Lagos (/ˈlɑːɡoʊs/ /ˈleɪɡɒs/ lay-gos), is the most populous city in Nigeria, the second fastest-growing city in Africa and the seventh in the world.[11] The population of Lagos according to the Lagos State Government was 17.5 million, a number disputed by the Nigerian Government and judged unreliable by the National Population Commission of Nigeria.[12] The latest reports estimate the population at 21 million, making Lagos the largest city in Africa.
Lagos is a port which originated on islands separated by creeks, such as Lagos Island, fringing the southwest mouth of Lagos Lagoon while protected from the Atlantic Ocean by barrier islands and long sand spits such as Bar Beach, which stretch up to 100 kilometres (62 miles) east and west of the mouth. From the beginning, Lagos has expanded on the mainland west of the lagoon and the conurbation, including Ikeja (which is the capital of Lagos State) and Agege, now reaches more than 40 kilometres (25 miles) north-west of Lagos Island. Some suburbs include Ikorodu, Epe and Badagry, and more local councils have recently been created, bringing the total number of local governments in Lagos to 57 (This includes Local Community Development Areas or LCDAs).

 

History

Main articles: History of Lagos and Timeline of Lagos

Lagos was originally inhabited by the Awori subgroup of the Yoruba people. Under the leadership of the Oloye Olofin, the Awori moved to an island now called Iddo and then to the larger Lagos Island.[13][14] In the 15th century, the Awori settlement was conquered by the Benin Empire and the island became a Benin war-camp called “Eko” under Oba Orhogba, the Oba of Benin at the time. The Yoruba still use the name Eko to refer to Lagos.

Lagos, which means “lakes”, was a name given to the settlement by the Portuguese. The present-day Lagos state has a high percentage of Awori, who migrated to the area from Isheri along the Ogun river. Throughout history, it was home to a number of warring ethnic groups who had settled in the area. Following its early settlement by the Awori nobility, and its conquest by the Bini warlords of Benin, the state first came to the attention of the Portuguese in the 15th century.

Portuguese explorer Rui de Sequeira visited the area in 1472, naming the area around the city Lago de Curamo; indeed the present name is Portuguese for “lakes”. Another explanation is that Lagos was named for Lagos, Portugal—a maritime town which, at the time, was the main centre of Portuguese expeditions down the African coast, and whose own name is derived from the Latin word Lacobriga.

Lagos was formally annexed as the British Lagos Colony in 1861. This had the dual effect of crushing the slave trade and establishing British control over palm and other trades. The remainder of modern-day Nigeria was seized in 1887, and when the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria was established in 1914, Lagos was declared its capital, continuing as such after the country’s independence from Britain in 1960. Along with migrants from all over Nigeria and other West African nations were the returnee ex-slaves known as Creoles, who came from Freetown, Sierra Leone, Brazil and the West Indies to Lagos. The Creoles contributed to Lagos’ modernisation and their knowledge of Portuguese architecturecan still be seen from the architecture on Lagos Island.

Lagos experienced rapid growth throughout the 1960s and 1970s as a result of Nigeria’s economic boom prior to the Nigerian Civil War. Lagos was the capital of Nigeria from 1914 up to 1991.The city was stripped of its status when theFederal Capital Territory was established at the purpose-built city of Abuja. On 14 November 1991, the Presidency and other federal government functions were finally relocated to the new capital city of Abuja.

Geography

The city centre & the skyline of Lagos Island shown from above.

Lagos Mainland

Most of the population lives on the mainland, and most industries are located there too. Lagos is known for its music and night life, which used to be located in areas around Yaba and Surulere. In recent years more night clubs have sprung up on the island, making the island, particularly Victoria Island, the main nightlife attraction. Lagos Mainland districts include Ebute-Meta, Surulere, Yaba (location of the University of Lagos) and Ikeja, site of Murtala Muhammed International Airport and capital of Lagos State.

Greater Lagos includes Mushin, Maryland, Somolu, Oshodi, Oworonsoki, Isolo, Ikotun, Agege, Iju Ishaga, Egbeda, Ketu, Bariga, Ipaja, Ajah and Ejigbo.

The city of Lagos is the main city of the south-western part of Nigeria. Some rivers, like Badagry Creek, flow parallel to the coast for some distance before exiting through the sand bars to the sea. The two major urban islands of Lagos in Lagos Lagoon are Lagos Island and Victoria Island.

These islands are separated from the mainland by the main channel draining the lagoon into the Atlantic Ocean, which forms Lagos Harbour. The islands are separated from each other by creeks of varying sizes and are connected to Lagos Island by bridges. The smaller sections of some creeks have been sand filled and built over.

Islands of Lagos

Lagos Island

Lagos Marina.
Main article: Lagos Island

Lagos Island contains a central business district.This district is characterised by high-rise buildings. The island also contains many of the city’s largest wholesale marketplaces (such as the popular Idumota and Balogun markets). It also has the National Museum of Nigeria, the Central Mosque, the Glover Memorial Hall, Christ’s Church Cathedral (CMS), and the Oba Palace.Though formerly in a derelict condition, Lagos Island’s Tinubu Square is a site of historical importance; it was here that the Amalgamation Ceremony that unified the North and South protectorate to form Nigeria took place in 1914.

Ikoyi

Main article: Ikoyi

Ikoyi is situated on the eastern half of Lagos Island and joined to it by a landfill.Ikoyi is also connected to Victoria Island by Falomo bridge, which carries a main road over Five Cowrie creek. Ikoyi housed the headquarters of the federal government of Nigeria and other buildings owned by the government, including the old federal secretariat complex. The complex today is on reestablishment.

In Ikoyi there are military and police barracks, a top-security prison and a federal high court of Nigeria. Ikoyi also has a number of hotels, night clubs, a recreational park and one of Africa’s largest golf courses. Originally a middle class neighbourhood, in recent years, it has become a fashionable residential enclave for the upper middle class to the upper class. There are also commercial activities in Ikoyi which is spotted in increasing number of offices, banks and shopping complexes. The commercial section is concentrated in the South-West.

Victoria Island

Main article: Victoria Island (Nigeria)

Victoria Island with its annexe is situated to the south of Lagos Island. It has expensive real estate properties and for that reason, many new luxury condos and apartments are blooming up everywhere. Along with Ikoyi, Victoria Island occupies a major area in the suburbs of Lagos which boasts of several sizeable shopping districts. On its sea shore along the Atlantic front, there is environmentally reconstructed Bar Beach.

Eko Atlantic

Main article: Eko Atlantic

Eko Atlantic or Eko Atlantic City is a planned district of Lagos, Nigeria, being constructed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean.It is located on Lagos’ Bar Beach. Upon completion, the new island which is still under development is anticipating 400,000 residents and a daily flow of 250,000 commuters. The development will also have a positive environmental impact; its purpose is to stop the erosion of the Lagos coastline.The Eko Atlantic City project received global recognition in 2009, as the Lagos State government and its private sector partners on the Project, South Energyx, received the Clinton Global lnitiative Commitment Certificate.

Iddo

Across the main channel of the lagoon from Lagos Island, there is a smaller settlement called Iddo. Iddo is also a railroad terminus and it is situated on the mainland. It is now connected to the mainland like a peninsula.

Three major bridges join the island to the mainland. They are the Carter Bridge which start from Iddo, the Eko Bridge (formerly called the Second Mainland Bridge) and the Third Mainland Bridge, which passes through densely populated mainland suburbs to the Lagos Lagoon.

Climate

In the Köppen climate classification system, Lagos has a tropical wet and dry climate (Aw) that borders on a tropical monsoon climate (Am). Lagos experiences two rainy seasons, with the heaviest rains falling from April to July and a weaker rainy season in October and November. There is a brief relatively dry spell in August and September and a longer dry season from December to March.

Monthly rainfall between May and July averages over 400 mm (16 in), while in August and September it is down to 200 mm (7.9 in) and in December as low as 25 mm (0.98 in). The main dry season is accompanied by harmattan winds from the Sahara Desert, which between December and early February can be quite strong. The highest maximum temperature ever recorded in Lagos was 37.3 °C (99.1 °F) and the minimum 13.9 °C (57.0 °F).

[hide]Climate data for Lagos
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 32.2
(90)
33.1
(91.6)
32.7
(90.9)
32.1
(89.8)
30.9
(87.6)
29.2
(84.6)
28.1
(82.6)
28.1
(82.6)
28.9
(84)
30.4
(86.7)
31
(88)
31.9
(89.4)
30.72
(87.32)
Average low °C (°F) 22.3
(72.1)
23.5
(74.3)
23.8
(74.8)
23.6
(74.5)
23.1
(73.6)
22.6
(72.7)
22.1
(71.8)
21.7
(71.1)
21.9
(71.4)
22.3
(72.1)
22.6
(72.7)
22.4
(72.3)
22.66
(72.78)
Rainfall mm (inches) 14.3
(0.563)
42
(1.65)
77.1
(3.035)
142.4
(5.606)
204.8
(8.063)
312.2
(12.291)
256.9
(10.114)
112.4
(4.425)
167.1
(6.579)
135.8
(5.346)
54
(2.13)
19
(0.75)
1,538
(60.552)
Avg. rainy days 1.5 2.7 6.4 8.9 12.4 16.2 13.2 11.6 12.7 10.9 4.9 1.4 102.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 164.3 169.5 173.6 180 176.7 114 99.2 108.5 114 167.4 186 192.2 1,845.4
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization
Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory (sun only)

Administration and demographics

In terms of administration, Lagos is not a single municipality and has therefore no overall city administration. The urban area of Greater Lagos in fact comprises 16 of the 20 separate municipalities which together comprise Lagos State, which entity provides overall government for the metropolitan region. The Municipality of Lagos, which covered Lagos Island, Ikoyi and Victoria Island as well as some mainland territory, was managed by the Lagos City Council (LCC), but it was disbanded in 1976 and divided into several Local Government Areas (most notably Lagos Island LGA, Lagos Mainland LGA and Eti-Osa LGA).[34]

The mainland beyond the Municipality of Lagos, on the other hand, comprised several separate towns and settlements such as Mushin, Ikeja and Agege. In the wake of the 1970s Nigerian oil boom, Lagos experienced a population explosion, untamed economic growth, and unmitigated rural migration. This caused the outlying towns and settlements to develop rapidly, thus forming the Greater Lagos metropolis seen today. The history of Lagos is still evidenced in the layout of the LGAs which display the unique identities of the cultures that created them.

The 16 LGAs of Metropolitan Lagos
Local Government Area Land area
(in km²)
Population
(2006 Census)
Density
(inh. per km²)
Agege 11.2 459,939 41,071
Ajeromi-Ifelodun 12.3 684,105 55,474
Alimosho 185.2 1,277,714 6,899
Amuwo-Odofin 134.6 318,166 2,364
Apapa
(home of the main port of Lagos)
26.7 217,362 8,153
Eti-Osa
(home of one of Lagos’s largest business centres and of the upscale communities of Victoria Island and Ikoyi, formerly the residence of the Nigerian federal government)
192.3 287,785 1,496
Ifako-Ijaiye 26.6 427,878 16,078
Ikeja 46.2 313,196 6,785
Kosofe 81.4 665,393 8,174
Lagos Island
(the historical centre and commercial core of the Lagos agglomeration)
8.7 209,437 24,182
Lagos Mainland 19.5 317,720 16,322
Mushin 17.5 633,009 36,213
Ojo 158.2 598,071 3,781
Oshodi-Isolo 44.8 621,509 13,886
Somolu 11.6 402,673 34,862
Surulere 23.0 503,975 21,912
Metropolitan Lagos 999.6 7,937,932 7,941

Economy

Shopping in Lagos.
Lagos is Nigeria’s economic focal point, generating a significant portion of the country’s GDP. Most commercial and financial business is carried out in the central business district situated on the island. This is also where most of the country’s commercial banks, financial institutions, and major corporations are headquartered. Lagos has one of the highest standards of living in Nigeria and in Africa.

The Port of Lagos is Nigeria’s leading port and one of the largest and busiest in Africa. It is administered by the Nigerian Ports Authority and it is split into three main sections: Lagos port, in the main channel next to Lagos Island, Apapa Port (site of the container terminal) and Tin Can Port, both located in Badagry Creek, which flows into Lagos Harbour from the west.The port features a railhead.
The port has seen growing amounts of crude oil exported, with export figures rising between 1997 and 2000. Oil and petroleum products provide 14% of GDP and 90% of foreign exchange earnings in Nigeria as a whole.

Tourism

Lagos, subsequent to the re-modernization project achieved by the current administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, is gradually becoming a major tourist destination, being one of the largest cities in Africa and in the world. Lagos is currently taking steps to becoming a global city. The 2009 Eyo carnival (a yearly festival originated from Iperu Remo, Ogun State) which took place on 25 April, was a step toward world city status. Currently, Lagos is primarily known as a business-oriented and a fast paced community.
Lagos has a number of sandy beaches by the Atlantic Ocean a few are Badagry beach, Eleko beach, Elegushi, Alpha beach. Two of the popular beaches include Bar Beach and Lekki Beach. Lagos has a variety of hotels ranging from three star to five star hotels. Other places of interest include The Tafawa Balewa Square, Festac town, Lekki Conservation Centre, The Remembrance Arcade and the Slave Jetty in Badagry.

Education

The Lagos State Government operates state schools.The education system is the 6-3-3-4 system, which is practised throughout the country (as well as by many other members of the Economic Community of West African States). The levels are Primary, Junior Secondary School (JSS), Senior Secondary School (SSS), and university. All children are offered basic education, with special focus now on the first nine years.
Lagos is home to various postsecondary schools, universities and other vocational institutions that are either operated by the government or private entities.
Vocational schools
Institute for Industrial Technology (IIT) : founded in 2000, IIT is a technical vocational school for male youth from families with limited resources. Its educational model is based on the Dual Training System.

Polytechnics
Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) : founded in 1934, the college is Nigeria’s first higher educational institution and third in Africa. The college is a center of culture and heritage. Currently it has student enrolment of over 16,000.

Lagos State Polytechnic is a polytechnic comprising more than six schools including private polytechnics and was founded 25 years ago. Its main campus resides at Ikorodu, along Shagamu road.
Lagos City Polytechnic, located at 6/8, Bashiru Oweh Street, Off Simbiat Abiola Road (formerly Medical Road),Ikeja – This is the first private Polytechnic in Nigeria. It was established in 1990 by Engr. Babatunde Odufuwa. Engr. Odufuwa hails from Oke-Aye in Ijebu North East Local Government Area (I.N.E.L.G) of Ogun State.
Grace Polytechnic
Wolex Polytechnic
Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology is a monotechnic that offers courses in fisheries technology, general science, marine engineering and nautical science.

Federal College of Education (tech) Akoka
Universities
The University of Lagos (UNILAG) Akoka, is a large institution dating from 1962, with over 45,000 students. It comprises 13 faculties, run by over 4,000 staff.
Lagos State University (LASU) is a multi-campus university established in the year 1984 and owned by the Lagos State government. The main campus is located at Ojo, along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
Pan-African University is primarily a business school, offering two MBA programmes. Founded in 1996 and awarded University status in 2002, it consists of the Lagos Business School and of Enterprise Development Services. The University also places some emphasis on the study of art, running the Virtual Museum of Modern Nigerian Art.

National Open University of Nigeria National Open University is the first open university in Nigeria, it is located on Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos
Caleb University is a private university located at Imota, Lagos.
Lagos State College of Health Technology (LASCOHET), Yaba- A mini institution that run health courses such as Health information Management, Pharmacist Technician, Medical Laboratary Technician,Community health extension worker and Environmental Health Technology, it is located in Yaba
Lagos State University College of Medicine, (LASUCOM), Ikeja
Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba-Mushin, Lagos.