Oyo State, popularly referred to as the “Pace Setter” is one of the 36 States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It came into existence with the break up of the old Western State of Nigeria during the State creation exercise in 1976 and it originally included Osun State, which was split off in 1991. Oyo State is homogenous, mainly inhabited by the Yoruba ethnic group who are primarily agrarian but have a predilection for living in high density urban centers.
The indigenes mainly comprise the Oyos, the Oke-Oguns, the Ibadans and the Ibarapas, all belonging to the Yoruba family and indigenous city in Africa, south of the Sahara. Ibadan had been the centre of administration of the old Western Region, Nigeria since the days of the British colonial rule. Other notable cities and towns in Oyo State include Oyo, Ogbomoso, Iseyin, Kisi, Okeho, Saki, Eruwa, Lanlate, Sepeteri, Ilora, Awe, Ilero, Igbeti, Igboho and Igbo-Ora.
The climate in the State favours the cultivation of crops like Maize, Yam, Cassava, Millet, Rice, Plantain, Cocoa tree, Palm tree and Cashew. There are a number of Government Farm Settlements in Ipapo, Ilora, Sepeteri, Eruwa, Ogbomosho, Iresa-adu, Ijaiye, Akufo and Lalupon. There is abundance of Clay, Kaolin and Aquamarine. There are also vast cattle ranches at Saki, Fasola, Moniya and Ibadan.
Records, Landmarks and ‘Firsts’
The first university in Nigeria is the University of Ibadan (established as a college of the University of London when it was founded in 1948, and later converted into an Autonomous university in 1962). It has the distinction of being one of the premier educational institutions in West Africa. The other Universities in the State are: Lead City University, Ajayi Crowther University and the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology and The Polytechnic Ibadan which is one of the best polytechnics in Nigeria.
There are 324 secondary schools as well as 1,576 public primary schools in the State. Other noteworthy institutions in the city include the University College Hospital; the first teaching hospital in Nigeria and the internationally acclaimed International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
Another prominent landmark in Oyo State is the Cocoa House, the first skyscraper built in Africa. The State is also home to NTA Ibadan, the first television station in Africa and Liberty Stadium the first stadium built in Africa.
Other major tourist attractions in the State include: Agodi Botanical Garden, Ado-Awaye Suspended Lake, Mapo Hall, University of lbadan Zoological Garden, Ido Cenotaph, Trans-Wonderland Amusement Park, Oke-Ogun National Park in Old Oyo-Ile, Iyamopo and Agbele Hill in Igbeti, Bowers Tower and the Cultural Centre, Mokola.