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Imo State, Nigeria ( Overview, History and Summary Information )

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Imo State, Nigeria

Imo State
—  State  —
Nickname(s): Eastern Heartland
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 createdFebruary 3, 1976
 - GovernorIkedi Ohakim (PDP)
 - Senators 
 - Representatives 
 - Total
 5,530 km2 (2,135.1 sq mi)
Area rank34th of 36
Population (2006 census)[1]
 - Total
 - Rank13th of 36
 Density711.6/km2 (1,842.9/sq mi)
 - Year
 - Total$14.21 billion
 - Per capita$3,527[2]
Time zoneWAT (UTC+01)
ISO 3166 codeNG-IM
^1 Preliminary results
Imo State is one of the 36 states of Nigeria and lies to the south of Nigeria with Owerri as its capital and largest city.




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. 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. The local language is Igbo and Christianity is the predominant religion. Imo state was created at Ngwoma.

Geography and natural resources

Imo 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. It is bordered by Abia State on the East, by the River Niger and Delta State on the west, by Anambra State to the north and Rivers State to the south. Besides Owerri, Imo State's major towns are Isu, Okigwe, Oguta, Orlu, Mbaise, Mbano, Mbieri, Orodo and Orsu.

The state is rich in natural resources including crude oil, natural gas, lead, zinc. Economically exploitable flora like the iroko, mahogany, obeche, bamboo, rubber tree and oil palm predominate. However with a high population density and over farming the soil has been degraded and much of the native vegetation has disappeared.

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


The rainy season begins in April and lasts till October with annual rainfall varying from 1,500mm to 2,200mm (60 to 80 inches).

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 experinces two months of Harmattan from late December to late February. The hottest months are between January and March.


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. The incumbent is governor Ikedi Ohakim, elected in April 2007 with Ada Okwuonu as deputy governor.

The legislative arm is headed by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly who is currently speaker Goodluck Nanah Opiah. The remainder of the house is made up of elected legislators and is the lawmaking body 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.

  • Justice
  • Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Education
  • Health
  • Commerce
  • Industry and Tourism
  • Finance
  • Works and Transport


English, Igbo

Local Government Areas

Imo State is made up of twenty-seven Local Government Areas:

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


The estimated population is 4.8 million and the population density varies from 230-1,400 people per square kilometer.

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


There are several institutions of higher education with some being run by the state government and others by the federal government. The two universities being Imo State University and the Federal University of Technology Owerri.

Notable People

Notable people from Imo State include:


  • Chioma Ajunwa - 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist
  • Nwankwo Kanu - National Footballer
  • Emmanuel Amunike - 1994 African Player of the Year and Olympic-winning soccer star


  • Obianuju Catherine Acholonu - Critically acclaimed author
  • Genevieve Nnaji - Nollywood actress
  • Onyeka Onwenu - Singer, actress & politician
  • Dr Sir Warrior - Highlife musician
  • Dr Alban - Eurodance Musician


  • Pats Acholonu - Supreme Court Justice
  • Christina Anyanwu - Journalist and Senator
  • Dr. Mrs. Kema Chikwe - Former Minister of Aviation
  • Evan Enwerem - Former governor and former President of the Senate
  • Collins E. Ijoma - The youngest U.S. Trial Court Administrator
  • Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu - Politician and Businessman
  • K. O. Mbadiwe - Former Minister of Commerce and Industry
  • Sam Mbakwe - Former Governor
  • Fabian Osuji - Former Minister of Education
  • Achike Udenwa - Former Governor
  • Maurice Iwu - Former INEC Chairman


  • Adiele Afigbo - Distinguished Historian
  • Michael Echeruo - Academic, Writer, Igbo Studies
  • Ikeoha I. Iwuh - Academic, Writer, Psychology Studies


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Updated 5 Years ago

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