—  City  —
Motto: Heartland
Owerri indicated in a map of Nigeria
Owerri indicated in a map of Nigeria
Owerri in Nigeria
Coordinates: 5°29′06″N 7°02′06″E / 5.485°N 7.035°E / 5.485; 7.035Coordinates: 5°29′06″N 7°02′06″E / 5.485°N 7.035°E / 5.485; 7.035
Country  Nigeria
State Imo
LGA Owerri Municipal, Owerri North, Owerri West
 – Type Executive Chairman-Council
 – Governing body Local Government Council
 – Party PDP
 – Chairman Emma Odor (Owerri Municipal); Henry Njoku (Owerri North); Henry Onwukwe (Owerri West)
Population (2006)[2]
 – Total 401,873
  Disputed estimate
Time zone WAT (UTC+1)
Postcode 460...[3]
Area code(s) 083
Website http://www.imostate.gov.ng/

Owerri (English pronunciation: /oʊˈwɛriː/ oh-werr-ee,[4] Igbo: Owèrrè)[5] is the capital of Imo State in Nigeria, set in the heart of the Igboland.[6] Owerri consists of three Local Govern Areas including Owerri Municipal, Owerri North and Owerri West, it has an estimated population of about 400,000 as of 2006[2] and is approximately 40 square miles (100 km2) in area. Owerri is bordered by the Otamiri River to the east and the Nworie River to the south.[7]

The Owerri Slogan is Heartland. It is currently referred to as the entertainment capital of Nigeria and is home to an annual beauty pageant called "Miss Heartland".



Owerri was the capital of the Republic of Biafra in 1969. The capital of the secessionist state was continuously being moved as Nigerian troops captured the older capitals. Enugu, Aba, and Umuahia were the other capitals before Owerri.

Traditional Ruler

His Royal Highness, Eze Dr. Emmanuel Emenyonu Njemanze is the current Ozuruigbo of Owerri. The stool of the Eze Owere was founded in the 14th century when the first Owerri traditional ruler, Eze Eke Onunwa was installed. Other traditional rulers in the same royal lineage are Eze Okorie Onunwa, Eze Njemanze Okorie Onunwa, Ihemeji Njemanze Iheanacho, Eze Johnson Osuji Njemanze and Eze Onwuegbuchlem Njemanze.[citation needed]

Transport and Trade

Owerri has an airport 14 miles (23 km) southeast of the city, called the Imo Airport which provides service to Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Enugu. Right now, it serves as an alternate for Port Harcourt.The city has an international cargo airport, the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport. Some major roads that go through the city are; Port Harcourt Rd., Aba Rd., Onitsha Rd., and Okigwe Rd. Roads within the city are; Douglas Rd., Weathral Rd., Tetlow Rd., and Works Rd. Eke Ukwu Owere market is the main market in Owerri.

Owerri sits in the rain forest and produces many agricultural products, such as yams, cassava, taro, corn, rubber and palm products. Owerri also sits on huge crude oil and natural gas reserves like most of the Igbo land areas.


Important educational institutions in Owerri include Imo State University, Federal University of Technology Owerri, African Institute of Science and Technology (AIST CCE Owerri), Federal College of Land Resources Oforola, Seat of Wisdom Seminary Owerri, Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Federal Government Girls College Owerri, Owerri Girls Secondary School, Government Secondary School Owerri, Development Secondary School Owerri, Emmanuel College Owerri, Holy Ghost College Owerri, Community Secondary School Oforola Owerri, Federal Politechnic Nekede Owerri, Government Technical college Owerri, Army Day Secondary School Obinze Owerri etc


Portsmouth F.C. striker and Nigeria national football team player Nwankwo Kanu was born in Owerri.


Christianity is the dominant religion in Owerri. Catholics and Anglicans have the largest followings and Owerri is home to Assumpta Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Owerri (Latin: Archidioecesis Overriensis) and the Seat of Wisdom Seminary. The archdiocese covers an area of 2,996 square kilometres. 670,986 of the 1.7 million people in the area are member of the Catholic Church.

Twin cities


  1. ^ "Imo State Local Government Areas - Sole Administrators". Imo State Government. http://www.imostate.gov.ng/info/LGAChairmen. Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  2. ^ a b Summing the 3 LGAs making up Owerri as per:
    Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette (15 May 2007). "Legal Notice on Publication of the Details of the Breakdown of the National and State Provisional Totals 2006 Census" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2007-07-04. http://web.archive.org/web/20070704042011/http://www.nigerianstat.gov.ng/Connections/Pop2006.pdf. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  3. ^ "Nipost Postcode Map". Nigerian Postal Service. http://www.nipost.gov.ng/PostCode.aspx. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  4. ^ "Owerri". Encarta World English Dictionary. Microsoft. http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861685045_1861636161/prevpage.html. Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  5. ^ Egbokhare, Francis O.; Oyetade, S. Oluwole (2002). Harmonization and standardization of Nigerian languages. CASAS. p. 106. ISBN 9-197-9970-2. 
  6. ^ "Encyclopædia Britannica". 2007-04-07. http://www.britannica.com/ebc/article-9057801. 
  7. ^ Alex D.W. Acholonu (2008). "Water quality studies of Nworie River in Owerri, Nigeria". Mississippi Academy of Sciences. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Water+quality+studies+of+Nworie+River+in+Owerri,+Nigeria.-a0199604520. Retrieved 2009-10-14. 

External links

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