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Description of Delta State
Nigeria's Delta State is located in the country's southwestern corner. The state was founded on August 27, 1991, from the previous Bendel State and was named after the Niger Delta, a substantial portion of which is located within the state. The state is bounded to the north by Edo State, to the east by Anambra State and Rivers State, to the south by Bayelsa State, and to the west by the Bight of Benin, which stretches along the state's coastline for roughly 160 kilometers. In 1991, once the state was established, 12 LGAs were established; by 2015, that number had increased to 25. While Asaba, near the Niger River in the northeast, serves as the state capital, Warri, on the southwest coast, is the state's economic hub.
With a population of approximately 5.6 million as of 2016, Delta ranks as the 12th most populated state in the union despite being the 23rd largest in terms of land area.
While a small piece of the Niger Delta swamp woods can be found in the far south, the most of the state is covered by Nigerian lowland forests and Central African mangroves. The River Niger and its distributary, the Forçados River, run along Delta's eastern and southern borders, respectively. The Escravos River flows through Warri, and the coastal areas are riddled with dozens of smaller Niger distributaries that make up much of the western Niger Delta. Many areas of the state's natural landscape are home to endangered species including the African leopard and the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee, as well as threatened ones like the dwarf crocodile, Grey parrot, African fish eagle, mona monkey, and African manatee. The state's offshore waters are also rich in wildlife, with thriving populations of marine creatures such the Lesser African threadfin, crabs, blue mussels, and numerous types of whales.
And now, what? In the state's central region, you'll find the Isoko and Eruwa; in the east, you'll find the Ukwuani; in the northeast, you'll find the Ika, Ozanogogo, and Olukumi; in the northwest, you'll find the Anioma; and in the southwest, you'll find the Ijaw, Itsekiri, Urhobo, and Uvwie. Prior to its incorporation into the British Oil Rivers Protectorate in 1884, the territory that is now Delta State was divided among a number of independent monarchical states, including the Kingdom of Warri and the Agbor Kingdom. The British merged the protectorate, now known as the Niger Coast Protectorate, and the Southern Nigeria Protectorate into British Nigeria in the early 1900s. Colonial soldiers did not establish their authority over present-day Delta State until the 1910s, when the Ekumeku Movement had died down. From 1903 to 1930, the United Kingdom leased the enclave of Forcados to France, making Delta one of the few portions of what is now Nigeria to have been under French administration.
After independence in 1960, Delta and the surrounding area were included in the post-independence Western Region until the region was split in 1963, at which point Delta and the surrounding area became part of the Mid-Western Region. In 1967, the Igbo-majority former Eastern Region tried to secede as the state of Biafra and invaded the Mid-Western Region in an effort to capture Lagos and quickly end the war; Biafran forces were halted and eventually pushed back, but not before they briefly declared the captured Mid-Western Region (including the now-Delta State) as the Republic of Benin. During their rule, Biafran soldiers committed crimes against ethnic Hausa, Urhobo, and Ijaw people in what is now Delta State; similarly, Nigerian forces committed the Asaba massacre against ethnic Igbos in Asaba after liberating the Mid-West. Once the war ended and Nigeria was reunited, the Mid-Western Region was rebuilt and remained so until 1976, when it was renamed Bendel State. Both Edo and Delta States were created from Bendel State's northern and southern halves in 1991.
As one of the country's primary oil-producing states, Delta State's economy is mostly reliant on the extraction of petroleum and natural gas.
Minority industries rely heavily on agriculture in this state, which produces a great deal of oil palm, yam, and cassava in addition to engaging in fishing and heliculture. Delta has the fourth highest Human Development Index in the country, thanks in large part to its abundant oil revenues; however, disputes between oil companies and local communities, along with years of systemic corruption, have led to hostilities, which are often tied to the lack of development in host communities.
More over 60% of the State's total area is land, giving it a total land area of around 18,050 km2 (6,970 sq mi). The state can be found roughly between 5 and 6 degrees East and 5 and 6 degrees North. It lies in the middle of Nigeria and is bounded by the states of Edo to the north and west, Anambra, Imo, and Rivers to the east, Bayelsa to the southeast, and the Bight of Benin to the south, which has roughly 160 kilometers of shoreline. The state of Delta has relatively few hills and is mostly flat. The Niger River Delta, which includes this state, is located along its expansive coastline.
Industrial clay, silica, lignite, kaolin, tar sand, ornamental rocks, limestone, and many other types of solid mineral deposits can be found across the state. Underutilized minerals include those used in brick making, pottery, bottle making, glass making, chemical/insulators manufacture, chalk making, sanitary wares, decorative stone cutting and quarrying.
The economy of Delta state, Nigeria, is heavily dependent on the sale of petroleum products due to the state's enormous crude oil reserves and its status as one of the country's top manufacturers of petroleum goods.