Imo State

Imo is one of the 36 States of Nigeria and is in the south east region of Nigeria. Owerri is its capital and among the largest towns in the state. Its other notable towns are Orlu, Obowo Obudi, Oguta, Mbaise and Okigwe. Located in the south-eastern region of Nigeria, it occupies the area between the lower River Niger and the upper and middle Imo River.

Imo State
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 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.[5] 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.[6]


The economy of the state depends primarily on agriculture and commerce. One of the primary agricultural production is the production of palm oil.[citation needed]

Rivers and lakesEdit

The Orashi River has its source in Imo State (named after a powerful Nigerian family with the family name Imo). 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. Otamiri River and its 9.2 km length tributary, Nworie River, flow in the state.

There are other rivers and creeks in the state including Onas Creek in Ohaji/Egbema, Okitankwo River in Umudi, Oramurukwa River in Emekuku/Emii/Ulakwo and Ohia and Efuru Rivers in Okigwe.

Natural resourcesEdit

The state has several natural resources including crude oil, natural gas, lead, Calcium Carbonate and zinc.[5][7]

Profitable flora including iroko, mahogany, obeche, bamboo, rubber tree and oil palm. Additionally white clay, fine sand and limestone are found in the state.[5]

Imo's major towns include Emekuku Isu, Okigwe, Oguta, Orlu, Atta Ikeduru, Akokwa, Mbaise, Mbaitoli, Mbieri, Ohaji/Egbema, Orodo, Nkwerre, Ubulu, Ngor Okpala, Omuma, Owerri, Mgbidi, Awo-Omamma, Izombe, Orsu, and Amaigbo, Umuowa Orlu, Isu/Umuozu, Iho Dimeze.

Oil and gas explorationEdit

There are over 163 oil wells at over 12 different locations in the state.[5] The main petroleum companies operating in the state are Addax Petroleum, Chevron Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell and Agip.[5] Some of the established oil-rich local government councils include Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta, Oru East, Iho, Oru West, Obowo and Ngor Okpala.[8]

Investment opportunitiesEdit

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.[5]

Independent global brewer Heineken, through its subsidiary Nigerian Breweries, has significant investment in Imo State.[9] The company manages the world-class Awo-omamma Brewery, a multiple-line plant.[10]

Many more oil and gas opportunities are yet to be developed.[5] The federal government has been called to inspect newly discovered oil-rich areas which might help foster economic development and job creation.[11]

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.[5]

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.[12]:34


Agriculture is the primary occupation, but due to over-farming and high population density, the soil has greatly degraded.[5]


The rainy season begins in April and lasts until October,[13] with annual rainfall varying from 1,500mm to 2,200mm (60 to 80 inches).[6][14]

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.[6][13][14]

With high population density and over farming, the soil has been degraded and much of the native vegetation has disappeared.[6]

This deforestation has triggered soil erosion which is compounded by heavy seasonal rainfall that has led to the destruction of houses and roads.[6][15][16]

Palm oil productionEdit

One primary source of revenue for Imo State Government is from palm oil production contributed by both large scale and small scale production.[citation needed]


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 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.[17] 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 Eze S. E. Onukogu.[citation needed]


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 29 May 2019 APGA/APC
Emeka Ihedioha Governor 29 May 2019 15 Jan 2020 PDP
Hope Uzodinma 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.[18]

Local Government AreasEdit

Imo State consists of 27 local government areas:

Smaller jurisdictions in the state may receive township status or urban status.[19]


The state has over 4.8 million people and the population density varies from 230 to 1,400 people per square kilometre.[6] Christianity is the predominant religion.

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 such as:

Notable peopleEdit






  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. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Industries in Imo State". Imo State, Nigeria: Imo State Government. Archived from the original on 14 March 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  8. ^ Vanguard, Nigeria (14 March 2014). "Imo Govt discovers more crude oil". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ Vanguard, Nigeria (14 March 2014). "Imo Govt discovers more crude oil". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  12. ^ "Niger Delta Region Land and People" (PDF). Federal Republic of Nigeria. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  13. ^ a b "Climate and Weather - climate info and current weather in Nigeria". Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Archived 7 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ "Physical Setting: Imo State". Devace Nigeria. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2007.
  18. ^ "IMO STATE -". Archived from the original on 26 August 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Local Government Organization in Imo State". Library of Congress Pamphlet Collection – Flickr. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  20. ^ "Imo State". Archived from the original on 14 October 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  21. ^ "Education in Imo State". Imo State, Nigeria: Imo State Government. Archived from the original on 16 July 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010.

External linksEdit