Lagos (/ˈlɡɒs/ LAY-goss;[10][11] also US: /ˈlɑːɡs/ LAH-gohss;[11][12] Yoruba: Èkó), or Lagos City, is a city in Nigeria. With an estimated population of 21 million[13][14][15] in 2015, it claimed to be the most populous in the country.[16] Lagos is the most populous urban area in Africa.[17] Lagos was the national capital of Nigeria until the government's December 1991 decision to move their capital to Abuja in the centre of the country.[18][19][20] Lagos is a major African financial centre and is the economic hub of Lagos State and Nigeria at large. The city has a significant influence on commerce, entertainment, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, and fashion in Africa. Lagos is also among the top ten of the world's fastest-growing cities and urban areas.[28][29] The megacity has the fourth-highest GDP in Africa[2][30] and houses one of the largest and busiest seaports on the continent.[31][32][33] Due to the large urban population and port traffic volumes, Lagos is classified as a Medium-Port Megacity.[34]

Èkó (Yoruba)
Eko akete, Lasgidi[3][4]
"Èkó ò ní bàjẹ́ o!" in Yoruba
Lagos shown within the State of Lagos
Lagos shown within the State of Lagos
Lagos is located in Lagos
Location of Lagos in Nigeria
Lagos is located in Nigeria
Lagos (Nigeria)
Coordinates: 6°27′18″N 3°23′03″E / 6.455027°N 3.384082°E / 6.455027; 3.384082
Country Nigeria
LGA(s)[note 1]
Settled15th century
Founded byAwori subgroup of the Yoruba[5]
 • Governor of LagosBabajide Sanwo-Olu
 • Deputy GovernorFemi Hamzat
 • Supreme JudgeKazeem Alogba
 • Metropolis1,171.28 km2 (452.23 sq mi)
 • Land999.6 km2 (385.9 sq mi)
 • Water171.68 km2 (66.29 sq mi)
 • Urban
907 km2 (350 sq mi)
 • Metro
2,706.7 km2 (1,045.1 sq mi)
41 m (135 ft)
 (2006 census)[note 1]
 • Metropolis8,048,430
 • Estimate 
(2018 by LASG[6])
 • Rank1st
 • Density6,871/km2 (17,800/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Urban density14,469/km2 (37,470/sq mi)
 • Metro
21,000,000 (estimated)[6]
 • Metro density7,759/km2 (20,100/sq mi)
 • MetroUS$ 114.5 billion
 • Per capitaUS$ 6,100
Time zoneUTC+1
Area code010[9]
  1. ^ Only Ikoyi-Obalande and Iru-Victoria Island LCDAs

Lagos emerged as a home to the Awori subgroup of the Yoruba of West Africa islands in the 15th century, which are contained in the present day Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Lagos Island, Eti-Osa, Amuwo-Odofin and Apapa. 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.[35] The islands are separated by creeks, fringing the southwest mouth of Lagos Lagoon, while being protected from the Atlantic Ocean by barrier islands and long sand spits such as Bar Beach, which stretch up to 100 km (62 mi) east and west of the mouth. Due to rapid urbanisation, the city expanded to the west of the lagoon to include areas in the present day Lagos Mainland, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, and Surulere. This led to the classification of Lagos into two main areas: the Island, which was the original city of Lagos, and the Mainland, which it has since expanded into.[36] This city area was governed directly by the Federal Government through the Lagos City Council, until the creation of Lagos State in 1967, which led to the splitting of Lagos city into the present-day seven Local Government Areas (LGAs), and an addition of other towns (which now make up 13 LGAs) from the then Western Region to form the state.[37]

However, the state capital was later moved to Ikeja in 1976,[38] and the federal capital moved to Abuja in 1991. Even though Lagos is still widely referred to as a city, the present-day Lagos, also known as "Metropolitan Lagos", and officially as "Lagos Metropolitan Area"[39][40][41] is an urban agglomeration or conurbation,[42] consisting of 16 LGAs including Ikeja, the state capital of Lagos State.[2][43] This conurbation makes up 37% of Lagos State total land area, but houses about 85% of the state's total population.[2][37][44]

The population of Metropolitan Lagos is disputed.[45] In the 2006 federal census data, the conurbation had a population of about 8 million people.[46] However, the figure was disputed by the Lagos State Government, which later released its own population data, putting the population of Lagos Metropolitan Area at approximately 16 million.[note 1] Daily, the Lagos area is growing by some 3,000 people or around 1.1 million annually, so the true population figure of the greater Lagos area in 2022 is roughly 28 million (up from some 23.5 million in 2018). Lagos may therefore have overtaken Kinshasa as Africa's most populous city. As of 2015, unofficial figures put the population of "Greater Metropolitan Lagos", which includes Lagos and its surrounding metro area, extending as far as into Ogun State, at approximately 21 million.[1][37][47][48] The Lagos conurbation is part of an emerging transnational megalopolis on the coast of West Africa that includes areas in five sovereign states, the Abidjan–Lagos Corridor.[49][50]

The University of Lagos is one of the first generation universities of Nigeria. The business district of Lagos is home to Tinubu Square, named after the aristocratic slave trader Efunroye Tinubu. Lagos contains Murtala Muhammed International Airport, named after Nigerian president Murtala Muhammad, and is one of the busiest African airports. Lagos National Stadium has hosted various international sports events such as the 1980 African Cup of Nations.



Lagos is derived from the Portuguese word for "lakes". The pronunciation /ˈlɡɒs/ (LAY-goss) is typically standard in British and Nigerian English.[12][51] Speakers of American English often use the pronunciation /ˈlɑːɡs/ (LAH-gohss), which sounds more similar to the original Portuguese pronunciation.[12][51] The native Yoruba name Èkó is also used by Yoruba people. Lagos may have been named after the Portuguese town called Lagos, since, at the time of the 15th century, Lagos, Portugal, was the main centre of Portuguese maritime expeditions down the African coast.[52]





Lagos was formerly the capital city of Nigeria, but it has since been replaced by Abuja. Abuja officially became the capital of Nigeria on 12 December 1991, although the decision to move the federal capital had been made in now Act 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.[53]

A map showing the 16 LGAs making up Lagos Metropolitan Area

In terms of administration, Lagos is not a single municipality and therefore has no overall city administration.[54] The geographical city limits of Metropolitan Lagos comprise 16 of the 20 Local Government Areas of Lagos State. The latter entity provides overall government for the metropolitan region. The former 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).[55]

The mainland beyond the Municipality of Lagos, on the other hand, included 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 present-day "Lagos Metropolitan Area", also known as "Metropolitan Lagos". The history of Lagos is still evidenced in the layout of the LGAs that display the unique identities of the cultures that created them.[citation needed][56]

By 2006, the metro area around Lagos had extended beyond Lagos State's boundaries and attained a megacity status. This much larger area is referred to as "Greater Metropolitan Lagos" or "Lagos Megacity Region", which is a continuously built-up land area of an additional 1,535.4 square kilometres (592.8 square miles), in LGAs situated next to Lagos's eastern and western city limits in Lagos State, and also beyond its northern limits, spilling into some LGAs in adjoining Ogun State. Ogun State LGAs that have become part of Greater Metropolitan Lagos include Obafemi Owode, Sagamu, Ifo, Ado-Odo/Ota and part of Ewekoro.[48]

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. Lagos State government is responsible for some of the utilities including roads and transportation, power, water, health, and education. Metropolitan Lagos extends over 16 of the 20 LGAs of Lagos State and contains about 85% of the population of Lagos State, including some semi-rural areas.[57] Lagos has a considerable number of high-rise buildings that dominate its skyline. Most of the tall buildings are located in the downtown Central Business District.[citation needed]


The 16 LGAs of Metropolitan Lagos
Local Government Area Land area[58]
(in km2)
(2006 Census)
(2022 estimate)
2006 Density
(inh. per km2)
Agege 17 459,939 683,600 41,071
Ajeromi-Ifelodun 13.9 684,105 1,017,500 55,474
Alimosho 137.8 1,277,714 1,953,500 6,899
Amuwo-Odofin 179.1 318,166 487,000 2,364
Apapa 38.5 217,362 330,100 8,153
Eti-Osa 299.1 287,785 420,100 1,496
Ifako-Ijaiye 43 427,878 633,200 16,078
Ikeja 49.92 313,196 470,200 6,785
Kosofe 84.4 665,393 1,010,800 8,174
Lagos Island 9.26 209,437 314,900 24,182
Lagos Mainland 19.62 317,720 483,600 16,322
Mushin 14.05 633,009 935,400 36,213
Ojo 182 598,071 901,800 3,781
Oshodi-Isolo 41.98 621,509 931,300 13,886
Somolu 14.6 402,673 597,400 34,862
Surulere 27.05 503,975 744,400 21,912
Metropolitan Lagos 1,171.28 7,937,932 11,914,800 7,941

Although the 2006 National Population Census of Nigeria credited the metropolitan area with a population figure of 7,937,932, the figure is at variance with some projections by the United Nations and other population agencies and groups worldwide. The population figure of Lagos State given by the Lagos State Government is 17,553,924. That figure was based on claimed conducted enumeration for social planning by the Lagos State Government's "parallel census" and it believes that since the inhabitants of the metropolitan area of Lagos constitute 88% of the Lagos State population, the population of metropolitan Lagos is about 15.5 million.[60]

A rejoinder to Lagos State Government views[61] concluded that Lagos State concealed the fact that the population projection, for Lagos Urban Agglomeration by the UN agencies, had been revised downwards substantially as early as 2003. It failed to interpret the two most important and fairly representative and reliable secondary data sets already in the public domain, the National Identity Card Scheme and the 2003 Voters Registration figures from INEC. The figures for 2007 Voters Registration by INEC were an act subsequent to the release of the provisional census results and comprehensively corroborate, vindicate and validate the population figures. According to the official results of the 2006 census, there were 8,048,430 inhabitants in Metropolitan Lagos.[46] This figure was lower than anticipated and has created controversy in Nigeria. Lagos Island, the central Local Government Area and historic center of Metropolitan Lagos, had a population of 212,700 at the 2006 Census.[62]

Authorities of Lagos State have disputed the results of the 2006 census, accusing the Nigerian National Population Commission of undercounting the population of the state. This accusation is denied by the National Population Commission.[63][64] A study found that research carried out by Africapolis (the African subsidiary of e-Geopolis backed by the Agence française de développement), in addition to the cross-referencing of official figures with more scientific independent research concluded that the 2006 census figures for Lagos State of about 9 million were valid and that the state's own assessments are inflated.[65]

Lagos is, by most estimates, one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.[66] Lagos is experiencing a population increase of about 275,000 persons per annum. In 1999, the United Nations predicted that the city's metropolitan area, which had only about 290,000 inhabitants in 1950, would exceed 20 million by 2010 and thus become one of the ten most populated cities in the world.[citation needed][67]

Historical population
source:[68] for Lagos Agglomeration


Map of Lagos's initial city boundaries, showing its contemporary districts. This definition is rarely used in the present day; the expanded metropolitan area is now a more accepted definition of Lagos.
Satellite image of Lagos

Lagos is loosely classified into two main geographical areas—the "Island" and the "Mainland".[citation needed][69][70]



The city of Lagos has the tallest skyline in Nigeria. The architectural styles in Lagos are diverse and range from tropical and vernacular to colonial European and ultramodern buildings or a mixture. Brazilian style architecture brought by the creoles is evident in buildings such as Water House and Shitta Bey Mosque.[71][72][73] Skyscrapers and most high rise buildings are centered on the islands, while the mainland has some high rise buildings.[74] In recent years, the Lagos State government has renovated existing parks and green areas, with a long-term goal of expansion. Many good quality buildings are interspersed across the city.[75][76][77][78][79]



The Island is a loose geographical term that is used to define the area of Lagos that is separated from the "Mainland" by the main channel draining the lagoon into the Atlantic Ocean, which forms Lagos Harbour. The Island is mainly a collection of islands that are separated from each other by creeks and are connected by bridges. The smaller sections of some creeks have been dredged and built over. This part of Lagos is the area where most business activities and entertainment events take place, as well as where most of the upscale residential areas are concentrated. The Local Government Areas (LGAs) that are considered to be on the Island include Lagos Island and Eti-Osa. The major upscale Island neighborhoods within these LGAs include Ikoyi and Victoria Island. Three major bridges join the Island to the Mainland. They are the Carter Bridge, which starts 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. The Ikoyi link bridge links Ikoyi and Lekki Phase 1, both of which are part of the Island.[80]

Construction on the Fourth Mainland Bridge will commence in 2022, according to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.[81][82]

Lagos Island
Lagos Marina

Lagos Island contains a central business district.[83] This district is characterized by high-rise buildings. The Island also contains many of the city's largest wholesale marketplaces (such as the popular Idumota and Balogun Markets).[84] It also has the National Museum of Nigeria, the Central Mosque, the Glover Memorial Hall, Christ's Church Cathedral (CMS) and the Oba's Palace (Iga Idunganran).[85] Another major part of Lagos Island is Marina. It borders the idumota and Balogun markets and houses major Banking institutions. 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.[citation needed][86]

Aerial view of Ikoyi

Ikoyi is situated on the eastern half of Lagos Island and joined to it by a landfill.[87][88] Ikoyi is also connected to Victoria Island by Falomo bridge, which carries the main road over Five Cowrie creek.[89] Falomo garden, a green public space which was developed by the state government in conjunction with Fidelity Bank in 2017, is located under the bridge.[90] 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.[91]

In Ikoyi there are military and police barracks, a top-security prison, and a federal high court of Nigeria. Ikoyi also has hotels, nightclubs, a recreational park, and one of Africa's largest golf courses. Originally a middle class neighborhood, 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 are spotted in an increasing number of offices, banks, and shopping complexes. The commercial section is concentrated in the South-West.[citation needed]

Victoria Island
Eko Atlantic, a project at the mouth of Lagos Lagoon under construction, extending and further developing Victoria Island (imaged from Tarkwa Bay Beach)

Victoria Island with its annex is situated to the south of Lagos Island and known with a zip code of 101241[92] as assigned by NIPOST.[93] 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 Lagos that boasts several shopping districts. On its seashore along the Atlantic front, there is an environmentally reconstructed Bar Beach.[94]


The Lekki Peninsula shares some prestige with its Ikoyi and Victoria Island neighbors. Development has stretched the piece of land further such that the Ibeju axis, though closer to Epe (which is on the outskirts of Lagos) is almost always described as part of Lekki. The expanse of land starts from the Lekki toll gate, which was the focal stage of the famous #EndSars protest in October 2020, and ends in Ibeju-Lekki and boasts of communities slowly inching their way to suburb status such as Ajah, Awoyaya, Sangotedo, Abijo, and Eputu. There is quite a bit of places to see – the Lekki Conservation Centre; The Novare Mall; The Lekki Free Trade Zone – Dangote, Africa's richest man is building his refinery in this FTZ; Lagos Business School; Eleko Beach; Elegushi Beach; La Camaigne Tropicana – a beach/tourist getaway, Pan-Atlantic University. The area has a Catholic monastery.[95]


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 now situated in the Lagos Mainland Local Government Area after it was connected to the Mainland like a peninsula.[96]



A huge population of Lagosians also live on the Lagos Mainland, and most industries are located there. The Mainland is known for its music and nightlife, which used to be located in areas around Yaba, Ikeja, and Surulere. However, in recent years more nightclubs have sprung up on the Island, making the Island (particularly Victoria Island, Ikate, and Lekki Phase 1) the main nightlife attraction. Mainland LGAs include Surulere, Apapa, and Lagos Mainland. Metropolitan Lagos suburban LGAs include: Agege, Amuwo Odofin, Mushin, Oshodi-Isolo and Ikeja (site of Murtala Muhammed International Airport and the capital of Lagos State).[97]

Major areas on the Mainland include Ebute Metta, Yaba and Ejigbo. Some rivers, like Badagry Creek, flow parallel to the coast for some distance before exiting through the sand bars to the sea.[citation needed][98]



Lagos experiences a tropical savanna climate (Aw) according to the Köppen climate classification, as there are three months under 60 mm or 2.4 in of rain, and annual rainfall is not nearly high enough for tropical monsoon classification. The wet season starts in March and ends in October, while the dry season starts in November and ends in February. The wettest month is June with precipitation total 316 mm or 12.44 in, while the driest month is January with precipitation total 13 mm or 0.51 in.[citation needed]

Located near the equator, Lagos has only a slight seasonal temperature variation, with mean high temperatures ranging from 28 to 33 °C (82 to 91 °F). Lagos shares the seasons of the Southern Hemisphere, with the highest temperatures in March with a daily range from 34 to 25 °C (93 to 77 °F), and least hot temperatures in August ranging from 28 to 22 °C (82 to 72 °F).

Climate data for Lagos (Murtala Muhammed International Airport) 1991–2020, extremes: 1886–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 38
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 32
Daily mean °C (°F) 28
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 24
Record low °C (°F) 21
Average precipitation mm (inches) 14
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 2 3 6 9 12 16 13 9 12 10 5 1 98
Average relative humidity (%) 78 81 84 86 87 88 89 88 89 88 84 79 85
Average dew point °C (°F) 21
Mean monthly sunshine hours 164 168 174 189 176 114 99 105 121 167 186 197 1,843
Mean daily sunshine hours 5 6 6 7 6 4 3 3 4 5 6 7 5
Source 1: NOAA (monthly sun hours 1961–1990)[99][100]
Source 2: Meteo Climat (record highs and lows)[101]

Time and Date (dewpoints, 2005–2015)[102] Weather Atlas (daily sun hours)[103]

Climate change


A 2019 paper published in PLOS One estimated that under Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5, a "moderate" scenario of climate change where global warming reaches ~2.5–3 °C (4.5–5.4 °F) by 2100, the climate of Lagos in the year 2050 would most closely resemble the current climate of Panama City. The annual temperature would increase by 1.6 °C (2.9 °F) and the temperature of the warmest month by 1.5 °C (2.7 °F), while the temperature of the coldest month would be 2.9 °C (5.2 °F) higher.[104][105] According to Climate Action Tracker, the current warming trajectory appears consistent with 2.7 °C (4.9 °F), which closely matches RCP 4.5.[106]

Moreover, according to the 2022 IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, Lagos is one of 12 major African cities (Abidjan, Alexandria, Algiers, Cape Town, Casablanca, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Durban, Lagos, Lomé, Luanda and Maputo) that would be the most severely affected by sea level rise. It estimates that they would collectively sustain cumulative damage of US$65 billion under RCP 4.5 and US$86.5 billion in the high-emission scenario RCP 8.5 by the year 2050. Additionally RCP 8.5 combined with the hypothetical impact from marine ice sheet instability at high levels of warming would involve up to US$137.5 billion in damage, while the additional accounting for the "low-probability, high-damage events" may increase aggregate risks to US$187 billion for the "moderate" RCP4.5, US$206 billion for RCP8.5 and US$397 billion under the high-end ice sheet instability scenario.[107] Since sea level rise would continue for about 10,000 years under every scenario of climate change, future costs of sea level rise would only increase, especially without adaptation measures.[108] Sea level rise is being exacerbated by subsidence, which is occurring at up to 87 millimetres (3.4 in) per year.[109]



The city of Lagos is a major economic focal point in Nigeria, generating around 10% 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 is also the major information communications and telecommunications (ICT) hub of West Africa.[110][111] Lagos is developing a 24-hour economy.[112][113]

The globalisation of Lagos' economy is rated "beta minus" by the GaWC.[114] This is equivalent to Manchester or Edinburgh in the UK . Lagos is thus the most "globalised" city in West and Central Africa.[115] 5 out of 7 African tech "unicorns" operate out of Lagos (see below).[116] Lagos is home to more tech centres than any other city in Africa.[117]

Yves Bellinghausen from the German magazine ZEIT summarises: ‘Lagos is Africa's Hollywood, Manhattan and Silicon Valley all rolled into one.’[118]

Financial institutions

Financial district of Lagos

Lagos is a major financial and banking centre. The four largest banks in West and Central Africa are headquartered in Lagos,[119] and another nine banks in Lagos are among the 20 largest banks in the region. Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and First Bank have capital of more than US$2 billion each.[119] Banking headquarters are located on Victoria Island and Lagos Island.

The insurance industry in Nigeria is comparatively modestly developed, with an industry turnover of around US$1 billion per year.[120] As with the banks, the headquarters of the insurance companies are predominantly located in Lagos.


Inauguration of Lekki deep sea port 2023

The Port of Lagos, formally known as the Lagos-Elbert Mathews Memorial Port, is Nigeria's leading port and one of the largest and busiest in Africa. Due to the large urban population, Lagos is categorized as a medium-port megacity using the Southampton System for port-city classification.[121] It is administered by the Nigerian Ports Authority.

Lagos, its ports, airports, free trade zone and light rail system

The Port of Lagos / Apapa is the oldest and largest port in the country, both in terms of land area and cargo volume handled. More than half of Nigeria's maritime trade is handled here, and the port also acts as a transshipment point for landlocked countries such as Chad and Niger. Around 1,000 ships with 5,700,000 tonnes of cargo call at the Lagos port complex annually.[122]

Tin Can Island Port is located west of Apapa near the Lagos Port Complex. It was established in 1975.

In early 2023, the deep sea port of Lekki was commissioned 50 km east of Lagos. This thus does not belong to the urban area of Lagos, but to the state of the same name.

Entertainment industry and media



Filming set in Lagos

Lagos is the center of the West African film, music, and TV industries. The film industry in the Surulere locality ranks second or third in the world, ahead of or behind Hollywood, depending on the survey.[123] PricewaterhouseCoopers Int. forecasts that the Nigerian entertainment industry will grow 85% to $15 billion.[124] Since the success of the Nigerian thriller "The Figurine", Nigerian film has increasingly turned to high-quality productions that are also commercially successful. This, in turn, has led to consistently new box office revenue records in Nigeria (2009's "The Figurine," 2013's "Half of a Yellow Sun," 2016's "The Wedding Party", 2023's "Battle on Buka Street").[125]



In Nigeria, newspapers are available in digital format and are predominantly produced in Lagos. The most widely read newspaper in Lagos, by its own account, is Punch. The Vanguard newspaper is one of the few dailies that is not only available online but also in print. Other publications include The Guardian, The Nation, The Sun and the Nigerian Tribune. The latter was founded in colonial times, in 1949.



The most watched television station in Lagos (and in Nigeria) is the 24-hour news channel Channels TV, based in Lagos. Some of its presenters use an overly correct standard British English that compatriots like to mock. The same can be said of Arise TV and the state broadcaster NTA. The private African Independent Television focuses on entertainment and infotainment. Programmes in pidgin English or in Yoruba have moved to digital streaming services and offer action films, comedies and heartbreak productions.

"Africa's Silicon Valley"

IT trainer and recruiter Andela, Lagos

There are seven tech start-ups in Africa that are said to have "unicorn" status (worth over 1 billion euros). Five of them are based in Lagos:[116] Flutterwave is in the virtual bank card business. Opay and Interswitch are platforms for online bookings. Andela trains software engineers and places them in the Nigerian labour market. Jumia is an online retail company that offers a wide range of products such as electronic devices and fashion.

Lagos is home to more tech hubs than any other city in Africa.[117] With more than 90 million internet users, Lagos is attracting investors who want to capitalise on this expanding technology hotspot.[117] refers to Lagos as "Africa's Silicon Valley".[126] Bloomberg highlights "Nigeria's Chaotic Rise as the Tech Heart of Africa" and means Lagos, specifically the Yaba district.[127]

MTN in Lagos

Lagos is the only African city to have both a Google and a Microsoft office. MTN maintains the first and still predominant 4G network in Nigeria. Airtel is another 4G provider. 9Mobile and Dataflex are Internet providers. Paystack is used by Nigerians who regularly receive payments from abroad. ULesson maintains a platform on which secondary school learning content is presented. and allows hotel bookings to be made throughout Africa.[128][129]

Oil refinery


For decades, there was no oil processing industry in Nigeria, apart from illegal refineries in the Niger Delta (which are very polluting due to the lack of cracking). Nigeria therefore had to have the end products of domestic crude oil such as fuels, bitumen, paraffin, motor oil, polypropylene etc. produced in US or European refineries, with transport costs over thousands of nautical miles and margins for middlemen. The oil refinery in Lekki went into operation in December 2023[130] and is expected to process 650,000 barrels of oil per day when fully operational, making it the seventh largest oil refinery in the world.[131] By comparison, the largest refinery in the United Kingdom in Fawley processes 270,000 barrels a day, while the biggest US refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, processes 607,000 barrels a day.[132] 57,000 people have been hired.[133]

Fertiliser plant


Since 2022, a new fertiliser production plant has been producing 3 million tonnes of fertiliser a year (roughly equivalent to Germany's fertiliser consumption).[134] With no more Russian fertiliser coming onto the world market in 2022 due to the Ukraine war, Nigeria is stepping into a gap in the market. "The fertiliser market is a seller's market," company owner Dangote raves. "People are begging for us to sell and we are choosy about who we sell to."[134][135]

Pharmaceutical industry

Pharmacy in Ikeja

Nigeria hosts about 60 percent of the pharmaceutical production capacity in Africa (status 2022).[136] The larger pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria are located in the North of Lagos.[137] Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd appears to be the pharmaceutical producer with the most employees.[138] Next in line are Fidson Healthcare Plc,[139] May & Baker Nig. Plc[140] and Swiss Pharma Nigeria.[141]

Automotive industry


"Nord Automobiles Ltd" has two assembly plants in Lagos: in Sangotedo and in Epe. The company manufactures its own plastic parts and plans to take on steel pressing in the future. The company offers eight different models.[142] However, company founder and CEO Oluwatobi Ajayi is struggling with insufficient demand and the increase in the price of imported components due to the devaluation of the local currency, the naira, in 2023. He is looking for solutions with a German partner.[143]

Lekki Free Trade Zone

Entrance of the Lekki Free Trade Zone

The Lekki Free Trade Zone is a free trade zone in the eastern part of Lekki, covering a total area of about 155 square kilometres. It has an area of 30 square kilometres and is to be developed into a multifunctional district integrating industry, trade and commerce, real estate development, warehousing and logistics, tourism and entertainment.

Trade fairs and exhibitions


Lagos has two major congress halls, the Eko Convention Center and the Landmark Centre.[144] The Eko Convention Center has 5,151 m2 and 13 meeting rooms. It hosts for example the Lagos Fashion Fair.[145] The Landmark Centre has 1,004 m2 and 8 meeting rooms.[146] The Landmark Centre hosts annual meetings like "Medic/Medlab West Africa", "Beauty West Africa" or "agrofood".[147]

Food processing and distribution


Nigeria's largest brewery, fancily named Nigerian Breweries and a Heineken subsidiary, is located in the Lagos-Surulere district. The Guinness brewery produces its famous strong beer in the Ikeja district. Apparently, the average Nigerian drinks larger quantities of this beverage than the average Irishman.[148] Both breweries also produce non-alcoholic (Guinness also halal) malt beer, which is part of the "Lagos' way of life".[149]

Logistics hub, close to Epe

In Ketu-Ereyun, between Epe and Ikorodu, Lagos State builds a "Food Logistics Park" – the biggest logistics hub for food in Sub-Saharan Africa. The site is 1.2 million square meters big and the construction is expected to be finished in 2024.[150][151]

Until now, Nigeria paradoxically exported unhusked rice but had to import husked rice, the country's staple food. – The hulling mill in Imota, just outside Lagos, processes the rice domestically. When fully operational, the plant, the largest south of the Sahara, is expected to employ 250,000 people and produce 2.5 million 50-kg bags of rice annually.[152]

The Apapa sugar refinery,[153] part of the Dangote Group, increased its turnover to 288.3 billion naira (€590 million) in the third quarter of 2022 – a 47% increase from the third quarter of 2021. The sugar refinery has a capacity of 1.44 million metric tonnes per annum and supplies end users as well as bulk buyers such as Nestlé Nigeria Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc and the Nigerian Bottling Company.[153]

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu opened the new Ikosi International Fruits Market in the Ketu district on 25 May 2023.[154] The new fruit market comprises 1,004 shop units.[155] It has its own water and electricity supply, canteen and parking facilities. The facility is monitored by security personnel.[155] On 18 December 2023, Sanwo-Olu opened a similar "Fresh Food Hub" in Idi-Oro, Mushin.[156][157] Both hubs are aiming to increase the speed of food supply and reduce the percentage of food going to waste before it reaches the customer.

Timber, sawmill


The Lagos sawmill moved from its old but bursting-at-the-seams location in Oko Baba to Timberville, just outside Lagos, in 2022, where modern facilities are available.


The Landmark Beach with the urban development Eko Atlantic in the background

Following the remodernization project achieved by the previous administration of Governor Raji Babatunde Fashola, Lagos is gradually becoming a major tourist destination, being one of the largest cities in Africa and in the world. Diasporan Africans and others, especially from East and Southern Africa, are increasingly visiting Lagos mostly to understand and experience the Nigeria that has been presented to them by Nollywood.

Elegushi Beach

Beaches, water sports


Lagos has sandy beaches by the Atlantic Ocean, including Elegushi Beach[158] and Alpha Beach. Lagos also has a number of private beach resorts, including the Landmark Beach[159] and the Inagbe Grand Beach Resort.[160]

On Wole Olateju Crescent, in the immediate vicinity of Lekki Bridge,[161] there are several companies that offer boat tours and rent kayaks or jet skis.

Dancing, shopping, dining


Nightclubs are mainly found on Victoria Island, where the well-to-do and foreign guests hang out, and around Adeniran Ogunsanya Street in Surulere.

Rooftop restaurants on the Atlantic beach or on the lagoon offer not only culinary delights and a view, but also a welcome breeze from the sea for the heat-stricken visitor.[162]

Even before the devaluation of the local currency, the naira, in June 2023, Lagos was a place where US$10 (9.10 euros) could keep you full for a day and buy souvenirs to boot.[163][164] The stress-resistant and experienced bargain-hunter buys brand-name clothes for a knockdown price at the ecomarket and the adjoining Martin Street.[165]

The Lekki Arts and Crafts Market (known to Lagosians as Oba Elegushi Market) is a large market that displays a wide variety of African arts and crafts. It is considered the largest art market in Nigeria.[166]

Parks and gardens

Freedom Park

Freedom Park is a memorial and recreational park in the middle of Lagos city centre on Lagos Island, Nigeria, which used to be Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison. It was designed by architect Theo Lawson. The park was built to preserve the history and cultural heritage of Nigerians. The monuments in the park commemorate the colonial heritage of Lagos and the history of Her Majesty's Broad Street Prison. It was erected to mark the 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations in October 2010. The park is a national memorial, a historical landmark, a cultural site and an arts and recreation centre. Now a tranquil place for individuals, visitors and collective contemplation, the park is open to the public daily. Today, Freedom Park has become a gathering place for various social events and recreational entertainment.[167]

Tinubu Square (formerly Independence Square) is an open space on Broad Street, Lagos Island, Lagos State, Nigeria, named after slave trader, merchant and aristocrat Efunroye Tinubu.[168] It used to be called Ita Tinubu before it was renamed Independence Square and later Tinubu Square by the leaders of the First Nigerian Republic after Nigerian independence.[169] Tinubu Square is the most popular square in Nigeria.

Tafawa Balewa Square is a 50,000-capacity stadium that was a racecourse under the British and where independence was proclaimed in 1960.[170] At the entrance to the square are sculptures of four white horses and seven red eagles. After Abuja replaced Lagos as the capital, the "TBS" fell into disrepair. Attempts by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to renovate the stadium have not yielded results (as of 2023).[171]

Ndubuisi Kanu Park is a public green space much loved by all for relaxation.


Canope walkway at the Lekki Conservation Centre

The Lekki Conservation Centre is essentially the Lagos Zoo. It consists of a fenced-off strip of vegetation that attempts to replicate rainforest, mangroves and savannah. There are monkeys, numerous birds, snakes and crocodiles. There is a small museum with stuffed animals. On Sundays however it is used for lengthy religious service. According to a tourism website, the LCC is the second-most popular site[172] in Lagos to see (after the Nike Gallery, see chapter "Art").

Lufasi Nature Park is the Lekki Urban Forestry and Animal Shelter Initiative.[173] It preserves nature and protects wildlife and endangered species. Nollywood film crews often use this park as a set.


The Oba's Palace in Iga Idungaran, Lagos
Lekki bridge


  • Herbert Macaulay memorial statue,
  • Welcome to Lagos statue showing three Lagos white cap chiefs. In local parlance, they are noted as warning you not to "suegbe, didinrin nor ya mugun" while in Lagos. Meaning?

Other tourist attractions

  • Takwa Bay – A popular bay from where you can observe shipping traffic in and out of the Lagos port as well as enjoy some water sports. If you have a personal yacht this is where to go.
  • Festac Town.[174]

Not LGBT-friendly


Despite its active nightlife and prevailing joie de vivre, Lagos, like all cities in Nigeria, is "not LGBT-friendly". Nigeria's 2014 legislation in this regard is among the most draconian systems of repression against queer people in the world.[175] Homosexuals, but also their "supporters" such as people who have attended a same-sex wedding in another country, or hotel staff who have provided a room for a queer couple, theoretically can be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.



Lagos is a cultural centre of Nigeria. As a port city and the starting point of British colonisation, the Western influence is stronger here than in probably any other Nigerian city. All Nigerian ethnic groups can be found in the melting pot of this metropolis, with the Yoruba predominating. The music and film industries in the city are dynamic centres of the country with international acclaim.

Monumental buildings

National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos
The Cathedral Church of Christ at the central Marina on Lagos Island

A very striking building in Lagos is the National Arts Theatre with its oval base. The renovation of the National Arts Theatre was completed in March 2023.[176] With the new "blue line" of the Lagos light rail, the National Theatre is recently easily accessible – the station "National theatre" is at a stone's throw distance from the theatre building.

Another frequently photographed structure in Lagos is the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge – or more simply: Lekki bridge.

The Cathedral Church of Christ is at the centre of the oldest part of Lagos. The Anglican church was built between 1867 and 1869, shortly after the establishment of British colonial rule.

The Synagogue Church of All Nations was built in 2004.

The Nike Art Gallery

The Nike Art Gallery is an art gallery in Lagos owned by Nike Davies-Okundaye.[177] The gallery is probably the largest of its kind in West Africa. It is housed in a five-storey building and has a collection of about 8,000 different works of art by various Nigerian artists such as Chief Josephine Oboh Macleod.[178]

Red Door Gallery specializes in African contemporary art.

The Ovuomaroro Studio and Gallery is one of the oldest art galleries in Lagos.[179]

The Alexis Galleries, owned by Patty Chidiac-Mastrogiannis, are located on Victoria Island.[180] Since its foundation in 2011, Alexis Galleries have been engaged in the presentation and dissemination of Nigerian contemporary styles including; painting, drawing, mixed media, and sculpture. It aims to strengthen and support the Nigerian Art Circle.

In 2002, Lagos was one of the African platform cities for the art exhibition Documenta 11.


Interactive exhibition of Yoruba art at the Randle centre

The National Museum in Onikan on Lagos Island houses archaeological and ethnographic collections as well as traditional art. There is an opportunity to purchase Nigerian arts and crafts at the adjoining craft centre. Haggling is allowed at the island's Jankara market. Spices, printed cotton and hand-woven fabrics as well as leather articles are offered here.

The John K. Randle Centre houses an exhibition on Yoruba culture inaugurated in 2023.[181][182] The curators actively work with artists, writers, craftspeople, historians and storytellers to share the rich Yoruba culture. The John K. Randle Centre is a new, partly interactive kind of museum. It adapts modern Western museum practices to present new forms of storytelling inspired by Yoruba traditions.[183] It celebrates tangible and intangible culture by preserving, enhancing and promoting the cultural heritage of the Yoruba people. The centre actively collects a wide range of items that distinguish it from a traditional museum. The John K. Randle Centre plays a leading role in the repatriation of Yoruba artefacts from European institutions.

The Kalakuta Republic is a museum honouring late musician Fela Kuti.[184]

Furthermore, the Mindscape Childrens Museum deserves mentioning. Since 2015 it is notable as Nigeria's premiere Children's museum. It aims at social interaction and improve their natural curiosity.[185]



The Muson Centre (Musical Society of Nigeria) is a theatre / performance hall. MUSON regularly organizes concerts of both Nigerian and Western genres. Its choir performs since 1995, the symphony orchestra, Nigeria's only professional symphony orchestra at the time, since 2005. Both perform regularly at the annual MUSON Festival and during the Society's concert season.[186]


The Lagos Black Heritage Festival Parade

In Lagos, festivals take place in different months. These are the Lagos Carnival in January,[187] the Eko International Film Festival[188] in March, the Lagos Black Heritage Carnival in April,[189] the Lagos Photo Festival[190] in November, the Book & Art Festival[191] in November and the Lagos Food Festival[192] in December. The Lagos Jazz Festival features music of all genres with a focus on jazz.[193] The Experience is a decibel-rich gospel concert hosted by the evangelical House of the Rock Church in packed Talewa Balewa Square on the first Friday in December.[194] Ear protection and a certain tolerance for overly dedicated worshippers are recommended.

The Eyo Carnival is an irregular festival that originated in Iperu Remo, Ogun State.[195]


Arewa Traditional Kitchen

Some of the famous dishes in Lagos include indigenous delicacies such as eba and egusi; amala and ewedu; jollof (the go-to party dish); ofada rice; plantains (locally called dodo); beans; suya (spicy shish kebab or spiced roasted beef), which is consumed in local clubs and bars with a bottle of cold beer; and eba, made from cassava and eaten with soups prepared with vegetables and mixture of spices and herbs. Other dishes range from local ones like Iyan (pounded yam) made from yam flour, amala; asaro, which is usually eaten with various kinds of vegetables; and Egusi (melon soup) to European, Middle-Eastern, and Asian cuisine.[196][197]



Lagos is famous throughout Africa for its music scene. Lagos has a vibrant nightlife[113][196][198] and has given birth to a variety of styles such as Sakara music, Nigerian hip hop, highlife, juju, fuji and Afrobeats.[199]

James Brown performed in Lagos in 1970.[200] With his band Wings, Paul McCartney recorded his fifth post-Beatles album, Band on the Run, in an EMI studio in Lagos in August and September 1973.[201] Other foreign musicians who have also performed in the city include Sean Paul, Snoop Dogg,[202] 50 Cent, Akon, Jarule, Ashanti, Usher, Shaggy,[203] R Kelly,[204] Cardi B, Migos especially during the Star Mega Jam; Shakira, John Legend, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Boyz II Men,[205] T-Pain, Brian McKnight, JayZ,[206] Mary J. Blige,[207] Beyoncé, Brandy, Ciara, Keri Hilson and Lauryn Hill.[208][209]


Silverbird Galleria cinema in Lagos

The Surulere district is the centre of the Nigerian film industry, commonly referred to as Nollywood. Lagos itself is the location and setting for many films. The city is featured in domestic and foreign feature film productions. Many films are shot in the Festac area of Lagos, which also hosted the World Festival of Black Arts.[210] The 2016 film "Captain America: Civil War" contains a scene set in Lagos.[211] The Spanish police series "La unidad" (2020–2023), the British drama "The last tree" (2019) and the US-Spanish drama "The Way, Chapter 2" with Martin Sheen (2023 still in development) also use Lagos as a filming location. The film "93 Days" with Danny Glover is a somewhat melodramatic but fact-based account of the Ebola outbreak in Lagos in 2014 and was filmed at original locations.

Since the success of the Nigerian thriller "The Figurine", Nigerian film has increasingly focused on high-quality productions that are also commercially successful. This in turn has led to ever new records in box office takings in Nigeria (2009: "The Figurine", 2013: "Half of a Yellow Sun", 2016: "The Wedding Party").[212] .


National Stadium.

Association football is Lagos's most popular sport. Prominent Lagos football clubs include Bridge Boys F.C., MFM F.C., and First Bank: both play in Nigeria National League, the second tier of Nigerian football.[213]

The Nigeria national football team, also known as the Super Eagles, used to play almost all of their home games in Lagos at the National Stadium in Surulere; much later, games were played at the then New Abuja National Stadium in Abuja for sometime; however, games are now mostly played at the newer Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, which is the default home of the Super Eagles. Lagos also hosted the 2nd All-African games in 1973.[214][215][216]

Quality of life


In a 2018 ranking of cities by quality of life, Lagos ranked 212th among 231 cities surveyed worldwide.[217] In 2023, Lagos ranked second only to Manila in a global survey by the Statista Research Department of cities with the lowest quality of life.[218] The quality of life index value determined is made up of eight sub-indices.[219]

By way of qualification, it must be made clear that index lists of countries or cities are usually not based on verifiable or locally collected data,[220] but often on subjective assessments by Europeans or North Americans. The CPI of Transparency International, for example, is, according to its own definition, "based on the perceived assessment of lay people and experts and is not reduced to actual experience and its analysis". There is criticism that the indices determined simply reflect the prejudices of Western countries[221] numerically.[222][223]

Social situation, informal economy


There is a huge spectrum of wealth distribution among the people that reside in Lagos. It ranges from the very wealthy to the very poor. Lagos has attracted many young people and families seeking a better life from all other parts of Nigeria and beyond.[224][225]

In some parts of Lagos, residents have one of the highest standards of living in Nigeria and in Africa.[226][227]

Reliable data on unemployment, income below the subsistence level, etc. are hardly available for Lagos – as for the whole region – and must be taken with scepticism where they are provided, e.g. in other articles (see also the previous chapter). The reason for this is the widespread "informal economy" (not to be confused with "shadow economy") in West Africa. Insufficient jobs in traditional wage labour force people to look for work elsewhere. This benefits the informal sector of the economy, where there is no minimum wage and workers pay no taxes, have no holiday or labour rights and often work in unsafe conditions.[228]

According to the International Monetary Fund, about 5.5 million people are employed in the informal economy in Lagos State alone – about three quarters of Lagos' workforce.[229] Throughout Lagos, one can observe street vendors, artisans, sellers, small and micro enterprises, shared taxis, tricycles and motorbikes (okada drivers), domestic workers, market traders[228] and others engaged in the informal sector.

Activities in the informal economy are not included in economic statistics. As a result, the wealth of the population, but also e.g. unemployment, is significantly underestimated if the massive informal economy is not taken into account.[229]



The Council on Foreign Relations' Nigeria Security Tracker[230] continuously records homicides (murder, manslaughter, etc.) by criminals, religious zealots (such as Boko Haram) and police attacks in Nigeria for each state.[231]

Strikingly, according to the NST, Nigeria's two largest cities, Lagos and Kano, are significantly safer than rural areas when it comes to homicides. For Lagos State, the NST shows 135 such violent deaths in the past 24 months (as of July 2023), or 5.6 annually for every million inhabitants (for comparison, the United Kingdoms' crime statistics in 2022 counted 10 homicides per million inhabitants[232] or Turkey's 24[233]). For Nigeria as a whole, this figure is 93, with 62% of these cases attributable to police violence (mainly vigilante justice). Boko Haram plays a negligible role (as of 2023) in Lagos.[230]


Lagos Business School
Lagos Business School's Cafeteria

The Lagos State Government operates state schools.[234] The education system is the 6-3-3-4 system, which is practiced 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 a special focus now on the first nine years. Many of the schools in Nigeria are federally funded and usually are boarding schools. A few examples are the Federal government college Odogbolu (FGCOdogbolu), the Federal government girls' college Sagamu (FGGCSagamu), and the Federal government college Kano (FGCKano). The state of Lagos has its own federally funded high schools namely Federal government college Ijanikin also known as FGC Lagos, King's College Lagos, and Queen's College Lagos.[235]

Lagos is home to postsecondary schools, universities, and other vocational institutions that are either operated by the government or private entities.[236]

Vocational schools



  • Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH): founded in 1934, the college is Nigeria's first higher educational institution and the third in Africa. The college is a center of culture and heritage. It has student enrolments 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
  • Ronik Polytechnic[237]


University of Lagos central buildings and Lagoon Front Park
  • The University of Lagos (UNILAG) Akoka, is a large institution dating from 1962, with over 55,000 students. It comprises 13 faculties, run by over 4,000 staff.[238]
  • Lagos State University (LASU) is a multi-campus university established in the year 1983 and owned by the Lagos State government. The main campus is located at Ojo, along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
  • Pan-Atlantic University formerly known as Pan-African University has a business school (LBS), a school of Media and Communication (SMC), and an entrepreneurial development center (EDC), specialized in providing short courses for SMEs. The School of Media and Communication is also known for its pragmatic communication courses in the field of journalism, media, and marketing. SMC awards BSc., MSc., and Ph.D. in social science courses. Founded in 1996 and awarded university status in 2002. The university also places some emphasis on the study of art, running the Virtual Museum of Modern Nigerian Art.
  • National Open University of Nigeria 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) is an institution that runs health courses such as Health Information Management, Pharmacist Tech, Medical Laboratory Tech, Community Health Extension, and Environmental Health Technology; it is located in Yaba.
  • Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), Ikeja
  • College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL)



Lagos has many hospitals and medical facilities. The oldest Nigerian hospital is located in the city as well as West Africa's first air-operated emergency medical service, which commenced in the city. The Lagos healthcare system is divided into public and private sectors that provide medical services at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels.[239]



Lagos has one of the largest and most extensive road networks in West Africa.[240][241] It also has suburban trains and some ferry services. Highways are usually congested in peak hours owing to the geography of the city and to its explosive population growth.[66][242] Lagos is also linked by many highways and bridges.[243]


Third Mainland Bridge across the Lagos Lagoon

The Lagos–Ibadan Expressway and the Lagos–Abeokuta Expressway are the major controlled-access highways in the north of the city and serve as inter-state highways to Oyo State and Ogun State respectively.[244] To the west the congested Lagos–Badagry Expressway serves outlying towns such as Festival Town, which was the location for the 1977 Festival of Black Arts and Culture 77.[245]

Lagos's importance as a commercial center and port and its strategic location have led to it being the end-point of three Trans-African Highway routes using Nigeria's national roads.[246] The Trans–West African Coastal Highway leaves the city as the Badagry Expressway to Benin and beyond as far as Dakar and Nouakchott; the Trans-Sahara Highway to Algiers, which is close to completion, leaves the city as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.[247]

Local public transport


The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) is responsible for public transport.[citation needed]

Since 2021 using a bus or the light rail system is paid for with a public transport card without cash.[248][249] This card can be used equally on BRT and LBSL buses.[250] One can purchase a public transportation card at any of the ticketing booths at the bus terminals scattered across Lagos State.[citation needed]

City buses

BRT bus in Lagos

There are two city bus companies in Lagos: BRT (Lagos Bus Rapid Transit System) and LBSL (Lagos Bus Services).[251][252] The city buses are air-conditioned. (However, during the Covid epidemic, the AC had to be switched off at all times.)[253][254]

BRT was inaugurated in 2008. BRT offers e-payment with bank cards.[255][non-primary source needed] On two arterial roads (Ikorodu Road and Funsho Williams Avenue), a dedicated bus lane has been established for BRT buses.[256] BRT uses diverse brands of buses, like Ashok Leyland and Yutong. Primero Transport Services (PTS) Ltd. is the sole operator of the BRT buses.[257]

LBSL was inaugurated in 2019. LBSL uses Brazilian-built Marcopolo buses.[258]

The central hub for city buses and long-distance buses is the Oshodi Bus Terminal,[259] which is visible from afar. It is the largest bus station in West Africa and commenced operation in 2019.[260]

The Lagos Transportation department, LAMATA, introduced electric busses in Lagos in May 2023.[261][262]

Metro rail

Station "Mile 2", current terminus station of the blue line, phase 1

The first section, or phase, of the rapid transit system, the Lagos Light Rail, has been operational since February 2023.[263][264] The "Blue Line" runs between Mile 2 and Marina (East–west axis). The extension towards Okokomaiko and the "Red Line" are under construction,[265] The red line will run between Agbado and Marina (North–south axis). There are plans for more light rail lines:[266]

  • The green line (Marina to Lekki),[267]
  • the yellow line (Otta/airport to Iddo),
  • the purple line (Redeem to Ojo),
  • The brown line (Mile 12 to Marina) and
  • the orange line (Redeem to Marina).[268]

At the beginning of 2024, it was announced that the Lagos suburban railway had transported 583,000 passengers in its first four months. This would make it the largest inner-city rail service provider in Africa.[269][270]

On 14 February 2024, Governor Sanwo-Olu announced that the Red Line between Agbado and Oyingbo would be inaugurated on 29 February 2024 in the presence of Nigerian President Tinubu.[271]

Rail transport

Station Mobolaji Johnson in Lagos, 2021

As of June 2021, Lagos has a double-track standard gauge line to Ibadan and a modern main station, Mobolaji Johnson.[272] The Lagos-Ibadan train service runs three trips every Friday and Saturday with the point of departure at the Mobaji Johnson train station. Passengers can travel to Ibadan on Friday at the train station by 8 pm, 12 pm, and 4 pm, while on Saturday, the train movement will depart at 8 am, 1 pm and 6 pm. The Lagos-Ibadan train schedule for Monday to Thursday, and Sunday, remains 8 am and 4 pm.[273] Ticket sales are over the counter and cash only (as of 2023), but e-ticketing will be introduced "soon".[274] The operator is the Nigerian Railway Corporation.[275][276][277][278]

Shared cabs


A popular means of transportation are yellow minibuses called "Danfo". The yellow buses, most of the VW T3 or LT type, characterize the appearance of the city. They run on fixed routes but without a timetable, according to the principle of shared cabs.[279]


Central ferry terminal Five Cowries

According to residents, getting to work by car in Lagos can take six times longer than by ferry. About two million passengers were recorded by the Ferry Authority per month in 2021.[280]

Five Cowries Terminal is the central terminal for ferry operations in Lagos.[281] The terminal is located on the lagoon between Lagos Island and Victoria Island and was commissioned on 30 August 2018.[282][283] Five Cowries also serves as the headquarters of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA). It has a jetty, restaurant, bar, administrative offices, ticket offices, waiting area, toilets, lift, conference room, and ATMs. Boats from private individuals and from other operators also dock at the pier. The terminal also has a multi-storey car park with space for over 800 vehicles. The multi-storey car park is located behind the terminal (as seen from the lagoon) and is directly connected to the terminal. The terminal was built without thresholds and there is a toilet for wheelchair users.[281] Five Cowries is open seven days a week, from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm. The terminal is located next to the Falomo Bridge. The destinations of LASWA ferries are Marina, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Lekki, Apapa, Ikorodu and Badagry.[284]

Air traffic

Murtala Muhammed International Airport

Lagos is served by Murtala Muhammed International Airport, one of the largest and busiest airports in Africa. The MMIA is Nigeria's premier international air gateway. The airport's history dates back to colonial times, around the time of the Second World War. The international airport terminal was built and commissioned over 40 years ago, in 1978. The terminal opened officially on 15 March 1979. The airport had been known simply as the Lagos International Airport. It was, however, renamed for the late Nigerian Head of State, General Murtala Muhammed, who died in 1976.[285]

The airport terminal has been renovated several times since the 1970s but its most radical makeover began in 2013, following the launch of the Federal government's multi-billion naira Remodelling/ Rehabilitation Programme for its airports nationwide. Under the re-modeling work there, by late in 2014, the MMA lounge area had been expanded to four times its previous size and new passenger handling conveyor systems were installed which can handle over 1,000 passengers per hour.[citation needed][286]

A second airport, Lekki-Epe International Airport has been approved by the Federal Government in April 2023.[287]

Recycling, sewage and water supply


Recycling / waste management


In Lagos, only 40 percent of waste is collected and only 13 percent is recycled.[288] 13,000 tonnes of waste are generated daily in the metropolis.[289] Some residents burn their own waste, which does not improve air pollution.[288]

Water supply


Tap water in Lagos is not suitable for drinking, but can be used for other purposes such as cooking and showering.[290] The water in the distribution network is often contaminated. Since the raw water in the lagoon is too polluted, the city draws its water from the Ogun and Owo rivers. There has been debate about the poor water quality in Lagos for years.[291][292] At the same time, a sizable proportion of the residents live in slums without access to piped water and sanitation.[293][294][295][296]



An efficient sewage system is lacking. Sewage is flushed into the open sewerage system by rainwater. This water then carries pollutants into rivers and the lagoon. Sewage also enters groundwater through leaking septic tanks and latrines. The contaminants can then contaminate the water in wells and boreholes. Water sold by street vendors can also be affected, as it comes from the same sources.[297]

Notable people


Twin towns – sister cities


Lagos is twinned with:

See also


Explanatory notes

  1. ^ a b c Metropolitan Lagos consists of 16 of Lagos State's 20 LGAs, which excludes Badagry, Epe, Ibeju-Lekki and Ikorodu.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c "Metro Lagos (Nigeria): Local Government Areas". City Population. 21 March 2015. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "Lagos and Its Potentials for Economic Growth". 2 July 2015. Archived from the original on 9 October 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  3. ^ "18th National Sports Festival: Lagos unveils Logo, mascot and website". Premium Times. Abuja, Nigeria. 18 June 2012. Archived from the original on 27 October 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Eko 2012: Building Branding through Sports, Articles". ThisDay. Lagos, Nigeria. 22 August 2012. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  5. ^ Hutchison, Ray (2009). Encyclopedia of Urban Studies. SAGE. p. 427. ISBN 978-1-412-9143-21.
  6. ^ a b Lagos Bureau of Statistics. "2019 Abstract of Local Government Statistics" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 August 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
  7. ^ Demographia (January 2015). Demographia World Urban Areas (PDF) (11th ed.). Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 August 2011. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
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Further reading