Eko Atlantic City: Why The City Of The Future Is Taking So Long

For those who grew up closer to Victoria Island or those who schooled there in the late 90s and early 2000s, the popular Bar Beach (now Eko Atlantic City) overflowing its bank and destroying properties was not a new thing. In fact, Ahmadu Bello Way which is the road closest to the beach’s bank was closed severally for safety reasons.


Annually, it was expected that the water would overflow its bank. Notices are issued ahead for people who sell or work along the route to plan extensively for the days the flood would come. It was a menace that was driving Lagos State back several years from the development it worked so hard to build.


However, in 2003, a solution was proposed. An idea that would be a lasting solution to the flood of Bar Beach birthed in the innovative idea of a modern city on the Atlantic Coast, all from reclaimed land straight from the sea called Eko Atlantic City – standing on 10 million square metres of land reclaimed from the ocean and protected by an 8.5 kilometre-long sea wall.


With construction starting on the project in 2008, the rate of flooding along that road reduced drastically and within a year after construction started, 3,000,000 cubic metres (3,900,000 cu yd) of space had been sand-filled and placed in the reclamation area. It was a big win but at what price to the state and its people?


For many, the popular Bar Beach represented a spot for fun, a place to wine and dine, a great environment for picnics, and even a place for a large gathering of people during festive periods but with the new project in place, all those things were gone, and all that was left was heavy pieces of equipment, cranes, high-rise buildings, and paved roads.


In 2016, Eko Atlantic City was commissioned by the former Governor of Lagos State, Akinwumi Ambode, ushering in a new face for a space that used to be one of the most popular open beaches in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.


ALSO READ: 4 historical places in Lagos that still stands till today


Touted as the ‘Dubai of Nigeria,’ this luxurious city was anticipated to accommodate at least 250,000 residents, helping solve the chronic shortage of housing in the state, while also generating over 150,000 jobs. Also, it was expected to contribute at least $1,000,000,000 to Nigeria’s GDP.

Has Eko Atlantic City met its 250,000 residents milestone?


The numbers provided on Eko Atlantic City’s official website show 300,000 residents but it is not clear whether these are residents living in Eko Atlantic City or the numbers expected when the project is finalized.


Regardless, it is important to note that the project is not close to 20% on completion as it has just five finished projects on it at the moment while several other lands lay there unused and not bought.

Eko Pearl Tower (Eko Atlantic City)
Eko Pearl Tower – Image Credit (Eko Atlantic City)


The buildings currently standing at the Eko Atlantic City are Eko Pearl Towers, Azuri Towers, Eko Energy Estate, Alpha 1, and Heartland A&A Towers which are a combination of residential apartments and commercial buildings.


For a project that started over a decade ago, we can say that development of Eko Atlantic City has been slow.

Why is the development in Eko Atlantic City taking so long?


The obvious answer to this question is that Eko Atlantic City does not target the average Nigerian. According to recent listings by PropertyPro NG, one of Nigeria’s foremost real estate companies, land is now priced for about $2500 – $3000 per square metre in Eko Atlantic City, making it top on the list of highly-priced lands in Lagos State.


If the management of Eko Atlantic City targets the Nigerian market, this doesn’t seem to be a wise business idea, considering the rapidly growing rate of the dollar to Naira, and if the Nigerian market is not the target, then the project is not reaching its target, at least not yet. This could be because of many reasons but mainly because Nigeria is currently not a favorite place to invest in business at the moment.


Unless lands are sold and buildings are erected, the ‘City of the Future’ that Eko Atlantic City is meant to represent might never come to life.



It is surprising that Lagos which is notorious for everything related to land – from Omo Onile issues to ridiculously priced real estate – has a whole ‘city’ with lands lying idle with no takers but the easy conclusion to this is that there is grade to luxury and the type the ‘City of the Future’ offers is only opened to 5% of the country.


🤞 Don’t miss a thing!

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *