The Niger Delta states are the oil producing states in Nigeria which comprises of all the 6 states in the South South geopolitical zone as well as one from the south west (Ondo) and two from south east (Abia and Imo). This area occupies about 70,000kmsq of the landmass of Nigeria. This means the Niger Delta Region occupies only 7.5% of the land area in Nigeria.
It is important to note that the original Niger Delta Region consist of only 3 states, these are; Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa. The other 6 states that make up the region (Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ondo, Edo, Imo and Abia) were added as part of the region in 2000 due to their oil producing status by the Former President Olusegun Obasanjo. So suffix to say, the region regarded as Niger delta of today is political.
Rivers, together with Bayelsa and Delta are the core states of the Niger Delta Region. Rivers was at a time the largest oil producing states in Nigeria before it was overthrown by Akwa Ibom. Currently, it is the third largest oil producer in the country. This state have 2 oil refineries, making it a major oil refining state, no wonder it prides itself as the Treasure Base of the Nation. The capital of Rivers is Port Harcourt.
Aside petroleum and its other natural resources, rivers is blessed with abundant human resource as it is one of the most populous states in Nigeria with a population of over 5 million people. This people are mostly from the Ikwerre, Okrika, Upobo, Kalabari or the Ubani ethnic group.
Bayelsa state with Yanagoa as it capital is a core states of the Niger Delta region and has one of the largest oil deposits in Nigeria (4th largest oil producer). The first state oil was discovered in Nigeria in commercial is Bayelsa at Oloibiri in 1959. This is one of the least populated state in the country as well as the state with the least number of Local Government Areas ( it has 8 LGAs). The state is a home to a population of over 1.9 million with the Ogbia, Nembe, Izon and Epie-Atissa as the major ethnic groups in the state
The city of Asaba is the capital of Delta state. Delta is the 2nd largest oil producer in Nigeria. This state is just like the ones above are located in the South South geopolitical zone of Nigeria.there is a major refinery in Warri, the heartbeat of delta state. It is one of the most populated states in the Niger Delta region and has a population of 4 million people. The major ethnic groups in the state include Urhobo, Isoko and the Itsekiri. The state aside being an oil producer is also an agricultural state.
4. AKWA IBOM
Akwa Ibom is the largest oil producing state in Nigeria. It is located in the South South part of the country and has Uyo as it capital. The capital is one of the most beautiful cities in the country. The state is home to over 2.3 million people mostly from the Oron, Annang and Ibibio ethnic groups. It is also home to 2 major seaports in the country.
5. CROSS RIVER
Cross River is the only Niger Delta state in Nigeria that is not oil producing. This is because it ceded it oil to Akwa Ibom after Cameroon took over Bakassi. This state’s capital is Calabar and it is one of the most beautiful states in the country. The state is home to Obudu Mountain Resort, a popular tourist destination in the country. The state is home to more than 3.3 million people and has Efik, Ejagham, and Bekwarra as it major ethnic groups.
Edo state is in the same group with Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ondo, Abia and Imo. These were added to the list of Niger Delta states at a later date for economic/political reasons. The state is the last of the 6 states that constitute the south south geopolitical zone in the country and has Benin City as it capital. This state is also an oil producer and house a population of more than 2.2 million people have the Edo, Esan, Igarra, Etsako/Afemai and the Okpamheri as its major ethnic groups.
Abia is one of the 2 states in the South East that are oil producers. It is dominated by the Igbo speaking ethnic group who are mostly traders. The state’s capital is known as Umiahia. Abia state has a population of over 2.8 million people.
This is the second state in the South East that is part of the Niger Delta states. The state is home to a population of over 4 million people and have the city off Imo as it capital. The state is an Igbo dominated state.
Ondo state is the only state in the South West part of the country that is added to the list of the Niger Delta states and this is as a result of it oil producing status. The state is dominated by the Yoruba ethnic groups with the Ijaw’s living as minorities. It is a home to a population of over 3.4 people and has Akure as it capital.