Mrs. Uzo Oshogwe, Chief Executive Officer, Afriland Properties, has pledged her firm’s commitment to change and beautify Lagos skyline with its iconic projects.
Mrs Oshogwe stated this at the Sod turning ceremony of Falomo Towers, which signifies official commencement of a landmark partnership between Afriland Properties Ltd and Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC), aimed at reconstruct former Falomo Shopping Complex to a premium sky-high real estate facility.
She noted that the redevelopment project was a revival of an important landmark, stressing that: “With the project, we tend to give Ikoyi back its lost landmark.
She stated that the iconic project would enhance and beautify Ikoyi skyline, adding that the partnership would be creating economic opportunities and social wealth that would transform the State and the country.
“With this project we intend to give Ikoyi back its lost landmark. This time bigger and better.
“This development will bring to the fore our promise to beautify and enhance the Lagos skyline, one iconic building at a time.
“We’re committed to Our Ideology which states that through our long-term investment in real estate, we’ll create employments, economic prosperity and social wealth that will transform Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria and the African continent”, she added.
In his remark, Mr. Tony Elumelu, foremost entrepreneur and banker, Chairman of Heir Holdings, owners of Afriland Properties, said the partnership was another testimony to the Lagos State Government’s belief in the private sector as a key development driver in the State, praising the Lagos political leadership for setting the pace of private sector inclusion in governance.
For surmounting obstacles that delayed the take-off of the partnership, Elumelu said Lagos remained the most hospitable environment to investors seeking profitable return on their investments.
He said: “I commend Gov. Sanwo-Olu and the political leaders of the State for believing in the private sector. What we are witnessing today attests to their beliefs in the private sector as driver of development in the State
“For private sector to do well, the political leadership must create the right environment. Lagos has set the pace in this direction. This partnership is a celebration of dialogue and this makes Lagos remain the most hospitable environment for investors.”
Speaking at the sod turning ceremony, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, said the construction flag-off ended a decade-long discussion with the developer to revive the project and build iconic towers that would turn around the fallow land for the benefit of the public.
The Governor said the project was another milestone achieved by his administration to renew urban amenities, stressing that the strategic implementation of the Lagos Masterplan had been dependent on the Government’s ability to forge workable partnership between the public and private sectors.
He said: “This is a phenomenal project that will bring back the lost ambience of Ikoyi. When this partnership was initiated 10 years ago, I was the Managing Director of LSDPC. It is interesting to note that we’ve all gone through arbitration but we didn’t throw a wrong punch. We agreed this project must not be thrown away. Today we are making a transaction that is bigger and better than what was initially proposed 10 years ago.
“This testifies to the uniqueness of public and private sectors in ensuring things can be made a lot better when we sit and agree. This is a clear example of what Public Private Partnership (PPP) model is out to achieve when partnerships and collaborations are pursued and implemented with seriousness. When we put our minds of possibilities to ideas, great things happen. This aptly describes the story of today’s flag-off of construction of Falomo Towers.”
Sanwo-Olu described Afriland Properties as a tested, trusted and reliable developer, saying the Corporation had found the right partner for the redevelopment project.
The Governor reiterated that the State Government would remain committed to ensuring the investors get full value for their investments, while promising to continue to pursue business environment reforms, including automation of land and property records to scale up transparency and efficiency that catalyse sustainable investments.
Hon. Ayodeji Joseph, Chief Executive Officer of LSDPC, on his part, said the project site evoked memories of a glorious past for Island dwell in the 1970s, noting that the Corporation took an informed decision to turn around the site by building residential apartments to provide additional accommodation to the growing middle class, business professionals and the swelling rank of young citizens.
He said: “Over forty years down the line, the Corporation in its decision to renew some of its facilities has deemed it fit to redevelop the site of the shopping complex, taking into consideration the realities of today’s needs as well as the environmental impact implications, this in turn has informed the decision to build residential apartments to provide additional accommodation to the growing middle class, business professionals and the swelling ranks of the upwardly mobile citizens of the state.
“For the corporation the journey to this ceremony has not been easy, like most laudable ventures we have encountered challenges that had taken time to be resolved. We want to put on record our appreciation for the guidance and doggedness of Mr. Governor without whose resourcefulness we would not have come this far.”