Ikoyi is the most affluent neighborhood of Lagos, located in Eti-Osa Local Government Area. It lies to the northeast of Obalende and adjoins Lagos Island to the west, and at the edge of the Lagos Lagoon . Popular with the upper class residents of Nigerian society, Ikoyi is arguably the wealthiest community within Lagos State.
The area that makes up Ikoyi was originally a continuous land mass with Lagos Island, until it was separated from by a narrow waterway that was dug by the British colonial government. This canal has now been built over or filled so that the island is fused with Lagos Island once again.
During the colonial era, the island was developed as a residential cantonment for the expatriate British community and still retains many of the large colonial residences built between 1900 and 1950.
Upmarket residential properties continued to be built after the colonial period, and the Island and its Dodan Barracks became the residence of some of Nigeria’s military rulers. Ikoyi now contains many other government buildings as well as, businesses, hotels, schools, and the famous social club – Ikoyi Club 1938 and golf club – Ikoyi Golf Club.
One of the main attractions in Ikoyi is Awolowo Road, which is a high street lined with upscale shops and boutiques. Due to its proximity to Victoria Island and Lagos Island, much of Lagos’s business tourism is centred on Ikoyi, which has a mix of excellent 4-star hotels.
Owing to recent unrest in the Niger Delta, several oil companies have moved their expatriate staff to Ikoyi. The area is now home to several large luxury apartments, estates, and upscale office developments. Lagos Preparatory School (13+), regarded as Africa’s most highly accredited British School, is located in Ikoyi.
Google Nigeria is headquartered in Ikoyi.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is headquartered in Ikoyi.
Ikoyi has some of the most opulent residential facilities in Nigeria, and is thought to have the most expensive real estate on the entire African continent, with the average new apartment selling for US$1 million. However, due to the limited available land, many of these are vertical apartment buildings.
The rent for a luxury three-bedroom apartment in Ikoyi is between $45,000 and $80,000 annually. Five years ago, it was between $10,000 and $30,000. An acre (six standard plots) in Banana Island, Parkview Estate and Osborne Road in Ikoyi now sells for between N400m and N450m. Five years ago, it sold for between N50m and N150m.
This development is a radical departure from Ikoyi’s original design, which was originally composed of modest single-family residences with large gardens. Considering the lack of constant electricity, pipe-borne water, and general decay in basic infrastructure that is typical of Lagos, concerns have been raised as to whether Ikoyi has the necessary road and water infrastructure to continue to sustain this type of development.
Ikoyi includes the newer suburbs of Banana Island, Parkview Estate, Dolphin Estate and other luxurious blocks of flats that are springing up.
Moreover, Ikoyi is one of the regions with the highest amount of rainfall in Lagos, with rain often exceeding 300cm every year.