A new city is slowly taking shape on the coastline of Lagos, Nigeria’s main commercial hub. Massive structures are rising from the sands of reclaimed land, as construction workers drive into depths and raise up the edifices that will in the near future be home to businesses and members of Nigeria’s rapidly growing middle class.
In 2008, the ‘site’ of the Eko Atlantic City was little more than a part of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. But since then, the ambitious project has reached an advanced stage of its first phase, with high rise buildings and impressively laid out road networks being fashioned out. And one of the standout features of the new city, an eight-lane city road, has been completed. The 1500 metre long boulevard which runs from the Ahmadu Bello way in Victoria Island to the ocean front is the first of its kind in Nigeria. It will form part of a city-wide link up system and will ensure the smooth flow of traffic in what is planned to be a high-density business district.
“This futuristic city is not just for residential and commercial activities but for tourist attraction”, says Ronald Chagoury Jr of South Energyx, the company responsible for the development of the project. “We strongly believe the new boulevard will enhance business activities and be the ideal location for company headquarters, luxury and business hotels, and also residential elements as well as attracting tourists from all over Africa”.
There are other firsts waiting to come out of this city. Its facilities will include underground power cables and IT networks to be installed under sidewalks, an international school and hospital, and a luxury shopping mall which will be the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa.
A decade ago, concession was given to South Energyx Nigeria Limited for the development of the Eko Atlantic City. Ronald Chagoury, who is the company’s vice chairman, says that the project is part of efforts to address the undersupply of real estate in Nigeria.
“That shortage is only going to increase over time, so it made sense to opt for a high-density city with high rise buildings and the infrastructure that comes with it”, he said. “By doing this, we are setting a new standard for Nigeria and the region, and providing a platform for future growth”.