Imo State, Nigeria

Capital Owerri
Area  12,689 sq kilometres
Population 2,938,708 (1997 FOS est.)
Language  Igbo
Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha
Religion Christianity
Date Created February 3, 1976
Population Rank 13th


Imo state was created on February 3, 1976 out of the former East Central state. It is named after the Imo River which flows from the uplands of the state around Okigwe into the Atlantic ocean. Imo state is located in the southeast region of Nigeria and its capital is Owerri which is its largest city. It is located between Anambra State in the North, Rivers State in the South, Akwa Ibom State to the East and on the West by Delta State.

The state lies within latitudes 4°45′N and 7°15′N, and longitude 6°50′E and 7°25′E.

It is nicknamed “the eastern heartland"

Imo state is part of Igboland and the original inhabitants are lgbos, a culturally homogeneous group. lgbo is the language spoken throughout the state with different dialects spoken in different parts.

Some other major towns in Imo state are Okigwe, Oguta, Orlu, Mbaise, Uzoagba and Emekuku. The state is rich in crude oil, natural gas and fertile, arable agricultural land 


Imo state was created on February 3, 1976 during the military regime of Murtala Muhammad. Before that the area was part of the East Central State which had been one of the twelve states created by the Federal Military Government during General Yakubu Gowon's regime.

The first governor of Imo state was Ndubuisi Kanu who governed until August 1976.

In 1991, during General Ibrahim Babangida's military regime, Abia State was created out of Imo state and some part of it became Ebonyi State.



The people of Imo state are Igbo speaking state with minor differences in dialects. They have a very rich cultural heritage which is potrayed in their dress, music, dance, festivals, arts and crafts.

Local Government Areas

Imo State is divided into twenty seven local governments areas (LGAs), and three senatorial zones. Each local government area is headed by a chairman who leads the executive arm which also has the deputy chairman and supervisory councillors. The legislative arm of the Local Government area is made up of elected councillors from each ward in the local government area.

The twenty seven local government areas in Imo state are:

Aboh-Mbaise, Ahiazu-Mbaise, Ehime-Mbano, Ezinihitte, Ideato North, Ideato South, Ihitte/Uboma, Ikeduru, Isiala Mbano, Isu, Mbaitoli, Ngor-Okpala, Njaba, Nwangele, Nkwerre, Obowo, Oguta, Ohaji/Egbema, Okigwe, Orlu, Orsu, Oru East, Oru West, Owerri-Municipal, Owerri North, Owerri West, Unuimo.

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There major institutions of higher learning in the state are:

  • Imo State University, Owerri.
  • Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri.
  • Federal University of Science and Technology, Owerri.
  • Michael Okpara College of Agriculture, Umuagwu.
  • Federal Polytechnic, Nekede.

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Business Opportunities

The state also produces agricultural produce such as palm produce, cocoa and rubber. The main staple crops are yam, cassava, cocoyam and maize.

The State is blessed with abundant natural resources. These include crude oil, lead, zinc, white clay, fine sand, limestone and natural gas in commercial quantities

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Oguta Lake Holiday Resort, Natural Man-made Oguta * Ikeji Festival, Arondizogu Cultural * Palm Beach Holiday Resort, Awo-Amana Man-made/Natural * Zoological and Botanical Garden Nekede * Amusement Park, Owerri Zoo/Man-made

Useful Resources

Schools in Imo State

Imo State Government Online:



Imo State Liason Office: