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 crude oil industry in the country.
Warri was the administrative capital of Delta Province during the colonial times and it is presently has an extension Delta State Government House.
Warri is a notable city in Delta State and 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 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).
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. 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 Catholic religion. 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 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, most especially the Igbos.
The city has three (3) 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.
According to the report of the Nigerian Population census of 2006, Warri was recorded to have a total number of 557,398 inhabitants.
The typical atmospheric weather condition of the city is 26°C, Wind (W) at 10 km/h and 92% Humidity/Moisture.
The unofficial lingua franca of the city is Broken (Pidgin) English which is understood throughout most of Nigeria. Warri is arguably considered the crucible of the language as new vocabularies are fabricated for the rest of the country from the city.
The nearest airport to Warri is Benin City (BNI) Airport which is approximately 90.4 kilometres away. Other nearby airports include: Port Harcourt (PHC); some 144.5 kilometres apart, Owerri (QOW); around 160.9 kilometres away, Enugu (ENU); some 227.3 kilometres away and Lagos (LOS); about 293.3 kilometres far-off.
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 while major oil companies like Shell and Chevron use the airport for transportation of their staff to offshore locations.
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
Movement of goods by sea is through the Nigerian Ports Authority (Delta Ports) at which is mainly for export and import of goods by major companies. Again located 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.
one can now travel by train to Warri through Warri/Itakpe Railway which has begun full commercial service.
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.
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.
Warri city has notable places that visitors would certainly not want to miss. The city is blessed richly with natural resources as well as tourist attraction centers which makes it a great destination for both business and leisure travellers. Some interesting places to visit in in Warri include:
- Abraka Golf Course, 9 Old Sapele-Agbor Road, Oria, Abraka, ☏ , . 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 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.
- Falcorp Mangrove Park /Mini Zoo, Ijala, Behind Warri Refinery.
- 3 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.
- 4 Olu Of Warri Palace, Ekured Itsekiri, Warri.
- 5 Red Mangrove swamp, Abraka Gold 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.
- 6 Udu Bridge.
- 7 Warri City Stadium.
- Warri Township Stadium, Agbasa, Warri, ☏ . 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.
- 8 Word of Life Bible Church Building.
- The Palace of the Olu of Warri
- 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 tetiary schools, trade schools, government hospitals, as well as handicraft centre.
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, ☏ . 8AM-9PM. For a quick bite. Has desserts too.
- Chicken republic.
- Fresh Bite.
- 2 Temple Grill, Plot 587 21st Street DDPA Estate Uview, ☏ . 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.
There are a lot of accommodation options for intending visitors who wish to spend a couple of days in Warri to relax and chill out in order to enjoy what the city has to offer. There are different ranges of hotels available for vistors’ needs whether it’s a luxury hotel or a comfortable low budget hotel. Prominent among hotel accommodation for visitors to stay in warri include-
- 1 Jubilee Retreat and Conference Center, 5 Enerhen Rd, Effurun, ☏ . 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. ₦ 15000.
For most locations in Warri, You would most likely found coverage of the 2G/3G/4G mobile networks. Signal strength might diminishes further away from the city center, and you might occasionally experience network outage for all or some of the mobile phone service providers in the remote areas of the city. Different networks tend to be more stable and reliable in different locations of the city at different times.
MTN, 9Mobile, Airtel (Zain) and GLO are all available service providers. So if you are planning a visit to Warri, like you would do for many other places in Nigeria, you should probably consider having multiple SIM cards, preferably for all the mobile service providers, since you can't tell which will be more stable and reliable at a time in your location during your visit. And if you will risk not having any of them, you might be better off not risking the MTN network, because, from indications, it seem to perform well than the others, though its rates may be high and its offers and services might be stringent, but you are less likely to be concerned of erratic voice and data connection compared to others.
Airtel is another service provider which is fairly satisfactory for all you might need to connect to the world, including rates and network reliability. Of course, Glo (or Globacom) boasts of fast network speed for internet browsing activities, only that you might not be able to enjoy the privilege in some locations. And 9Mobile (formerly Etisalat) usually also performs well in internet browsing speed too but with locational limitations as well, plus data rate is fairly higher.