Set to stimulate leisure, tourism and hospitality activities in the country’s commercial capital city, the Federal Government has adopted a proposal to jumpstart a massive waterfront renewal project, coming under Lagos Marina Quayside project.
Among others, the project, would lead to total transformation of Marina car parks in Lagos. It is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project, propelled by Harris AIB Associates Ltd, a Lagos-based firm of architects and developers.
The firm is collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to deliver the project.
Though, the project came through unsolicited proposal, specifically, it would start from the Leventis/Apongbo axis down to the end of Marina axis.
Speaking with journalists last week after inspecting the proposed project, Mr. Chidi Izuwah, Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), said the project, which would be financed by private investors, is a transformative urban and water-front development project intended to be a tourist centre that will provide hotels, condominiums, commercial complexes, among many other facilities in the city.
According to Izutah, the project would “promote the growth of private sector employment from retail and leisure to high skilled occupations in creative, corporate, retail, digital industries and financial services.
“If you go to most developed cities in the world, water front are very valuable huge commercial investment, when you go to London, when you go to Sydney, Maryland just to mention.
He added that the project was coming at a good time because “Waterfront is valuable piece of land which is developed for commercial and housing purposes, creating employment and revenue to the economic units.
“So, there is what is called unsolicited proposal from a private component to develop what is called Marina Quayside project. This is what we called a privately initiated infrastructure proposal,” he said.
Izuwah said the commission was at the site to access the proposed project site to ensure adequate regulatory framework was put into the project.
The director general assured that ICRC would protect the interest of all stakeholders including the federal, Lagos State Government, the private investors and others, as the government was convinced that project was a good venture.
Izuwah stated that the present value of the land on the marina was not in commensurate with what the land was being used for.
“If we look at the car parks here, the value of the land and the value of what it is being used for then you will know that the full value of this waterfront is not being realised.
“So, the only way we can fully realise it is to develop it into a major development just as we have it in other part of the world,” he said.
Izuwah noted that the benefits to Nigerians was that there would be more housing, commercial areas, shopping malls, waterfront centres, and this would further create about two million jobs.
According to him, many Nigerians travel to Dubai, South Africa and other parts of the world to enjoy themselves, assuring that, when this project, is completed, citizens of other countries would also come to Marina Quayside to enjoy themselves as well.
According to him, this is about economic development for Lagos since the commercial capital of Nigeria is Lagos and the commercial capital of Lagos is Marina.
Izuwah also noted that the project would create an intermodal means of transportation and business for Lagosians.
He said there was no exact date for the project to commence, adding that the commission was in Marina to define how it could design a world-‘class project.
This vision is very powerful, and the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari is, “Next Level” and this is the Next Level for Lagos because you will have a massive Marina development that Lagosians will be proud of.
Izuwah noted that there was a resettlement plans that would cater for the present occupant of the land for the project, adding that the major use of the land at the moment was car parks.
“There are very few offices and also we have ‘area boys’ but what this project will do for them is to create jobs for them because they are here because of lack of opportunities.
Mrs. Sarah Alawode, Federal Controller, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, said since the proposal came to her ministry, the federal government had looked into it as a very laudable project, good investment, which would bring transformation to Lagos State and the country.