Port Harcourt, port town and capital of Rivers state, southern Nigeria. It lies along the Bonny River (an eastern tributary of the Niger River) 41 miles (66 km) upstream from the Gulf of Guinea.
The area that became Port Harcourt in 1912 was before that part of Fishing settlements (fishing ports) also called Borikiri in the Okrika language and the farmlands of the Diobu village group of the Ikwerre ethnicity. The colonial administration of Nigeria created the port to export coal from the collieries of Enugu to which it was linked by a railway called the Eastern Line, also built by the British.
In 1956 crude oil was discovered in commercial quantities at Oloibiri, an Ijaw settlement, and Port Harcourt's economy turned to petroleum when the first shipment of Nigerian crude oil was exported through the city in 1958. Through the benefits of the Nigerian petroleum industry, Port Harcourt was further developed, with aspects of modernisation such as overpasses, city blocks, and taller and more substantial buildings. Oil firms that currently have offices in the city include Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron.
There are a number of institutions of tertiary education in Port Harcourt, mostly government-owned. These institutions include, Rivers State University, University of Port Harcourt, Kenule Besor Wiwa Polytechnic, Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Ignatius Ajuru University and Rivers State College of Health Science and Technology. Port Harcourt's primary airport is Port Harcourt International Airport, located on the outskirts of the city; the NAF base is the location of the only other airport and is used by commercial airlines Aero Contractors and Air Nigeria for domestic flights.
Port Harcourt is rated Sufficiency by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Sufficiency level cities are cities that have a sufficient degree of services so as not to be overly dependent on world cities.
Port Harcourt has a population of over 1,005,904 people. Port Harcourt also forms part of the wider Port Harcourt metropolitan area which has a population of over 2,500,000 people.