Rivers State is one of the 36 states in Nigeria. Its capital is Port Harcourt. The state is named after the many rivers that border its territory.  It was part of the Oil Rivers Protectorate from 1885 until 1893 when it became part of the Niger Coast Protectorate. In 1900 the region merged with the chartered territories of the Royal Niger Company to form the colony of Southern Nigeria.  The state was formed in 1967 following the division of the Eastern Region of Nigeria. Until 1996 the state contained the area which is now in the Bayelsa State.