A clinical study of the challenges confronting Rivers State, an oil producing state south of the deltaic region of Nigeria was carried out by this paper. These challenges were looked at from two perspectives; a state that has only succeeded in developing one city, the state capital after over 40years of existence and secondly, the implication for that city, Port Harcourt in a state characterized by mass of underdeveloped rural communities. This work is a product of months of intensive field work. Both primary and secondary information contributed greatly to give us a true picture of “the way things are” in our study area. From this picture we were able to draw a conclusion that there exist socio-economic and environmental ‘crises’ in the city of Port Harcourt. This paper was also able to prove that the failure of successive governments in the state to pursue their visions of developing secondary cities was responsible for such ‘crises’. The paper at the end has been able to provide answer to the question of ‘what is to be done’ in the face of the existing ‘crises’.