Eko Atlantic City, a sprawling mixed-use estate being built on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Lagos, has been described as an opportunity for British businesses to make a difference in Nigeria.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, who made the submission during a recent tour of the project site by a trade delegation of the British Prime Minister, expressed delight over the pace of development on site. The delegation was led by John Howell, a Member of Parliament and British Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Nigeria.
Arkwright said he was amazed by the size and ambition of the project which, he noted, has replaced land that has been lost due to coastal erosion.
“I look forward to seeing the city develop and become a home to British business,” he said, adding: “I am also surprised by how much development has taken place since I was last here; most roads have been constructed with numerous buildings nearing completion. Eko Atlantic is a wonderful opportunity for British business to make a difference in Nigeria.”
Howell described the project as an amazing feat of engineering, and commended the handlers of the multi-billion-dollar project, South Energyx Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of the Chagoury Group, for “the ambitious work being undertaken.”
He described the project as innovative and exciting, saying: “I look forward to future discussions on the ways that UK businesses can facilitate the scale and ambition of this project in areas such as construction and retail.”
Also on the UK team were Ahmed Bashir, Acting British Deputy High Commissioner; Laura Mackie, Executive Assistant, UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Nigeria; Wale Adebajo, British Deputy High Commission’s Press; and Boma Beddie-Memberr, Executive Assistant, Acting British Deputy High Commissioner.
Briefing the delegation, the Development Director, South Energyx Nigeria Limited, Pierre Edde, said that, on completion, the estate would be home to about 450,000 residents, providing office facilities for another 150,000 people, with commuter volume expected to exceed 300,000 people daily. In addition, he said, the new city would be self-sufficient and sustainable, generating its own power, water and telecommunications facilities.
He pointed out that the project was designed to change the face of the Lagos coastline by permanently solving the problem of the incessant ocean surge that had threatened to overrun the Victoria Island area of the state. He described the project as an investor’s delight, with promise of quick return on investment. He urged investors, especially Nigerians in diaspora, to take the opportunity offered by the emerging city to increase their investment in Africa’s most populous nation.
Upon completion, he stressed, Eko Atlantic City will become Africa’s main business hub, with its Central Business District positioned to become the new financial headquarters for Lagos and the entire country.
Edde described the project as rapidly approaching completion and restated his company’s commitment to ensuring that it is completed on schedule. He told the delegation that one of the first two residential buildings in the new city would be completed by the end of August, while the second would be ready before the end of the year, with the first office block set be ready between September and October, 2016.