Eko Atlantic City: A new gateway to Africa

By the time the ongoing construction of the Eko Atlantic City is completed, Lagos State will be launching the African continent into a new world with the creation of a modern city capable of competing the likes of Dubai and other great cities of the world. This is one of the key projects of the Lagos State government that have come with huge potential for massive job creations and at the same time advance the economy of the state.

Stemming from the aspiration of the current administration in the state to turn Lagos into Africa’s model mega city, the Eko Atlantic project has come as spring board for the state to get to the Promised Land as quick as possible. And with massive infrastructure renewal projects ongoing across the state, coupled with a number of other key projects such as ongoing Light Rail System, Lagos is, indeed, moving at a fast pace to lead the new wave of modernisation, not only in Nigeria, but also in the African continent.

The Eko Atlantic is designed to serve as more than just a commercial built. It is expected that 250,000 residents and 150,000 commuters will flow into the new city each day, presenting a golden opportunity for real estate developers and anyone seeking to move outside the highly congested Lagos metropolis. Aside from its huge potential of boosting tourism in the country, the project is said to have already created about 150,000 jobs since construction began while further manpower will inevitably be required to maintain such an enterprise. There are also substantial opportunities for economic investment for small, medium and large scale businesses.

Described as first-class infrastructure of international standard, upon completion, it is expected that many financial institutions will look to service their headquarters in Eko Atlantic, with the potential for the site to become the financial hub of Africa. With its tree-lined boulevards, waterways, manicured gardens, elegant plazas, three marinas and a stunning ocean front promenade, the new city will be a complete contrast to the congested, traffic-filled streets of Lagos.

Speaking on the project, the Managing Director of the South Energyx Nigeria Limited (developers of the Eko Atlantic City), Mr. David Frame, had disclosed that the Eko Atlantic will change the face of Africa and will transform Lagos into a successful mega city-state. “This state will provide space for the 25 million people expected to live and work in the region by the year 2015. Eko Atlantic is a creative and ambitious development and is rapidly becoming a source of great national pride in Nigeria. The planned residential and commercial property development in Eko Atlantic will ease the current pressure on the exhausted infrastructure and overpopulation on adjacent Victoria Island. Victoria Island is the bustling commercial centre of Lagos. The first phase of building will create a Business District that will stimulate commerce in Nigeria” he said.

He expressed the hope that the City will make the state the choice destination for investors, tourists and financial institutions. “When completed, the Eko Atlantic City project would attract tourists and visitors across the world, thereby boosting revenue generation. People would in the next 10 years be trooping to Lagos just as they are doing to Dubai. The city would have a Marina of 350 metres diametre and will provide outlet for those who wants to enjoy the canal system. The city project will provide accommodation for 250, 000 people” he said.

The project had in 2009 received international acclaim when the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) recognised Eko Atlantic as: "An environmentally conscious city, built with nature to restore an original coastline and to protect Victoria Island, Lagos, from the severe risk of ocean surge and flooding..."

Also speaking on the project while unveiling its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) the Lagos State Commissioner of Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Prince Adesegun Oniru, disclosed that about 17 expatriates and 500 Nigerian engineers are working on the project, adding that a wall, The Great Wall of Lagos, would be built to protect the city from the ocean. The developer has 78 years certificate of occupancy. Three million square metres of land had been reclaimed from the ocean out of the nine million square metres proposed for the city.

For Lagos State, this is one development that will re-design the Center of Excellence as one of the best cities in the world and again open new frontiers for development in the African continent. Of course, this will further enhance the image of Nigeria and Africa in general as tourism destination of choice in the world.

                  
      

Lagos Indicator