Imo State, Nigeria

Capital Owerri
Area  5,530 sq km
Population 3,934,899 (2006 est.)
Language  Igbo
Governor Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha (APC)
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 came into existence in 1976 along with other new states created under the leadership of the late military ruler of Nigeria, Muritala Muhammad, having been previously part of East-Central State. The state is named after the Imo River. Part of it was split off in 1991 as Abia State, and another part became Ebonyi State. The main cities in Imo State are Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe. The Orashi River has its source in this state and the state was created at Ngwoma.


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.



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.


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.

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.


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

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 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.

Useful Resources

Schools on The Web:

Imo State University (

Federal Polytechnic Nekede (

Federal University of Technology, Owerri (


Other Schools Include


Imo State Liason Office:

 Plot 1240, Monrovia Street,Off Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse II, P. M. B. 523, Garki, Abuja

Lagos State Liaison Office:

Plot 1221B, Bishop Oluwole Street, Victoria Island, Eti Osa, Lagos, Nigeria