Ikeja

Sunset in Ikeja.
Sunset in Ikeja. Photo by Goodman

Ikeja is a component of Lagos megalopolis, 20 kilometres north of Lagos Island, serving as seat of the Lagos state government of Nigeria. Ikeja comprises the Ikeja division of the old colony province of Western Nigeria, outside the boundary of the former federal territory of Lagos. Ikeja hosts a large part of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport. Though a big economic and administrative area of Lagos, Ikeja is largely residential. Many expatriate families live in the Government Reserved Area. The lowland expanse of Ikeja is well watered by sluggish streams and the Ogun River overflow seasonally to become swamps, leaving dry patches at elevated areas.

The residential area, Otigba has since 1999 swelled into a commercial centre of over 1000 shops where computer wares are sold. The spontaneity of this development makes the Computer Village, a phenomenon in Ikeja, a difficult but essential place to trade in gadgets. Adjoining the Lagos State Secretariat Complex, Alausa, is the Ikeja City Mall, opened in December 2010 and comprising of over 80 international and local retail brands plus a Cinema. Sandwiched between the districts of Isolo and Onigbongbo is a large military base, the Ikeja Cantonment. In 2002, about a thousand lost their lives in pandemonium that followed the accidental detonation of a large stockpile of ammunition stored at the armour transit depot. The Oregun Industrial Estate comprises of paints, aluminium, pharmaceutical products, cosmetics and drinks manufacturing companies. 2006 estimate of population in Ikeja is put at 313,196.