History Of Cocoa House
The first skyscraper building in Nigeria is cooperative building housing the headquarter of Cooperative bank Ibadan which is now Skye Bank. It is an eleven story building built is 1964.
The Action Group (A.G) under the leadership of Chief Obafemi Awolowo conceived the idea of another skyscraper in the early 1960’s with the emergence of the 26 storey building which is Cocoa House. The present site of the building was at the time before it was built used by the Public Works Department (PWD) of the ministry of works which extended to the sketch building premises. It was once the tallest building in tropical Africa.
It was built from the proceeds of Cocoa gotten in those years and its maiden name was ILE AWON AGBE upon its commissioning in 1965. A water fountain was provided to beautify the area and a cocoa tree indicating the building
Following the military coup of 1966, the building was allocated thus;
- Ground Floor – Mandillas Limited
- 2nd to 9th Floor – Western Nigeria Marketing Board
- 10th to 14th Floor – Water Corporation of Oyo State
- 15th Floor – Glanville Enthohen Insurance Company
- 16th Floor – HQ of National Bank Ltd
- 17th to 22nd Floor – Western Nigeria Development Corporation (WNDC)
- 23rd Floor – NIFINCO Headquarters.
The Cocoa House is been managed by WEMABOD Estates a subsidiary of the Western Nigerian Development Corporation(WNDC) with its Headquarters in Ikeja, It is now a subsidiary of the O’dua Investment Company
Other buildings around the cocoa house then were UTC stores, National Bank of Nigeria banking hall and of the USIS office i.e United States Information Office.
It hasn’t all been rosy at the Cocoa House as it was gutted by fire in 1985 and was renovated and reopened for use in 1992
At present, the Cocoa House is surrounded by Koko Dome, Heritage Mall, Banks, Nigerian Postal Service and other business outlets.
The building itself house offices for major firms and broadcasting outfits. The last floor accommodates the O’dua Museum and Hall of fame which was commissioned by Professor Wole Soyinka in 2013