The largest city in Nigeria
, and from 1914 to 1991 the capital. It is on the south-western coast, and the name is the Portuguese for lake
s, it being built on islands. It is also a state.
Population, many millions. I defy you to find anything accurate. Approximate figures are*:
1950 300 000
1992 1 350 000
1996 10 900 000
2010 20 000 000 (UN projection)
The majority people of the area are the Yoruba and in their language it is called Èkó.
The district became British in 1861. It was part of the British West African Settlements from 1866 to 1874, of the Gold Coast from 1874 to 1886, a separate colony from 1886 to 1906, and was united with the Southern Nigeria Protectorate in 1906. On 1 January 1914 the Northern and Southern Nigerian territories were united into the colony of Nigeria, and Lagos became its capital.
It retained this position on independence in 1960, but on 12 December 1991 the federal capital was moved to a new town of Abuja in the centre of the country. Lagos remains the commercial and industrial centre of Nigeria, the main port, and many government offices and embassies are still there.
The local ruler of Lagos is called the Oba. The previous holder, the 22nd, was H.H. Adeyinka Oyekan II, born 1911, who acceded 12 July 1964 and died on 7 March 2003. The Olorogun or traditional prime minister is overseeing the selection of a new Oba.
* rp has pointed me to another source, www.world-gazetteer.com/t/t_ng.htm, which has entirely different figures: 5.2 million in 1991, 8.3 million in 2003. They don't quote a source, but their statistics section notes that no official population data for Nigeria is available on the Web.