There are a plethora of rivers in Nigeria. For instance, each town in the southeastern region of Nigeria has at least two rivers.
For this article, we will stick to just two – Rivers Niger (or Niger River) and Rivers Benue.
Rivers Niger is the largest river in Nigeria and has its source from Guinea highlands – at 9°05′ N and 10°47′ W on the eastern side of the Fouta Djallon (Guinea) highlands, 150 miles (240 km) inland from the Atlantic Ocean – in Guinea.
It flows all the way from Mali and Niger Republic to Nigeria.
Rivers Benue has its source from eastern highlands and joins Rivers Niger at Lokoja, which known as a confluence town.
Characteristics of Nigerian Rivers
- The rivers volume changes with seasons
- Huge presence of rapids and cataracts, which hinders inland navigation
- Huge presence of debris like dead leaves, mud and woods and human faeces, plastics, broken bottles.
- Rivers in the south flows in the north-south direction into the sea while rivers in the north flow in a radial pattern in different directions.
- Most rivers in Nigeria are shallow and not deep.
- Fishing is seasonal. Fishermen catch more in the rainy season than in the dry season.
Importance of Nigerian Rivers
- They are one of the means of transportation
- Through the construction of dams, they generate hydroelectric power supply.
- Water from rivers can be used for irrigation purposes and also for agricultural activities.
- Waters from the river is used for cooking, washing etc.
- Rivers provide employment opportunities for people like fishing, canoe or ship making
- Rivers sources of food for human consumption e.g. fish, prawns, crayfish and crab.
- Some rivers are centres of tourist attraction.
- It may generate foreign exchange for a nation
- Some rivers are good sites for the construction of seaports and river ports.
- Ouémé River
- Okpara River
- Ogun River
- Oyan River
- Ofiki River
- Ona River (Awna River)
- Ogunpa River
- Osun River
- Erinle River
- Otin River
- Oba River
- Omi Osun
- Benin River
- Osse River
- Niger River
- Escravos River (distributary)
- Forcados River (distributary)
- Chanomi Creek (distributary)
- Nun River (distributary)
- New Calabar River (distributary)
- Anambra River
- Benue River
- Okwa River
- Mada River
- Gagere River
- Bunsuru River
- Bonny River
- Imo River
- Aba River
- Otamiri River
- Kwa Ibo River
- Cross River
- Calabar River
- Asu River
- Aboine River
- Ekulu River
- Anyim River