Inside Lagos

Until 1991, Lagos was the capital of Nigeria, a position it had held since 1914. Then the purpose built city of Abuja was established and the capital transferred. Despite losing its capital status, Lagos remains the largest and most prosperous city in Nigeria with a population of around eight million and is located on islands separated by creeks as the interactive map of the city below shows. Historically, Lagos was named by the Portuguese (Lagos is Portuguese for lake) after the explorer Rui de Sequeria visited the area in 1472. By that time Lagos was already a slave trade centre ruled by Yoruba Kings called the Oba.

When the new king Oba Akitoye ascended the throne in 1841 he was overthrown by Lagos traders opposed to his attempt to ban slavery, and his brother, Oba Kosoko was installed as Oba.

The British, who were setting down place markers in the area, supported his restoration in 1851 and then, a decade later, annexed Lagos as a British colony. Slavery was then abolished and the remainder of Nigeria was taken as a British colony in 1887 as part of the scramble for Africa. In 1914 Lagos was declared the capital of the Protectorate of Nigeria.

Today Lagos is home to around 8 million people although some put the figure much higher at between 12- 15 million, not least because of the thousands who pour into the city daily in search of work. It is estimated that within the next few years Lagos will be the world's third largest city after Tokyo and Mumbai at its current rate of growth. Whilst no longer Nigeria's capital, its remains the country's most prosperous city and its commercial and finance centre.

For visitors it has a number of attractions worth visiting from the Black Heritage Museum that explores 300 years of the slave trade through Lagos and the Lekki Conservation Centre some twenty minutes from Lagos with its raised walkway through a jungle environment from where many species of wild animals can be observed. Also worth a look are the Didi Museum, the Nike Art Gallery and the National Theatre of Arts & Culture whilst those seeking to relax will enjoy time on the beaches at Eleko, Lekki and Tarkwa


lagos Location

View Larger Map


Inside Lagos

Inside Lagos

Inside Lagos

Inside Lagos


Volunteer Nigeria

Volunteer Work Nigeria

Check out all the latest African volunteer work placements and opportunities in Nigeria.
More >


Inside Lagos

Inside Lagos

This video explores life today inside Lagos, the former capital city of Nigeria, what its like living there and the many challenges the city faces.


Volunteer Work

African Volunteer Work Opportunities

Get Your
Free Listing!

African Volunteer Directory

Latest TEFL
Jobs in Africa

TEFL Jobs in Africa

Sponsor a Child

Sponsor a Child in Nigeria