It’s no secret that, over time, Victoria Island has assumed the top ranking as Lagos’ preferred and foremost business destination; hosting a diverse mix of large corporations, SMEs, indigenous and multinational organisations. Industry analysts attribute part of Victoria Island’s popularity to the decline of Lagos Island.
Analysts observe that the degrading buildings and infrastructure, coupled with congestion and crime rates towards the turn of the last century, led to the flight of businesses from the central business district to more palatable, upmarket locations such as Victoria Island. This, in turn, spurred the gradual commercialization of the neighbourhood.
So why does Victoria Island continue to maintain its top ranking as Lagos’ premier commercial centre? The following observations are instructive.
Economic Dynamism – With its high concentration of both large and small enterprises, multinational organisations, financial institutions, professional services, technology companies and high-income residents, the substantial footfall of visitors, workers and patrons from all over the Lagos metropolis and its provision of modern infrastructure and attractive amenities, Victoria Island creates the perfect conditions for sustained business-to-business and business-to-customer interactions and transactions to thrive.
Prestige – Being an exclusive, upmarket neighbourhood, businesses located on Victoria Island exude an image of prestige, class and success. This boost to their corporate images could be immediate and potentially help an organisation to increase its profile and ultimately improve its bottom line. The location of the headquarters of many multinationals, banks and professional service firms on Victoria Island also contributes to the district’s image as the foremost business address.
In addition, Victoria Island offers a better quality of life when compared to many other parts of the Lagos metropolis.
Emerging Financial Centre – With the majority of commercial banks headquartered on Victoria Island – such as Guaranty Trust Bank, Diamond Bank, Ecobank, Zenith Bank and others – coupled with the large presence of other financial institutions, there is an opportunity for proximate businesses to establish close relationships with key figures at these top banks and financial institutions. This encourages profitable partnerships and enables businesses to have easier access to credit.
The Quality of Space – Today, many premia, high-rise offices and luxury condominiums can be found dotting the Victoria Island skyline, transforming the way blue-chip and other successful companies conduct business.
Many of these top tier organisations have traded their residential office conversions and Grade-B’ offices for prime executive suites, employing the latest architectural, building engineering and workplace technologies as well as offering sensational, panoramic views of the surrounding city and prominent waterways, such as the Five Cowrie Creek and coastal views of the Atlantic Ocean. An excellent example of this is The Wings Towers at Ozumba Mbadiwe.
Aesthetically pleasing environment – Residents of Victoria Island enjoy a clean and orderly neighbourhood, characterised by its neatly built pavements, lawns, tree-lined medians, wide roads and its diverse yet elegant architectural designs.
The area’s relative exclusivity means that it enjoys a relatively low population density compared to the state’s average. The 2006 Census shows that Lagos Island had a population density of 24,000 people per km2 whereas the Eti-Osa Local Government, which comprises Victoria Island, Ikoyi and other communities, registered a density of only 1,486 people per km2.
Infrastructure & Services – Victoria Island’s residents benefit from its good and ever improving road networks. The state transport authorities have been consistently working to maintain and rehabilitate the Victoria Island’s road networks. Recent notable works include the rehabilitation and expansion of the Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue and Akin Adesola Street, with much more in the pipeline.
These projects also comprise the reconstruction of sidewalks and drainage systems to reduce flooding and the installation of longitudinal and latitudinal road ducts for easy underground cabling. The island also benefits from reliable street lighting and good water, electricity and wireless telecommunications infrastructures.
Popular forms of transportation on the island include BRT, shuttles and many taxi services. The Caverton Heliport on Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue is available for private charter, while the Metroferry and Lagferry operators provide ferry services.
Under the Ikoyi-Victoria Island Model City Plan, zoning laws and building codes have been rewritten in order to create delineated, high and medium density commercial, residential and mixed-use districts within these two communities. The state government has proposed the provision of a cable car network, monorail line, intra-city shuttles, multi-level car park facilities and an increased number of jetties to accommodate regular ferry services. These are meant to support the future population of these communities and to encourage a wider use of public transportation, thereby improving traffic conditions and reducing the carbon footprint of the city.
Accessibility – Victoria Island benefits from great transport links to Lagos Island and Ikoyi via the Independence and Falomo bridges respectively. The ubiquitous Ring Road offers a convenient access to the Third Mainland and Eko bridges. In addition to this, excellent accessibility to the Lekki Peninsula is available via the Lekki Expressway.
Amenities & Recreation – Victoria Island is a renowned hub of world-class hospitality, recreation and culture. It’s 4 and 5-star hotel-lined boulevards, to its magnificent variety of the finest international cuisines and dining experiences offers exciting opportunities for recreation. The cosmopolitan bars and lounges, shopping centres, large supermarkets, cinemas, art galleries, fitness and wellness centres that occupy the area make it a choice location. For those who want to unwind after a long day at the office, Victoria Island provides the perfect option for them. Victoria Island is also home to many prestigious business conference centres such as the Eko Convention Centre and Landmark Centre.
Proximity to Residential Hubs
Known for its abundance of high-rise, luxury-serviced apartments, with amenities such as tennis courts and swimming pools, Victoria Island accommodates many of Lagos’ senior executives and top expatriates, who enjoy the benefit of residing close to their places of work. Prominent examples of these serviced apartments include the 1004 Estate and, more recently, the Centre Heights residential complex.
Victoria Island’s proximity to other premier residential neighbourhoods such as Ikoyi, Oniru and Lekki Phase 1 also offers many executives, professionals and expats, who reside in these neighbourhoods, the convenience of a shorter commute to work.
Cosmopolitan – Victoria Island is one of the preferred locations for expatriates to live, work and play. It offers a welcoming and conducive environment, where locals and foreigners can engage in business and socialise comfortably and securely.
Security – Victoria Island is one of the safest districts in Lagos. It has a strong, well-equipped police presence as the state government continues to invest considerably in improving security in the state. This commitment was clearly demonstrated in November 2015 when the state government spent close to N4.8billion to procure brand new, modern security equipment and vehicles for the state’s police command. The well-lit streets also help to reduce incidences of crime in the area.
Content by 3invest