Eko Atlantic City is situated on a 10 million square-metre land being built on the Atlantic Ocean along Ahmadu Bello Way in Victoria Island (VI), Lagos State. The city is twice the size of VI and has many high-rise buildings already. In this interview with Olawale Opayinka, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eko Development Company, he gives an insight into his project, Azuri Towers, as well as other projects in the city.
What should Nigerians look out for in Eko Atlantic City in the next few months?
They should look forward to enjoying the new Marina, seeing the completion of Azuri Towers, seeing a couple of more towers springing out in the city. Lagos is still the centre of economy and financial development in Nigeria, and Eko Atlantic City will continue to take a lead in this area. We also expect that Lagos residents will make use of the facilities like the Marina and the Great Wall of Lagos as points for tourism and recreation. The city is set and committed to delivering tourism value to Nigeria and Lagos economy and shoring up in its bid to stabilise the protection of the Lagos shoreline and Nigeria as a whole.
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How has COVID-19 affected your projects in the city, and will you still meet the 2021 deadline for the completion of Azuri Towers?
COVID-19 has had a manageable impact in the work done at the Eko Atlantic City. The impact is on the demand for new purchases. We have had a good amount of success, we have been able to manage the impact of COVID-19. Our project, Azuri Towers, will maintain its December, 2021, timeline and open up for those who want to live there, as well as for those who want to do business there, but it will be staggered. The full delivery of property will be managed for about three months. So, we expect that everyone who has paid for their apartment will be able to reside there by the end of March, 2022. The building for offices will be fully opened by the end of the year and people will be working there. Also, residents will start taking delivery at the end of the year till March.
What are the recent developmental projects in the city?
There has been significant development in the city. The Marina is now complete. It is a very important infrastructure in terms of opening the waterways and using the waterways as a means of transport in and out of the city. A nine-kilometre canal has been dredged and the Marina is fully able to accommodate boats coming in and out of the city. That has been an exciting development. We expect that the Marina will attract new people to the city and be a big platform for tourism. So, we expect that this would further open up Lagos and the Eko Atlantic City and also help to demystify the traditional reservation that people had about the city. It will also further educate Lagosians and Nigerians about the positive environmental impact of the Eko Atlantic City.
There are various buildings on site as many developers are working to ensure structures are erected on the massive land. A couple of new developers are coming into the city such as A & A Towers, Total Pension Fund and many others. It is an exciting time for us at the city.
The cost of building materials has increased, how has it affected your projects?
There has been an inflationary impact on the project which has increased the cost of building and it has quizzed the projected returns on investment, but these are part of the risk involved in undertaking large development projects such as Azuri Towers. These not only have an impact on the Nigerian economy, but also on the global economy, and it has made our economy more sluggish, but we believe in the positive upturn in the market over the coming months as whole nations, including Nigeria, begin to play a big impact in stabilising and promoting new investments. Although there has been a slowdown, but we expect more development in coming months.