Ikoyi

Banana Island Ikoyi
A view of Banana Island, the famously expensive neighbourhood in Ikoyi. Source: skycrappercity.com

Ikoyi in Lagos is bounded by the Lagos Lagoon, the Cowrie creek and the Macgregor canal that was dug by the colonial British government. The fabulous Banana Island, standing to the West, the handsome Parkview estate to the south and the serene Dolphin Estate pushed to the north are newer suburbs of the area. Ikoyi belongs in same administrative entity as the equally expensive Victoria Island, which bounds it from the Atlantic Ocean. It is the seat of many new generation banks and business enterprises. Many exquisite hotels such as the Federal Palace Hotel and the Southersun Ikoyi Hotel are domiciled in this area. There are also some government buildings such as the Doddan Barracks, which used to serve as residents of Nigeria military Heads of State.

Before Nigeria attained independence Ikoyi was squarely a European quarter and as political power eased into native hands, became the Government Reservation where the white men and Africans high up in the civil service lived. Membership of Ikoyi Club that was founded in 1938 was constitutionally for whites only until the 1950s. Ikoyi is today the site of several luxury apartments and classy office development. There are also a few upscale international schools, a Golf ground, Polo ground and decent shopping centers.

 

Ikoyi bridge linking Lekki
Ikoyi bridge linking Lekki ©PablodeXera

 

Ikoyi is part of the Eti Osa Local Government Area that was first created as an administrative unit in 1980. Eti Osa also have some 40 rural settlements. The 2006 Census puts the population of this area at 983,513 people.

Ikoyi’s origination was concurrent with the traditional founding of Lagos by Ogunfumnire also called Olofin. Adeyemi Aole Onikoyi who came from Igbeti Ikoyi-Ile was one of the hunters who advanced towards the ocean in search of adventure and opportunities. When the two friends, Onikoyi and Olofin reached Isheri, it was decided that Onikoyi should move forward towards the Ocean to forestall any possible rift. The place that he founded he named after Ikoyi-Ile in Igbeti.