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In the 18th and 19th centuries, Bonny was the center of a powerful trading state, while, later in the 19th century it became the leading site for slave exportation in western Africa. From 1885 to 1894 it was the administrative center of the British Oil Rivers Protectorate. The importance of Bonny declined during the first half of the 20th century, but it revived after 1961, when its port was modernized as the export point for petroleum refined at nearby Port Harcourt.

Accommodation and restaurants are available in town. Bonny is in the southeast of Nigeria, in the Niger River delta, on the Bight of Biafra. It is 540 km south from Abuja.

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