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Asaba, Nigeria

Asaba is the capital of the oil-rich and very well known, Delta State (Niger Delta). Located on a hill at the edge of the Niger River, Asaba is ideally situated. The name, Asaba, comes from the Igbo word "Ahaba" which is branched off from "Ahabagom" which means "I have chosen well" in the Igbo language. The quote/name comes from the founding father of Asaba. The greater area of Asaba has a estimated area of some 762km². The city is the capital of the Delta State yet the economic centre lies in Warri which is located on the southern end of the state.

Asaba is served by Asaba International Airport (ICAO: DNAS) which was completed and opened in 2011. The airport also serves the neighbouring city of Onitsha, which lies across the Niger River. Onitsha is the largest city of the Anambra State. The airport has not released official statistics yet, but it is quite busy. There are regular scheduled domestic flights and airliners Overland Airways and Arik Air operate there.

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Domestic flights

Serving both Onitsha and Asaba which are both the capital cities of their respective states Asaba International Airport is quite busy. One can catch regular scheduled domestic flights to Lagos and Abuja.

Airline Destination(s)
Arik Air Abuja, Lagos
Overland Airways Abuja, Lagos

General Info (Geography, Economy, Niger Delta)

Geography and Topography

Asaba is located on a hill location on the western edge of the Niger River, it gracefully overlooks the majestic Niger River. From Asaba the northern, western and eastern parts of Nigeria link. The northern parts of Nigeria are located on the upstream of the Niger River. The east and western parts of the country are then connected via the Asaba Niger Bridge which crosses the Niger River. The bridge is well known and also serves as a Nigerian landmark that one must see on their trip to Asaba. Asaba is also very close to the Equator , just missing it by 6 degrees, which is the reason for it's tropical temperature and climate. Asaba is also not too far (100miles) from the point where the Niger River flows into the Atlantic Ocean and thus has many 'beaches', creeks, lakes and dams.


The economy of the Niger Delta and the Asaba city specifically is dominated by minerals and oil. All economic activities are in some or other way affected by the mineral landscape of the city. There are various solid mineral deposits including clay, silica, lignite, kaolin, tar, sand, limestone etc. These minerals are harvested for brick making, ceramics, bottle and glass manufacturing, chemical/insulator production, chalk manufacture and may other mineral related industries. Due to the geography of the city many locals were formerly involved in fishing activities, but that culture is slowly dying. There has also been a move to services in recent years.

Niger Delta

The Niger Delta, which Asaba lies squarely in, produces some 2 million barrels of oil a day and accounts for some 75% of Nigeria's export earnings. It has driven Nigeria to become the biggest producer of petroleum in Africa. Toghether the oil and natural gas extractions which take place mostly in the Niger Delta compromise 97% of Nigeria's foreign exchange revenues. When digging for oil, diggers first have to pass through a cloud of gas produced by the oil well over 1000's of years. The gas extracted from this process is immediately "burned" or flared as it leaves the high pressure area at a rate of 70 million m³ per day. This amounts for 41% of Africa's natural gas consumption. This flaring process also serves as the largest source of greenhouse gas emmision on the entire planet.

Travel (Festivals, sights and more)

Asaba is rich in culture, history and people. There are thousands of individual attractions that no tourist could fit into a single trip. Despite the stark contrast of the Niger Delta region and the Asaba city this is still undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the world.

There are the Urhobo dancers who amaze fans with their dances on stilts. The Urhobo's are also known for their "Udje" songs which are long poetic renditions. There are the Igbo dancers with their Egwu Agabala and Egwu Amala dances. Then there are the rythmic and graceful dances of the Itsekiris and Izon people's. The Itsekeri and Izon people are also renowned for their boat regatta's.

There are the festivals that are held between March and December of each year. The festivals serve to purify the land and worship the ancestors. Make sure you attend at least one festival for a uplifting cultural experience.

Places to visit include

  • The Asaba Niger Bridge

  • The greater Niger Delta region

  • Asaba beach

  • Nana's Palace

  • The Bomadi Beach Party

  • The world famous Demas Nwoko Edifice

  • The Residency (the first headquarters of the Royal Niger Company)