The first skyscraper in West Africa, Cocoa House, is located in the heart of Dugbe, Ibadan, Oyo State. The 26-story building, which is now called “The Cocoa House,” was initially called “Ile Awon Agbe” (House of Farmers), and it was built in 1965.
The name would eventually be changed to Cocoa House since it was constructed with cocoa exportation proceeds. Also, a cocoa tree was planted in front of the building next to a water fountain.
Obafemi Awolowo had initially proposed the building, and Cappa and D’Alberto built it. The Cocoa House was commissioned for use in August 1965 by the then Western Region administration.
Following a fire incident caused by malfunctioned electrical equipment on January 9, 1985, which affected the top floors, the building was closed for a period. It is now reopened and managed by Wemabod Estates Limited, a subsidiary of the O’dua Group of Companies.
On its 24th floor, a museum displays early Yoruba artwork, clothing, kitchenware, tools of war, and way of life. There is also a Hall of Fame honoring individuals who have met certain requirements. It was inaugurated in 2013 by Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka.
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Project Nigeria Episode 3: The first storey building in Nigeria
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Episode 5: 3 things to know about the Ancient Kano City Walls
Sir Herbert Macaulay: Nigeria’s first Civil Engineer
Episode 8: History of the Abuja National Mosque
Project Nigeria Episode 9: The First Seaport in Nigeria
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Episode 12: The story of the River Niger Bridge Anambra