Port Harcourt is a city that means different things to different people – of course depending on individual experiences (or even ‘hear-say’). Here we bring you top 10 significant facts about a city that is unarguably the centre of the oil industry in Nigeria; a city that (according to former governor, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi) “…has remained the city that everyone who visits makes home.”
1. Port Harcourt is older than Nigeria
Nigeria as a country was established or founded in 1914 by Frederick Lugard after the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Protectorates. But the origin of Port Harcourt dates back to 1912 when Frederick Lugard then governor of Southern and Northern Protectorates established it as an export terminal for the coal that was discovered in Enugu in 1909.
2. Port Harcourt was founded in 1912 but not given a name until 1913 when Frederick Lugard named it “Port Harcourt” to honour Lewis Vermon Harcourt who was at that time the Seceretary of State for Colonies.
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3. The Igbo name for Port Harcourt is Iguocha (Ugwuocha). The street name for Port Harcourt is Pitakwa.
4. Nigeria’s first ever crude oil export was done via Port Harcourt in 1958 from Oloibiri in Bayelsa State.
5. In 1912, in order to build Port Harcourt as a city, the colonial government forced the people of Diobu to give up their land.
6. Port Harcourt was used as a military base by the Allied Forces to fight against the Central Powers (the Quadruple Alliance) in the German Cameroon.
7. Due to its strategic location and resources, Port Harcourt was the foremost commercial and industrial city of the defunct Eastern Region. This may be why IPOB is still claiming it as part of Biafra.
8. In (May 19th) 1968, the Nigerian Army liberated Port Harcourt from the control of the Biafran Forces.
9. Port Harcourt is a highly religious city; predominantly, Christian. You could find a church at every turn.
10. Over 1.3 million people live and conduct business in Port Harcourt.
11. There are 12 radio stations in Port Harcourt. And the most popular/ largest-circulated daily newspaper published in Port Harcourt is The Tide.
12. Ms. Agbani Darego, best known as the “first native Sub-Saharan African to win Miss World” was born and raised in Port Harcourt.
13. For people who like to fly by night, Port Harcourt has thriving red districts.
Do you have anything else to add to this list? Please share in the comments section. Thank you for your time.
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