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Ilaje is a Local Government Area in Ondo State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Igbokoda. The Ilajes are a distinguished, distinct linguistic group of Yoruba peoples made up of four geo-political entities namely Ugbo, Mahin, Etikan and Aheri.
The Ilajes were said to have left Ile Ife, their original ancestral home in the 10th century. They mainly occupy the Atlantic coastline of Ondo State of Nigeria while a large population of them settles on land in the hinterland. The area they occupy today is Ondo State, an outlet to the sea.
It has an area of 1,318 km² and a population of 290,615 at the 2006 census. Ilajeland is bounded by the Ijebus to the west, the Ikale to the north, the Itsekiri to the east, the Apoi and Arogbo Ijaw to the north east, and the Atlantic ocean on the southern boundary. The Ilajes are one of the most dynamic and enterprising people in Nigeria. Their aquatic skill, coupled with their ability to adapt enabled them to conquer their harsh geographical environment and turn it to their advantage. Consequently, they were able to build large communities like Ugbonla, Aiyetoro, Zion PePe and Orioke. Aiyetoro for example in its hey-days had the highest per capital income in the whole of Africa and attracted visitors, tourists and researchers from all over the world.
Apart from petroleum found in the area, other mineral raw materials available in Ilajeland include glass sand, salt, tar sand, quartz and clay. Agricultural products include fish, poultry, piggery, maize, palm oil vegetables, timber, rafia, poultry okro, cocoyam, banana and cassava.
The natural environment of Ilajeland is particularly suitable for the development of large scale rice plantations and the salt industry.
The occupational activities of the Ilajes include fishing, canoe making, lumbering, net making, mat making, launch building, farming and trading.
Igbokoda, the Ilaje local government headquarters is fast becoming an international trade center as its popular market attracts traders not only from other part of Nigeria, but, also from other African countries especially Togo, Benin, Ghana, Cameroon and Gabon. Ilajeland is only about 75 kilometers from Lagos and its aquatic environment present the area as a suitable environment for tourism. It is hoped that the Ondo State government and the government of Nigeria will help develop it into a world class tourist attraction. In the past the entire area suffered serious neglect and marginalization in the hands of the government. However, it appears that the Ondo State government has come to realize the importance of Ilajeland not only because it is her only outlet to the sea but also because it is her economic power house. The state is now constructing a network of roads linking the area with the hinterland and has promised to provide basic social amenities including electricity and drinking water systems.
The highlight of the Ondo State's recent development efforts is the acquisition of about 200 hectares of land to be developed and built as a satellite town for the people displayed from their homes in towns and villages on the Atlantic coastline as a result of petroleum drilling and exploratory activities.
No doubt, there is a big future for the area especially with the Olokola Development project by Ondo and Ogun State Governments.
The towns of Ilaje
All the towns below have postal code 352117
- Ago Doroh
- Ago Ikuebolati
- Ago Lulu
- Ago Olomidegun
- Broke Camp
- Ebute Ipare
- Ehin - Osa
- Ereke Majofodun
- Ereke Makuleyi
- IdI OGBA
- Igbo - Okuta
- Ikale Camp
- Ilu Sosi
- Ita - Age
- Italita Camp
- Job Camp
- Logede Camp
Ode Etikan ( the town where Olikan of Etikan Kingdom resides. See Wikipedia)
- Odun Oloja
- Odun Oluma
- Odun Oroyo
- Ohaketa Camp
- Oke Etigho
- Orere - Ara
- Orioke Iwamimo
- Orofin Camp
- Oropo Zion
- Seja Odo
- Seja Oke
- Tedo Camp
- Tomoloju Camp
Uhapen Upare Zion Ipepe
- Zion Gbabijo
- Zion Igbokoda
- Zion Mahintedo
- Zion Ogogoro
Ilaje Local Government was created out of the defunct Ilaje/Ese-Odo Local Government Area on October 1, 1996 by the federal government. It consists of over four hundred towns and villages, covering an area of 3,000 square kilometers. It shares boundary in the North with Okitipupa Local Government, the south by Atlantic Ocean, in the West by Ogun State and in the East by Delta State. It is covered by troughs and undulating low land surfaces. The extreme South is covered by silt, and mud and superficial sedimentary deposits.
There is sand formation at the Western part of the Local Government extending from the Lekki peninsula in Lagos State to Araromi Sea-side and Zion pepe, Agba to Etugbo and Ipare all, Mahin and Ugbonla the Eastern part of the Local Government Area can boast of the largest coconut plantation in West Africa. Ilaje Local Government is the largest local Government in Ondo State in terms of its landmass. According to the 1991 National Population Census, the Local Government is one of the most populated in Ondo State, with a population figure of two hundred and sevevty seven thousand and thirty four (277,034. it has a shoreline covering about 180km thereby making Ondo State, a state with the longest coastline in Nigeria, Crude oil, which is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.
Traditionally, it is grouped into 8 kingdoms namely: Mahin land under His Royal Majesty, Amapetu of Mahin, Ugboland which is under His Royal Majesty Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom. Aheri land under the Maporure and Etikan land under the Onikan of Etikan, Odonla land under the Alagho of Odonla, Obenla land under the Olubo of Obenla, Obe Ogbaro land under the Odoka of Obe Ogbaro, Igbokoda under the Olu of Iggbokoda and Igboegunrin under the Odede of Igboegunrin.
The Local Government Area has a total of 117 institutions of learning. This comprises 96 primary schools; 20 secondary schools and Technical College at Ayetoro, established by the community itself.and 1 new university of technology.
The local government is endowed with abundant economic potential, which include the following:
Oluwa Glass Company Plc, Igbokoda. This industry made use of the abundance of high quality silica sand that could be found in various parts of the Local Government. The sand account not less than 75% of the raw materials for manufacturing glasses sheet and could be dug in large quantity in Agerige, Akata, Olopemeji, Araromi Sea-side, Zion Pepe, Ode Etikan, Igbokoda Zion, Aboto and Orereara. Only the one at Igbokoda for now solely feeds the Oluwa Glass Factory. Oluwa Glass Company can produce for both export and local consumption and the production should be a veritable source of inspiration to potential investors. Allied industries to the factory can also be established.
Crude oil, which is the major source of income in Nigeria, is found in Ilaje Local Government. There are oil wells and fields spread all over the Local Government Area both onshore and offshore, Oil Companies such as Shell, Chevron, Texaco Nigeria Ltd and Consolidated Oil, Express Petroleum and Gas Company, Atlas Oil Company, Allied Energy Oil Company, Cavendish Oil Company, Esso-Mobil were at a time already operating in the Local Government Area.
However, crude oil was first discovered at Araromi Sea-side in 1908 and later at Ogogoro in 1952 even before it was discovered in River State in 1956. recently, the disputed on shore Oil wells formerly credited to Delta state have just been returned to Ondo State. They are as follows: Opuekepa, Omuro, Ojumole, MAlu, Eko, Parabe, Minna, Bella, Obe, Esan, Ewa, Opolo, Opuama and Isekelwu oil fields.
Bitumen which will soon become the second world mineral resources after Crude Oil is found in large quantity in Ilaje Local Government Area e.g. Mahintedo, Igbo egunrin, Igbobi, Agerige, Araromi Sea-Side host of other communities.
However, the proposed seaport and exchange zone to be cited at Araromi Sea-Side will serve as a means of exporting the product and its products to other parts of the world.
Fishing terminal, Igbokoda
The foremost role played by this Local Government in national fish producing has promoted the Federal Government to establish the Multi Million naira Terminal at Igbokoda, bearing in mind the abundant local experience, labour supply direct access to the sea proposed entrance for big fishing vessels, creeks and rivers, the fishing industry remains attractive to willing investors, it has been designed mainly for large scale fishing, but subsistence fishermen equally find it useful for storage purposes.
Boat building industry
Apart from the Boat yard at Igbokoda, the first Dockyard was at Ayetoro and later Orike Iwamimo. A few other towns engage in boat building and essentially through cooperative efforts. The need for the supply of more boats since about 75% of the Local Government is Riverine. There is also need for improved technology in the business of boat building in order to boast productivity. This is a vacuum that could be filled by potential investors.
OIL PRODUCING MILL
There is large oil palm estate maintained in Ilaje Local Government Area. Besides the wide spread of lands which abound in Mahin, Araromi, Ilumeje and Aheri Area of the Local Government is suitable for the existing oil mills and palm plantation and the fruits can be sourced from the estates.
OGOGORO/ALCOHOL DISTILLERY AND PALM WINE TAPPING.
The business dots all parts of the Local Government because of the availability of palm tree. However, improved mechanized distillery to boost large scale production on industrial alcohol is attainable. This orders a challenge to the world of investors.
MAT WEAVING INDUSTRY
The raw materials for this are also sourced locally. Raffia Palms form the basis of the mat weaving, in the entire Local Government but the current level of mat making can be increased through the introduction of modern implements or method of mat making.
1. Water Hyacinth, available in large quantity and uses for production of fertilizer, insecticide, mosquito coils e.t.c, 2. Livestock, Cuc, SWillC, Chicks it! Incat 3. Palm fruit for producing such as: a. Palm fruit for producing red oil b. Rafia palm for building bag weaving etc. c. Palm kernel and nuts for producing pomade soap. d. Palm wine for consumption; coconut oil fibre, products e. Log trees for making planks, long fibre pulp for Newsprints and paper production. f. Other farm produce include cassava, rice plantation, maize Okro, pawpaw, cashew, vegetable all of which have domestic and industrial purpose. g. Animal husbandry is possible all year round because of the perennial presence of green grass for grazing in every part of the Local Government.
Fishing is the major occupation of the Ilajes. This is enhanced by about 75% of the area being Riverine and easy access to the sea. This large scale fishing attracts traders and consumers from the nooks and crannies of the country. Of course, the largest fish market in Nigeria is situated in Igbokoda, the Headquarters of the Local Government. While timber portions of the timbers are essentially transported to Lagos for sales by means of the sea/water.
Ilaje Local Government is a National tourist attraction with a shore line of about 180km in Nigeria, the coastline of the Local Government, coupled with the green grass and shrubs and Atlantic Ocean, presents it beautiful sight and weather conducive for leisure, such beautiful sight and cool wind coupled favourably with what operates in Jamaica and other places in the Caribbean where people troupe to for rest and leisure. This can be better developed for leisure and economic purposes, Civilization started around the waters. Therefore, numerous developments in water transportation and house construction on partially or completely flooded areas are also veritable tourist attraction. Lekki Peninsula in Lagos State to Ilaje Local Government along the Atlantic Coast is about 30kilometres when proposes coastal road from Lagos is completed. On road, Igbokoda to Lagos is less than three hours drive through part of Benin. Shagamu and later Lagos Ibadan expressways. It is possible to supervise business in Igbokoda while resident in Lagos. Casual visit to the main beach of the Local Government Headquarters (Igbokoda) reveals an imposing sculpture of a fisherman which renders a first caller agog. Also present at the main beach are hundreds of beautiful decorated ferry boats as though preparing for a boat race frusta, yet are essentially, to and from the Riverine arrears daily.
CULTURE TRADITION Numerous cultural/traditional activities and mementos abound in the Local Government Area. No tourist walks without taking second look. For instance the Ayelala Shrine, which exist at a river junction called “It a Ayelala”, is only a few kilometers from the Local Government Headquarters. Ayelala is a powerful and widely respected goddess because of its capacity and wizards caught up in the clutches of Ayelala are known to confess their sins in the open. It could be invoked to unravel the causes of diabolical cause of mysteries.
unfortunately most of the communities in ugboland is missing here