28 May 2012

Nigeria: 'Eko Atlantic City'll Generate 150,000 Jobs'

Lagos State Government has unveiled the long-awaited Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Eko Atlantic City, which it said, was in compliance with global standard and regulations.

Managing Director of the South Energyx Nigeria Limited (developers of the Eko Atlantic City), Mr. David Frame, also put the number of jobs the city would generate when completed at over 150,000.

A team of Lagos State Commissioner of Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Mr. Segun Oniru, South Energyx Nigeria Limited and Royal Haskoning of Holland presented the EIA report at an interactive session with journalists in Victoria Island at the weekend.

Speaking at the unveiling of the EIA reports, the managing director expressed hope that in the nearest future, Lagos would become the envy of the world because of the Atlantic City.

According to him, "when the Eko Atlantic City project is completed, it will generate a minimum of 150,000 jobs, and the city will attract tourists and visits across the world; thereby boosting revenue generation."

He said: "Ten years from now, people will begin to troop to Lagos just as the case of Dubai. The city will have will have a west point Marina of 350 metres diameter and will provide outlet for those who wants to enjoy the canal system. The city project will provide accommodation for 250,000 people".

At the session, Oniru said about 17 expatriates and 500 Nigerian engineers "are currently working on the project, and a wall called The Great Wall of Lagos would be constructed to protect the city from ocean surge.

He added that the developer of the city had 78 years certificate of occupancy on the project to enable it recoup its investment over time, saying that three million square metres of land had been reclaimed from the ocean out of the nine million square metres of land for the city.

On the EIA report, Mr. Dirk Heijboer of the Royal Haskoning, a Dutch marine firm, said the company carried out an environmental and social impact assessment on the Eko Atlantic reclamation project.

He said: "In view of the scale of Eko Atlantic, it is concluded that the project will have major positive effects in restoring and protecting the shoreline and minimal side effects. A scoping exercise was carried out to identify the main issues that needed addressing as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment.

"Following this, a report was prepared and the Terms of Reference for the EIA were agreed with the Federal Ministry of Environment, FME; the body with national regulatory authority over the Project.

"Extensive consultations have been carried out throughout the EIA process. They started during the scoping phase with meetings with FME, the Lagos State Ministry of Environment and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

"Following these sessions, further consultations were expanded to cover a wider range of stakeholders and local community leaders. Consultation and liaison with relevant parties will continue.

"The Eko Atlantic Project has completed a full and comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessment on the entire land reclamation works and its sea wall protection as required under the Nigerian Environmental Impact Assessment Act No. 86 of 1992. The EIA has been carried out in accordance with these regulations.

"The EIA was submitted to the Federal Ministry of Environment and underwent public consultation in November 2011. In January 2012, the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Environment gave EIA Approval for Eko Atlantic reclamation works and sea-wall protection in combination with established procedures for ongoing compliance," he added.

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