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Tour Guide Nigeria is a means of showcasing to the world Nigeria's beauty. It showcases the rich cultural heritage of the country, the delicious cuisines, the beautiful people, interesting places, the wild life and the tours and hospitality organizations. It also talks about the problems facing hospitality and tourism development in Nigeria and tries to proffer solutions to the ones it can.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

10 Most Popular Structures In Lagos And Year They Were Constructed

I know you have probably visited Lagos at least once in a lifetime, or maybe you live in the city. Oh! You have never been there? Well, you have probably been hearing of the glory of Nigeria's largest, most industrial and developed city. You may have heard of the bubbling scenes, the strength of the city, the never-dulling moments, the stress and so many more. Hey, take a seat and relax because I wrote this post just for you. I want you to be familiar, at least to a considerable extent, with the most popular and symbolic structures in Lagos. These structures are not ranked based on beauty or whatsoever, they are structures which I considered to be most popular and accessed by an average Lagosian. Pardon me if I talk too much....lol.

Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital city is soaring towards attaining the status of a megacity. For years, governments and private entities across all levels have painstakingly invested a fortune into the development of Lagos by constructing iconic structures which are accessible to all types of citizens. This article is part 1 in a series of popular structures that I will be writing about in coming days. So lets get down to business!

1. Welcome to Lagos "Three Elders" Art Deco Statue

Arguably the most famous art deco statue in Nigeria, this art statue "welcome" you to Lagos, anytime, any day and any moment. It was built by Biodun Shodeinde in 1991 and was rehabilitated in 2004 after it was burnt down by angry protesters who believed the statue was the cause of incessant accidents on the ever busy Lagos-Ibadan expressway. It was also burnt down by angry protesters in 2012 during the subsidy protest under former president, Goodluck Jonathan. However, it was reconstructed. The statue depicts the highest honour accorded through greetings to any individual in Eko culture.
2. Third Mainland Bridge

Do you know the official name of third mainland bridge? I bet many of you do not know it...lol. It is officially known as Ibrahim Babangida bridge. This particular bridge is the king of all bridges in Nigeria. When you talk about Lagos, you talk about this bridge. It is a vehicular bridge that link Lagos Island to the city mainland and was constructed by Julius Berger. The third mainland bridge, which is about 11.8km long, is the longest bridge in Nigeria and it is one of the three bridges linking the city. It took over 11 years to finish construction. The total cost of the bridge is unknown.

For six years, 1990-1996, third mainland bridge was the longest bridge in Africa. It was dethroned as king of Africa's bridges by the 22km long "6th October bridge" in Cairo, Egypt.
3. Oshodi Inter Exchange Bridge (Oshodi Bridge)

I bet you are so shock to see this structure on the list, well, don't be. I included it because it defines how busy the city of Lagos is. This inter exchange bridge, otherwise known as Oshodi bridge is so popular among Lagosians that over seven million of them use it daily, making it the busiest inter exchange bridge in West Africa - Murtala Muhammed airport don't have this much people patronising it. Its popularity level is so high that CNN ace presenter/reporter, Richard Quest, had to do a report about it.
4. Murtala Muhammed International Airport

Just like the Art deco statue, Murtala Muhammed International Airport is a popular structure in its own right. The airport is the most known airport in Nigeria. This building literally "welcome" you to Lagos as your plane prepares to touch down. It is located in Ikeja and it is the busiest airport in Nigeria. Its history is traced back to world war II when the West African Airways Corporation was formed in 1947. Although it was first known officially as Lagos International Airport, it was however renamed to its present name after reconstruction in the 1970s.
5. Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge

Remember the bridge Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, was seen jogging on when he visited Nigeria? Well, this is the bridge. This is another breathtaking popular structure in the city. This bridge is a beauty to behold. The Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge is a 1.36 km long cable-stayed bridge, the very first in Nigeria. It was constructed by Nigeria's foremost construction giant, Julius Berger. Construction on this bridge began in 2009 and was completed and commissioned in 2013 by Babatunde Fashola, the then governor of Lagos state. It was reported that the bridge cost a whopping 29 billion naira.
6. National Theatre

The National Arts Theatre otherwise known as the National Theatre was constructed and commissioned by the Obasanjo military regime in 1977. The structure has a 5000-seater main auditorium with two cinemas which has capacity to translate any spoken language into 8 different languages simultaneously. The outer architectural design was made to resemble a military hat. The sad part of this symbolic building is that in 2014, it was reported to have been sold to a Dubai multi-national company with plans to turn it into a duty-free shopping mall.
7. Fela Shrine (New Afrika Shrine)

When you mention the street, this shrine comes at the fore front. Fela shrine is where the orientation begins. Constructed as replacement to the old Afrika shrine which was burnt down by the military regime of Olusegun Obasanjo in 1977 during the upsurging rise in the clampdown on activists and government critics. The shrine has recreational centre; a museum, where personal effects of Nigeria's foremost Afro music icon, Fela, are kept. This shrine also play host to one of the biggest musical festivals in Nigeria, "Felabration"; a musical festival where almost all major Nigerian artists converge to perform and thrill fans.
8. Eko Hotel and Suites

To some level, Eko hotel and suites is the most popular, iconic, and important hotel in Lagos. This hotel becomes even more "untouchable" when you put into consideration its conference and event centre which is the biggest in Nigeria; this hall is within the premises of the hotel. Eko hotel and suites is the largest hotel in Nigeria. It occupies four multistory buildings with a total of 825 rooms and suites. It is so popular to an extent that most conferences, award ceremonies and some other government functions organised by the government across all level and individual entities are done here. This hotel play host to the popular Olamide show, Olamide Live In Concert (OLIC).
9. Tafawa Balewa Square

Tafawa Balewa Suare, known by the acronym TBS was the place where Nigeria's first prime minister, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa delivered the independence speech. TBS is a 14.5 hectare (about 35.8 acre) of land reserved for official and ceremonial functions within the state. Most notably are the democracy day celebration, Eyo festival and some other musical festivals. It is between Awolowo road, Cable street, Catholic mission street, Force road; and the 26-storey independence building, refuted to be the tallest building in Nigeria for many years. The place is the main centre for all outdoor official functions in Lagos State most notably the democracy day celebration and musical festivals.
10. Teslim Balogun Stadium

Named after a former Nigerian professional footballer, Teslim Balogun, this stadium is located in Surulere, Lagos. It took 23 years to build and it gulped a total of 1.3 billion naira. This stadium is the most popular international stadium in Lagos. It has a capacity of 24, 325. It is a multi-purpose stadium. It has hosted several high profile matches such as the 2007 FIFA world cup and Nigerian football league matches.

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  1. This is very nice... After reading this, I can say that I am 'prouder' to live in Lagos

    1. I am excited I made you feel 'prouder' to live in Lagos :)