Ogun State lies entirely in the tropics. Its key agricultural resources include cocoa, kola nut, rice, maize, cassava, yam, banana, timber, rubber, livestock and palm oil. Ogun’s mineral industries include limestone, gypsum, kaolin, gemstone, feldspar, phosphate, mica, glass and clay, granite, tar sands and bitumen. Some major companies are located in the state such as pharmaceutical multinational GlaxoSmithKline, Coca-Cola, Dangote Cement, Lafarge Cement and Consolidated Breweries.
Ogun State possesses the highest number of registered universities in Nigeria (nine in total). Seven of its nine universities are private, including Babcock University in Ilisan-Remo (the country’s first private university), Covenant University, Redeemers University, Crawford University, Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Crescent University and Bells University. The federal institutions located in Ogun State are the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro. The state-owned institutions include Olabisi Onabanjo University, Tai Solarin University of Education and Moshood Abiola Polytechnic.
Abeokuta, Ogun State's capital and largest city, gets its name (which means "under the rock") from the spectacular Olumo Rock at whose foot it sits. The city was originally a place of refuge for the Egba people who were fleeing intra-Yoruba wars and the collapse of the Oyo Empire in the nineteenth century, but was quickly filled with Yorubas of various clans. It was a bastion of anti-colonial sentiment in the lead-up to independence. Several notable figures from Nigeria's political history are from Abeokuta, including Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, MKO Abiola, and Olusegun Obasanjo.
Picture by Adolphus Opara