South West Region Guide

The south west region of Nigeria offers a wide range of sights and experiences; from the beaches in Lagos to the natural springs in Osun state and from the historic city of Ibadan to the mountain caves of Ogun state.
South West Nigeria has six states; Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo. It is majorly a Yoruba speaking area, although there are different dialects even within the same state. The weather conditions vary between the two distinct seasons in Nigeria; the rainy season (March – November) and the dry season (November – February). The dry season is also the bringer of the Harmattan dust; cold dry winds from the northern deserts blow into the southern regions around this time.




Ekiti – Fountain of Knowledge


Ekiti is a state in western Nigeria and it was created out of the Old Ondo in 1996. The state has 16 local government areas, with its capital in Ado-Ekiti, and is divided into four areas; Ekiti Central, Ekiti North, Ekiti South and Ekiti West. Ekiti was one of the many Nigerian states that was independent before the British came and introduced indirect rule. It is known as the ‘Fountain of Knowledge’, as it is reputed to have produced a good number of professors and several academic pioneers in Nigeria. The people of the state can trace its ancestry to Oduduwa, the father and ancestor of the Yoruba race. Ekiti people are one of the largest ethnic groups among the Yorubas, with an ancestry in the migrated people of Ile Ife. They speak English, Ekiti and other varying dialects.

Ekiti is an upland zone rising over 250 meters above sea level and it covers a total of 6,353 square kilometres of land. It is bordered by Ondo in the south and Kwara in the north. Kogi is to the east and Osun to the west. The state is dotted with rugged hills such as the Ikere-Ekiti hills in the south, Efon Alaaye hills in the west and Ado-Ekiti in the center. It is also important to note that the state is home to the Ikogosi warm and cold water spring.

The major source of occupation and income in the state is agriculture. Agriculture provides income and employment for about 75% of the populace and they produce both food and cash crops. The food crops are: rice, yam, cassava, maiza and cowpea while the cash crops are: cocoa, oil palm, kolanut, plantain, Banana, cashew, citrus and timber.




Lagos – Centre of Excellence


Lagos (meaning lakes) was created on May 27th, 1967 and consists of four islands; Lagos Island, Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Iddo . It has 57 local government areas, and was the capital of Nigeria until 1976. It is known as the ‘centre of excellence’, as it is the commercial nerve-centre of Nigeria, having more than half of its industrial investments. It is a Yoruba speaking, south-western state, but the population consists of people from all tribes in the country and many different nationalities. Lagos is known for its music, beaches, nightlife, parties and hard-working lifestyle. The slogan ‘work all day, party all night’ cannot be truly experienced anywhere else. Victoria Island is the main nightlife district in Lagos.


Eko Atlantic City:

This is a planned 21st century city, currently being built on reclaimed land along the coastline of Lagos bordering the Atlantic ocean. It is estimated it will attract 400,000 residents and 250,000 daily commuters into the island.




Ogun – Gateway State


Ogun was created in 1976 with Abeokuta as the capital. Abeokuta means ‘under the stone’. Also known as the ‘gateway state’ because of its strategic position as the link by road, rail, air and sea to the rest of the country, its towns of importance Sagamu, Ijebu Ode and Ilaro served as markets during the mining industry’s better times and still do today. Ogun state comprises of varying dialects of the Yoruba language; the Egbas, the Egbados, the Ijebus, the Remos. Ogun deals in traditional arts, carving, sculpture, smithery amongst others. The state covers a landmass of 16,409sqkm, and it shares an international boundary with the Republic of Benin to the west and interstate boundaries with Oyo state to the north, Lagos and the Atlantic to the south and Ondo state to the east.

Places you did love to visit:

  • Olumo Rock in Abeokuta
  • Bilikisu Sungbo Shrine in Oke-Eri
  • Yemoji Natural Swimming Pool in Ijebu-Ode
  • Oyan Dam in Abeokuta North
  • Iwopin Boat Regatta and Ebute-Oni in Ogun Waterside.



Ondo – Sunshine State


Ondo popularly referred to as the “Sunshine State” was created on the 3rd of February 1976 from the former Western State of Nigeria. It has 19 local government areas and originally included what is now Ekiti state, which was founded in 1996 by General Sanni Abacha. Its capital is Akure. There are numerous dialects of Yoruba spoken in Ondo state (Akoko, Akure, Apoi, Idanre, Ijaw, Ikale, Ilaje, Ondo and the Owo).

Ondo is blessed with resourceful, industrious and hospitable people. The state boasts subsistence farmers, fishermen and traders as well as a seasoned crop of educated elite which led to its classification as one of the most educationally advanced states in Nigeria. The lifestyle of the people includes energetic dancing, the production of clothes, wood crafts, carved house-posts, decorated doors etc. Antiquities and artefacts have also been preserved and are displayed in traditional palaces. Ondo, with a land mass of 14,789sqkm, is larger than Connecticut and only just smaller than Hawaii. It lies geographically on the tropical belt and is bordered in the north by Ekiti and Kogi; east by Edo state; west by Oyo and Ogun and in the south by the Atlantic Ocean.




Osun – State of Living Spring


Osun is an inland state with Osogbo as its capital city. The people of Osun are hospitable and very industrious, involved in all sorts of trades. Osun has 30 local government areas and is divided into senatorial districts. The state was created in 1991 from Oyo state, and got its name from the River Osun; a natural spring that is said to be the manifestation of the Yoruba goddess Osun. It is known as the ‘state of living spring’.

Here you will find mostly traders, artisans and farmers, producing hand woven textiles, leather-work, and woven mats. There is an annual Osun Osogbo festival during August, held along the river banks, with annual rites performed at the Osun Osogbo grove attracting visitors from around the world. The Osun Osogbo grove was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.




Oyo – Pace Setter State


Oyo is in the south-west of Nigeria and it was among the 3 states carved out of the former Western State of Nigeria in 1976. The state has 33 local government areasand it is known as the ‘pace setter state’. Ibadan, the capital and most important city, is the third largest metropolitan area (by population) in Nigeria after Lagos and Kano. Oyo has five broad group divisions; Ibadans, Ibarapas, Oyos, Oke-Ogubs and Ogbomoshos. Oyo enjoys a similar dual climate condition to the rest of the south-western states, with a rainy season and a dry season. The climate is ideal for the cultivation of crops like maize, yam, cassava, millet, rice, plantain and cashew.

Oyo State covers a total of 28, 249 square kilometres of land mass and it consists of old hard rocks and dome shaped hills. A remarkable natural feature in the state is the Old Oyo National Park.