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Babatunde Fashola
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola

Eko Atlantic City To Become West Africa’s Financial Hub—Developer

Principal developers of the new city being built from reclaimed land adjacent to Victoria Island – Eko Atlantic City has released key features of the proposed West Africa’s new financial hub.

The new scheme is expected to accommodate amongst other things, the headquarters of the sub-region’s leading banks, financial institutions and international corporate companies.

Lead investor, South Energyx Nigeria Limited (SENL), a subsidiary of the Chagoury Group, said a part of the new smart city has been reserved for the development of a business district. This Business District will be approximately 650,000 square meters and will feature the Eko Boulevard, a two kilometer long, 60 metre wide central boulevard similar in size and look to New York’s Fifth Avenue and Paris’ Champs-Élysées.

During a visit to the city by a business delegation from the United Kingdom, Mr. Pierre Edde, Development Director, South Energyx Nigeria Limited, said the Business District is designed to play host to a multitude of headquarters for companies within Nigeria.

Mr. Pierre Edde further said, “The Eko Atlantic City Business District is a strategic and prestigious location for offices, with a state-of-the-art 24/7 infrastructure network, including 21st century communications, smooth transport system and uninterrupted electricity, making it a compelling place to work.” Upon completion of the city, Eko Atlantic will be home to 500,000 residents with an expected commuter volume to exceed 300,000 people.

One of the delegates, Akin Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of AKD Solutions Ltd, described Eko Atlantic City as an amazing project, and commended the developers for their passion and commitment to Nigeria’s economic development. Another delegate, Eisen Chok, Director, Synergict Connect Ltd expressed delight at the progress made so far on the project.

In his speech, Fatai Amoo, Head of Sales and Marketing, Chris Joe Energy said he was highly impressed with the vision behind the Eko Atlantic project. “This project is indeed revolutionary and the innovative approach used to construct such city is a true testimony to future human habitat development not only in Lagos Nigeria but across the globe,” he said.

He also commended South Energyx Nigeria Limited’s unique waste disposal management strategy, saying that this is how waste management should be handled in futurist cities and developments.

It would be recalled that the new multi-billion dollar Eko Atlantic City with residential and commercial tower blocks off the coast of Lagos in Victoria Island, is taking shape as developers forge ahead with infrastructure development. Eko Atlantic is being built from scratch on reclaimed land offshore from the Atlantic Ocean, and is set to provide 250,000 homes and offices for 150,000 commuters. In a media brief early January, David Frame Managing Director of South Energyx Nigeria Limited, the developers of the city, said that infrastructure development such as roads, drainage and power supply is well under-way. He stated that the city when completed would be self-sufficient in terms of power and energy supply, adding that it would be powered by Independent Power Project (IPP).

Describing the lighting project, Frame assured that the first row of lights along Eko Boulevard, a paved 8-lane thoroughfare which is the spine of the Business District, would also be extended this year. “Building blocks under construction in the city can now clearly be seen from Ahmadu Bello Way on Victoria Island and the Marina on Lagos Island,” he said According to Frame, paved roads, sidewalks and kerbs are being built in the first and second phases of the emerging city. The first 15-storey tower in the city would be ready for occupation in first quarter of 2016. When the former US President, Bill Clinton visited the site last year accompanied by President Goodluck Jonathan, he said the city would attract people worldwide in the next five years and would improve the domestic economy of Nigeria and bring enormous opportunities to the world. The city hopes to attract financial institutions with luxury developments, with the goal being to establish Lagos as a commercial hub for the West African region. Africa has the world’s fastest-growing cities, according to the United Nations. Its current urban population of 450 million is expected to triple in the next four decades. Lagos Housing Market Average rent on a three-bedroom apartment in downtown Lagos is $1200 a month, according to Dubai-based research firm Reidin. Landlords usually expect two years of rent in advance, preferably paid in U.S. dollars. It is a challenge for Nigeria’s middle class, whose income averages about $600 a month, according to Renaissance Capital. Home loans come with double-digit interest rates. To keep pace, construction activity expands by 13% a year, according to government statistics. Architect Ade Laoye estimates that Lagos needs at least needs 10,000 additional houses a year.

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