The Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro was established by Decree No.33 of July 25, 1979. It was opened to students on November 15, 1979 on a temporary site provided by its host community, the ancient town of Ilaro, Ogun State. The first site of the Polytechnic was the premises of the Anglican Grammar School, Ilaro about half a kilometre from Ilaro township junction. The Polytechnic was on this temporary site till 1983 when it moved to its permanent site along Ilaro/Oja-Odan Road, about three kilometres from Ilaro township. It is also about 60 kilometres from Idiroko, a Nigerian Boarder town with Benin Republic. Ilaro town itself is an ancient town, land locked between Lagos and Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State. The Polytechnic occupies a total of 898.116 hectares land area on its permanent site.
Access to Ilaro and indeed the Polytechnic can be gained from Abeokuta through Abeokuta-Lagos Road via Papalanto [22 km] or through Abeokuta-Owode road via Ibese [10km], from Lagos through Sango-Ota-Idiroko Road via Owode [15km] and from Sagamu through Sagamu-Obele Road via Papalanto. The location of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro makes for easy access of road traffic. There is a railway station in Ilaro township.
The master plan of the Polytechnic depicts two distinct campuses for the institution i.e. East and West campuses. The East campus has infrastructures in the form of staff quarters, student hostels, sports facilities, the main library, Directorate of Student Affairs, Medical Centre, Polyconsult and Industrial Services, Post Office, Works and Services Department, Petrol Station, Staff Schools (Nursery, Primary and Secondary), Student Computer Centre, School of Applied Science and School of Management Studies. The West Campus too has the Schools of Engineering and Environmental Studies, the Main Administrative Building and Annexes, Record and Data Control Unit, Information and Communication Technology [ICT] Centre, Physical and Academic Planning Unit, Central Examinations Building, Library Annex, Public Toilets, Staff Quarters, Guest House and a dam and waterworks.
Both Campuses are linked internally with motorable tarred roads provided with street lights and side-walks for pedestrians. Buildings are connected by pedestrian walkways and well-grassed lawns with beautiful landscaping. Car parks are provided in strategic areas within the Campuses. The area currently occupied physically by the Polytechnic is a small proportion of the entire land area it has; thus there is room for expansion.
The Institution has a master plan prepared at its inception and it has guided development of the Institution, especially in early years of establishment. In view of the downturn in the economy of the nation, the master plan has since been reviewed to reflect the current state of funding and essential needs. Consequently, development of the Institution is now been guided by the revised plan.