Ikeja is an outer-ring suburb of the city of Lagos and capital of Lagos State. This article is the concluding part of what you should know about Ikeja.If you missed the first part of this article, click here
The history of the present Ikeja Local Government dates back to 1927 when the colonial government introduced tax collection. District Officers were approved for Epe, Ikorodu and Ikeja (Ikeja then included Mushin, Shomolu, Badagry and called Colonies of Lagos). Ikeja Colony comprised a number of isolated villages owned exclusively by the Aworis.
The Administration of Ikeja Colony was carried out exclusively by thee Colonial masters, without any participation by natives, up till 31st March, 1938. On 1STApril, 1938, sequel to agitations by some patriotic natives led by Archdeacon T. A. J. Ogunbiyi, the colonies were changed to native authorities. This brought about a lot of improvement, as taxes collected were used to develop the area.
The Native Authority System continued until 1955 when it metamorphosed into District Councils. In the same year, the first democratic election was held. Ikeja was later split into three Districts: Ikeja, Mushin and Shomolu. The ‘Baale and the council’ joint tax collection system was then introduced. The Baales were to collect taxes from their subjects and pay to their council. The same period witnessed the appointment of a Secretary/Treasurer among the natives to administratively co-ordinate the affairs of the councils. The present Alimosho Local Government was part of Ikeja District council. In 1971, as a result of Government’s acceptance of the recommendations of the Ogunaike Commission, the former Agege District council also became part of Ikeja.
During the civilian era (1979-83), new Local Government authorities were carved out of the Division, viz Agege and Alimosho Local Governments. However, the Military Administration, in December, 1983, nullified this action.
Further rationalization of Local Governments in Nigeria (in May 1989) led to the re-creation of Agege Local Government out of Ikeja Local Government among others. Thus, there were four Local Government authorities within the Ikeja division of Lagos State, namely Ikeja, Agege, Shomolu, and Mushin.
In 1991, Alimosho LocalGovernment, was carved out from Ikeja Local Government. Consequently, the present Ikeja Local Government is now bounded on the North by Agege Local Government, south by Oshodi/Isolo/Mushin Local Government, East by Shomolu Local Government and on the West by Alimosho Local Government.
Subsequently it is believed by some that ‘IKEJA’ is an abbreviation meaning Ikorodu and Epe Joint Administration. It was said to be coined by colonial administrators for ease of administration. It is also said to be from Ikehdia a Benin word meaning Watch Station (military)
Pior to the emergence of military rule in the early 1980s, Ikeja was a well-planned, clean and quiet residential environment with shopping malls, pharmacies and government reservation areas. Today, it appears the original master plan has been bastardized by lax enforcement of town planning regulations. This has given birth to a situation where a lot of hitherto residential buildings are converted to commercial premises. A classic example is the popular and chaotic Ikeja Computer Village which seems to be the hallmark of the area.
The computer market began as a small market of only 10 shops; the current market now has well over 800 stores. While most vendors provide the expected computer sales and repair services, it is also possible to find repair services for various types of office equipment and electronic devices.
In recent times, other vendors have flooded the market due to its lucrative nature. Currently, there are well over 100 canteens sellers and cloth sellers. The computer market has proved to be especially beneficial to the retail sector of the State.
However, it still doesn’t change the fact that it constitutes a menace to this pearl of Lagos and goes against the original master plan of the state. As the market is unplanned, it has experienced growing pains. Some local residents are upset at the expanding market. Traffic around the area has become very congested, and it can be almost impossible to find a place to park. The electrical infrastructure already overloaded and unreliable, has become highly stressed with the new market. Computer and electronics stores require power to work on computers and demonstrate their products to potential customers, and this added load has made the supply erratic. It is commendable that the Lagos State Government has concluded plans to relocate the Ikeja Computer Village to a suburb of Lagos. This will free up a lot of residential apartments in this area
Notwithstanding, there is still some sanity in some parts of Ikeja such the GRA, Ojodu, Omole Estate which are home to the creme de la creme of the Nigerian society as well as expatriates. Ikeja boasts of good access roads, fair electricity supply and other public amenities compared to other parts of Lagos.
Cost of renting a 3-bedroom flat in Ikeja ranges from N1.5 – N2 million (Agidingbi), N3.5 –N4 million (Ikeja GRA), N3 –N3.5 million (Oregun), N1.5 – 2 million (Opebi and Adeniyi Jones area). However, this is just a guideline. There are actually cheaper locations.
Allen Avenue in Ikeja used to be the most expensive street in Lagos.
On the other hand, at Alausa, you will find Ikeja Shopping Mall, virtually the biggest in Lagos. The mall has redefined the commercial landscape of this part of Lagos state.
Ikeja is also famous for having the highest number of standard hotels in Lagos. Some of which include, Sheraton hotel and towers, Protea hotel and Lagos Airport Hotel. Popular night clubs in Ikeja include: Africa Shrine, AliBaba Nite Club, Dee Captains, Motherland, Sea Garden, Planet One Hospitality, the Place Restaurant & Bar amongst others.
The place is home to global brands. Along Oregun, Oba Akran, Agidingbi and Opebi are heavy industrial and commercial activities. Some of the establishments include 7-up and Cocola at Oregun, Eleganza at Oregun, Guiness Brewery, Michellin, Vita foam, Tower Aluminium and Tower Building Products, Nigerite, Berger Paint, Dunlop at Oba Akran.
Don’t forget that two airports: the Murtala Mohammed International Airport and the refurbished local airport are located in Ikeja. The presence of the Ikeja Military Cantonment, Nigerian Air Force Base, Ikeja Police College and other Security Agencies in and around the Ikeja axis brings some sense of security.
Ikeja is one of the major cradle of entertainment in Lagos state. You will find the silverbird Cinemas situated within The Ikeja City mall at Alausa in Ikeja. Ikeja is also home of the legendary King of Afro-beat, Fela Amikulapo Kuti and his lineage. Ikeja is also home to Femi Kuti’s Africa Shrine and Lagbaja’s Motherlan’, both live music venues.
IkejaIkeja Kalakuta 1
The Kalakuta Republic Museum is also located here.
There is never a dull moment in Ikeja, from the hustle and bustle of wheeling dealing traders at the Computer Village to the red light districts of Allen Avenue, the story is the same.