Port Harcourt Nigeria - The Garden City
Port Harcourt Nigeria is the largest city in the south after Lagos. It is referred to as the garden city because of its numerous avenues and ornaments and may sometimes be called P/H by local residents. It is the capital of oil rich Rivers State.
HistoryPort Harcourt Nigeria was founded by Governor general Lord Lugard in 1912 but was named after the then British Secretary of state for the colonies, Sir Lewis Viscount Harcourt in August 1913 for a region dominated by the local Ijaw people to be a port town principally for the exportation of coal which had been discovered in the south eastern regional city of Nigeria named Enugu.
Geography The climate of Port Harcourt is temperate almost through out the year with daily temperature averaging 30˚C and rainfall measuring an average of just over 210mm, is heaviest between June and September.
It is located in the Niger Delta region lying along the Bonny River (an eastern distributary of the Niger river), 41 miles (66 km) upstream from the Gulf of Guinea. Port Harcourt is divided into the Urban Area with an estimated population of 2.7 million and the greater/rural Area which has a population of 3.7 million people.
The urban area of Port Harcourt is the Port Harcourt town in the Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, which is made up of 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. It is highly congested as it is the only major city of the state.
Where as the greater Port Harcourt City, as it is officially known, spans eight local government areas that include Port Harcourt, Okrika, Obio/Akpor, Ikwerre, Oyigbo, Ogu/Bolo, Tai, and Eleme.
Port Harcourt is the heart of Nigeria’s Oil industry with virtually all major multi-national oil companies being represented there until recently owing to security threats from Niger Delta militants and Cultists.
The economic activities of Port Harcourt include manufacturing such as food processing, car assembly, manufacture of paper products, paints, petroleum products refinery and road construction, metal works and cement making, enamelware, bicycles, furniture, and soap making. Services include legal services, hospitality, medical, Educational and engineering services. Extractive industries also exist such as mining of coal, tin and petroleum, oil and gas liquefaction.
Also agricultural and agro based businesses exist in the city some of which are logging and timber processing, tobacco processing and cigarette making, plastic moulding and the manufacture of rubber based products like tyres, bands and tube and glass making.
Imports are mainly automobiles, electronics, textiles and processed food. Sometimes rice, millet and meat and other agricultural produce are imported as well.
Then numerous small scale enterprises like consumer retailing, artisanship and transportation businesses also thrive in the city. Various government organs such as the Nigerian Ports Authority, NNPC and the customs play various regulatory roles in the local economy.
The main industrial area of the city is Trans Amadi. Residential areas include Port Harcourt Township known locally as "Town", G.R.A phases 1-5, Abuloma, Amadi-ama, Amadi Flats, and Borokiri.
Some of Port Harcourt’s major land marks include The Rivers State University of Science and Technology, RSUST, the eighteen storey Podium Block of Rivers State Secretariat, which is reputed to be the tallest building in the South/South and South/East Geopolitical zones a region comprising 11 states.
Also there is the Port Harcourt Nigeria International Airport, the city’s two seaports F.O.T Onne and PortHarcourt Wharf, two stadia; Sharks Stadium and Liberation Stadium and two refineries; Eleme Refinery and the Port Harcourt Refinery.
The Federal government owned University of Port Harcourt is a misnomer in that it is not located within the city.
InfrastructureBuildings are constructed haphazardly with little thought given to town planning laws. Sewage and drainage systems are poorly constructed or non existent in some townships, just as transportation is mainly by road which in some cases need rehabilitation.
Electricity and supply is still poor but on going projects in the state are aimed at improving infrastructure in the nearest possible time.
Social LifeCrime rate in Port Harcourt Nigeria is one of the highest. The worst cases so far have been crimes committed by criminal gangs disguising their illegality as freedom struggles for the marginalized locals of the oil rich Niger Delta region. Other than these and congestion, Port Harcourt Nigeria is largely a peaceful and sociable city. With many recreational and fun spots, Port Harcourt can boast of a number of 5 star hotels such as the Meridien Hotel, Presidential Hotel among others. Also newly open entertainment centres with cinemas, night clubs, bars and restaurants can be found in the city.
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