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a state in southern Nigeria in the eastern part of the Niger Delta. Area, 17,900 sq km; population, 1,544,000 (1969). The principal nationalities are the Ijo, Ibibo, and Ibo. The administrative and chief economic center is Port Harcourt.
The main branch of the state’s economy is petroleum production. Rivers State is responsible for approximately 60 percent of ‘the petroleum produced in Nigeria. Most of the oil is shipped from Port Harcourt and the port of Bonny after being piped from the oil fields. Some oil is processed at a refinery near Port Harcourt. Rivers State has enterprises for the production of aluminum sheets, aluminum foil, cement, bitumen, and tires. There are also pharmaceutical, soap, and tobacco factories, an automobile-assembly plant, and small shipyards. In the south, basin irrigation farming with rice, cassava, and yam crops predominates. Oil palms and coconut palms are cultivated for export purposes in the north.