Ibadan, Nigeria

Reference work entry


Ibadan is the second largest city in Nigeria and the capital city of Oyo state. It lies about 160 km from the Atlantic coast of Africa, in the southwest part of the country. More than 90% of Ibadan’s population is Yoruban. The population is around 60% Muslim and 40% Christian.


The original Yoruba settlers are believed to have been fugitives from neighbouring villages. In 1829, the area was settled by the Ife, Ijebu and Oyo tribes who had emerged victorious from long-running tribal disputes. Ibadan came under the jurisdiction of the British government in 1893. A railway was opened 8 years later and the city prospered as a commercial centre.

Modern City

Ibadan has its old and new sections. The new town houses the business centre with modern amenities. There are hardly any heavy industries. The chief areas of commerce are handcrafts, corn milling, tobacco and beverage treatment, leatherwork, and services. Agriculture is in decline and farmers are mostly part-timers. Ibadan is well served by roads, rail and air as well as a regular bus service.

Places of Interest

The secretariat buildings, parliament, central bank and federal ministries are in the old part of Ibadan. The University of Ibadan (founded in 1962) and a technical institute are located in the city. Ibadan University was the alma mater of Nobel literature prize winner, Soyinka Wole. Other attractions include the palace of the Olubadan (the king) of Ibadan, the national archives, the university zoo, the Agodi Zoological Gardens, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and the Mbari Arts Centre. Several large markets are open every day.

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© Springer Nature Limited 2019

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