The multi billion naira land reclamation project along the Bar Beach coastline called Eko Atlantic City was launched on Thursday. Present at the inauguration were the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, state governors, ministers and other dignitaries.
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Upon completion, the new island which is still under development is anticipating 400,000 residents and a daily flow of 250,000 commuters and be the workplace of 150,000 people daily. The ten square kilometre development will have waterfront areas, tree-lined streets, efficient transport systems and mixed-use plots that combine residential areas with leisure facilities, offices and shops.
Eko Atlantic will enhance the status of Lagos and create a new and stronger financial hub for the whole of West Africa.
The totally private project was conceived when “erosion persisted and began to claim our shoreline, redefine our geographical boundaries, consume our existing roads, and evict citizens from their properties to the shoreline”, Lagos Governor Babatunde Fashola said.
Speaking at the ceremony, Clinton said: “I believe that within five years, people will be coming from everywhere just to look at the wall”.
“You have said let’s protect ourselves and build something beautiful, something that will last, something that will create opportunities and employment, and advanced aspirations, and brand the city, brand the state, brand this nation as a nation of the 21st century”, he added.
Eko Atlantic, touted as “African Dubai”, with luxury flats, several marinas, commercial centres and offices, will be totally auto-managed with its own water and electric power supplies and even its security system is independent.
The city will be totally independent of the Lagos metropolis, Africa’s second largest city after Cairo. Lagos has a population of some 15 million.
Eko Atlantic is a project of Gilbert and Ronald Chagoury, two brothers of Lebanese origin, presiding over a large financial empire in Nigeria.