"Fastest Growing City in Africa" Lagos Island by itscarlos

Lagos Island Travel Guide: 16 reviews and 12 photos

Capital of Nigeria

Lagos (pron. IPA: /ˈleɪgɒs/ or /ˈlɑːgoʊs/ overseas) is the most populous conurbation in Nigeria with more than 8 million people. It is the most populous in Africa, and currently estimated to be the second fastest growing city in Africa (7th fastest in the world), immediately following Bamako. Formerly the capital of Nigeria, Lagos is a huge metropolis which originated on islands separated by creeks, such as Lagos Island, that fringe the southwest mouth of Lagos Lagoon, protected from the Atlantic Ocean by long sand spits such as Bar Beach which stretch up to 100 km east and west of the mouth. From the beginning, Lagos has spread on the mainland west of the lagoon and the conurbation, including Ikeja and Agege, now reaches more than 40 km north-west of Lagos Island. The city is the economic and financial capital of Nigeria.

Economy

Lagos is Nigeria's most prosperous city, and much of the nation's wealth and economic activity are concentrated there. The commercial, financial and business centre of Lagos and of Nigeria remains the business district of Lagos Island, where most of the country's largest banks and financial institutions are located. More than half of Nigeria's industrial capacity is located in Lagos's mainland suburbs, particularly in the Ikeja industrial estate. A wide range of manufactured goods are produced in the city, including machinery, motor vehicles, electronic equipment, chemicals, beer, processed food, and textiles. The standard of living is higher in Lagos than in the rest of Nigeria.

The Port of Lagos is Nigeria's leading port and one of the largest in Africa. It is administered by the Nigerian Port Authority and is split into three main sections: Lagos port, in the main channel next to Lagos Island, no longer used much, Apapa Port (site of the container terminal) and Tin Can Port, both located in Badagry Creek which flows into the Lagos Harbour from the west.[11] The port features a railhead.

The port handles imports of consumer goods, foodstuffs, motor vehicles, machinery, and industrial raw materials. Its export trade in timber and agricultural products such as cacao and groundnuts has declined since the early 1970s, although the port has seen growing amounts of crude oil exported, with export figures rising between 1997 and 2000.[12] Oil and petroleum products provide 20% of GDP and 95% of foreign exchange earnings in Nigeria as a whole.

Administration and Demographics

In terms of administration, Lagos is not a municipality and has therefore no overall city administration. 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). 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 established them.

Today, the word Lagos most often refers to the urban area, called "Metropolitan Lagos" in Nigeria, which includes both the islands of the former Municipality of Lagos and the mainland suburbs. All of these are part of Lagos State, which now comprises 20 LGAs. Lagos State is responsible for utilities including roads and transportation, power, water, health, and education.

Metropolitan Lagos (a statistical division, and not an administrative unit) extends over 16 of the 20 LGAs of Lagos State, and contains 88% of the population of Lagos State, and includes semi-rural areas.

Lagos was the former capital city of Nigeria but it has since been replaced by Abuja. Abuja officially gained its status as the capital of Nigeria on 12 December 1991, although the decision to move the federal capital had been made in decree no. 6 of 1976.

Lagos is also home to the High Court of the Lagos State Judiciary, housed in an old colonial building on Lagos Island.

  • Last visit to Lagos Island: Dec 2000
  • Intro Written Jun 20, 2008
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