Effort to protect Lagos against incessant ocean surge and erosion has partly led to land reclamation for shoreline protection and housing projects. Dayo Ayeyemi reports
Between 2005 and 2007 when Victoria Island and former Bar Beach were subjected to extreme storm conditions, leading to flooding in adjoining streets and houses, several efforts were made to check the situation.
Strategically, the Lagos state government had been able to achieve a two-pronged success by repelling the surge and also providing accommodation.
While the second phase of Bar Beach’s restoration gave birth to the much-taunted Eko Atlantic project, a new coastal city being built on Victoria Island to solve problems of ocean surge and boost housing, other artificial islands have also come on board in the metropolis.
They include Orange Island, Imperial International Business City, Diamond Island, Ilubirin and Gracefield Phoenix project.
These projects are already broaching new housing deals in Lagos shoreline.
Some of them, whose dredging and sand filling activities are at different stages of completion, are joint ventures between the Lagos State Government and private developers, except Imperial city project, which is a collaboration between the Elegushi Royal Family and Channeldrill Resources Limited.
Diamond Island, a new mixed-use development, located at Ilubirin Foreshore Estate, at the back of Osborne Phase 11, Ikoyi, is being developed in conjunction with Ibile Holding Limited, the investment company of Lagos State Government and a dredging company.
The island is on a reclaimed land of over 100 hectares. The reclamation (sand filling) is divided into two phases.
Reclamation of Phase 1 has been completed with a total size area of 48 hectares while the Phase11, which is due to commence soon, will have a total size area of 53 hectares.
The Phase 1 has ungergone preliminary survey, which involved transport traffic impact analysis, including the basic soil investigation and construction analysis to aid the design of the bridges.
Plots on the phase, which are currently in different sizes of 1,000 square metres (sqm), 2,000 sqm, 2,500 sqm, 5,000 sqm, and 10,000 sqm, are available for sale to individuals, organisations and corporate bodies.
Orange Isand is an ambitious real estate project to cover 150 hectares of land, located within Lekki corridor in Lagos state.
Like Eko Atlantic City project, Orange Island is estimated at N40 billion as it is to accommodate a population of 25,000 when it is eventually delivered.
Brokered under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative between the Lagos State Government and the developer, Orange Island Development Company (OIDC), the project involves dredging of Lagos Lagoon, reclamation of a 150-hectare island, construction of an access land bridge and infrastructure to service the island.
The project will eventually be a fully serviced community located 450 meters off the headland next to the existing Lekki Phase 1 foreshore reclamation project.
The layout of the island comprises four main schemes made up of residential, commercial, services and recreation/sports zones.
It is a new reclaimed island at the back of Lekki Phase 1, covering 200 hectares of land.
The Managing Director, Channel Drill Resources Limited, Mr. Femi Akioye, said that the company had started work, laying pipes across the Lekki axis to the Imperial International Business city and laying underwater pipes into the Lagoon between 3.5kilometre to five kilometres level.
On the sustainability level of the IIBC, Akioye asserted that the dredging would take 3.5metres to guarantee a flood-free city for the next 75 years, with a data centre, which is first of its kind.
The Gracefield Island – ‘The Phoenix’ is a joint venture project between Gravitas Investments Limited and Lagos State Government.
It involves reclamation and development of a new metropolis, offering a prime site for a world class live-work and play environment.
Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development in Lagos State, Mr. Adebowale Akinsanya, said that Gracefield Phoenix Project was a joint venture with the state government.
He said that exclusive right had been granted to Gravitas Investment Limited to reclaim 100 hectares of land inside the Lagos Lagoon at the northern end of Chevron Way and Northern offshore of the Ajiran land.
He said: “The Island is to be known as Gracefield Phoenix Island. So far, about 30 hectares of land have been reclaimed to a height of 1.8 metres above sea level.”
He said the Orange Island development project was aimed at the development of a fully serviced community in Lagos State lagoon, with about 450 metres off the Lekki Phase I headland for the reclamation.
Ilubirin housing scheme, a mixed use development located on Lagos Island, is another reclaimed land from the Lagos lagoon. It is being sponsored by the Lagos State Government – Ministry of Housing and First Investment Development Company.
The new model plan of Ilubirin Housing Estate for residential and commercial purposes, according to the state government, will gulp about N200 billion ($500million).
The state Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, stated that the project would be carried out under Public Private Partnership with massive infrastructure on the estate.
Commenting, former Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Moses Ogunleye, said that if the new islands were created in line with development plan, there would be no problem.
“If it is within the context of a plan, saying this area should be turned to industrial hub or residential, there is no problem,” he said.
Chairman, Faculty of Education of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Mr. Dotun Bamigbola, said that Lagos would always prosper in land reclamation being a commercial hub of the nation.
According to him, the facilities are there and the government is putting up infrastructure in many neighbourhoods across the state.
The challenge the projects would have, he said, was their promotion as estates for the affluent.
“With this, the housing problem of the low-income group may not be solved. There will be shortfall among middle and low income groups,” he noted.
He urged the Lagos State Government to work on expanding the projects to ensure that low and middle income groups are taken into consideration.
“We need the low-income and middle income people to support the rich estate,” he said.
Bamgbola said the government would rake in more money in form of land taxes from the projects.
Lending credence to the projects, real estate practitioner and investor, Chief Meckson Okoro, said that real estate investment had been a better store of wealth because of its appreciation in value, which in the long run magnifies returns on investment.
According to him, reclamation of land via dredging gave birth to Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Banana Island, Parkview Estate Ikoyi and Lekki Phase 1.
Besides, he stated that is was the dredging of Bar beach on Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos that gave birth to Eko Atlantic City.
The reclaimed island environmental and social impact assessments should be done properly to guard against challenges of climate change.
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