Imo State is one of the 36 states of Nigeria and lies in 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.
Imo State has 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.