From my hotel room, I could clearly see the Great Wall of Lagos. This Impressive seven kilometre giant Wall has been referred to as a masterpiece of Engineering, designed to withstand the worst imaginable Atlantic Storm. This sea wall extends to 60 metres at the base where the force of the ocean is greatest. Behind this great wall will a new city emerge, a city destined to set a new standard for living and working in West Africa, this new city is called the Eko Atlantic City.
This project is a very ambitious one and I will tell you why – the novella city will rise up from freshly reclaimed land next to Victoria Island in Lagos. Work is very much in progress to retrieve nine million square metres of land from the sea to provide some of the finest development properties in West Africa. This thriving 21st Century city will have seven districts housing about 250,000 people and 150,000 more commuting to work each day. From the plan on ground, this magnificent city will be similar to the skyscraper district in Manhattan Island in New York City and will provide enormous investment opportunities in homes, businesses and tourism. Did I hear you shout, “Wow”?
The promoters of this project didn’t actually set out to create a new city. It all started in 2003. The Bar Beach in Victoria Island was under attack. It came under heavy bombardments from the Atlantic Ocean, suffering heavy blows from the severe coastal erosion and flooding which seriously threatened the continued existence of the highly revered Victoria Island. For me, this is not simply hearsay. As a child, I remember visiting the Bar Beach with my family in the late eighties (80’s). We walked quite a distance from the tarred road before we came face to face with the Ocean. Over time, the flooding and erosion brought the sea shore to the same tarred road. What’s more, it even threatened to wash away the road and the adjoining buildings by overflowing its banks time and time again. What a colossal environmental disaster it was!
It was this problem that the Lagos State Government and Energyx Nigeria Limited (the Developer and City Planners of the Eko Atlantic City) sought to solve, but somewhere in between they saw a seed of opportunity in the midst of resolving this daunting challenge. They realised they could restore the land that had been swallowed up by the Ocean and turn that land which used to be a sea of sand into a new city, a City born from the Sea. The land reclamation started in February 2008 with a seven-year dredging operation planned to create 8,000 square metres of new land every day. That city is what is today referred to as the Eko Altlantic City. Today, Eko Atlantic is already helping to reverse the environmental damage at Victoria Island caused by a century of coastal erosion. From what the promoters have told us, this imposing sea wall I was looking at will shield the city of Lagos as well as the Eko Atlantic city. This project has converted an impending disaster into a valuable asset for the future.
We can learn very good lessons from this massive Project which we can apply to our own lives. That challenge you are facing has a seed of opportunity somewhere inside it. However, you need to tackle the challenge headlong with dogged determination and perseverance. Only then will you see the hidden opportunity. Only then will the light at the end of the tunnel become obvious. It may look like an insurmountable challenge but I tell you, deep inside, you will find golden opportunities. Only recently, the Lagos State Government unfolded plans to extend the Eko Atlantic City Project from the Bar Beach in Victoria Island to Alpha Beach in Lekki, as a way of permanently protecting lives and property along the state’s section of the Atlantic Ocean. You see, opportunities always gives birth to opportunities and more opportunities.
Of this great project, the former American President Bill Clinton had this to say, “It will work to improve the economy of Nigeria. All over the world, it will bring enormous opportunities. I am convinced that five years from now, many around the world will be coming to see this great wall.” That is the end result – Nations will come to your rising.
Why sit you there and die?