About Lagos: Brief History of Lagos State

If you want to learn about Lagos (i.e. a brief history of Lagos, Nigeria), then you’re just on the right page. Read on!

Lagos is the land of the Nigerian dream. It is the ‘New York’ of Nigeria and our country depends on this city for trends, for commerce, for innovation and for everything that is good. Lagos has been called the ‘commercial capital’ of Nigeria and a ‘no man’s land’ but few people know why. This article will present you with a brief history and some interesting facts about ‘Lasgidi’.

Lagos is the smallest state in Nigeria with only 3,577 square kilometers. The area was called Lagos in 1427 by Portuguese explorers; until then, it was called Eko which meant “a war camp”.

During the era of the Benin Empire, trade expeditions were sent to Ghana by the Oba of Benin. At one time, a merchant complained to the Oba that they were being harassed by the Awori people- the first settlers of Lagos. This made the Oba furious and in a bid to end these harassments, the Oba sent his son to war the Awori people. On reaching there, the Awori people did not put up an opposition but requested that the prince of Benin remains and become their leader. The Oba agreed and provided his son with administrative support.

Eko became the major centre of Benin Empire’s trade. From the trade of spices to the trade of slaves, Eko provided the resources for running the empire’s affairs until 1851 when the British came. They annexed Eko and declared it their colony. The capture of the remaining Benin Empire and the eventual capture of the Sokoto caliphate let to the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914. That is the important place Lagos holds in the history of this country.

Today, with over 20 million people, 57 local government areas and the largest varieties of ethnicities and culture in Nigeria, Lagos still holds an important role in Nigeria than any other state. Hence it is called the center of excellence!