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Port Harcourt City, Nigeria

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Port Harcourt is the capital city of Rivers State, Nigeria. It lies along the Bonny River and is located in the Niger Delta.[2] The population of Port Harcourt is estimated at 1,620,214 (2007), the Port Harcourt Urban area is 2.7 million while the Greater Port Harcourt Area is almost 5.7 million in population.

Port Harcourt was founded in 1912 by the British in an area traditionally inhabited by the Ikwerre, an Igbo subgroup [3] It was named after Lewis Viscount Harcourt, Secretary of State for the Colonies.[4] The initial purpose of the port was to export the coal which geologist Albert Ernest Kitson had discovered in Enugu. In August 1913, the Governor-General of Nigeria, Sir Frederick Lugard wrote to Harcourt, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, "in the absence of any convenient local name, I would respectfully ask your permission to call this Port Harcourt."[5] To this the Secretary of State replied "It gives me pleasure to accede to your suggestion that my name should be associated with the new port."[5]

Geography

The main city of Port Harcourt is the Port Harcourt town in the Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, consisting of the former European quarters now called old Government reservation area (GRA) and New layout areas. The Port Harcourt Urban Area (Port Harcourt metropolis) is made up of the city itself and parts of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.[10]. Port Harcourt City, which the capital of Rivers State, is highly congested as it is the only major city of the state. A law has recently passed by the state house and governor Amaechi's administration to spread develop to the surrounding communities as part of the effort to decongest Port Harcourt. The greater Port Harcourt City, as it is officially known, spans eight local government areas that include Port Harcourt, Okrika, Obio/Akpor, Ikwerre, Oyigbo and Ogu/Bolo. Also, other ethnicities includes Tai, and Eleme.

Infrastructure

Some of Port Harcourt's more popular and well-known residential areas are Port Harcourt Township (better known simply as Town), G.R.A phases 1-5, Rumuomasi, Orogbum nu Oro Abali (known as Ogbunuabali), Rumuola, Diobu, Amadi Flats, and Borokiri. The main industrial area is located in Trans Amadi.

The city plays host to the Rivers State University of Science and Technology; there is also a University of Port Harcourt, which is Located in Obio/Akpor which was carved out of Port Harcourt Local Government Area for ease of administration.

The Podium Block of Rivers State Secretariat is an icon of the city. An eighteen storey building, it has the tallest building in the South/South and South/East Geopolitical zones combined. The city has an international airport, Port Harcourt International Airport, two seaports (F.O.T Onne, PortHarcourt Wharf), two stadiums (Sharks Stadium which is actually the civic center] and Liberation Stadium located in Rumuomasi and two refineries.

The city is sprawling in nature as building codes and zoning regulations are poorly enforced. Land is cleared and 'lean to' buildings constructed sometimes overnight. This adds to flooding and sanitation problems since with no proper drainage or sewer system, parts of the city flood during the very heavy monsoon-type rains that fall for half the year.

Climate

Port Harcourt features a tropical monsoon climate with lengthy and heavy rainy seasons and very short dry seasons. In fact, only the months of December and January truly qualifies as dry season months in the city. The harmattan, which climatically influences many cities in West Africa, is less pronounced in the city. Port Harcourt’s heaviest precipitation is seen during the month of September where on average approximately 370 mm of rain is seen. December on average is the driest month of the year, where on average only 20 mm of rain is seen during the course of the month. Temperatures throughout the year in the city are relatively constant, showing little variation throughout the course of the year. Average temperatures are typically between 25ºC – 28ºC in the city.

Economy

The city is a major industrial center as it has a large number of multinational firms as well as other industrial concerns, particularly business related to the petroleum industry. It is the chief oil-refining city in Nigeria.Rivers state is one of the wealthiest states in Nigeria in terms of gross domestic product and foreign exchange revenue from the oil industry, crude oil being its main export earner.

Greater Port Harcourt City

In early 2009 the State Government under the leadership of Governor Chibuike Amaechi announced plans for the creation of a new city to be called the Greater Port-Harcourt City. The new city is to be located close to the Port-Harcourt International Airport.[11]

 

SOURCE: Port Harcourt, from Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia



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