuaja in Ukwuani Local Government Area of the state and flows through seven Local Government Areas in the State. It is a place of worship for Olokun traditional religion and also a common site for faithfuls of the Igbe Religious Movement.[62]
  • The Araya Bible Site which houses a copy of the Holy Bible. It is believed that the bible descended to this spot miraculously from heaven around August, 1914. The bible dropped on rain-soaked yam and it didn't get wet. The site now attracts thousands of Christians yearly.[63]
  • Demas Nwoko Edifice which was built using traditional materials, designs and construction techniques of the Igbo civilization by Demas Nwoko, an architect, builder and artist of international repute from Idumuje-Ugboko, in Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta State.[64]
  • The Mungo Park House which is now the site of the National Museum, Asaba. The house was constructed by the Royal Niger Company (RNC) in 1886 and was used as a colonial administrative headquarters, a military house, the colonial administrative divisional headquarters, the RNC Constabulary building, and the seat of the Urban District Council at different times.[65]
  • The Ogulagha Beach
  • The Niger Bridge which connects Delta State (by extension, western Nigeria) to the Eastern part of Nigeria. It is a beauty to behold. It was completed in 1965 and cost £5 million. It was damaged during the civil war, but later repaired.[66]
  • Lander Brothers Anchorage, Asaba which was built in memory of early British explorers. The complex has a museum, a graveyard, and many artworks and writings. It houses a replica of one of the boats that was used by the brothers.[61]
  • Falcorp Mangrove Park
  • Warri Kingdom Royal Cemetery which is 512 year old burial ground and serves as the resting place of past rulers of Warri kingdom. A tree is planted on each grave.[67]

Sports[edit]

Delta State is known to have produced several sportsmen and women, notably Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, Sunday Ogochukwu Oliseh, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, Wilson Oruma, Efetobore Sodje Blessing Okagbare, Jonathan Akpoborie, Alex Iwobi and Ogenekaro Etebo.[68]

Notable people[edit]


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External links[edit]