There are indications that the new Lagos city being built on reclaimed land off Ahmadu Bello Way on Victoria Island will be delivered in 2016.A source close to project developers Messrs South Energyx Nigeria Limited (SENL) who made the disclosure last week stated that the scheme would be Nigeria’s most ambitious city on reclaimed land and one of Africa’s biggest marine engineering projects.
“About nine million square metres of land would be reclaimed 2.4 kilometres south of Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos, into the Atlantic Ocean. The planned city is one and a half times the size of current Victoria Island. When completed, the new island will accommodate 250,000 residents and 150,000 commuters,” he said.
He added that Nigerians are increasingly being convinced of the viability of the project such that some influential individuals and corporate bodies have bought plots of land ahead of completion schedule.
Four banks – three local and one international – are providing financial support for the entirely private sector project. These are First Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc, and BNP Paribas Fortis of France. Diya, Fatimilehin & Co, a firm of estate surveyors and valuers, is marketing the gigantic prime real estate business.
According to the source, the concept is to create an international standard city, which will cover seven districts: Ocean Front, Harbour Lights, Business District, Eko Drive, Marina, Avenues and Downtown. The Business District will be spread across 1.3 million square metres dedicated to providing West Africa with a world-class commercial hub. At the heart of this district will be the Eko Atlantic Financial Centre, described as “A key to success and prosperity”. The centre’s imposing towers will house corporate headquarters, banks, insurance companies, room for a stock exchange and hotels. “It will open a new vista for Nigeria and Africa,” he said, adding: “The city will provide world-class property in a world-class environment where people can live and work in harmony.”
The city’s planners have incorporated round-the-clock independent power generation, central water supply and sewage disposal systems into the scheme. With a global certificate of occupancy already given by the Lagos State Government, the developers have created a specialised planning unit to streamline an approval process and ensure quality of construction and integrity of each development.
There will be a light rail system with 60 stops throughout the city and canals for light ferry services, and aside a network of roads to ensure free traffic flow, every building must have basement parking spaces for its occupants and visitors. The scheme will have zero tolerance for street parking.
To protect the new city against ocean surge, SENL is building a sea barrier which it fondly refers to as the Great Wall of Lagos. The 6.5-kilometre-long wall was designed by Royal Haskoning and tested in Denmark by the world renowned Danish Hydraulic Institute, DHL. SENL officials said the result proved that “It can withstand the worst storm imaginable in a thousand years”.
By Michael Simire, Daily Independent