Port Harcourt is the headquarters of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area as well as the largest city and capital in Rivers State.
The colonial administrations of Nigeria had built a port in 1912 to export coal from the collieries of Enugu but it was not given a name until August 1913, when when the Governor of Nigeria, Sir Frederick Luggard, named it “Port Harcourt” in honor of Lewis Vernon Harcourt, then the secretary of State for the Collieries. The Ikwerre name for the city is Iguocha.
As the State capital, all the three branches of the state government, the executive, legislature and the judiciary are centered in the city.
The city is also hosting the offices of the Federal Government and its agencies, including military units and divisions and other foreign and local organizations, companies and non-governmental organizations.
After the discovery of Crude oil in Oloibiri in 1956, Port Harcourt exported the first shipload from Nigeria in 1958 thereafter, Port Harcourt became the center of the Nigerian oil and gas economy.
It is completely urbanized with modern infrastructures, including roads, highways, rail tracks, bridges and flyovers. The Port Harcourt International Airport is located at Omagwa, in the outskirts of the city.
Port Harcourt is also the commercial capital of Rivers State and a competing industrial city. It has a central business distict in the Trans-Amadi area of the , which remains the hubof manufacturing and industrial activities in the State.
There are several tertiary institutions in the city, including the Rivers State University, the University of Port Harcourt, Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, Ignatius Ajuru University,Rivers State College of Health Science and Technology and the Rivers State School of Nursing.
Lately, Port Harcourt City has become a major destination for local and international tourists, conferences,and sporting events. It is host to a number of sporting and recreational Infrastructure, including the Alfred Diete Spiff Sports complex, the General Yakubu Gowon Stadium, the Port Harcourt Gulf Course, the Air Assault Gulf Course, the Port Harcourt Polo Club and fields and the prestigious Port Harcourt Pleasure Park.