Imo State

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Imo State
Roundabout Owerri.jpg
Seal of Imo State
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
Created3 February 1976
 • GovernorHope Uzodinma (APC)
 • Deputy GovernorPlacid Njoku
 • SenatorsEzenwa Onyewuchi
Rochas Okorocha
 • RepresentativesElezianya
Henry Nwawuba
Ugonna Ozuruigbo
 • Total5,530 km2 (2,140 sq mi)
Area rankRanked 34th
 (2017 est.)[2]1
 • Total4,927,563[1]
 • Estimate 
 • Rank13th of 36
 • Year2007
 • Total$14.21 billion[3]
 • Per capita$3,527[3]
Time zoneUTC+01 (WAT)
postal code
ISO 3166 codeNG-IM
HDI (2018)0.643[4]
medium · 5th of 37
^1 Preliminary results

Imo State is one of the 36 States of Nigeria, located in the southeast region of the country. Formed in 1976 when it split from the former East-Central State, Imo State is bordered by Abia State on the east, Delta State to the West, Anambra State on the north, and Rivers State to the south. The state capital, Owerri, is often described as the entertainment capital of Nigeria.[5]

Imo State is a predominantly Igbo speaking state, with Igbo people constituting an estimated 98% of the state population.[6] During the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970), the present day borders of Imo State were part of the Republic of Biafra, a secessionist state formed by Igbo nationalists. Secessionist sentiment remains commonplace in modern Imo State, with the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) being headquartered in the district of Okigwe.[7]

Ranked 34th out of 36 states in area, Imo State occupies the area between the lower River Niger and the upper and middle Imo River.[8] The state economy is highly dependent on agricultural production, especially the production of palm oil, which a majority of citizens rely on for cooking.[9][10]


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.[11] [12]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.[13]

Natural resources[edit]

The state has several natural resources including crude oil, natural gas, lead, Calcium Carbonate, solar and wind power, zinc.[11][14]

Profitable flora including iroko, mahogany, obeche, bamboo, rubber tree and oil palm. Additionally white clay, fine sand and limestone are found in the state.[11]

Oil and gas exploration[edit]

There are over 163 oil wells at over 12 different locations in the state.[11] The main petroleum companies operating in the state are Addax Petroleum, Chevron Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell and Agip.[11] Some of the established oil-rich local government councils include Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta, Oru East, Iho, Oru West, Obowo and Ngor Okpala.[15]

Investment opportunities[edit]

Many investment opportunities exist in the state including oil and gas exploration, chemical plants, brewery plants, hydroelectric plants, gas-fired power plants, grain mills, starch production, cashews, fruit and vegetable juice concentrate production, integrated multi-oil seed processing plants, ceramics, inland waterway transport, and palm produce industry.[11]

Independent global brewer Heineken, through its subsidiary Nigerian Breweries, has significant investment in Imo State.[16] The company manages the world-class Awo-omamma Brewery, a multiple-line plant.[17]

Many more oil and gas opportunities are yet to be developed.[11] The federal government has been called to inspect newly discovered oil-rich areas which might help foster economic development and job creation.[18]

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.[11]

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.[19]: 34


Agriculture is the primary occupation, but due to over-farming and high population density, the soil has greatly degraded.This could be as a result of inefficient production techniques, poor resource base, declining soil productivity, predominance of primitive techniques of agricultural production, inadequate supply of credit, low capital investment, use of crude implements to mention but a few.[11][20]


The rainy season begins in April and lasts until October,[21] with annual rainfall varying from 1,500mm to 2,200mm (60 to 80 inches).[13][22]

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.[13][21][22]

With high population density and over farming, the soil has been degraded and much of the native vegetation has disappeared.[13]

This deforestation has triggered soil erosion which is compounded by heavy seasonal rainfall that has led to the destruction of houses and roads.[13][23][24]


Imo State came into existence in 1976 along with other new states created under the leadership of the late military ruler of Nigeria, Murtala Muhammed, having been previously part of East-Central State. The state is named after the Imo River which bears the name of a prominent Nigerian family with that family name, who were the chiefs of Imo State before the ratification of a more formal government.[25] 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[26] ended in 1970 were chaired by Eze S. E. Onukogu.[citation needed]


The people of Imo state carried out the Otokoto riots of 1996, which was a state wide protest in response to the serial kidnappings and murders occurring in Imo at that point in time.[27]


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.[28] 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 29 May 2019 APGA/APC
Emeka Ihedioha Governor 29 May 2019 15 Jan 2020 PDP
Hope Uzodinma[29] Governor 15 Jan 2020 Till date APC

The legislative arm is headed by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly. The current Speaker is Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, and his deputy is Hon. Okey Onyekamma. 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 the customary court of appeal, and is headed by the Chief Judge of the state.[30]

Local Government Areas[edit]

Imo State consists of 27 local government areas:

Smaller jurisdictions in the state may receive township status or urban status.[31]


The state has over 4.8 million people and the population density varies from 230 to 1,400 people per square kilometre.[13] Christianity is the major religion. In addition to its capital, other notable towns are Orlu, Obowo, Oguta, Mbaise, Okigwe and Ohaji/Egbema.

Imo state is a predominantly Igbo speaking state, with Igbo people constituting a majority of 98%.[6]


Institutions of higher learning[edit]

There are several institutions of higher learning including state and federal government run institutions such as:

Notable people[edit]






  1. ^ "2017 PHC Priority Tables – NATIONAL POPULATION COMMISSION". Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  2. ^ "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.
  3. ^ a b "C-GIDD (Canback Global Income Distribution Database)". Caeeeanback Dangel. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  4. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Free Things To Do In Owerri City". Guides. 13 July 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Imo State". Archived from the original on 14 October 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Nigeria - MASSOB" (PDF). Department of Justice.
  8. ^ "About Imo State". Imo State Local Content Development and Compliance. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  9. ^ Chukwu, A. O.; Onweagba, A. E.; Nwosu, C. S.; Osondu, P. C. (2011). "Economic Assessment of Palm Oil Processing in Owerri Agricultural Zone of Imo State". International Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development. 14 (2): 703–706. ISSN 1595-9716.
  10. ^ Ebere, Enyoh Christian; Wirnkor, Verla Andrew; Chinedu, Enyoh Emmanuel; Ngozi, Verla Evelyn (2018). "A Review on the Quality of Palm Oil (Elaeis guineensis) Produced Locally in Imo State, Nigeria". Sustainable Food Production. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i Vanguard, Nigeria (2 June 2015). "Exploring the resource control option – Imo State, by Futureview CEO, Elizabeth Ebi". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Imo | state, Nigeria". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  13. ^ a b c d e f "About Imo State". Imo State, Nigeria: Imo State Government. Archived from the original on 17 July 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  14. ^ "Industries in Imo State". Imo State, Nigeria: Imo State Government. Archived from the original on 14 March 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  15. ^ Vanguard, Nigeria (14 March 2014). "Imo Govt discovers more crude oil". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  16. ^ "HEINEKEN majority owned subsidiaries Nigerian Breweries plc and Consolidated Breweries plc to merge". 9 May 2014. Archived from the original on 7 February 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Nigerian Breweries invests N3bn in Awo-Omamma, N18bn in Aba Breweries". 8 December 2015. Archived from the original on 5 January 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  18. ^ Vanguard, Nigeria (14 March 2014). "Imo Govt discovers more crude oil". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  19. ^ "Niger Delta Region Land and People" (PDF). Federal Republic of Nigeria. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  20. ^ Onyenweaku, C. E.; Nwachukwu, Ifeanyi N.; Opara, T. C. (2 September 2010). "Productivity Growth in Food Crop Production in Imo State, Nigeria". Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  21. ^ a b "Climate and Weather - climate info and current weather in Nigeria". Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Regions Used to Interpret the Complexity of Nigeria". Geographical Alliance of Iowa. University of Northern Iowa. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2007.
  23. ^ Archived 7 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Ihiegbulem, Emeka (17 December 2009). "Nigeria: Erosion - Ihioma Network Appeals to FG". Archived from the original on 12 October 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2018 – via AllAfrica.
  25. ^ "Physical Setting: Imo State". Devace Nigeria. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2007.
  26. ^ Editors, History com. "Civil war breaks out in Nigeria". HISTORY. Retrieved 12 June 2021.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  27. ^ "Otokoto ritual murder: 20 things to know about convict hanged 20 years after crime". Punch Newspapers. 19 November 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  28. ^ "Three Branches of Government | Harry S. Truman". Retrieved 10 September 2021.
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  30. ^ "IMO STATE -". Archived from the original on 26 August 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  31. ^ "Local Government Organization in Imo State". Library of Congress Pamphlet Collection – Flickr. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  32. ^ "List of Courses Offered at Federal polytechnic, Nekede (NEKEDEPOLY)". Nigerian Scholars. 1 January 2020. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  33. ^ "Education in Imo State". Imo State, Nigeria: Imo State Government. Archived from the original on 16 July 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  34. ^ "List of Courses Offered at FUTO with Admission Requirements". 9 October 2020. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  35. ^ "List Of IMSU Courses and Programmes Offered - MySchoolGist". 9 October 2020. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  36. ^ "List of Courses Offered at Alvan Ikoku College Of Education, Owerri". Nigerian Scholars. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  37. ^ "The History of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education Owerri". Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education. Retrieved 14 June 2021.

External links[edit]