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Delta State (recognized on August 27, 1991) 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). 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. The state has a total land area of 16,842 square kilometres (6,503 sq mi).
Location of Delta State in Nigeria
|Date created||27 August 1991|
| • Governor |
|Arthur Okowa Ifeanyi (PDP)|
|• Deputy Governor||Kingsley Otuaro|
|• Total||17,698 km2 (6,833 sq mi)|
|Area rank||23rd of 36|
|• Rank||9th of 36|
|• Total||$16.75 billion|
|• Per capita||$3,990|
|Time zone||UTC+01 (WAT)|
|ISO 3166 code||NG-DE|
medium · 4th of 37
The state covers a landmass of about 18,050 km², of which more than 60% is land. The state lies approximately between Longitude 5°00 and 6°.45' East and Latitude 5°00 and 6°.30' North. 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, 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 remarkable hills. The state has a wide coastal belt inter-lace with rivulets and streams, which form part of the Niger River Delta.
Delta State was defined out of the former Bendel State on 27 August 1991. The state was actualized following agitations for the realization of a separate distinct state by the peoples of the old Delta Province. There was yet another state request proposed as "Niger State" comprising the Asaba and Aboh divisions of the old Midwest region. The then Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, recognized Delta state but chose "Asaba" a prominent town within the "Northwestern lower Niger" as capital city. The proposed capital was a virgin land in the heart of the two constituent divisions that constitutes the Northwestern lower Niger. 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.
Delta State is predominantly inhabited by the Edoid Urhobo-Isoko; the Igbo, the Ijoid Izon and the Yoruboid Itsekiri and Olukumi . The population of other groups in the state are negligible. The Edoid Urhobo-Isoko are the most predominant people inhabiting the state and currently are more than 3 million people. The Igbo populating Delta State and Onitsha or nearby are referred to as people of the good land (Igbo : Anoma) and reside throughout the state mostly because of trade. 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, Ijaw and Portuguese. The Izon are a group of people related to the predominant people of neighbouring Bayelsa State while the Olukumi are becoming culturally and linguistically extinct due to acculturation and assimilation.
The vast majority of inhabitants are Christian, with very few practicing Traditional Religion.
Arthur Okowa Ifeanyi, a member of the People's Democratic Party, was elected Governor and chief executive of Delta State in April 2015. His deputy is Barr. Kingsley Otuaro. 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. 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, 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.
- Ifeanyi Okowa - 29 May, 2015 to date (PDP)
- Emmanuel Uduaghan - 29 May 2007 to 29 May 2015 (PDP)
- James Ibori - 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007 (PDP)
- Walter Feghabo - 12 August 1998 to 29 May 1999 (Military)
- John Dungs - 22 August 1996 to 12 August 1998 (Military)
- Ibrahim Kefas - 26 September 1994 to 22 August 1996 (Military)
- Bassey Asuquo - 10 December 1993 to 26 September 1994 (Military)
- Abdulkadir Shehu - 17 November 1993 - 10 December 1993 (Military)
- Luke Chijiuba Ochulor - 28 August 1991 - January 1992 (Military)
- Felix Ibru - January 1992 - November 1993 (SDP)
Local government areasEdit
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|
|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|
Languages of Delta State listed by LGA:
|Ika North East||Ika|
|Warri North||Isekiri; Izon|
|Warri South West||Itsekiri, Izon|
There are various solid mineral deposits within the state - industrial clay, silica, lignite, kaolin, tar sand, decorative rocks, limestone, etc. 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. 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. Sales of petroleum products is what majorly drives its economy.
Delta state has one of the highest numbers of tertiary institutions in any Nigerian state. This is a product of the people's thirst for knowledge and academic work. Some of these institutions are:
- Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun
- Delta State University
- Delta State Polytechnics (three different Polytechnics, one at Oghara, one at Ogwashi-Uku and another at Ozoro)
- The Film and Broadcast Academy, Ozoro
- College of Education (two different state colleges, one at Agbor and another at Warri).
- Federal College of Education Technical, Asaba
- College of Education, Mosogar
- Delta State College of Health Technology, Ughelli
- Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun
- Western Delta University, Oghara
- Novena University, Ogume-Amai
- National Open University of Nigeria (three study centres, one at Asaba, one at Emevor and another at Owhrode).
- Delta State School of Marine Technology, Burutu
- Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Warri
- Conarina School of Maritime & Transport Technology, Oria-Abraka
- University of Information and Communication Technology, Agbor
- State School of Midwifery, Asaba
- School of Nursing (two schools, one at Agbor and another at Warri)
- Baptist School of Nursing, Eku
- Edwin Clark University, Kiagbodo
- Eagle Heights University, Omadino, Warri
- Admiralty University of Nigeria at Ibusa and Sapele
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Demas Nwoko Edifice which was built using traditional materials, designs and construction techniques of the Igbo civilization and the Benin Empire by Demas Nwoko, an architect, builder and artist of international repute from Idumuje-Ugboko, in Aniocha North Local Government Area, Delta State.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Delta State is known to have produced several sportsmen and women, notably Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, Sunday Oliseh, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, Wilson Oruma, Efetobore Sodje Blessing Okagbare and Jonathan Akpoborie, Cindy Ofili.
- Abel Ubeku, first black Managing Director of Guinness Nigeria Plc.
- Alibaba Akpobome, stand up comedian and actor
- Amaju Pinnick, president of the Nigeria Football Federation
- Ayo Oritsejafor, founder of Word of Life Bible Church
- Ben Okri, writer
- Blessing Okagbare, athlete, Olympic and World Championships medalist in the long jump, and a world medallist in the 200 metres
- Bovi, popular Nigerian comedian
- Bruce Onobrakpeya, 2006 UNESCO Living Human Treasure Award, trustee of Western Niger Delta University
- David Dafinone, Renowned Account/Politician
- Dennis Osadebay
- Dominic Oneya
- Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Nigeria.
- Emmanuel Uduaghan
- Enebeli Elebuwa, Nigeria Actor
- Gamaliel Onosode
- I Go Dye, popular comedian across Africa and United Nations' Millennium Development Goals Ambassador
- Igho Sanomi, Nigerian businessman
- James Ibori, former governor of Delta State
- Okocha, former Super Eagles Captain
- Jeremiah Omoto Fufeyin, founder of Christ Mercyland Deliverance Ministry
- Jim Ovia
- John Pepper Clark, first professor of English in Africa, poet and writer
- Joy Ogwu, former Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations.
- Michael Ashikodi Agbamuche, former Attorney General & Minister for Justice of Nigeria
- Michael Ibru, business leader
- Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
- Olorogun O'tega Emerhor, Nigerian financial industry leader and politician.
- Omawumi, popular Nigerian entertainer.
- Prof Onigu Otite, sociologist and anthropologist
- Ovie Omo-Agege
- Patrick Utomi
- Paul Dike, Past Chief of Defence Staff.
- Richard Mofe-Damijo, veteran actor
- Stephen Keshi
- Stephen Oru
- Sunday Ogochukwu Oliseh, Football Manager and former player
- Sunny Ofehe, international human & environmental rights activist.
- Tanure Ojaide, professor of English and renowned writer
- Tony Elumelu, UBA and Heirs Holdings.
- Udoka Azubuike, college basketball player at the University of Kansas
- Zulu Sofola
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