Imo State

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Nickname(s): Eastern Heartland
Location of Imo State in Nigeria
Location of Imo State in Nigeria
Coordinates: 5°29′N 7°2′E / 5.483°N 7.033°E / 5.483; 7.033Coordinates: 5°29′N 7°2′E / 5.483°N 7.033°E / 5.483; 7.033
Country  Nigeria
Date created 3 February 1976
Capital Owerri
 • Governor Rochas Anayo Okorocha (APC)
 • Total 5,530 km2 (2,140 sq mi)
Area rank 34th of 36
Population (2006 census)[1]1
 • Total 3,934,899
 • Rank 13th of 36
 • Density 710/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Imolite
 • Year 2007
 • Total $14.21 billion[2]
 • Per capita $3,527[2]
Time zone WAT (UTC+01)
ISO 3166 code NG-IM
^1 Preliminary results

Imo is one of the 36 states of Nigeria and lies in the South East of Nigeria with Owerri as its capital and largest city.[3] Located in the south-eastern region of Nigeria, it occupies the area between the lower River Niger and the upper and middle Imo River.[3]


Imo State is bordered by Abia State on the East, River Niger and Delta State to the West, Anambra State on the North and Rivers State to the South.[3] The State lies within latitudes 4°45'N and 7°15'N, and longitude 6°50'E and 7°25'E with an area of around 5,100 sq km.[4] The main cities in Imo State are Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe.

Rivers and Lakes[edit]

The Orashi River has its source in Imo State. Imo River, being the major river in the State, drains through Abia State, where it is joined by Aba River from the North, and Akwa Ibom State into the Atlantic Ocean.:4 There are Njaba River, Oguta Lake, Utu River and Awbana River in the State.[5] Otamiri River and its 9.2 km length tributary, Nworie River flow in the State.:4 Igbo people are the kings There are other rivers and creeks in the state including Onas Creek in Ohaji/Egbema, Okitankwo River in Umudi, and Ohia and Efuru Rivers in Okigwe.:5

Natural Resources[edit]

The state is rich in natural resources including crude oil, natural gas, lead and zinc.[3][6]

Economically exploitable flora including iroko, mahogany, obeche, bamboo, rubber tree and oil palm predominate. Other natural resources found in the State are white clay, fine sand and limestone.[3]

Besides Owerri, Imo State's major towns are Isu, Okigwe, Oguta, Orlu,Atta Ikeduru, Akokwa, Mbaise, Mbaitoli, Mbieri, Orodo, Nkwerre, Ubulu, Ngor Okpala, Omuma, Mgbidi, Awo-Omamma, Izombe and Orsu, Mbano

Oil and Gas Exploration[edit]

There are over 163 oil wells at over 12 different locations in the State.[3] The main petroleum companies operating in the state are Addax Petroleum, Chevron Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell and Agip.[3] Some of the established oil-rich and producing Local Government Councils include Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta, Oru East, Iho, Oru West, Obowo and Ngor Okpala.[7]

Trade and Investment Opportunities[edit]

Many trade and investment opportunities abound in the peaceful State including Oil and Gas Exploration, Chemical Plants, Brewery Plants, Hydroelectricity and Gas-Fired Power Plants, Grain Milling, Starch Production, Cashew Product Industry, Fruit and Vegetable Juice Concentrate Production, Integrated Multi-Oil Seeds Processing Plant, Ceramic Industry, Inland Waterway Transport, Integrated Palm Produce Industry et al.[3]

In addition to presence of oil and gas investors, independent global brewer, Heineken through its subsidiary Nigerian Breweries has significant investment in Imo State.[8] The company manages the world-class Awo-omamma Brewery, a multiple-line brewery plant.[9]

Many more opportunities in oil and gas are yet to be fully exploited.[3] The Federal Government has been called to inspect newly discovered oil-rich council areas for possible exploration in order to increase the presence of the federal government in the State and the region, which would enable economic development and job creation.[10]

Establishment of industrial parks and processing zones to harness the huge agricultural produce and minerals would give a major boost to the State's economic growth and industrialization. No doubt, production centers would employ large number of labor.[3]

Oguta Lake, Palm Beach Holiday Resort in Awo-omamma and a host of other tourist sites along the banks of the 26 km-length Njaba River present hotspots for tourism.[11]:34


The economy of the State depends primarily on agriculture and commerce. The chief occupation of the people is farming. However, with a high population density and over farming the soil has been degraded and much of the native vegetation has disappeared. Their cash crops include oil palm, raffia palm, rice, groundnut, melon, cotton, cocoa, rubber, maize, etc. food crops such as yam, cassava, cocoyam and maize are also produced in large quantities.[3]


The rainy season begins in April and lasts until October[12] with annual rainfall varying from 1,500mm to 2,200mm (60 to 80 inches).[4][13]

An average annual temperature above 20 °C (68.0 °F) creates an annual relative humidity of 75%. With humidity reaching 90% in the rainy season. The dry season experiences two months of Harmattan from late December to late February. The hottest months are between January and March.[4][12][13]

With high population density and over farming, the soil has been degraded and much of the native vegetation has disappeared.[4]

This deforestation has triggered soil erosion which is compounded by heavy seasonal rainfall that has led to the destruction of houses and roads.[4][14][15]


Imo State came into existence in 1976 along with other new states created under the leadership of the late military ruler of Nigeria, Murtala Muhammad, having been previously part of East-Central State. The state is named after the Imo River.[16] Part of it was split off in 1991 as Abia State, and another part became Ebonyi State. Imo state was created at Ngwoma and the meetings for the state creation which began after the Nigerian Civil War ended in 1970 were chaired by Chief S. E. Onukogu.


The state has a three-tier administrative structure: State, Local and Autonomous community levels. The three arms at state level are the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary. The executive arm is headed by an elected Governor who is assisted by a deputy governor, commissioners and executive advisers.

This is a list of administrators and Governors of Imo State since its creation.

Name Title Took Office Left Office Party
Ndubuisi Kanu Governor Mar 1976 1977 (Military)
Adekunle Lawal Governor 1977 Jul 1978 (Military)
Sunday Ajibade Adenihun Governor Jul 1978 Oct 1979 (Military)
Samuel Onunaka Mbakwe Governor 1 Oct 1979 31 Dec 1983 NPP
Ike Nwachukwu Governor Jan 1984 Aug 1985 (Military)
Allison Amakoduna Madueke Governor Aug 1985 1986 (Military)
Amadi Ikwechegh Governor 1986 1990 (Military)
Anthony E. Oguguo Governor Aug 1990 Jan 1992 (Military)
Evan Enwerem Governor Jan 1992 Nov 1993 NRC
James N.J. Aneke Administrator 9 Dec 1993 22 Aug 1996 (Military)
Tanko Zubairu Administrator 22 Aug 1996 May 1999 (Military)
Achike Udenwa Governor 29 May 1999 29 May 2007 PDP
Ikedi G. Ohakim Governor 29 May 2007 29 May 2011 PPA / PDP
Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha Governor 29 May 2011 To Date APGA/APC

The legislative arm is headed by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly who is currently speaker Rt. Hon. Ihenacho Ihim and his deputy, Rt. Hon. Ugonna Ozurigbo[17] The remainder of the house is made up of elected legislators from the 27 LGAs of the state

The judiciary is made up of the high court of justice and customary court of appeal and is headed by the Chief Judge of the state.[18]


  • Justice
  • Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Education
  • Health
  • Commerce
  • Industry and Tourism
  • Finance
  • Works and Transport
  • Youths and Sports
  • Women Affairs
  • Internal Resources and Pension Matters
  • Local Government and Rural Development


English and Igbo

Local Government Areas[edit]

Imo State consists of twenty-seven (27) Local Government Areas. They are:

Smaller jurisdictions in the state may receive Township Status or Urban Status.[19]


The state is over 4.8 million people and the population density varies from 230–1,400 people per square kilometre.[4] Christianity is the predominant religion.

In addition to English being official language, Imo state is a predominantly Igbo speaking state, with Igbo people constituting a majority of 98%.[20]


There are several institutions of higher learning including state and federal government run institutions. They are as follows:

Notable people[edit]





  • Late Professor Celestine O.E. Onwuliri, former Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO)
  • Evelyn Okere – Nigerian businesswoman, publisher, fashion designer and the organizer of the St. Eve West African Fashion Week.
  • Leo Stan Ekeh – founder and CEO of Zinox Technologies
  • Emma Saint George Ekeh a King , Writer, introduced packaged water in Nigeria,and CEO Justy Foods Ltd introduced the first anti-cancer bread and cereal in the world.
  • Adiele Afigbo – historian
  • Michael Echeruo – academic and writer in Igbo studies
  • Okonkwo Chibuike III – Infrastructure and Trade Professional
  • Ukachukwu Okorie - Writer, Editor AfricaWorld News Dublin, Ireland
  • Sebastian Okechukwu Mezu, Ph.D – Writer, Scholar, Philanthropist and Publisher. Founder, Black Academy Press, Buffalo, New York.
  • Alagwu Dominic - Formal Chairman of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) Imo State, Philanthropist, Proprietor of Alagwu Technical College.
  • Okey Ikoro - Industrialist and CEO of Camela Vegetable Oil Company Limited and Gateway Industries Limited
  • Late Professor Kevin Eletuwa Ihejirika, Foremost Orthopaedic Surgeon and Academician of repute.
  • Dr. Ijeoma Blessing Anumaka, Director of Academic Affairs, Kampala International University, Kampala, Uganda.
  • Justice Udobata Ozuruigbo, Young Entrepreneur, Educationist and Writer.
  • Ebirim Chidiebere Lawrence, Young vibrant electrical engineer, a Christian and married to Ebirim Ursula. O

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2006 Population Census" (PDF). National Bureau of Statistics of Nigeria. May 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 June 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "C-GIDD (Canback Global Income Distribution Database)". Caeeeanback Dangel. Retrieved 20 August 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Vanguard, Nigeria (June 2, 2015). "Exploring the resource control option – Imo State, by Futureview CEO, Elizabeth Ebi". Retrieved November 30, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "About Imo State". Imo State, Nigeria: Imo State Government. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Cosmas Ahamefule Ahiarakwem; et al. (2012). "Water Quality Monitoring of a Tropical Lake and Associated Rivers: A Case Study of Oguta Lake and Its Tributaries, Niger Delta Basin, Southeastern Nigeria" (PDF). Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering. p. 1. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Industries in Imo State". Imo State, Nigeria: Imo State Government. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  7. ^ Vanguard, Nigeria (March 14, 2014). "Imo Govt discovers more crude oil". Retrieved November 30, 2015. 
  8. ^ "HEINEKEN majority owned subsidiaries Nigerian Breweries plc and Consolidated Breweries plc to merge". May 9, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Nigerian Breweries invests N3bn in Awo-Omamma, N18bn in Aba Breweries". December 8, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2016. 
  10. ^ Vanguard, Nigeria (March 14, 2014). "Imo Govt discovers more crude oil". Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Niger Delta Region Land and People" (PDF). Federal Republic of Nigeria. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^ a b "Regions Used to Interpret the Complexity of Nigeria". Geographical Alliance of Iowa. University of Northern Iowa. Retrieved 19 July 2007. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Physical Setting: Imo State". Devace Nigeria. Retrieved 13 August 2007. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Local Government Organization in Imo State". Library of Congress Pamphlet Collection – Flickr. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Education in Imo State". Imo State, Nigeria: Imo State Government. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 

External links[edit]