Warri is a city in the southwestern part of the Niger Delta, in Delta State, Nigeria. It has a long history as a major city for the crude oil industry in the country.
Warri is a notable city in Delta State with an estimated population of 2 million people (2016). It is bordered by other communities within the state, such as Ughelli, Sapele, Okpe, Udu and Uvwie. Warri is one of the oil epicentres of the country.
Warri was the administrative capital of Delta Province during the colonial times. Now it has an extension Delta State Government House.
Warri City is a residence to four monarchs, namely the Olu of Warri (Itsekiri), Ovie of the Okere-Warri Kingdom (Urhobo), the Ovie of Agbarha-Ame Warri Kingdom (Urhobo) and the Pere of Ogbeijaw (Ijaw).
It was founded by Prince Ginuwa from Benin 60 miles (97 kilometres) north in the late 15th century. With time, the city grew to become the political and trading capital of the Itsekiri kingdom of Warri also known as Ouwerre. From the 15th to the 17th century, the obis, that is, kings, had considerable contact with the Portuguese, and several converted to Roman Catholicism. They later became quite active in the slave trade at that time. In 1884, the kingdom declined and its territory came under British protection in 1884. Nonetheless, Warri switched to the export of palm oil and kernels in the mid-19th century.
For a long time, Warri has been the market centre for local produce and has also served as a port in the state. The town has also assumed new economic importance with the discovery of natural gas and petroleum in the area. With the establishment of a Petroleum Training Institute in 1972, and in 1978, Warri became the site of Nigeria’s second petroleum refinery and consequently, an oil-products pipeline flows from the refinery to Kaduna and Kano in northern region of Nigeria.
In addition, in 1981 at nearby Aladja area, an integrated steel plant, which was designed to make greater Warri one of the leading steel centres in the country, was established.
Warri City is a melting pot as it is a multi-ethnic city comprising primarily of Urhobo, Itsekiri & Ijaw ethnic groups. There is a large population of several other ethnic nationalities from across Nigeria such as Isoko, Anioma, Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba. As a result of the increasingly high urban and commercial development of the area, Warri has witnessed an inflow of nonnatives, especially the Igbos.
The city has three local government areas. They are; Warri South Local Government Area, Warri North Local Government Area and Warri South West Local Government Area. Osubi, Ogunu, Okere, Agbarho and Okuokoko are the major neighbouring communities surrounding the city.
Other major surrounding towns such as Effurun, Ovwian, Aladja, Ekpan and the rest has since swollen the size of the area via development to become Greater Warri.
The economy of Warri is sustained by oil refineries and gas companies, and also the available raw materials. These raw materials include steel, silica, silicates which are necessary for the manufacture of different kinds of ceramics.
The unofficial lingua franca of the city is Broken (Pidgin) English which is understood throughout most of Nigeria. Warri is considered the crucible of the language as new vocabularies are fabricated for the rest of the country from the city.
The Warri town and port of Delta state lies along the Warri River in the western Niger River 30 miles (48 kilometres) upstream from the port of Forcados on the Bight of Benin.
The nearest airport to Warri is Benin City (BNI) Airport which is 90 km away. Other nearby airports include: Port Harcourt (PHC) 145 km away, Owerri (QOW) 161 km away, Enugu (ENU) 227 km away, and Lagos (LOS) 293 km away.
Transport by air into the city is through Osubi Airstrip (also known as Warri Airport) which is located in Osubi, a nearby town. There's also the presence of a smaller airstrip at Ugborikoko, which served as the only airport until a bigger airport was built at Osubi. Arik Air and Aero Contractors are some of the main airlines operating commercial flights on this route.
Road transport is undoubtedly the most commonly used means of transportation in the country at large, especially for inter and intra-state movement.
There are several road transport company terminals in Warri city. Notable among them include:
- God Is Good Motors
- Bob Izua Motors
- G. Agofure Motors
- Sunny Eru Motors
- Gtruck International Services
- Eagle Line
- Ameosa Motors
On the main Warri riverside are markets and jetties used by local traders, which act as a transit point for local transport and trade. There are also local boats which are used for movement from one location to another.
After decades of construction, a new railway line between Itakpe and Warri was completed in 2019. Primarily aimed at transporting goods from the steel mills at Ajaokuta to the port of Warri, the limited number of passenger trains on the route does not stop at major cities. One potential useful connection is with Agbor, which lies on the A232, a major east-west highway with plenty of connecting buses.
- 1 Warri railway station (Ujevwu railway station). Once daily train departing from Itakpe at 8AM.
The major ways to move around are through public mass transit buses and tricycles (popularly called keke napep). Also, there are jetties for movement around waterways.
Some interesting places to visit in in Warri include:
- 1 Delta Ports. The Delta Ports are a quadruplet of seaports sited along the Niger Delta coastline in the port towns of Warri, Sapele, Koko and Burutu.
- 2 Effurun Garden Park.
- 3 Falcorp Mangrove Park /Mini Zoo, Ijala Ikenren, 332101, Warri, Delta (Behind Warri Refinery).
- 4 Nana Living History Museum. located in the town of Koko outside Warri. Former Itsekiri chief Nana Olomu's palace has been converted into a museum which chronicles his interactions with the British.
- 5 Olu Of Warri Palace, Ekured Itsekiri, Warri.
- 6 Red Mangrove swamp, Abraka Golf Course. The Red Mangrove Swamp is an interesting place to see and explore. It’s best visited with a local wooden boat for an authentic experience. The swamp offers an opportunity to explore the local wildlife and fauna and reveals the indigenous nature of Warri.
- 7 Udu Bridge.
- 8 Warri City Stadium.
- Warri Township Stadium, Agbasa, Warri, ☏ +234 903 031 4819. An international stadium with a capacity of 30,000, this is the home of Warri Wolves football club, which has hosted two editions of the African Women Football Championship and was in contention as one of the venues to be used for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria in 2009.
- 9 Word of Life Bible Church Building.
- Abraka Turf
- Country Club.
Also, Warri city has development establishments such as factories, skill acquisition centres and schools some of which include; furniture or olphostry factory, soft-drink factory, secondary and tertiary schools, trade schools, government hospitals, as well as handicraft centre.
- Abraka Golf Course, 9 Old Sapele-Agbor Road, Oria, Abraka, ☏ +234 703 364 8662, +234 817 830 7403. 9AM - 5PM. This luxurious resort sits on over 100 acres of lush green land, surrounded by the ambience of refreshing gardens, exotic birds, horses and a scenic walkway.
- 1 Lighthouse Cinema, Warri Port Expy, Okuokoko, ☏ +234 903 657 5516. 9AM-10PM.
There are some fun festivals that usually take place within the city. These festivals include:
- Awankere Juju festival.
- Okere festival. .
Some of Warri’s major markets include:
- The Ibo market,
- Uwie modern mark
- Ugbolokoso modern market
- Main Warri Market
- Igbudu Market
- Pessu Market
- Gem stone shopping mall
There are several nice spots for visitors and tourists in Warri town to relax and enjoy a good meal. Some of them include:
- 1 AJ Fast Food, 214 Airport Road, Edjeba, ☏ +234 8158174234. 8AM-9PM. For a quick bite. Has desserts too.
- 2 Temple Grill, Plot 587 21st Street DDPA Estate Uview, ☏ +234 8180000754. Tu-F 3PM-12:30AM, Sa 11AM-midnight, closed Su M. It is rather chic and swanky. You can have a glass of Hennessy with your meal.
- 3 Casa Nito Food Delivery, 10 Katsina Close, NPDC/NDW Estate former shell Estate, Edjeba (GPPM+PF8 Warri), ☏ +234 802 305 1051. 8AM-5PM. Delivery, all you can eat, take away, happy-hour food, kid's menu, organic dishes, salad bar, vegetarian options, and wine. Credit cards, MasterCard, cash, debit cards.
- Play et Dine, Sokoh estate road, Airport Road, ☏ + 234 8060 926 733. 8:30AM-7PM. Dine-in, takeaway, delivery. Fast food and drinks. Spicy chicken, stir-fried chicken spaghetti, egg sauce fried plantain owo soup, prawn jollof rice. All kinds of drinks.
- 4 Dalph Corner, Warri. 8AM-11PM. Takeaway.
- 5 Restaurant African Pot, Sapele Rd, Enerhe. Dine-in. Takeaway.
- 6 Phluid Restaurant and Lounge, 3, Osubi Airport hotel road, opposite Winners Junction Osubi, Osubi, ☏ +234704 668 5432. 10AM-10PM. Dine-in. Curbside pickup. No-contact delivery.
- 7 1812, Shop 29, Delta Mall, ☏ +234815 904 5425. 9AM-10PM. Dine-in. Curbside pickup. Delivery.
- 8 Omotiegbe, Agbarho, ☏ +234806 437 4125. Takeaway. Delivery.
- 9 Shawarma Kitchen, Osubi, Osubi express by Jehovah witness, Osubi, ☏ +234 703 248 8436. 2-10PM. Dine-in. Takeaway.
- Lady J Gardens, Bar and Grill, NPA 25 Warri Sapele Road, ☏ +234 814 490 2529. Dine-in, alcohol, take away, sitting in groups.
- 1 Exclusive Spot Bar & Lounge, KM 1 DSC Expressway, by Conoil Filling Station, Ebrumede, Effurun, ☏ +234 813 006 0233. 24 hours. Dine-in. Takeawa. Delivery. Reservations required.
- 1 Jubilee Retreat and Conference Center, 5 Enerhen Rd, Effurun, ☏ +234 7014351311. Big hotel/event center complex run by Catholic church with restaurant serving foofoo and stuff, plus wifi and a/c.
- 2 Bedouin Hotel and Suites, No. 5 Rev J. Oloye Street, Ugbolokposo, Effurun GRA. Fairly modern with orange exterior. Has pool and dining. ₦15,000.
- Rize 106.7FM
- Melody FM Warri 88.6
- Mega FM 89.1 Warri