Education: 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 6334 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.
Housing: The building industry is a booming to business in Imo State. Good residential houses abound everywhere, especially in the urban cen tres. Most of the houses are built by the private sector. The state government executes its housing programme through the State Housing Corporation, but the impact of this corporation is no longer felt :h due to the present economic recession.
The major ;al housing schemes of the state government include the Aladinma Housing Estate, the Extension, TransEgbu Layout, Urnuguma Estate, nd the Federal Low Cost Housing scheme and the World Bank Housing Projects, all in Owerri. However, there are other World Bank Housing Estates in Orlu and Okigwe.
Health: Imo State has an effective health care a delivery system comprising hospital and paramed ed ical centres. These medical establishments are is located in different local government areas of the of state and are categorised into five main groups viz:
Governmentowned Specialist Hospitals ,General Hospital; , Voluntary Agency Hospitals (Mission ire Hospitals); CommunityOwned Hospitals; and ire , Privatelyowned hospitals.
not of However, the State Health Care Delivery Scheme of has adopted a grassroots approach through the of establishment of rural basic healthcare centres, vil ie lage primary healthcare centres; and the EPI/ORT rri scheme in all the LGAs.
Water Supply: Traditional sources of water supply for domestic use include springs, rivers and ,i wells. Wayside pits are also used to collect rain j3Q water during the rainy season.
Such pits dry up dur ing the dry season, when some people are obliged ' to trek up to five kilometres to fetch water. es Government has tried to address the water problem Iry by establishing an urban Water Scheme and a °" Rural Water scheme.
Electric Power Supply: The major supplier of '" electricity in the State is the National Electric Power ku Authority (NEPA Pie) while the state government's tu Utility Board supplements the efforts of NEPA. Many communities in the state, through selfhelp ite efforts, have successfully completed the electrifica in tion of their areas. Such areas include: tor ire 1. Umuezealall,lsialaMbano;
Ndibinama DuruewuruAmuchaisu; a Ukatalhitte/Uboma; in 4. OgwuagabaNkwerre; jth 5 Urnuezeala NsuEhime lbano; ijie 6 Enenoto Ekwelsu; at 7. NdiakaemeArondizoguldeato; 8. Urnuonuchalalkeduru; 9. Oboama Ezi WestAboh Mbaise; and 10. AbiaOmumaOru. Most other communities in the state are at var ious stages of being provided with electricity supply.
The combined efforts of NEPA and the state government have ensured the provision of electricity in the three Senatorial Zones of the state. The supply of electricity in Imo State is intermittent, as in other parts of the country. But power supply is improving with the integration of the Amaraku Power Station, which has an installed capacity of 35.5 megawatts, to the national power grid.
Road Transport: There is a welldeveloped network of roads, which connect important centres of commerce and industry. These roads link the state capital with Okigwe, Oguta and Orlu, the main urban centres. The network extends outside the state to Aba (Abia State), Port Harcourt (Rivers State), Uyo and Ikot Ekpene (Akwa lbom State), Onitsha (Anambra State) and Enugu (Enugu State).
There is also easy access by road to the Federal Capital and other urban centres in the country. Within the state, there is an abundance of feeder roads connecting the urban areas with the rural and agricultural areas. These make it possible to tap the agricultural and mineral resources of the state as they provide link to the market in the rural areas.
The state government maintains 1,658 kilome tre of state roads, while the local governments maintain 7,746 of roads. Also, there is an express way constructed by the Federal Government which links Enugu, Okigwe, Umuahia, Aba and Port Harcourt. These have enhanced the smooth evacu ation of goods imported to the state through Port Harcourt in Rivers State.
River Transport and Port Facilities: The River Niger links Onitsha in Anambra State with Oguta in Imo State. These in turn are linked with the ports at Port Harcourt, Burutu, Warri and the north ern river ports up to Yola on the River Benue. The Federal Government provides riverine transportation on the Niger and Benue rivers.
But for potential investors in riverine transport and nav igational services, it is pertinent to point out that the River Niger is navigable throughout the year and particularly suitable for medium class sea vessels and barges.
Oguta Lake links Rivers Orashi and Niger and holds a good promise of being developed in future as an inland port to serve the state. For reasons of proximity, businessmen in Imo State pre fer the use of the Onne and Port Harcourt port com plexes. Both ports have several berths and ancillary transit sheds, warehouses and administrative offices.
Air Transport: Imo airport located at Obiangwu/Logara/Umuohiagu in the Ngor Okpala LGA, serves the state mostly for domestic flights.Moreso, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Calabar airports also serve the state. However, international flights are provided at the Port Harcourt international air port in nearby Rivers State.
Postal and Telecommunications Services: There is a good internal mail delivery system in the state. Communications with other parts of the coun try are facilitated by services provided by NIPOST PLC and NITEL PLC. Standard post offices and postal agencies adequately serve most urban and rural communities in the state. There are telephone links between the State and all parts of the country on a 24hour basis.
Radio and Television: The Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) which comprises radio and tele vision operates daily from Owerri and its transmis sion covers the entire State and beyond.
Tourism and Recreation: The state has a good number of places that can be developed into tourism centres. Natural endowments at Oguta and Abadaba lakes, the Okigwe Rolling Hills and the Uboma Fish Ponds are among the untapped tourism sites.
Moreso, the Mbari Cultural Centre at Owerri, Eke Nguru in Aboh Mbaise and lgwekala shrine in Urnunoha are traditional art and craft cen tres that depict the culture and heritage of the lgbos. The state has a good number of hotels of inter national standard (Appendix VII).
In order to boost tourism in the State, the government established the Imo State Tourism Corporation to assist and guide genuine tourism investors. The State Sports Council administers sports. Twenty different types of sports are supported by the Council. Investment opportunities in sports exist for private investors in the areas of organising, run ning and managing professional sports clubs.