At one point or the other, you might have heard of the great building that stands tall at Dugbe, Ibadan in Oyo state. It is proudly referred to as the first skyscraper in Nigeria and was once the tallest building in tropical Africa, it is interesting to know that the building still stands until today. Most people do not know that Cocoa House was initially referred to as ‘ile awon agbe’ which means the house of farmers. Over the years, the look of the building has changed although it still serves different purposes. If you really want to appreciate the beauty of Cocoa House, it is better to go there and see for yourself. However, here are a few more things you did not know about the great building:
1. It was built from cocoa proceedings: If you have spent time wondering how the tall building got its name, the answer is simple. The building was constructed mainly from cocoa proceeds by the Western States of Nigeria without any federal allocation or oil money, hence the name Cocoa House.
2. Its size: Cocoa House is an imposing 26 storey building that has a height of about 105 meters above the ground and a total land area of 1.7 hectares. It is made up of a ground floor, 24 floors, a couple of lifts and a basement. The penthouse has now been converted to a museum known as Odu’a Historical Museum and Hall of Fame. A large shopping mall has now been built beside it and this makes the building more popular in Ibadan city.
3. Its age: Yes you know it is the first skyscraper in Nigeria but do you know exactly how old Cocoa House is? The building was completed in 1965, five years after independence and marked a new beginning for the then Western state of Nigeria who took pride in knowing that they were the union that worked hard for the completion of the project.
4. The fire story: On the 9th of January 1985, 20 years after the completion of the building, Cocoa House caught fire. This caused much sorrow and confusion to the indigenes of Ibadan as the building lost its beauty and grace to the inferno. However, by 1992, it was renovated and open for commercial use again.