Despite COVID-19 slowdown, the development of Nigeria’s first green city, Eko Atlantic which is being constructed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean is moving at the projected pace as the multi-billion dollar project advances to phase 3.

Standing on 10 million square metres of land and expected to add annual revenue of at least $1 billion to Nigeria’s economy, Eko Atlantic has had 65 percent of its land sand-filled as infrastructure construction progresses.

“90 percent of infrastructure construction in phase 1 has been completed, 70 percent in phase 2 and about 20 percent in phase 3,” David Frame, Managing Director, South Energx Nigeria, the developers of the city said during a recent tour of the project.

According to Frame, phase four, five and six of the green city are on the way and “we are looking at starting sand filling of phase 4 very soon.”

The privately funded City has its infrastructure development which includes; world-class road networks, dedicated power station, water, and wastewater treatment plant. In addition to its internal public transportation system and over 100km of roads within the city, it is a green city that already has 250,000 planted trees, underground stormwater drainage, and streetlights on every corner.

“Yes it is a green city, as you can see we are planting trees and we are developing street lights that only uses 30% of the conventional sodium lamp, we are using LD lightning,” Frame said.

Meanwhile, Alpha1, a flagship office tower from Eko Atlantic City recently secured the International Finance Corporation’s EDGE certification. The EDGE certification demonstrates Eko Atlantic’s commitment to becoming the first green city in Lagos.

EDGE, which stands for ‘Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies’, cuts down building energy and water consumption by at least 20 percent while lowering greenhouse-gas emissions. The certification was awarded by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.

“The market potential for green buildings in emerging markets is estimated at $24.7 trillion by 2030, according to IFC’s recent report, Green Buildings: A Finance and Policy Blueprint for Emerging Markets,” Marcene Mitchell, IFC’s Global Head for Climate Strategy and Business Development, who leads the EDGE programme, said.

Other completed and ongoing projects in Eko Atlantic City include Azuri Peninsula, Arkland A&A Towers, Eko Energy Estate, Eko Pearl, Eko Pearl Corporate Tower, Lagos Sky Tower Residences, and Anglican Church for All Nation.

The discussion to develop Eko Atlantic was first held around 2002, and according to the city developers, they came about with the need to protect Victoria Island because it was under threat of flood from the ocean.

“With the acceleration of the impact of climate change, if we didn’t have a solution to protect and to stop the flooding that was generated from the surge of the Atlantic Ocean, eventually Victoria Island as we know today would have been under a lot more threat,” Frame said.

The City which is going to be the new financial centre in West Africa will be contributing to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through real estate, tourism, services and the employment that it will generate.

With a size area that is twice that of Victoria Island (VI), Eko Atlantic City is expected to be home to about 300,000 residents and over 250,000 people are projected to be employed as workers in the city.

According to Frame, Eko Atlantic is designated as a free zone. This means that anyone who wants to develop in the City and chooses to register with NEPSA for the free zone will be able to save on import.

“You can save 18 to 20 percent of your construction cost because you are getting materials on duty-free, and this is also applicable to your household equipment and electronics,” he said.

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