Ikeja is the state capital of Lagos State. Prior to the emergence of military rule in the early 1980s, Ikeja was a well planned, clean and quiet residential and commercial town with shopping malls, pharmacies and government reservation areas. The Murtala Mohammed International Airport is located in Ikeja. Ikeja is also home to the Femi Kuti’s Africa Shrine and Lagbaja’s Motherlan’, both live music venues. It now boasts a shopping mall, Ikeja City Mall, which is the largest mall in the Mainland of Lagos State and also has a cinema.
An explosion in the Lagos Army Barracks on 27 January 2002 caused fires. Many fleeing people drowned in a canal which was covered by hyacinth (a common water weed).
The Local Government administrative headquarters of Ikeja is located within the Ikeja Local Government premises. The Chairman (Mayor) of Ikeja local government is Mr. Wale Odunlami. Under his tenure, Ikeja has witnessed significant infrastructural and educational development.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has its headquarters in Ikeja on the grounds of Murtala Muhammad Airport. The Accident Investigation Bureau of the Nigerian government is headquartered in Ikeja. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has its Lagos office in Aviation House on the grounds of the airport.
Several airlines have their head offices in Ikeja. Arik Air’s head office is in the Arik Air Aviation Center on the grounds of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja. Air Nigeria’s (formerly Nigerian Eagle and Virgin Nigeria Airways) head office is located on the 9th Floor of Etiebets Place in Ikeja. Aero Contractors has its head office on the grounds of Murtala Muhammed International Airport. Overland Airways has its head office in Ikeja. Other airlines with head offices in Ikeja include Associated Aviation and Dana Air.
In addition, Virgin Atlantic has its Nigerian office in “The Place” in Ikeja.
At one time Nigeria Airways had its head office in Airways House in Ikeja. Prior to its disestablishment Afrijet Airlines had its head office in the NAHCO Building on the grounds of the airport. Bellview Airlines had its headquarters in the Bellview Plaza in Ikeja. Other disestablished airlines with head offices in Ikeja include Sosoliso Airlines, and ADC Airlines.
A slum in Ikeja was recently selected by C.J. Obasi as a production location for his upcoming Nollywood thriller, Ojuju.
Districts in the city include:
Ikeja is home to a large computer market, popularly known as Otigba. Begun in 1997 as a small market of only 10 shops, the current market now has well over 3000. While most vendors provide the expected computer sales and repair services, it is also possible to find sales and repair services for various types of office equipment and electronic devices.
As the market is unplanned, it has experienced growing pains. Some local residents are upset at the expanding market. Traffic around the area has become very congested, and it can be almost impossible to find a place to park. The electrical infrastructure, already overloaded and unreliable, has become highly stressed with the new market. Computer and electronics stores require power to work on computers and demonstrate their products to potential customers, and this added load has made the supply erratic.