By Jude Njoku
The Lekki corridor in Lagos has been described as the fastest growing construction corridor in the country. Almost all affluent Nigerians want to own a property in this corridor hence investors are moving in this direction. The number of estates springing up in that neighbourhood have stretched the infrastructure available beyond limits. Experts who spoke to Vanguard Homes & Property on the upward swing in construction activities in the highbrow area, however warn of a looming environmental crisis if urgent steps are not taken to stem or mitigate the effects of increasing developments.
A private estate developer, Arc Obehi Iyamabo agreed that Lekki is the toast of highbrow property investors. “The Lekki corridor is perhaps the fastest growing construction corridor in the country and even in the continent. Everybody is moving in that direction practically. Of course we have our fears for the roads infrastructure in that area if they are not expanded before the next two years, it would be a big crisis in three years time. It will amaze you how many residential estates are planned on that stretch and the Lekki expressway is a narrow stretch,” he said. Reminded that the road is already being expanded, he retorted: “If we don’t expand further. The expansion they are doing now will be inadequate in a couple of years. 100 metres to your left, 200 metres to your right, every square inch of land, they are trying to build houses. There will be massive population explosion on that axis very soon”.
Commenting on what influences investor’s choice, he declared: “There are three major factors that will help you to decide where to invest in. The first one is location, the second one is location and the third one is location. What I am trying to say is it is all about location. Perhaps in Lagos today, the most desirable place to invest is Ikoyi but we know that we can not all invest in Ikoyi. It is like a concentric circle, you keep moving out until you identify the location that you can afford. You also need to identify areas with potentials. Lagos State is doing some massive expansion of infrastructure and you should know, if you are in the industry, that in so, so number of years or months, a new window will open in this direction because it has so much potentials. So, what you should do in such a situation is to try and invest in property along the line of the expansion of the infrastructure. By the time that infrastructure is completed, the next thing that will happen is property appreciation”.
Also reacting to the massive development in the corridor, the President of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Mr Bode Adediji noted that the government and its town planners should have foreseen the upsurge in development in the neighbourhood and prepared in advance to cope with the trend.