Brief History – From Colony to Megalopolis

The history of Lagos is rich and colourful. The Yoruba indigenes occupied a site know as “Eko” which encompasses present day Lagos. This was later identified as ‘Lagos’ in 1472, by the Portuguese explorer Rui de Sequeire. Today, both names are used interchangeably, which is indicative of its kaleidoscope nature, its resilience and the Spirit of the city.

The city’s history can be traced through the centuries from a colonial trading outpost, to the first capital of an amalgamated Nigeria and to its status today as the commercial and financial nerve centre of the nation. This is illustrated through conquests and the struggle for freedom, punctuated with internal conflicts, resolutions, colonization, and independence highlighted by the visioning of leaders and their many triumphs.

The city’s metamorphosis into a megalopolis has brought with it new challenges and opportunities that make present day Lagos one of the most unique and fastest growing urban conurbations in the world.


There are over 21 million people living and working in Lagos (2012 figures). It is the 2nd most populous city in Africa and the 7th fastest growing metropolis in the world.


There are two seasons, the Rainy and the Dry seasons. Visitors to Lagos will find conditions mostly met during the months of May to August, (Rainy Season) interspersed with tropical storms especially during June and July. The rain tapers off during August to October, and during the relatively dry spell, conditions warm up but it is not uncommon for rain showers to linger on till November.

The average temperature in the rainy season is 25C or 77F. The Dry season usually commences in November and ends I April. Typically the hottest months of the year, conditions are dry, with Harmattan winds blowing in from the Sahara desert during December to February. Average temperatures are 29C or 79F.


The city ha affectionately been known by a number of names over the years; names such as ‘lle Ogbon’ – The Fountain of Wisdom,’ Eko Akete’, The City by the Lagoon and ‘Eko for show’, ‘Lasgidi’ or ‘Gidi’ is the most popular and is more a state of being than it is a location. Lagosians are tireless and talented, ambitious, industrious and innovative, and they find expression in this dynamic and fast-paced city and the name ‘Lasgidi’ embodies the intricate connection that Lagosians have with their city.

Local Time

Lagos is GMT + one hour.


The local currency is Naira (NGN). One Naira equals 100 kobo. International credit and debits cards such as Visa and Mastercard are accepted in various hotels, restaurants and shops.

Payments and Credit Card use……. 

  • In line with Government policy, Lagos operates a cash-less economy, where major financial transactions over =N= 3.0m cannot be conducted in cash by an individual.
  • Travellers’ cheques can be converted to cash at any bank or registered bureau-de-change.
  • As in the case all over the world, be aware of your surroundings, use ATMs in busy areas and avoid those in isolated or badly lit areas.
  • Ask ahead of time if your hotel will take some payment in your national currency.
  • Exchange foreign currencies at a bank or registered bureau-de-change, and carry a mix high and lower dominations.
  • Plan your expenses ahead and keep a contingency in cash.
  • Coins are seldom exchanged.