Rivers State is one of the 36 states of Nigeria. Its capital is Port Harcourt. It is bounded on the South by the Atlantic Ocean, to the North by Imo, Abia and Anambra States, to the East by Akwa Ibom State and to the West by Bayelsa and Delta states. Rivers state is home to diverse ethnic groups. Some of which include: Ikwerre, Ijaw, and Ogoni.
The inland part of Rivers state consists of tropical rainforest; towards the coast the typical Niger Delta environment features many mangrove swamps.
Rivers state, named after the many rivers that border its territory, was part of the Oil Rivers Protectorate from 1885 till 1893, when it became part of the Niger Coast Protectorate. In 1900 the region was merged with the chartered territories of the Royal Niger Company to form the colony of Southern Nigeria.
The state was formed in 1967 with the split of the Eastern Region of Nigeria. Until 1996 the state contained the area which is now in the Bayelsa State.
Rivers State has one of the largest economies in Nigeria, mainly because of its crude oil. The State has two major refineries, two major seaports, airports, and various industrial estates spread across the state, particularly in the State capital.
In 1999 the state had 2,805 Government primary schools and 243 secondary schools. The secondary schools are concentrated mainly in LGA headquarter towns and in Port Harcourt. Tertiary institutions include the University of Port Harcourt,Choba, Port Harcourt established by the Federal Government in 1975, the Rivers State University of Science and Technology,founded in 1980 by the State government, the School of Health Technology, Port Harcourt, established by the State government, the federally-owned polytechnic at Omoku and the state-owned Rivers State Polytechnic at Bori, the Rivers State University of Education (Ignatius Ajulu University)at Rumuolumeni, Nkpolu Oroworukwo and Ndele and the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Rumueme, Port Harcourt. The Rivers State College of Arts and Science in Port Harcourt gained polytechnic status in 2006.
2012 tanker fire deaths
On 12 July 2012, at least 92 people were killed following the crash of a petrol tanker on the main east-west road in Okogbe. Many of the victims had been attempting to scoop up spilled petrol, when the tanker caught fire.