By Anjorin Usman,
The Chairman of Rendeavour, Frank Mosier, believes the successful development of Alaro City, an emerging satellite community in Epe, Lagos will trigger foreign direct investment to the state.
Mosier stated this recently at the ground breaking ceremony of Alaro City being developed in the Lekki Free Zone area. The ceremony was performed by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, assisted by other stakeholders, including the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe; Stephen Jennings, the chief executive officer of Rendeavour; Chairman of North West Quadrant Development Company (NWQDC), Otunba Teni Zacchaeus, representatives of the diplomatic corps, Epe community, among other distinguished personalities.
Alaro City is designed as a mixed-income, city-scale development with master-planned areas for offices, logistics and warehousing, homes, schools, healthcare facilities, hotels, entertainment and 150 hectares of parks and open spaces. Rendeavour and Lagos State Government, through their subsidiary, North West Quadrant Development Company (NWQDC), have conceived Alaro City as a 2,000-hectare, market-led project. NWQDC is authorised by both the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, and the Lagos State Government as an entity to develop, operate, administer and manage Alaro City.
Rendeavour is Africa’s largest new city builder, with over 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) of city-scale developments in the growth trajectories of large cities in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo. Officials said Rendeavour is creating the living and working spaces that will help sustain and accelerate Africa’s economic growth, meet the aspirations of Africa’s burgeoning middle classes, and serve as a catalyst for further urban development.
According to the Chairman of Rendeavour, Frank Mosier, “The success of this project and the resulting prosperity of this neighborhood will demonstrate to the people of this city the opportunities for them to live better lives. But the success of this project will also send a message to investors across the world that Lagos State is a good home for direct investment. That the State supports global investors and that they can have a great impact.
“I believe this project represents a turning point for foreign direct investment and that the time is right for investment in Lagos State.”
The development of Alaro City, he said would introduce a new order in Lagos. “Here, over the next decade, there will be thousands upon thousands of new jobs. There will be thousands of new, first home owners, whose children will be educated in leading schools built on this site. Hard working people will have the opportunity to own homes, to get better jobs and to start businesses, and for their children to have access to a great education right down the street so that the next generation can achieve even more. All on this 2000 hectare site with world-class infrastructure.”
He said although many people over a long period of time were responsible for making the project a reality, “but the one man who has worked tirelessly and with great vision to see this project realized is Akinwunmi Ambode. This project, as well as the many improvements in efficiency and infrastructure that he has already achieved, will make Lagos State a platform for economic success and social progress, a leader in Nigeria and across Africa, and simply a better place to live a better life.”
Stephen Jennings, founder and CEO of Rendeavour said, “Rendeavour is backed by American, British, Norwegian and New Zealand investors with a long-term commitment to Africa, and to Nigeria in particular. We opened our first businesses in Nigeria in 2006, launching Renaissance Capital one of Nigeria’s and the continent’s leading investment banks and in 2012 we established RenMoney, Nigeria’s leading consumer finance bank. Since that time we have not wavered in our commitment to large-scale, transformational investment in Nigeria and especially in Lagos, the country’s commercial nerve centre.”
Rendeavour, he said is Africa’s largest builder of new cities. “We are developing seven major satellite cities in five countries – Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia and the DRC.
“These cities, on more than 12,000 hectares of land, are providing homes, offices, schools, hospitals and industrial parks within well-planned urban environments, delivering new roads and utilities such as power, water and ICT, to thousands of people today, and to hundreds of thousands in the future.
“Looking to our work in Kenya, Ghana and Zambia as examples, we have invested approximately $300 million of our own capital to develop sustainable and inclusive new cities. In turn this has catalysed well over $1 billion in additional investment in construction, plant and equipment in these countries by indigenous and multinational companies looking to build their own futures on this great continent.
“In our cities, more than 60 companies including Unilever, MTN and Africa Logistics Properties, the IFC- and CDC-financed Grade A warehousing business, are building or have completed offices, manufacturing facilities and world-class logistics and warehousing complexes. Five new school campuses have opened in our cities by partners such as Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed ADvTECH and Nova Pioneer, educating thousands of students every day. Several more major schools are in the planning phase.
“We have affordable housing for 3,000 families and kilometres upon kilometres of roads and water and sewerage systems. More than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs have been created so far, many of them sourced from our host communities having been trained at our own skills centres.”
Alaro is destined to be a transformational world-class mixed-use city. Add in the region’s deepest seaport near, the international airport planned for just across the road and path breaking industrial projects such as Dangote’s fertilizer plant and refinery, and it is clear that this axis of Lagos is going to become the premier gateway to the rest of Nigeria and indeed West Africa, Jennings said.
Chairman North West Quadrant Development Company (NWQDC), Otunba Teni Zacchaeus described the ground breaking as “a watershed moment for Lagos State and is a testimony to the hard work and dedication of multiple administrations. Today’s launch of Alaro City, Epe strengthens the future of the Lekki-Epe axis as a major driver of the State’s economy which will ultimately bring significant benefit to the whole of Nigeria.”