By now, almost everyone should know Lagos turned 50 this year.
From the mini billboards littered around to artworks being done to beautify the city, Lagos isn’t letting their new age pass without some noise.
I would like to say here that I’m a bit perplexed that faces such as MKO Abiola, Fela/Femi Anikulapo-Kuti and even Gani Fawehinmi were omitted from the success stories but that’s a post for another day.
We decided to join in the fun and give you 50 fun facts about this city.
1. It is the smallest state in Nigeria, size wise.
2. Paul McCartney recorded his fifth post – Beatles album in an EMI studio in Lagos in August and September 1973.
3. It was Nigeria’s capital till the 12th of Dec, 1991. However it is still labelled the commercial capital of Nigeria.
4. It is Nigeria’s most cosmopolitan city.
5. It is the fastest growing city in Africa and one of the fastest growing in the world.
6. It is the gateway to other West African countries as it has a land border with Benin Republic through which other countries are accessible.
7. It is the most populous state in the country with new people trooping in everyday.
8. It is home to the second longest bridge in Africa – 3rd Mainland bridge.
9. It handles 80% of the countries imports.
10. NECOM house in Lagos (formerly known as NITEL towers), is the tallest building in West Africa.
11. CMS grammar school is the oldest secondary school in Nigeria and is located in Lagos State.
12. Carter Bridge was built before our independence by the colonial masters. After independence, it was dismantled and redesigned to what it is today.
13. The elevation of Lagos is generally described as being at or below sea level with areas already being threatened by the sea.
14. One of Lagos’ aliases is ‘eko, ile ogbon’ which means ‘Lagos, the fountain of common sense’ aka be streetwise
15. The Lagos airport is Nigeria’s busiest for both international and local flights. It is also one of the busiest airports in Africa.
16. Lagos is Nigeria’s single largest commercial center in the country.
17. It is probably the only state that is able to generate enough internal revenue to sustain its operations.
18. The Cathedral Church of Christ was designed by the Brazilian/Sierra Leone architect – Bagandogi Benjamin.
19. Nigeria’s first political party was founded in Lagos in the year 1923.
20. The iconic ‘three white cap chief’ (aro meta) statues in Lagos is meant to welcome all into Lagos. However according to folklore, they also represent 3 things Lagosians must remember –
i. O gbodo ridin (thou shalt not be stupid)
ii. O gbodo suegbe (thou shalt not be slow)
iii. O gbodo ya mugun l’Eko (thou shalt not allow thyself to be taken for a fool)
21. Lagos is a Portuguese word that means lakes.
22. It is the largest mega city on the African continent in terms of population.
23. It is the 4th largest economy in Africa.
24. Iga Idunganran is the official residence of the Oba of Lagos. The name Iga Idunganran, means “palace built on the pepper farm”.
25. Lagos was the major center for slave trade until 1851.
26. It is the only state with the yellow buses (danfo,molue) and taxis.
27. Lagos was founded by the Awori subgroup of the Yoruba people.
28. Modern day Lagos was founded by the Bini people after their conquest.
29. Tinubu Square is where the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorate to form Nigeria in 1914 took place.
30. In 1960, the independence ceremony took place at Tafawa Balewa Square.
31. It has the most vibrant nightlife in Nigeria and competes with the rest of the world.
32. It is home to the longest canopy walk in Africa.
33. It is the center of the Nigerian movie industry – Nollywood
34. Lagos’ twin cities are Gary, Indiana and Atlanta Georgia in America. (Twin cities refer to towns or cities that have a legal or social agreement to promote cultural and commercial ties).
35. Lagos state has 8 cities/towns – Lagos, Ikeja, Lekki, Ikorodu, Eko Atlantic, Badagry, Epe and Ojo.
36. If Lagos was a country, it would be the 5th largest economy in Africa.
37. Lagos has 5 administrative divisions that are divided into 20 Local governments.
38. Eko as Lagos is fondly called is either gotten from the Yoruba word ‘oko’ meaning ‘cassava farm’ or the Benin word ‘Eko’ which means ‘war camp’.
39. Eko was the city’s original name before the Portuguese people named it Lagos.
40. Eko is used to refer mainly to Lagos Island.
41. Lagos Island (Isale Eko) was home to the Brazilian quarter of Lagos where most slave returnees settled. They lived in Marina or Broad street.
42. It is believed that the Eyo festival can only be held in Lagos Island.
43. Victoria Island/Lekki are seen as Eti-Osa not Lagos Island.
44. Broad street is known to be the commercial center in Lagos.
45. Lagos has over 10 beaches.
46. Lagos used to be a fishing village.
47. Lagos has the slogan ”Eko oni baje o” (Lagos cannot be destroyed).
48. Lagos initially emerged as a port city which originated on a collection of islands that are separated by creeks. These islands are Lagos Island, Eti Osa, Apapa & Amuwo-Odofin.
49. Lagos has the highest road density in Nigeria. (clearly)
50. It is believed that if you really want to make it in Nigeria, you should come to Lagos as the possibilities are endless. Move over New York, Lagos is the real concrete jungle.
What other facts about Lagos do you know? Do share with us in the comment section.