With a population of 15.4 million people inside the city proper as of the year 2015, Lagos is the most populous metropolis in the country of Nigeria and the second most populated city in all of Africa. The government of Nigeria made the decision in December 1991 to relocate the nation's capital to Abuja, which is located in the middle of the country. Prior to that time, Lagos served as the nation's capital. As of the year 2018, the metropolitan region around Lagos, Nigeria, has a total population of about 23.5 million people, making it the most populous metropolitan area in Africa. In addition to being a significant financial centre in Africa, Lagos serves as the economic nerve centre of both Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole. It has been said that this city is the cultural, financial, and entertainment centre of Africa. The city also has a great effect on commercial activity, entertainment, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, and fashion. Additionally, Lagos is one of the top ten cities and metropolitan regions in the world with the quickest rate of population growth. The megacity is home to one of the biggest and most active seaports on the African continent and has the fourth-highest GDP on the continent overall. A significant educational and cultural hub in Sub-Saharan Africa may be found in the greater Lagos metropolitan region.
Lagos originated as a home to the Awori subgroup of the Yoruba people of West Africa. It later developed into a port city of the Benin Empire and originated on a collection of islands that are contained in the present-day Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Lagos Island, Eti-Osa, Amuwo-Odofin, and Apapa. The Awori people of West Africa were the first people to call the area home. The barrier islands and lengthy sand spits, such as Bar Beach, which run up to 100 kilometres (62 miles) east and west of the mouth protect the islands from the Atlantic Ocean. The creeks that divide the islands may be found surrounding the southwest opening of Lagos Lagoon. Rapid development resulted in the city expanding to the west of the lagoon, taking up territory that is now part of the Lagos Mainland as well as the Ajeromi-Ifelodun and Surulere neighbourhoods. As a result of this, the city of Lagos was divided into its two primary components: the Island, which is where the city of Lagos was first established, and the Mainland, into which it has since grown. This led to the splitting of Lagos city into the seven Local Government Areas (LGAs) that exist in the present day, and an addition of other towns (which now make up 13 LGAs) from what was then the Western Region to form the state.
In the 15th century, a subgroup of the Yoruba people known as the Awori occupied the area that is now known as Lagos. The Awori people relocated to an island that is today known as Iddo, and then later to the bigger island of Lagos. Oko was the name given to it by the Awori people, who were mostly hunters and fishers. From the late 16th century until the middle of the 19th century, people referred to the region as Eko. This was because it was ruled over by the enormous Oyo Empire at the time. The first Awori traditional settlers in the area, Oba Ado, were the ones who gave it the name Eko. To this day, Lagos is often referred to by its traditional name, Eko.