Lagos State is a state in the southwestern geopolitical zone of Nigeria. Lagos State is the most economically important state of the country. It is a major financial centre and would be the fifth largest economy in Africa, if it were a country.

Early history

Before the Portuguese name of Lagos had been adopted, Lagos’ initial name was Eko which referred mainly to the Island. The first to settle in Eko were the Aworis. The Awori hunters and fishermen had originally come from Ile-Ife to the coast. The name “Eko” comes from the bini word means (war camp). Over 650 years ago, the Oba of Bini sent warriors to the region and the Awori people were conquered. The Bini Prince, Ado, who led the war was asked by the Oba of Benin to become their leader. From that point on, Eko, modern day Lagos belongs to Benin Empire.

Postcolonial era

Lagos State was created on 27 May 1967 according to the State Creation and Transitional Provisions Decree No. 14 of 1967, which restructured Nigeria into a Federation of 12 states. Before the issuance of this Decree, Lagos city, which was the country’s capital had been administered directly by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Lagos Affairs. However, Ikeja, Agege, Mushin, Ikorodu, Epe and Badagry were administered by the then Western Region Government. Lagos, the city, along with these other towns were captured to create the state of Lagos, with the state becoming fully recognized as a semi-autonomous administrative division on 11 April 1968. Lagos served the dual role of being the State and Federal Capital until 1976, when the capital of the State was moved to Ikeja. After the full establishment of the Federal Capital Territory, the seat of the Federal Government was also formally relocated to Abuja on 12 December 1991. Nevertheless, Lagos still remains the financial centre of the country, and also grew to become the most populous city in the state and the country.