Ibadan, Home of Many Firsts

Ibadan became the home of many firsts, due to the progressive governance, political wizardry and economic sagacity of the Awolowo led Action Group- the first television station in Africa on the 31st of October 1959, the first stadium-the liberty stadium, patterned after the popular Wembley Stadium in London.

This 25,000 capacity seat football stadium and the first stadium to be built in Africa, was officially opened in 1960, and also built during Awolowo’s tenure as the Premier of the Western Region.

It was officially renamed the Obafemi Awolowo stadium on the 12th November 2010 by the then President Goodluck Jonathan, during a courtesy visit to the late sage widow; Mama HID Awolowo.

Amongst the firsts also, is the popular 24 storey sky scraper- the Cocoa House, the first dualised road in Nigeria- named The Queen Elizabeth road, from Mokola to Agodi Secretariat, officially declared open, by the visiting Queen Elizabeth II in 1956 and also the popular University College Hospital (U.C.H) , the first teaching hospital in Nigeria, patterned after the University of London Teaching Hospital (ULTH), was also officially commissioned by the Queen, during this historic visit to Nigeria in 1956.

It is equally important to remember the first Re-diffusion in Nigeria; the one channel Radio Station, the Agodi Government Secretariat being, the first in Nigeria and the first Modern Parliament that housed the Regional House of Assembly and the House of Chiefs. The first Housing Estate in Nigeria- the Bodija Housing Estate was also built and developed in 1958. Ibadan also had the first highly organized and structured Civil Service in Nigeria, with the Simon Adebos, Saburi Biobakus, as its founding lights. The free education programme of the Awolowo government, the first in Nigeria, was launched in Ibadan, in 1954. As a honeypot, Ibadan became the home of the first set of Research and Training institutes in Nigeria; The Forestry Research Institute (1930), the Idi-Ayunre Cocoa Research Institute (CRIN), The Nigerian Cereal Research Institute Moor Plantation (NCRI), the NIHORT (Nigerian Institute of Horticultural Research), the NISER (Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research), IAR&T (Institute of Agriculture, Research and Training), amongst several others.

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