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Eko Atlantic: What US Consulate office construction means for Nigerian economy

The construction of the new US Consulate General office in Eko Atlantic City, for which groundbreaking was performed last week Thursday, will impact Nigerian economy in a significant and positive way.

The construction of the $537 million project will not only be the source of $95 million investment in the Nigerian economy, but also will employ 2,500 Nigerian citizens over the next five years, including engineers, architects, artisans, construction workers, and administrative staff.

Expectation is that these workers will have the opportunity to learn new technical skills and safety awareness that will help distinguish them in the local market which will also have positive impact on the economy by way of growing the country’s workforce.

The project, on which construction is expected to be completed in 2027, will be sitting on 12.2 acres of land, amounting to 300,000square foot at the Eko Atlantic City in Lagos. It will be built by Pernix Federal LLC, a design and build contractor.

The new Consulate General will support diplomatic and commercial relations between the United States and Nigeria and will provide American and Nigerian Consulate employees with a safe, secure, sustainable, and modern workplace.

“Lagos is very pleased to be host to the new direct investment from American government, which promises to put Lagos on a global map in terms of climate change sustainability and energy efficiency,” said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State who spoke at the groundbreaking event.

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Sanwo-Olu noted that the new office, when completed, would be the largest US investment in Nigeria and the largest Consulate General Office in the whole world.

“It is the clearest indication of how cordial the US and Nigerian relationship is, and how seriously the United States views Nigeria and Lagos in particular. It will open a new chapter in the bilateral relationship of both countries. When completed, it will also present new opportunities for Nigerians and Americans that come into the facility,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He commended the aesthetic design of the new building, its functionality, sustainability and focus on selected Nigerian and American lightening as well as other distinguishing works of arts that would be deployed in the building.

The Governor further said that the new building would impact on Lagos economy by engaging small and medium enterprises, young designers and creative artistes.

According to Sanwo-Olu, the relationship between the US and Nigeria cut across community and military corporation, commerce, education, energy, youth empowerment and several other areas.

“United States has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Nigeria in the last couple of months as some of the biggest multinational companies in Nigeria today are American companies with their Nigerian headquarters situated in Lagos. Just last week, Microsoft opened its African development office in Lagos while Google and other American giants are perfecting plans to plant internet cables in Nigeria,” the governor disclosed.

On her part, Mary Beth Leonard, US Ambassador to Nigeria, said the construction of the new building will create employment opportunity for over 2,500 Nigerians in the next five years, and will also inject over $90 million into the local economy for the payment of local suppliers and contractors.

According to her, the construction works will also create opportunity for technology transfer, and skill development for Nigerians.

Leonard further said that the magnificent building will provide platform for the United States to build on its cordial relationship with Nigeria, and employ Nigerian architects, engineers, designers and others.

“Our vision is to create a building that will honour the United States viable bilateral relationship with Nigeria. The facility when completed will allow the United States to continue to provide quality and outstanding diplomatic services to over thousands of Nigerians and over 200,000 visa applicants that visit the consulate every year,” Leonard said.

Earlier, Claire Pierangelo, United States Consul General to Lagos, had described the project as a partnership between the United States, Nigeria, Lagos State and Eko Atlantic City.

According to her, the consulate intends to build a place that would provide comfort to visitors, employers and other stakeholders.

The new US Consulate office would be built with energy efficiency strategies that will address changing seasonal conditions and significantly reduce energy demand. The building will also have facilities to reduce solar heat gain while maintaining interior daylight and views.

It will become part of the Eko Atlantic community and will have modern infrastructure including the new seawall to protect it from rising sea levels and coastal erosion. The geometric and patterned façade is inspired by the local craft traditions of the Nigeria people.

The project comes as a new addition to iconic projects in the Dubai-styled city that sits adjacent to Victoria Island. Completed and on-going developments in the city are Azuri Peninsula, Arkland A&A Towers, Alpha One, Eko Energy Estate, Eko Pearl, Eko Pearl Corporate Tower, Lagos Sky Tower Residences, and Anglican Church for All Nation and the 33-floor Oak Heights.

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