On May 27, 1967, Nigerians woke up to witness the dissolution of the four regions which existed from the nation’s independence in 1960.
The dissolution gave birth to 12 States; out of which is Lagos in the South-western sub-region of the country.
From a tiny population and a very small land space, coupled with insignificant financial prowess, Lagos has evolved not only as the most successful State in Nigeria, it also accounts for the highest population and the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
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While the State is essentially a Yoruba-speaking environment, it is a socio-cultural melting pot for local and foreign nationals.
Indigenous inhabitants include the Aworis and the Eguns with very rich cultures; one of the notable cultural practices that have made the State thick, is the iconic ‘Eyo’ Masquerade Festival, an age-long tradition that has become a part of the Lagos brand.
Five decades of Statehood, five decades of evolution and five decades of tortuous journey; the journey of 50 years has culminated in the State becoming the 5th largest economy in Africa although the race to become Africa’s number one investment destination is still on.
One of the major reasons said to be responsible for the prosperity of Lagos is the fact that it is a home for all, irrespective of colour or tribe.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde says although Lagos spent 24 of its 50 years as Nigeria’s Federal Capital, its tremendous growth has been largely premised on visionary leadership, political stability and continuity and the receptive nature that ‘Lagosians’ have developed towards visitors.
“It is clearly the number one State in Nigeria; 26 out of its 50 years of existence, it has spent not being the Federal Capital Territory and it has probably recorded most of its successes within those 26 going to 27 years… absolutely there will be always challenges because of influx from other States and the West Coast, it means Lagos will continually subsidise other States and neighbouring countries that may not be able to look after their own but Lagos’ strength lies in rising to the challenges to meet people’s expectation,” Mr Ayorinde reiterated.
Lagos has been a home for notable industrialists, blue chip firms and music icons such Afro-beat legend- Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and Tunde Nightingale both of blessed memory, other living music legends are Ebenezer Fabiyi (Obey), King Sunny Ade and lots more high-life, fuji and hip-hop stars.
One of the notable businessmen in the city is Chief Rasak Okoya, who chronicles his business exploits in the city.
Chief Okoya attested to the fact the platforms given to him by great music icons such as Ebenezer Obey and King Sunny Ade really went a long way in boosting his business.
Nigeria and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote is another business mogul whose history will not be complete without Lagos.
In Dangote’s description of Lagos; “living in Lagos has actually been a tremendous blessing by the Almighty God.