Lagos State, a region located in the southwestern geopolitical zone of Nigeria, was created on May 27, 1967, in accordance with the State Creation and Transitional Provision Decree No. 14 of 1967 which effectively restructured Nigeria’s federation into twelve states.
Until the time of the historic restructure, Lagos Municipality used to be the Federal Territory and had served the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Lagos Affa.
As earlier mentioned, the capital of Nigeria was previously Lagos, following the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Nigeria by Lord Lugard in January 1914. Upon the creation of Lagos State in 1967, however, Lagos became the capital of the state. Nine years after the creation of Lagos State, Ikeja was made the capital of the state while the federal capital was later moved to the Abuja in 1991 – during the regime of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.
As history would have us believe, the Awori group of the Yoruba people was the first inhabitants of Lagos. The sub-ethnic group (who are mainly fishermen and hunters at the time) is said to have migrated from Ile Ife and occupied the present day Lagos.
Known for speaking a distinct dialect of Yoruba, the Awori are mainly into coastal agro-fishery business and are mainly found in Lagos State and Ogun State.
However, another version of history has it that the Benin people were the original inhabitants of Lagos. Although these different and controversial accounts still spur up a hot debate to date, it is widely believed that the Aworis first arrived Eko.
In the present age, Lagos has become “every man’s land”, although most folks refer to the city as “no man’s land” due to its very diverse population caused by heavy migration from other parts of Nigeria and neighboring countries.
Lagos State is home to a very large number of the Yoruba people as they are the dominant ethnic group in the region. Nevertheless, records have it that there are over 250 ethnic groups represented in Lagos. These groups include the Fulani. Igbo, Hausa, small minorities of British, Chinese, American, Japanese, Greek, East Indian, white Zimbabwean, Syrian, and Lebanese.
Lagos State logo, also known as the Lagos State coat of arms is the official representation of the state’s authority and seal of the government.
The logo was designed on May 24, 1967, and boasts a unique artistic design and features with historic and significant interpretations. The logo has the following features – cowries, three lines, motto, fishing activity, wheel, white cap, akoko leaves and coconut palm.
Seen to be a true reflection of Lagos State and her people, the cowries speak of the olden past, cowries were previously used as currency before the emergence of coins and notes.
The three lines dividing the shields signify the past, present, and the future of Lagos State. The brownish-gold background under the cowries signifies the color of the foreshore sands that are found in all the divisions of Lagos State.
The motto of Lagos State is “Justice and Progress” while the fishing activities speak of the traditional occupation of the earliest settlers in Lagos.
As the industrial hub of Nigeria, the wheel on the logo is said to be the representation of the state’s industry while the red background indicates power generation.
Also found on the logo is the coconut palm trees, which indicate the main agricultural produce of Lagos State. The white cap (“keresimesi”) depicts authority while the “akoko leaves” which are rightfully placed at the base of the white cap depict longevity.
The postal code for Lagos Island is 101001 while that of Lagos Mainland is 100001. These codes were put in place for the purpose of sorting mail in Lagos State.
Lagos State is bounded on the East and North by Ogun State. It shares borders with the Benin Republic in the West while its South leads to the Atlantic Ocean. The state is the smallest in Nigeria with a total area of 3,577 square kilometers. 22% of the Lagos State’s total area is taken up by creeks and lagoons.
As at 2016, the population of Lagos was put at 21 million. This staggering figure was pushed to the spotlight after an initial report by the Lagos State Government pegged the city’s population at 17.5 million.
This number was said to have been disputed by the Nigerian Government and found to be unreliable by the National Population Commission of Nigeria. Lagos became the largest city in Africa in 2012 after out-numbering Egypt’s sprawling capital, Cairo. This historic leap took place just a year after the United Nations estimated the population of Lagos to be around 11.2 million.
Quick Facts about Lagos State
1. The name Lagos means “lakes”. It was given to the region by Portuguese explorers in 1427.
2. To date, Eko is the native name for Lagos. The cliche, which means “a war camp” was in use until 1427 when the Portuguese named the area Lagos.
3. Lagos, which is a city within the Lagos State, is the most populous city in Africa and Nigeria. It is made up of 16 out of the 20 LGAs in Lagos State.
4. Lagos is loosely grouped into two main geographical regions. The first is the Island while the second is the Mainland.
5. The Local Government Areas which are considered to be on the Island are Apapa (which is sometimes regarded as part of the mainland), Eti-Osa, Lagos Island and Amuwo-Odofin.
6. The mainland, famed for its music and nightlife, has the following LGAs – Surulere, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, and Lagos Mainland. LGAs in the metropolitan Lagos suburban include; Agege, Apapa, Mushin, Oshodi-Isolo, and Ikeja while major areas on the mainland include Ejigbo, Yaba, and Ebute Metta, Yaba.
See Also: 10 Most Popular Streets In Lagos
7. The three major bridges that join the island to the mainland are the Carter Bridge, the Eko Bridge (previously known as the Second Mainland Bridge) and the Third Mainland Bridge.
8. Lagos State houses the Lagos Island General Hospital which is the oldest Nigerian hospital.
9. Eko is the smallest state in Nigeria with only 3,577 square kilometers.
10. If reports online are anything to go by, then Lagos State’s population is expected to double by 2050. If this happens, the city would become the 3rd largest city in the world but with less infrastructure than any other large cities of the world.