Efforts to reorder escalating population and continuous pressure on Lagos are in top gear as developers explore more fringe communities. Dayo Ayeyemi reports.
The United Nations projects that Nigeria’s population will exceed 250 million mark by 2030.
About 10th of this figure will live and work in Lagos in an estimated area of 356,861 hectares of which 75,755 are wetlands.
Lagos is, by most estimates, one of the fastest-growing cities in the world as about 6,000 people enter the city on daily basis.
Influx of people to the metropolis has led to unusual pressure on land and infrastructural facilities. This has also led to rising housing deficit in the state coupled with increasing unemployment and slum developments.
To save the situation, both the state government and private investors are concluding deals of new satellite cities to redistribute population and control rural-urban drift, while creating industries to provide jobs for thousands of unemployment citizens.
From the flagship Eko Atlantic City in Victoria Island to Diamond Island, Lekki’s Imperial City, Gracefield Island and Orange Island projects among others, they are multi-billion dollar investments reshaping Lagos’ skyline.
The latest is the N90 billion ($2590 million) Alaro City located in the North West Quadrant of the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ).
On the possibilities of the new satellite city, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Rendeavour, Mr. Stephen Jennings, said the company’s partnership with Lagos State Government would see Alaro City becoming an economically sustainable city open to all Nigerians.
He said: “We already look forward to the development of Alaro City and to its 2,000 hectares, to accommodate the rapid growth of the Lekki Free Zone.”
Apart from Alaro City project in Nigeria, he disclosed that the company was also building six new cities in African countries of Kenya, Ghana, Zambia and Democratic Republic of the Congo.
As a master developer, he said Rendeavour had invested over $250 million in each of the project, creating infrastructure, living and working spaces that would help sustain and accelerate Africa’s economic growth, meet the aspirations of the burgeoning middle classes, and serve as a catalyst for further urban development.
He said that Alaro city would provide homes, education, healthcare facilities and industrial parks within a well-planned urban environment, delivering new roads and utilities such as power, water and sewerage to the community.
Chairman North West Quadrant Development Company (NWQDC), OtunbaTeni Zacchaeus, said the project would further transform and define LFTZ, Epe and wider Lagos State as a competitive and international destination for business and residents alike.
Chairman, Rendeavur, Frank Mosier, said the project would boost a mixed-income city-scale development and a premium industrial, logistics, housing and leisure location, complemented by high quality commercial office complexes, homes, schools, healthcare facilities, hotels, entertainment and 150 hectares of parks and open spaces.
Rendeavour is being backed by American, British, Norwegian and New Zealand investors with a long-term commitment to Africa, and to Nigeria in particular.
Foreign capital inflow to Nigeria is expected to reach $724.41 million in 12 months’ time, according to Trade Economics analysts, which also projected that in the long-term, foreign capital importation into the country would trend around $1.160 billion in 2020, according to the result of its econometric models.
Equipped with this, when speaking on the joint venture within LFTZ, both the developer and Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, said Alaro City would boost foreign direct investment in Nigeria and create thousands of jobs.
Ambode said that substantial investment Rendeavour was making in Alaro City would further enhance LFTZ as the gateway of choice to Nigeria and West Africa as well as support the local community.
New city projects, he pointed out, symbolised government’s continuous support for private investors and fast tracking development.
He said: “The project is a demonstration of the confidence the organised private sector and foreign investors have in our state, our government and the viability of doing business in Lagos.”
“The Alaro Satellite City is a strong statement that our Lagos is still attracting more Foreign Direct Investment,” the governor said, adding that with the development, government has added another viable investor to the Lekki-Epe corridor whose investment will create jobs and improve the livelihood of the people.
Earlier, Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, described Lagos as “Nigeria’s New York,” adding that he was told that nearly 72 per cent of Nigeria’s currencies circulated in Lagos.
Lekki Free Zone (LFTZ) has presented development opportunities for real estate developers. Through the LFTZ, the host communities are also being transformed into a new haven for the upwardly-mobile.
The LFTZ, an ambitious 16,500-hectare business hub, is a joint venture between the state government and private investors. It is expected to create an estimated 300,000 jobs and significantly boost the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The net value of infrastructure at the zone stands at $6 billion. The state government’ source said that 116 investors have already registered with the zone; with 16 already operational. LFTZ plays host to Dangote’s fertiliser processing plant, gas pipeline and a petro-chemical plant projects ;Lekki Deep Sea project, and new International airport among others.
Other new cities in focus, targeting full developments Of LFTZ, include Eko Atlantic City, Orange Island, Imperial City projects.
Eko Atlantic City
Eko Atlantic is a planned city being constructed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean.
Upon completion, the new island, which is still under development, is anticipating to accommodate at least 250,000 residents and a daily flow of at least 150,000 commuters. The development will also have a positive environmental impact as its purpose is to stop the erosion of the Lagos coastline.
The Eko Atlantic City project received global recognition in 2009, as the Lagos State government and its private sector partners on the project, South Energyx, received the Clinton Global Initiative.
Like Eko Atlantic City project, Orange Island is estimated at N40 billion as it is to accommodate a population of 25,000 when it is eventually delivered.
Orange Isand is an ambitious real estate project to cover 150 hectares of land, located within Lekki corridor in Lagos state.
Brokered under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative between the Lagos State Government and Orange Island Development Company (OIDC), the project involves dredging of Lagos Lagoon, reclamation of a 150-hectare island, construction of an access land bridge and infrastructure to service the island.
The layout of the island comprises four main schemes made up of residential, commercial, services and recreation/sports zones.
It is a new reclaimed island at the back of Lekki Phase 1, covering 200 hectares of land.
The Managing Director, Channel Drill Resources Limited, Mr. Femi Akioye, said the company had started work, laying pipes across the Lekki axis to the Imperial International Business city and laying underwater pipes into the Lagoon between 3.5kilometre to five kilometres level.
On the sustainability level of the IIBC, Akioye asserted that the dredging took 3.5metres to guarantee a flood-free city for the next 75 years, with a data centre, which is first of its kind.
There is need for the state government to partner investors to create new cities in Badagry area for wealth creation, curbing rural-urban drift and promoting even development.