OCTOBER 9TH, 2013
It was a big encouragement for the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), the private developers and the other stakeholders in the project. For developing the Eko Atlantic City, a project that would restore the disappearing Lagos coastline and ultimately save Victoria island from extinction, ambassadors of European countries have praised the efforts of the governor and the others involved in the project.
High-level delegates attending the second EU- Nigeria Business Forum visited the project development area of Eko Atlantic, the new city that is being built adjacent to Victoria Island in Lagos. The delegates were full of praises to the authorities on how well the reclamation of land and the construction of sea defences were being carried out.
The delegation was led by European ambassadors and representatives from many European Union member states attending the Forum.
At the event were diplomats from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, in coordination with the EU Delegation to Nigeria.
Speaking on behalf of the EU delegation, the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Dorothee Janetzke-Wenzel explained that she recognized that the huge project of Eko Atlantic was materializing and that it was already having a positive impact.
Her words. “It is not only helping to help save the coastline but helping to save Victoria island, here in Lagos, which is dear to so many people. It is also a project that has all the ingredients that we the Europeans, and we the Germans, if I may add, thin are extremely important. These are sustainability, looking into the future, doing something for the surroundings of a city and by that, also for the people of the city.” The diplomats saw how the Eko Atlantic sea revetment, known as The Great Wall of Lagos is now protecting not only the more than the five million square meters of land that has so far been reclaimed for the city but the shoreline as well.
“Eko Atlantic is restoring the Lagos coastline off Victoria Island to where it was a hundred years ago,” said David Frame, the Managing Director of South Energyx Nigeria Limited, the developers and cuy planners of Eko Atlantic. “Had it not been for the sea wall, Victoria Island could have faced catastrophic flooding from ocean surge three times.”
After visiting the site, the German Ambassador Janetzke-Wenzel added: “I know from the people who were going around with us and the very competent people who were leading us and telling us all about how you are restoring what was here before in 1905. You are trying to bring it back. So it is something that is leaning towards the future, really something looking towards the future, and also restoring.”
Eko Atlantic is privately financed and fully supported by both the Nigeria Federal Government and the State Government. The President of Nigeria, His Excellency Goodluck Jonathan visited Eko Atlantic earlier this year describing it as a ‘noble initiative.’ Eko Atlantic City, said the President, “is bringing us happiness and this happiness has come to stay.”
Eko Atlantic is designed to provide the space and infrastructure to house 250,000 people and become the workplace for a further 150,000.
The 2013 EU-Nigeria Business Forum is a key platform for both public and private sectors to put to work the objective of bringing the EU and Nigeria even closer. The Forum brings together policy makers and business representatives alike to explore how it is possible to convert a business prospect into a plan.