The Marina car parks in Lagos would soon be transformed into a scenic waterfront through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement to boost leisure, tourism and hospitality activities in the country’s commercial capital.
Mr Chidi Izuwah, Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), disclosed this to newsmen after inspecting the proposed project site in Lagos on Thursday, March 28, 2019.
Izuwah explained that the Quayside project, which would be fully financed by private investors, would start from the Leventis/Apongbo axis down to the end of Marina axis.
The Marina Quayside project is an unsolicited proposal submitted to the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing by Harris AIB Associates Ltd, a Lagos-based firm of architects and developers.
Izuwah told newsmen that the development would support the re-balancing of the economy of Lagos State because it is the commercial capital of the country.
“It will promote the growth of private sector employment from retail and leisure to high skilled occupations in creative, corporate, retail, digital industries and financial services.
“It is a transformative urban and water-front development project intended to be a tourist centre that will provide hotels, condominiums, commercial complexes. among many other facilities in the city.
“If you go to most developed cities in the world, water front are very valuable huge commercial investment, when you go to London, when you go to Sydney, Maryland just to mention.
“Waterfront is valuable piece of land which is developed for commercial and housing purposes, creating employment and revenue to the economic units.
“So, there is what is called unsolicited proposal from a private component to develop what is called Marina Quayside project. This is what we called a privately initiated infrastructure proposal,” he said.
Izuwah said the commission was at the site to access the proposed project site to ensure adequate regulatory framework was put into the project.
According to him, we have come to see what the commission needs to do to realise this project from the point of view of concession and partnering with the private sector.
The director general said the commission would protect the interest of the federal, Lagos State Government, the private investors and other stakeholders that we could collectively work together for its actualisation.
Izuwah stated that the present value of the land on the marina was not in commensurate with what the land was being used for.
“If we look at the car parks here, the value of the land and the value of what it is being used for then you will know that the full value of this waterfront is not being realised.
“So, the only way we can fully realise it is to develop it into a major development just as we have it in other part of the world,” he said.
Izuwah noted that the benefits to Nigerians was that there would be more housing, commercial areas, shopping malls, waterfront centres, and this would further create about two million jobs.
He said Nigerians traveled Dubai, South Africa, and other parts of the world to enjoy themselves adding that this project would make other countries to also come to Marina Quayside to enjoy themselves as well.
According to him, this is about economic development for Lagos since the commercial capital of Nigeria is Lagos and the commercial capital of Lagos is Marina.
Izuwah also noted that the project would create an intermodal means of transportation and business for Lagosians.
He said there was no exact date for the project to commence, adding that the commission was in Marina to define how it could design a world-‘class project.
This vision is very powerful, and the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari is, “Next Level” and this is the Next Level for Lagos because you will have a massive Marina development that Lagosians will be proud of.
Izuwah noted that there was a resettlement plans that would cater for the present occupant of the land for the project, adding that the major use of the land at the moment was car parks.
“There are very few offices and also we have ‘area boys’ but what this project will do for them is to create jobs for them because they are here because of lack of opportunities.
“When this project starts, they will have an income so in one way or the other it will resettle them and the biggest beneficiary are those that are presently on the land,” he said.
On her part, Mrs Sarah Alawode, Federal Controller, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, said she was at the site to represent the federal government on the project as it was being proposed by Harris AIB and Associates.
Alawode said since the proposal came to her ministry, the federal government had looked into it as a very laudable project, good investment which would bring transformation to Lagos State and the country.
By Adekunle Williams