Did you know that if Lagos were a country, it would be one of Africa’s five largest economies ahead of countries like Cote d’Ivoire and Kenya? This should not surprise you. For a long time, Lagos has been the commercial nerve of Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria. The state has metamorphosed into a trade and investment hub for Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
Lagos boasts a massive GDP of approximately $33.68 billion, and the per-individual income is $4,335. This figure is more than any other region in Nigeria.
Lagos consists of a system of islands, sandbars, and lagoons. It sprawls over what used to be the four main islands: Lagos, Iddo (now attached to the mainland), Ikoyi (now attached to Lagos Island), and Victoria (now the tip of the Lekki Peninsula). This ‘Victoria island’ would have been obliterated from the map if not for the proactive steps taken by South Energyx Nigeria Ltd and the state government in 2006.
In the past, you will find that Victoria Island, the business and financial hub of Lagos, was plagued with a series of surges from the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in substantial flooding and erosion. One notable incident was in 2005 when the coastal road, Ahmadu Bello Way, collapsed into the ocean after the adjacent Bar Beach had been completely eroded.
To all observers and residents, it was apparent that Victoria Island was in imminent danger. Looming in the horizon was the loss of lives and properties. Many people abandoned their homes and businesses for fear of getting swept away. These ocean surges were a threat not just to residents but also to the state’s revenue.
Considering the danger at hand, South Energyx Nigeria Limited, the city planners and designers of Eko Atlantic City, partnered with Royal Haskoning to design what is now called the ‘Great Wall’ as a solution.
A vital facet of this project was the recovering of land lost to 100 years of coastal erosion and buildings to protect the business district from the Atlantic Ocean’s surges. Over 6.5 million square metres of land have been recovered so far.
‘The Great Wall’ was erected to protect Victoria Island and protect the new city – Eko Atlantic City from the threat of flooding from the Atlantic Ocean. The erection of this seawall began in mid-2009 and now spans about 6.8 kilometres. It is growing daily.
With ‘The Great Wall’ protecting an integral asset that forms part of Lagos’s economic backbone, many businesses, both local and international, can now invest in the community without any fear of ocean surge.
According to reports, an estimated N460 billion in yearly rent revenue would have been lost due to the ocean surges. Furthermore, with the ocean surges’ persistent occurrence before the intervention, there’s little doubt that Victoria Island would have been reduced to memory by now.
Like everyone asked before the Great Wall’s construction, what would have become of businesses and establishments in Victoria Island if South Energyx did not take this bold step?
The answer is best left to the imagination as we cannot easily comprehend the enormity of this loss to Lagos State, Nigeria and many other countries whose investments reside in Victoria Island.
To learn more about The Great Wall and Eko Atlantic City, please visit https://www.ekoatlantic.com/