Ibeju Lekki is a fast developing Lagos suburb
As I think of Ibeju Lekki, the words “quid pro quo” always come to mind.
Defined as a favor or advantage granted in return for something; more than ever it reiterates that for now, I am not entirely sure why but maybe by the time you finish reading this, a reason would be clearer in mind.
If you have been following this article series you will know that Ibeju Lekki is a newly developing Local Government Area with a large expanse of virgin land and rural communities.
Identified as a fast developing area that could bring a lot of value to the Lagos economy because of its unique proposition and opportunity for industrial expansions, being home to the Lagos Free Trade zone, and the Dangote group of companies to include the refinery, fertilizer plant and the Deep Sea Port.
Popularly called “The New Lagos”, it has the potential to commercially, and socioeconomically lift the city into its desired mega city status with over 10million inhabitants and/or with a population density of 2000 per square kilometer.
You might wonder why is creating and building a mega city important to Lagos state.
The simplest reason for this potential growth is that embracing and enabling the new megacity development gives everyone (as stakeholders) the opportunity of a do-over in the things that did not or are not working and/or easily accessible – a fresh start to become better implemented and situated.
Let us take housing for example. There is a common misconception that housing is cheaper in the less prominent areas of town, e.g. the mainland and areas like Ikeja, Yaba, Surulere or even Ogba and Magodo; when compared to what housing prices on the Island would cost. The distance from the truth in this perception is as steep as the drop in a number of active data users for Q1 2021, which dropped from 71m to 32.5m. As much as the environment isn’t naturally as ‘expensive’, the cost of housing is because of various reasons that include the cost of land, size of the properties, appreciated value of the area and so many more.
While Ibeju Lekki should be cheaper than already developed areas, there will always be the risk of uncertainty around relocation to the area.
Therefore, as an investor, the cheaper buy-in with a higher risk of not getting your ROI in the immediate might make it more of a risk than you are ready and able to take on. In addition, this will be irrespective of whatever the theoretical opportunities might be. Moreover, to be honest, those theoretical projections have always just ‘sounded good’; up until now when the development rates in the area are making those projections to look more achievable in reality.
But if the megacity development plan is put into action, then these investment risks will be mitigated largely and have the private sector joining hands to contribute to it.
At present, it is true that the projected number of businesses to move into the area are constantly growing. However, without a concerted approach to the megacity development, the bigger concerns of investors will always revolve around how they will recoup their investments. Because they will need to ascertain how the lack of or an ineffective infrastructural development status will impact this interest, the dire need for expansion and the opportunity for sustainable economic growth?
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For Ibeju Lekki to grow and deliver on its promise of playing a critical role in Lagos’ mega-city ambition, a number of things will have to be done and/or embraced by everyone.
This is where the quid pro quo becomes imperative. This espouses the idea that a collective agenda for the greater good that everyone should invest in and enjoy returns from.
Here are some of the opportunities worth investing in within the Ibeju Lekki axis:
- AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS: The demand for rental properties and organized housing is about to jump a few notches. Some people will be able to own their own homes in the area. However, those who will first need to rent are so much more. Cooperatives, investment clubs and private reputable developers can be the champions of this
- INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT: As shocking as it may be, it is foolish to wait for the government to provide the necessary infrastructure. So, the residents must commit to bearing the burden of providing these infrastructures. Moreover, all smart investors know that having infrastructure helps real estate investments to appreciate faster. Members of the REDAN can be most helpful here.
- KNOWING, COMPLYING AND IMPLEMENTING IN LINE WITH THE TOWN PLANNING REGULATIONS: Out of the desire to be located in accessible and frontline properties, some people have had their properties marked either for demolition and/or their fences to be ‘moved back’ after the fact.
These are some of the ways that property investors lose either some or all of the values on their investments. However, this is not the time to count any losses. Why not win on all fronts by carefully playing by the rules. The officers of the Town planning, Lands Bureau and the Estate Surveyors Guild/Association are the stakeholders needed here
- INVESTING IN RECREATION FACILITIES, UTILITIES AND ENTERTAINMENT: Like every new city development, there will always be big and more versatile options for the lifestyle services that people patronize. In this case, the New Lagos is kind of like a replica and extension of the Lagos that we already know so right from the beginning (which is now, there is already a need for services such as these to be in place.)
There is an unspoken theory that in a new development or community rehabilitation, if you are already seeing supermarkets and play areas that you are already almost too late to invest in those areas. We are not too late with the Ibeju Lekki community and still need to come together to make it work for our common good and benefit.
Does it make better sense at what the quid pro quos need to be for Ibeju Lekki to develop, be sustained and thrive in Lagos?
If yes, I hope you will not turn down the opportunities listed within or that might present themselves in the near future.
Do you have questions, comments or thoughts on this piece?
Please share them in the comments, I would love to know what your thoughts are on the subject. No one person can claim to be a master at these things so even we can brainstorm and foster ideas for the investors amongst us to pick up and create them – for the greater good.
I look forward to reading from you soon.