Lagos is built on the mainland and a series of islands in the coastal Lagos lagoon. Its character as a natural harbour made it a major point of contact for European settlers. Capital of Nigeria until 1991, when the federal government transferred to purpose-built Abuja, Lagos remains the country's main economic and industrial centre. The commercial and administrative heart of the city is on Lagos Island, while the main industrial areas are on the mainland and include Ikeja – which is also the capital of Lagos state – Oregun, Ilupeju and Ikorodu. The city has an estimated population of about 15 million and a foreign community of expatriates and Lebanese, Chinese, Indian and Arab immigrants, who live mostly in Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Apapa and Ikeja. The principal slums include Isale - Eko (literally meaning 'down town'), Ajegunle, Mushin and Oshodi. English and 'pidgin English' (a form of Creole) are the main languages although indigenous languages and dialects such as Yoruba are generally also spoken. 'Danfo' (yellow painted mini-bus), 'molue' (truck-like bus) and 'okada' (commercial motorcycle) are the main forms of public transport; fares vary from N20 to N150. However, middle-and high-income earners generally get around by private vehicle.
Housing is usually found through an agent, who charges ten per cent of the annual rent, and prospective tenants should also expect to pay two years' rent upfront. Rents are usually quoted per annum and are for furnished accommodation with water and electricity. Text: Stephen Oladipupo, stevliz01@yahoo.co.uk.

Anthony/Palmgrove Estates
Anthony/Palmgrove Estates

These secluded private residential areas are occupied by middle-income Nigerian professionals. Housi...

Apapa
Apapa

Apapa is Nigeria’s main seaport, located to the west of Lagos Island. Its numerous creeks, isl...

Ikeja
Ikeja

Ikeja is the mainland city centre and lies 20 km north of Lagos Island. Originally planned as an ind...

Ikorodu
Ikorodu

Ikorodu is an expanding industrial and residential area about 26 km from Ikeja. Its lovely lagoon sh...

Ikoyi
Ikoyi

Ikoyi is an upmarket residential island separated by a narrow waterway from Lagos Island to the west...

Ipaja
Ipaja

This is another densely populated area in west Lagos with various state-owned low-income housing and...

Lagos Island
Lagos Island

Lagos Island is the main island in Lagos city and is connected to the mainland by three bridges and...

Lekki Peninsula
Lekki Peninsula

Lekki Peninsula, east of Victoria Island, is a rapidly growing area on the coast. Its sandy beaches,...

Ogba
Ogba

Ogba, about five kilometres west of Ikeja, is a densely populated area with a mix of housing for hig...

Omole Phase I and II
Omole Phase I and II

Located about six kilometers west of Ikeja, Omole Phase I and II are private estates inhabited by a...

Opebi/Allen Avenue
Opebi/Allen Avenue

Located just two kilometers west of Ikeja, this is a well organized low-density residential area wit...

Surulere
Surulere

Otherwise known as New Lagos, Surulere, about 20 km from Ikeja, is a sprawling medium-density settle...

Victoria Island
Victoria Island

Victoria Island, to the south of Lagos Island and popularly known as VI, has been expanding rapidly...