For decades, Ikoyi and Victoria Island have remained the highbrow areas in Lagos state. The exclusive areas were first developed by the British colonialists in the 19th Century and have since remained Nigeria’s business and financial centres. The head offices of banks, multinationals, oil and gas, and telecommunication companies in Nigeria are located there. The rich and powerful in society also have their residences in this best part of town.
Yet, Nigerians and Lagosians in particular yearned for a city that can match those in the developed countries in the world in terms of infrastructure and rating standards. This informed the desire for Eko Atlantic City, a city that is a microcosm of a global city with anticipation to be a gateway to Nigeria and Africa in general.
Eko Atlantic, officially Nigeria International Commerce City, also known as Eko Atlantic City, or the initials EA and EAC, is a planned city in Lagos State, Nigeria, being constructed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean. Upon completion, the new peninsula, which is still under development, is expected to have at least 250,000 residents and a daily flow of 150,000 commuters. The development will also have a positive environmental impact, as it will help in stopping the erosion of Lagos State’s coastline. The city adjoins Victoria Island district of Lagos city and the Phase 1 area of Lekki to the north, while the entire western, eastern and southern borders is a coastline. Eko Atlantic is expected to rise as the next generation of property on the African continent having a total of 10 districts spread across a land area of approximately 10 square kilometres (3.9 sq mi), the city will satisfy needs for financial, commercial, residential and tourist accommodations, with a state-of-the-art high tech infrastructure in line with modern and environmental standards.
Eko Atlantic development is being carried out as a Public Private Partnership (PPP), with private companies and investors providing the funding, while Lagos State government is strategic partner, with the support of the Federal Government. The contractors are China Communications Construction Group (CCCG), a company that works in the field of marine dredging and landfill operation. Consultants are Royal Haskoning (traffic and transport expertise) and ar+h Architects. South Energyx Nigeria Ltd., a subsidiary of the Chagoury Group, was specifically created to undertake the development. Testing of the sea defence system took place at the DHI Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, where models were successfully tested for one-in-a-100-year ocean surges, one-in-120-year, one-in-150-year and one-in-1,000-year storms.
Eko Atlantic will satisfy needs for financial, commercial, residential and tourist accommodations, with a state-of-the-art high tech infrastructure in line with modern and environmental standards. These standards will offer the city’s residents quality water, modern waste management, security and transportation systems. The city will also have an independent source of energy generated specifically for the city.
The Eko Atlantic City project received global attention in 2009, as the Lagos State government and its private sector partners on the project, South Energyx, received the Clinton Global Initiative Commitment Certificate.
Eko Atlantic is master-planned to contain 10 districts, which include Harbour Lights, Business District, Marina, Downtown, Eko Island, Avenues, Four Bridges, Eko Drive, East Side Marina and Ocean Front.
As of May 2009, while the project was still in its dredging phase, about 3,000,000 cubic metres (3,900,000 cuyd) have been sand-filled and placed in the reclamation area, while about 35,000 tonnes of rock have been delivered to the site. In certain parts of Bar Beach, the land being reclaimed can already be seen. Dredgers are working round the clock to fill the site with sand.
On February 21, 2013, a dedication ceremony was held at the reclaimed land of Eko Atlantic, with Goodluck Jonathan, Bill Clinton, Babatunde Fashola, Bola Tinubu, Aminu Tambuwal, and Ibikunle Amosun attending.
In March 2014, David Frame, Managing Director of South Energyx Nigeria Ltd., the firm responsible for the development, confirmed that “the first residential tower will open in 2016.”