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Asaba (Igbo: Àhàbà)[3] is a city strategically located at the western edge of the Niger River, overlooking its sister city, Onitsha, across the Niger Bridge.[4][5][6][7] It is the capital of Delta State Nigeria. A fast developing urban area, Asaba had a population of 149,603 as at the 2006 census,[8] and a metropolitan population of over half a million people.[9][4]



A street in Asaba
A street in Asaba
Ani Mmili
Asaba is located in Nigeria
Location in Nigeria
Coordinates: 6°11′52.23″N 6°43′42.48″E / 6.1978417°N 6.7284667°E / 6.1978417; 6.7284667Coordinates: 6°11′52.23″N 6°43′42.48″E / 6.1978417°N 6.7284667°E / 6.1978417; 6.7284667
Country Nigeria
StateDelta State
LGA(s)Oshimili North, Oshimili South.
 • Total268 km2 (103 sq mi)
 (2006 census)[2]
 • Total149,603
 • Estimate 
 • Density560/km2 (1,400/sq mi)



Asaba (aka Ahaba in Enuani ) is from the exclamation Ahabagom, meaning "I have chosen well", a quote from the founding father (Nnebisi) of Asaba.[10][4][5]


The city of Asaba was once the colonial capital of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate.[7] It was founded in 1884.[11] 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.[7] 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".[12]: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.[13] The clamour for creation of Anioma state has been going on for decades.[13]


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.[5] The historic Niger River is a trans-African link beginning from West Africa and down into the Atlantic Ocean.[4] 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.[4]

Asaba Niger bridge

Asaba lies approximately 60 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.[5] 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.


Greater Asaba includes some of the other neighbouring indigenous Enuani communities-Igbuzo, Okpanam, Oko, Okwe and Ugbolu —on the western section of the Niger River. With satellite cities such as Issele-Uku and Ogwashi-uku which are not included within the boundaries of the Asaba Capital Territory.

Since becoming the administrative capital of Delta State, Asaba has grown in population to over half a million very hospitable people. Today, it maintains a cosmopolitan population of predominantly non-indigenous people.[4] Some of the other groups in the city include Urhobo, Isoko, Ijaw, Ukwuani, Hausa, Itsekiri and Yoruba people.

Asaba is traditionally led by the highly revered Asagba of Asaba, to whom the leader (“Diokpa” in Enuani dialect) of each of the five Ebos reports directly into on matters affecting Asaba.[5][4]


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 dictates the economy and economic activities of the city's inhabitants. The Nigerian government through the administration of Samuel Ogmemudia established the Asaba Textile Mills [14] and a power substation at Asaba. The city of Asaba hosts some pharmaceutical companies that manufactures 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 within the city.


The Stephen Keshi Stadium at Asaba which had a face-lift to satisfy local fans and numerous others 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 [15] . The stadium is also 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 Asaba areas with Ughelli while the Asaba-Ebu road connects the city of Asaba with northern Nigeria.


Asaba is served by the water transportation available through the Niger River which surrounds most parts of the African city.

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Delta (state, Nigeria)". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  2. ^ "FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA : 2006 Population Census" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  3. ^ Isichei, Elizabeth Allo (1997). A History of African Societies to 1870. Cambridge University Press. p. 249. ISBN 0-521-45599-5. Retrieved December 13, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "About Asaba". Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Asaba Progressive Union". Archived from the original on May 7, 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  6. ^ Okenwa Nwosu (Igbo Focus) (January 2, 2014). "The Politics of Second Niger Bridge". Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c "Asaba". Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  8. ^ "FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA : 2006 Population Census" (PDF). Wayback Machine. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 5, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  9. ^ "A History and Tradition". Asaba Online. Asaba Progressive Front. Archived from the original on 2007-09-15. Retrieved June 19, 2007.
  10. ^ "Great Goddess And Shrine Of Asaba People". Leadership. 23 September 2016. Archived from the original on 24 September 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  11. ^ Letters from Nigeria,D.W. Carnegie,BiblioBazaar, LLC, ISBN 978-1-103-27100-9
  12. ^ BAIKIE, WILLIAM BALEOUR (1856). "Narrative of an Exploring Voyage up the rivers of Kwora and Binue commonly known as Niger and TSADDA in 1885 with a map and appendices". John Mueray, Albemarle Street (Published with a santion of Her Majesty's Government). Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  13. ^ a b "Anioma: Nigeria 37th State in the Making". Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  14. ^ "Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia (1932=2017)". Guardian (Nigeria). 24 March 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  15. ^ "Delta Obasanjo ommissions stephen keshi stadium". Vanguard (Nigeria). November 19, 2018. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  16. ^ a b c d "Asaba. A long history and Tradition". Asaba Online. 23 August 2009. Retrieved October 11, 2016.

External linksEdit