There are 5 Igbo speaking states in the south eastern region of Nigeria: Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi states respectively. But which among these Igbo states is the richest?
All these states have various mineral and natural resources that account for their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The wealth of these states can also be estimated from the business that thrives within them, the various industries, top firms operating in these states and other parameters that contributes to the growth of their economies.
These states do not receive the same allowances from the Federal Government but still strive to maintain their status as one of the richest states in the country through exporting agricultural products to other countries and to other states in the federation, making their business climate favourable to attract foreign investors and also patnering with the private sector to do business in their states.
The richest Igbo state in Nigeria today is Imo state with a GDP of $14,212 and an IGR of N9.8 billion generated as its IGR in the 2017 fiscal year. Imo state has also been listed among the oil producing states in the country officially with about 162 oil wells resident in different locations around the state.
Imo state was created by Gen. Murtala Mohammed in 1976 and it forms part of the five south eastern states in the country. With a land mass of about 5,100sq km, this igbo speaking state shares boundary with Anambra and Abia states respectively. She has a population of about 5 million homogeneous people whose culture and traditions are noticeable in the dress code, festivals, music, attire and hospitality of its indegenes.
Its capital, Owerri, is one of the major cities in the country where you can do business in, but wit a high cost in standard of living. The slogan of Imo state is Eastern Heartland and there are 27 Local Government areas within the state namely: Aboh-Mbaise, Ahiazu-Mbaise, Ehime-Mbano, Ezinihitte Mbaise, 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, and Onuimo.
Aside crude oil which was found recently in the state, Some natural resources within Imo state include: Natural gas, Lead, Iron, Rubber, Oil pams etc. All these plus the agric produts the state exports shows Imo as the richest Igbo state in the country in terms of IGR, while Anambra, Enugu are two other states that can be among the list.
The state also boasts of wealthy influential business men. The richest man in Imo state is Paschal Edozie while the likes of Tony Ezenna, Rochas Okorocha (curent governor of the state), Leo Stan Ekeh, etc follow suit. WIth all these, the poverty rate in Imo state is alarming as unemployment, hardship, lack of basic social amenities and good health-care are all missing.
Some tourist sites to view when you visit the state are Abadaba Lake, Amadioha Shrine, The Blue Obana Lake, Ekwe and Ebenator Spring, The home of King Jaja of Opobo and the The Nekede zoo and gardens, to mention but a few.