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Due to rapid urbanization, the city expanded to the west of the lagoon to include areas in the present day Lagos Mainland, Ajeromi-Ifelodun and Surulere.
This led to the classification of Lagos into two main areas - the Island, which was the initial city of Lagos, before it expanded into the area known as the Mainland.
However, the state capital was later moved to Ikeja in 1976, and the federal capital moved to Abuja in 1991.
Even though Lagos is still widely referred to as a city, the present day Lagos, also known as "Metropolitan Lagos", and officially as "Lagos Metropolitan Area" As at 2015, unofficial figures put the population of "Greater Metropolitan Lagos", which includes Lagos and its surrounding metro area, extending as far as into Ogun State, at approximately 21 million. Lagos, which means "lakes", was a name given to the settlement by the Portuguese.
Following its early settlement by the Awori nobility, and its conquest by the Bini warlords of Benin, the state first came to the attention of the Portuguese in the 15th century.
Portuguese explorer Rui de Sequeira visited the area in 1472, naming the area around the city Lago de Curamo.
The signing of the 1852 treaty ushered in the Consular Period in Lagos' history wherein Britain provided military protection to Lagos.
Dosunmu resisted the terms of the treaty but under the threat to unleash violence on Lagos by Commander Bedingfield, Dosunmu relented and signed the Lagos Treaty of Cession on 6 August 1861.Before the creation of Lagos State on , Lagos, which was the country's capital had been administered directly by the Federal Government as a Federal Territory through the Federal Ministry of Lagos Affairs, while the Lagos City Council (LCC) governed the city.Lagos city was split into the present day seven Local Government Areas (LGAs), while the other towns now make up 13 LGAs in the state.The remainder of modern-day Nigeria was seized in 1887, and when the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria was established in 1914, Lagos was declared its capital, continuing as such after the country's independence from Britain in 1960.Along with migrants from all over Nigeria and other West African nations were the returnee ex-slaves known as Creoles, who came from Freetown, Sierra Leone, Brazil and the West Indies to Lagos.