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Five major building projects in Nigeria

Nigeria’s economy is particularly robust. The West African state continues to enjoy healthy growth to the tune of 5-6% annually, and this looks set to continue in the near future. Nigeria is also Africa’s largest economy by some margin – its GDP hit $569 billion in 2014.

There is a multitude of reasons behind this vibrant and exciting growth – not least the influence of Eastern allies. China has pledged to $60 billion worth of investment in the continent, including the largest international contract awarded to a Chinese firm: the $12 billion Nigerian coastal railway linking Lagos in the west to Calabar in the east.

With significant investment, the construction industry continues to boom. Here are five of the most exciting building projects in Nigeria to watch in the near future. Showing Nigeria’s tireless ambition, these developments offer foreign firms a glimpse at the market opportunities this fast emerging economy has to offer.

Eko Atlantic City, Lagos (pictured)

A bigger, growing economy usually means more money reaches the general population. In practical terms, this means emerging upper and middle classes with extra purchasing power and tastes to match. Such consumers are hungry for more upscale residential zones, with extra shopping and leisure amenities, and keen-eyed developers have spotted this. One Nigerian project that seeks to remedy these desires is the monumental Eko Atlantic City development, located on Lagos’ Bar Beach.

Seeking to become Nigeria, and possibly West Africa’s, foremost financial centre, Eko Atlantic City will combine over 250,000 homes with business facilities to accommodate 150,000 further commuters. Three luxurious tower blocks will dominate the complex, which will be constructed on ten square kilometres of reclaimed land.

The multi-billion dollar development also includes plans for an international school and a hospital. Amenities for the central tower blocks will include spaces to dock super-yachts, helicopter pads and pools. In a city that requires over 5 million new homes, Eko City demonstrates a desire and an opportunity for luxury construction projects but also highlights the ever-expanding need for affordable housing. 

Centenary City, Abuja

Far from being outdone in the large-scale business and residential development stakes by Lagos, Nigeria’s capital Abuja has its own project to come in the near future. Centenary City is an ambitious development undertaken to create a smart city along the lines of Dubai, Singapore and Monaco in Nigeria.

The project will be driven by the private sector. A mixture of 21,000 serviced villas and 170 apartment buildings form the core of the housing area. Other planned amenities include a golf course, a central business and commercial sector plus retail and entertainment centres.

Africa Tower will be Centenary City’s centrepiece. The structure, developed by Abu Dhabi based firm Eagle Hills, will hold 30 floors of luxury apartments and another 46 housing premium office space. Centenary City itself is planned to include plenty of green spaces and will not be isolated from Abuja proper. Instead, the complex will be integrated into the city limits to foster inclusivity instead of isolation.

These sorts of developments are likely to continue as Nigeria’s economy keeps enjoying steady, healthy growth; plenty of opportunities for firms operating in the luxury interiors sectors to grasp alongside other businesses in the construction industry as a whole.

Airport Expansions (multiple locations)

Despite Port Harcourt airport this year being named as the worst in the world, things are beginning to take off for Nigeria’s airports. With funds from a $500 million loan, as part of a wider $1.1 billion credit agreement with the Export and Import Bank of China, five terminals will be updated with new facilities and buildings from 2015 onwards. International terminals are planned not just at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, but also at Abuja, Enugu, Kano and Port Harcourt. This is expected to increase the amount of passengers capable of being handled by Nigeria’s airports to 62 million annually. 

To further aid Nigeria in getting its wings, an entirely new cargo airport has also been planned in the central state of Nasawara. While the budget is relatively small for a project of this type, some $100 million will be invested by Chinese firm Tongyi Group Engineering.

World Trade Centre, Abuja

One of the more intriguing building projects occurring in the future in Nigeria is the World Trade Centre in Abuja’s business district. This will be the first such centre in West Africa, joining 323 other locations in 89 countries worldwide in the WTC network.

Just over $1 billion of local and international investment has been sunk into this construction project. Despite a number of design changes and other setbacks delaying the project, the initial phase of construction is set to be completed soon. The first stage required to be building of two 24 storey towers, one commercial and one residential, which will be joined by future structures such as a 37 storey hotel and a shopping mall. 

The World Trade Centre shows how Nigeria is full of projects that will require interior design and the products to match. As well as the WTC, more and more construction projects will likely appear, so the industry as a whole should turn their eyes toward the African state for investment opportunities. 

Aba Mega Mall, Aba

With estimated construction costs of $300 million, the Aba Mega Mall has the potential to become Africa’s biggest shopping centre. The brainchild of 43-year old businessman Paul Obanua and his company Greenfield Assets Nigeria, the mall seeks to offer 500,000 square metres of shopping space. 

Initial construction of 1,000 units of retail space has been completed, whereas the second phase seeks to expand the mall into a larger entertainment hub. A 100-room hotel is planned alongside a six-screen cinema – but the ambition of Mr Obanua does not stop there. If all goes according to plan, the facility will include the first dry port in South Nigeria paired with a 30,000 square meter warehouse. 10,000 retail units will be available for letting once the campaign reaches completion. 

A project of this scope obviously requires a strong consumer base in order to offer ROI. And, as discussed earlier, as Africa’s biggest economy continues to expand, so too will its citizens looking to enjoy luxury goods, services and residential places. 

Nigeria's growing construction industry means more building projects

Nigeria’s construction industry is amongst the world’s most enticing for investors. It is the country’s second largest employer and over the last half decade has enjoyed growth rate of 9.5%. The profit margins on construction projects on this still young market are somewhere in the regions of 25-30%. More mature economies regularly post returns of less than 20%. 

This should give any potential investors and businesses looking to engage in a fresh, vibrant economy a big hint as to why Nigeria is a fertile country for solid investment. 


Image copyright: ekoatlantic.com

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