Education in Imo State

Imo State is one of the states in Nigeria with a high literacy rate. The prestige of a family is determined by the number of educated persons it has produced. Interest in education is self evident from educational development efforts of communities. Such efforts include the provision of educational opportunities and physical structures for the advancement of knowledge.

Like other states in Nigeria, Imo State is oper ating the 6-3-3-4 educational system. There are seven postsecondary institutions in the state, three are owned by Imo State Government while four are owned by the Federal Government. They are: Imo State University, Owerri.

The Federal University of Technology, Owerri; Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri; Michael Okpara College of Agriculture, Umuagwo; The Polytechnic, Nekede Owerri; Federal Government Girls College, Owerri, and Federal Government College, Okigwe.

There are 1,205 primary schools in Imo State (nineteen of which are privately owned), with about 570,345 pupils, nearly 280,000 of whom are girls.

The state school system also comprises about 289 secondary schools exclusive of private secondary and vocational/technical schools. Religious bodies manage a number of primary and postprimary institutions as juniorates and seminaries.

Admission into these institutions is open to all, irrespective of religion, state of origin or gender. There are two Teachers’ Training Colleges in the state, at Oguta and Nsu. The Alvan Ikoku College of Education is a degreeawarding institu tion. It also offers sandwich programmes to serving teachers.

Four public, and over 230 private Technical/Vocational schools, which provide train ing in electrical installation, radio and TV, motor mechanic, brick making and building technology are also available. Imo State has a boarding primary school for the physically handicapped and a resource centre for the handicapped at Orlu.

In addition, there are two day schools for children with unique needs located at Owerri and Okigwe, while a secondary school for the deaf and dumb is located at Orodo in Mbaitoli LGA.

Imo is a state in Nigeria’s South-East geopolitical zone. It’s capital and largest city is Owerri.

The state is 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.

Imo state comprises mostly Igbo people of Nri and Aro Kingdoms.

Owerri, Imo State
Map of Imo state showing Owerri

Imo takes its name from the Imo River which flows along the state’s eastern border.

The state’s nickname is: Eastern Heartland

3 February 1976


Population (2017 estimates)

Land area
5,530 km2 (2,140 sq mi)

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

The State economy is dependent largely on agriculture, especially the production of palm oil.

Another key industry is the extraction of crude oil and natural gas, especially in Imo’s north and west.

The State has been beset by violence at various points throughout its history, most notably the anti-cult 1996 Otokoto Riots and the ongoing separatist violence from the Eastern Security Network along with other opportunistic nativist gunmen.

Despite unrest, with its fast growing population and industrialization, Imo State has one of the highest Human Development Index in Nigeria.

Imo State is administratively divided into 27 LGAs (Local Government Areas) namely:

  1. Aboh Mbaise
  2. Ahiazu Mbaise
  3. Ehime Mbano
  4. Ezinihitte Mbaise
  5. Ideato North
  6. Ideato South
  7. Ihitte/Uboma
  8. Ikeduru
  9. Isiala Mbano
  10. Isu
  11. Mbaitoli
  12. Ngor Okpala
  13. Njaba
  14. Nkwerre
  15. Nwangele
  16. Obowo
  17. Oguta
  18. Ohaji/Egbema
  19. Okigwe
  20. Onuimo
  21. Orlu
  22. Orsu
  23. Oru East
  24. Oru West
  25. Owerri Municipal
  26. Owerri North
  27. Owerri West

Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area in Imo State

Oru West L.G.A. Imo State

Orlu Local Government Area, Imo State

Okigwe Local Government Area, Imo State

In the pre-colonial period, what is now Imo State was a part of medieval Kingdom of Nri and the later Aro Confederacy before the latter was defeated in the early 1900s by British troops in the Anglo-Aro War. After the war, the British incorporated the area into the Southern Nigeria Protectorate which later merged into British Nigeria in 1914; after the merger, Imo became a centre of anti-colonial resistance during the Women’s War.

After independence in 1960, the area of the present-day Imo was a part of the post-independence Eastern Region until 1967 when the region was split and the area became part of the East Central State. Less than two months afterwards, the former Eastern Region attempted to secede in the three-year long Nigerian Civil War with Imo as a part of the secessionist, Igbo nationalist state of Biafra.

The area was hard fought over throughout the war with Owerri and its surrounding area exchanging hands twice before Owerri was named the Biafran capital in 1969.

The present-day Imo State was captured by federal forces in early 1970 with Operation Tail-Wind taking the city and ending the war.

At the war’s end and the reunification of Nigeria, the East Central State was reformed until 1976 when Imo State was formed.

15 years after, Imo State was divided with eastern Imo being broken off to form the new Abia State.