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The Big Heart
Quick Fact
Population: 4,112,445 (2006 census figures) - 12th of 37
Percentage of Nigeria’s total population: 3%
Population density: 227 people per square kilometre
Landmass: 17,239.2square kilometres
State capital: Asaba
Local Government Areas: 25
Current Governor: Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa

Delta is one of the six states that make up the South South geopolitical zone of Nigeria. It is bounded to the north by Edo State, to the east by Anambra State and to the southeast by Bayelsa State. Extending along approximately 160 kilometres of its coastline is the Bight of Benin. Its capital is Asaba.

Land Mass, Location and Population
Delta State covers an area of 17,239.2 square kilometres. It lies at latitude 5°30' north and longitude 6°00' east. It has a population of 4,112,445 (2006 census figures) and a population density of 227 people per square kilometre. Delta accounts for 3 percent of Nigeria's total population.

Main Cities and Towns
Asaba (capital city), Warri, Ughelli, Sapele, Aboh, Effurun and Abraka

Image Source: Deltahouseofassemblysite

History and People

The Urhobos are believed to have been the earliest settlers of Delta State. Under the three-region structure of 1954, Delta State was part of the Western Region. It became part of MidWestern State which was created in 1963. In 1976, Mid Western State was renamed Bende (an amalgamation of the names of the former Benin and Warri/Delta provinces). In 1991, Bendel State was divided into two, creating present-day Delta and Edo states.

The largest ethnic group in Delta State is the Urhobo. Others include the Igbo, Ezon (Ijaw), Isoko and Itsekiri. Christianity is the main religion in Delta State, although a fair amount of traditional religion is practised.

Economy and Educations

Delta State produces both food and industrial crops. Its food crops include rice, yam, cassava, fruits and vegetables, while its industrial crops include rubber (the state's leading export crop), oil palm and palm kernel. Ethiope, Okpe and Ughelli have the highest concentration of rubber (approximately 61,200 hectares in total). Other rubber-producing locations include Aniocha (8,400 hectares) and Ndokwa (8,800 hectares).

The mineral deposits within Delta State include petroleum and natural gas, industrial clay, silica, lignite, kaolin, tar sand, and limestone. The state's key industries are the Bendel and Delta glass factories (both located in Ughelli), an oil refinery in Warri, a petro-chemical plant in Ekpan and the Delta Steel Company (located in Aladja). There are also fishing net, boat building and canning industries.

The tertiary institutions in the state include a state university (Delta State University, with campuses in Abraka, Oleh and Asaba); three state polytechnics (located in Ogwashi-Uku Otefe-Oghara and Ozoro); a federal university (Federal University of Petroleum Resource, Effurun); a state college of education (Delta State College of Education, with campuses in Agbor and Warri); the Federal College of Education (Technical) in Asaba; the Delta State College of Physical Education in Mosogar and the College of Health Technology, Ughelli.  The state is also home to two private universities: Western Delta University in Oghara and Novena University in Amai.

Further Description

Governors and Administrators:

  • Luke Chijiuba Ochulor (Administrator - Military): August 1991 - January 1992
  • Felix Ibru (Governor - Civilian (Social Democratic Party)): January 1992 - November 1993
  • Abdulkadir Shehu (Acting Administrator - Military): November 1993 - December 1993
  • Bassey Asuquo (Administrator - Military): December 1993 - September 1994
  • Ibrahim Kefas (Administrator - Military): September 1994 - August 1996
  • John Dungs (Administrator - Military): August 1996 - August 1998
  • Walter Feghabo (Governor - Military): August 1998 - May 1999
  • James Ibori (Governor - Civilian (People's Democratic Party)): May 1999 - May 2007
  • Emmanuel Uduaghan (Governor - Civilian (People's Democratic Party)): May 2007 - May 2015
  • Ifeanyi Okowa ( Governor - Civilian( People's Democtratic Party)): May 2015- Present

Local Government Areas:

  • Aniocha North
  • Aniocha South
  • Bomadi
  • Burutu
  • Ethiope East
  • Ethiope West
  • Ika North East
  • Ika South
  • Isoko North
  • Isoko South
  • Ndokwa East
  • Ndokwa West
  • Okpe
  • Oshimili North
  • Oshimili South
  • Patani
  • Sapele
  • Udu
  • Ughelli North
  • Ughelli South
  • Ukwuani
  • Uvwie
  • Warri North
  • Warri South
  • Warri South West

Notable Indigene

Emmanuel Okala (nicknamed "The Rock of Gibraltar") was the first Nigerian to win the title of African footballer of the year. Okala received the award in 1978 while serving as goalkeeper for the Super Eagles, Nigeria's national football team.

Did You Know

The Niger Delta (which is the second largest delta on the planet), has the highest concentration of monotypic fish families in the world.