Lekki, Lekki, “Lekki for Life”

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The upscale Lekki corridor will ever remain the toast of businessmen who ply their trade in real estate investment and property development. For years to come, the location will continue to attract more investors; building contractors; construction professionals and artisans; building materials manufacturers and suppliers as it provides new opportunities on daily basis. Lekki corridor, which is the spill-over effect of developmental growth of Lagos Island, Victoria Island and Ikoyi is further buttressed by its proximity to these central business districts.

The on-going road expansion and series of infrastructural as well as commercial developments are all adding value to property on the axis. In fact, Lekki axis has come to be regarded as the foremost property market in Africa ahead of other locations like Johannesburg in South Africa and Cairo in North Africa. The location often tops the preference chart of Nigerians in the Diaspora in search of property at home and 75% of local property advertised by foreign estate agents are property located on the Lekki axis.

The success story of Lekki began in the early 80s during tenure of Alhaji Lateef Jakande as the civilian of Lagos State, when the hitherto, narrow Ajah road was dualized and became the Lekki-Epe Expressway. Then there was a change in the fortune of traditional villages and little known fishing communities that lined the axis as their land soon became hot cakes. During the era of Mudashiru Lawal, military administrator of the state, real estate activities were further heightened following the demolition of Ilado and Moroko, shanty settlements around the present location of Lekki Phase 1 and Shoprite. While displaced people were resettled in places like Ilasan, Ikota and Epe, the land was later sand-filled and sold out for private developments.

Today on the axis, there is panoply of buildings of various designs, shapes, colours and heights which are competing for right of space within numerous private residential estates and government “site and services schemes” in addition to those on private plots of land.  They come in varieties of Bungalow, Detached House, Flats, Semi-Detached House, Duplex, Luxury Serviced Apartment, Mansion, Storey Building, Single Dwelling, Self-Contained, Terrace, Town House, Tenement Building, Guest House, Maisonette, Mini-Flat, Penthouse and Block Of Flats; thus giving individuals a wide choice to make.

Moreover, it has also become a social status high score to have a house or, better still, live in Lekki irrespective of which part of Lekki or how far from the commercial nerve centre.  Besides, the urge for leisure in various beaches along the corridor is also an attraction for residents; and investors are capitalizing on this to develop more residential estates, while some have even gone ahead and developed phase 2, or even, phase 3 of exquisite estates.

Taking the lead among fully  developed and occupied residential estates along the corridor are  the followings:  Lekki Peninsula Phase 1, Femi Okunnu Estate, Goshen Estate, Manor Gardens Estate, Victoria Garden City (VGC), Crown Estate, Elf Estate, Cooperative Villa Estate, Mayflower Estate, Paradise Garden Estate, UPDC Estate, Golden Park Estate, Dolbys Haven Estate, Treasure Garden Estate, Pinnock Beach Estate, Still Waters Estate, NICON Town Estate, Oluwa-ni-sola Estate, Eleganza Estate, Amen Estate, Abraham Adesanya Estate, Centage Estate, Thomas Estate, Heritage Estate, Flora Shaw Estate, FARA Park Estate, Victory Park Estate and Fountain Springville Estate.

However, living anywhere on the Lekki axis, to be candid, is expensive and the “scapegoat” is demand, demand and demand. Demand for land required for various developments has continued to encourage land owners to consistently review their prices upwards. The axis is currently home to a good number of high-end infrastructure, which is a prerequisite for property value and investors cannot afford to joke with this, hence the rush to “have a piece of the action.”

Raising the stake of infrastructural developments on the axis are the ongoing construction of the Free Trade Zone, FTZ; the proposed Ethanol Plant, which will be the biggest petrochemical industry in Africa to be developed along the Inter-coastal road; the Deep Sea Port for the FTZ; Chevron’s Oil Mining Plant as well as the newly announced Dangote Refinery and the permanent site of PAN Atlantic University.  Others like the Eko Tourist Hotel, La Campagne Tropicana and the Lagos State Golf Course, which have already started providing quality leisure and relaxation for residents and tourists are expected to be major sources of attraction to investors in the hospitality industry. Similarly, the construction of the proposed inter-coastal road and another International Airport will further open-up the axis with the multiplying effects of pushing-up property prices. Intriguing

Real estate investment and property development on the axis is not only fascinating, but it is highly lucrative, even though it is not without its own hiccups. There are scammers who fleece unsuspecting stakeholders of their money. However, the panacea for this is to deal with credible estate agent to carry-out a thorough search for genuine property for you; it is advisable never to be in a hurry to pay until all necessary information about the property has been exposed either from the vendors or through searching at the state’s Land Registry. The hoarding of information about the status of property has been the main gimmick to deceive buyers and often result in loss of huge amount of money or lengthy legal actions.

The second part of this piece looks at the spate of construction works, the current prices of property, types of property you can buy and possible titles available on various property on the axis. Keep a date.

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