Victoria Islands – Lagos (english)

Victoria Island ist das Wirtschaftszentrum der nigerianischen Stadt Lagos.

Victoria Island bildet das westliche Ende der Local Governement Area Eti Osa und liegt in der Lagune von Lagos. Nördlich liegen die Inseln Ikoyi und Lagos Island, östlich die Halbinsel Lekki.

Früher war Victoria Island, benannt nach der britischen Königin Victoria, ein für Europäer und hohe Beamte reserviertes Wohngebiet. Auch heute noch ist Victoria Island ein teures Wohnviertel mit vielen Läden, Restaurants und Nachtclubs. Mit dem Wohlstand der Einwohner geht eine hohe Anzahl von Straßenhändlern und Bettlern auf Victoria Island einher.

Sights on Victoria Island – Lagos

 

Lekki Beach Resort

A favourite among business travellers to Lagos and expatriates living in the area of Victoria Island, Lekki Beach Resort is a new establishment offering well-heeled tourists the opportunity to experience some refinement and luxury in the midst of the often chaotic and ramshackle city. Built along 1.6 miles (2.5km) of the pristine Lekki Beach shoreline, and covering an area of 157 hectares (388 acres), the Lekki Beach Resort is a major operation – featuring luxury accommodation, an 18-hole golf course designed by Ron Garl, a clubhouse with a fine restaurant and a fun bar, and numerous family-oriented amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, exercise rooms, and a health spa. Undoubtedly the premier place to play golf in Nigeria, the course is also quite a beautiful sight in its own right, blending seamlessly into its natural surroundings and boasting fantastic Atlantic Ocean views.

Address: D16 Eko Court, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island

Website: www.lekkibeachresort.com

 

Lekki Market

For a taste of the real Lagos head to the bustling, chaotic and always fascinating Lekki Market. Intrepid shoppers that make the trip here will be rewarded with a wonderful selection of African masks, Nigerian beadwork and traditional cloth. The Lekki Market is located about 6 miles (10km) from the centre of Victoria Island, and is a popular taxi route. Bargain hard, but keep smiling. Get a local to help you navigate the market; for NGN 50, the will be money well spent.

Opening times: Dawn to dusk

 

Lagos Nightlife

 

With pumping discos, late night bars and live music venues, Lagos is fast making its mark as the nightlife capital of Nigeria. The nightlife scene tends to start late in the evening and keep going until the sun rises, with most clubs only beginning to fill up at about 11pm. The main nightlife destinations in Lagos include Victoria Island and Ikoyi. Mainland Lagos has a couple of great bars but only for the more adventurous as safety can be an issue.

Popular late night bars and clubs in Ikoyi and Victoria Island include Kuramo Sports Cafe, Bambuddha and Club Towers Priv’E. Awolowo Road attracts a number of diners and late night drinkers, and Nigeria’s resident expat population tend to migrate toward Pat’s Place. Popular venues on Mainland Lagos include Motherlan’ and New Afrika Shrine.

Recommended Restaurants

Bangkok Restaurant

 

244A Muri Okunola St, Victoria Island, Lagos

 

Mon – Sun
11am ~ 11pm

 

Thai & other Asian food. Excellent, tasty food, good service and friendly owners. They also deliver takeaways to the islands. Expect to pay N1500-N2000 for a main course.

 

Bonsai Restaurant

 

Akin Adesola St, Victoria Island, Lagos

Mon – Sun
11a ~ 11p

 

Delicious (and deliciously expensive) sushi & other Japanese cuisine, with a strong wine list. The interior is pure Kyoto. Everything is lovingly detailed, from the cutlery to the woodwork. Ladies: don’t forget your kimono. Gents: don’t expect any Geisha girls!

 

Churras

 

1C Ozumba Mbadiwe Ave, Victoria Island, Lagos

  

Mon – Sun
12p ~ 12a

 

Churras, the first Brazillian restaurant in Lagos, opened in January 2006. Set in a circular space overlooking Five Cowrie Creek in the compound of The Lagoon Restaurant, the location is superb.

A bar in the centre of the room is the ideal place to meet up for a relaxed drink. Order a daiquri and watch jet skiers whizz passed the window. Close your eyes and drink in the dreamy latin music.. For those coming to eat, the usp of Churras is hidden in its name: churras are Brazillian-style barbecued meats that are served by waiters swanning from table to table slicing off choice delicacies.

Eat all the meat you can for N5500. Churras is also an excellent option for veggies, with a wonderful collection of salads (eat all you can for N2000)

Open 12-4pm and 7pm-midnight (dining) – bar open after midnight.

Marco-Polo

9 Karimu Kotun Street
Victoria Island, Lagos

 

Mon – Sun
12p ~ 11p

 

Marco Polo launched late in 2005. The menu has a strong seafood bias, with Croaker, Prawns, Lobster, Crab and Squid all on offer in various forms. The interior is sleek, well lit and inviting. Expect to pay around N3000 per head not including drinks.

 

Piccolo Mondo

 

19B, Plot 975, Idejo Street, Off Adeola Odeku St, Victoria Island, Lagos

 

Mon – Sun
12p ~ 11p

 

Piccolo Mondo (“small world” in Italian) specialises in upscale Italian style sandwiches and burgers. The ambience is clean and bright, with good service. Upstairs is a lounge/bar area.

Expect to pay around N1000 for a sandwhich (Mozzarella, Steak, Smoked Salmon etc) around N1200 for a burger). They do take-aways and deliveries.

 

Saipan

 

3rd and 4th Floors, Dream Plaza,
7, Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

 

Mon – Sun
12p ~ 1a

 

Piccolo Mondo (“small world” in Italian) specialises in upscale Italian style sandwiches and burgers. The ambience is clean and bright, with good service. Upstairs is a lounge/bar area.

Expect to pay around N1000 for a sandwhich (Mozzarella, Steak, Smoked Salmon etc) around N1200 for a burger). They do take-aways and deliveries.

 

Saipan

 

3rd and 4th Floors, Dream Plaza,
7, Bishop Aboyade Cole Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

 

Mon – Sun
12p ~ 1a

 

Opened in March, Saipan is a bit of a treat. The entrance is on the 3rd floor of Dream Plaza. The bar has seductive shadowy lighting and a huge range of wines, cocktails and liquors (including a cocktail aptly named Crude Oil). Upstairs is the restaurant with fabulous views over Lagos (private dining also available). The food has all the usual Chinese options – soups, seafood, chicken & duck, beef & lamb, pork dishes as well as six vegetarian/tofu dishes. Expect to pay around N5000 (not including drinks).

Opening times: Daily 12:30 – 1am (bar open till 2am on Fridays). Last orders 11.30pm.  Website address is www.saipannigeria.com

Yellow Chili

 

27 Oju Olobun Close off, Bishop Oluwole St, Victoria Island, Lagos

Mon – Sun
12p ~ 11p

 

Opened in 2004, Yellow Chili is just about the most stylish place to eat Nigerian food on the Island. Lunchtimes draw a loyal crowd of professional types drawn by the lovingly prepared food. There is a bar upstairs with a cosmopolitan ambience.

 

The Ikoyi, Lekki, Victoria Island pull on businesses

 

Despite being restructured, the Lagos Central Business District (CBD) seems to have lost its attraction to businesses, which are moving in droves to Victoria Island, Lekki and Ikoyi which are considered safer and more business-friendly. OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE reports

 

FOR businesses, the new attraction is Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki where they are moving to in droves. The relocation did not just start today.

Those who should know said it started 10 years ago when they found when they found the famous Lagos Business District (LBD) of Marina and Broad Street no longer attractive.

Why are they moving? Many factors, according to experts, are responsible for the relocation, chief of which are infrastructure and accessibility. There is now pressure on landlords from their tenants to improve on infrastructure provision and enhance access to their offices. To get their heart’s desire, they are ready to pay no matter how high the rent is.

National Publicity Secretary, Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Victor Ayeye said the movement of businesses from Lagos Island (Marina and Broad Street) to Victoria Island and Lekki has resulted in many vacant open spaces.

Many factors, according to him, are responsible for the movement, especially among corporate offices.

Insecurity, he posits, plays a major role, as currently all manner of businesses operate along Broad Street and Marina. He added that street trading and hawking breed touts, who scare corporate businesses and expatriates.

He said over population of the central business district, is also another source of concern.

“This area is now seriously populated, not by the real office owners, but street traders and there are inadequate parking lots as what served as parking lots have been converted to other uses. Again, most of the office spaces in Lagos Island were built over 80 years ago and, therefore, functionally obsolete to be used for modern day business in this century.

“It must be noted that the life cycle of a building in the country is arguably about 60 years and therefore, anything can happen, such as collapse of the building. Also, some of the structures do not meet the standard of today,” he said.

According to Ayeye, the life cycle of an estate is in five stages – the pre-development, newly developed, middle age, obsolescence and total obsolescence.

He said businesses are moving to Lekki and Victoria Island because, they are areas where all the deficiencies observed in the LCBD had been taken care of by the adequate provision of modern day facilities, new structures and proper security measures.

On the price differentials, he said though the cost of office space in Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki ranks high against those of Marina and Broad Street, it has not deterred prospective clients from patronising them.

Recent statistics revealed that office complexes in Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki commands higher rent. For instance, the former Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Towers in Ikoyi, now MOLENA Towers, costs $850 per square metre. A building owned by Sterling Capital by Falomo, close to Union Marble House, goes for $900 per square metre and another behind Ikoyi Hotel was let for $1,200 per square metre.

On Broad Street and Marina, rent still goes for between $65 to $195 per square metre as against $445 to $950 square metre in Ikoyi and Victoria Island in naira value.

A surveyor, Chudi Ubosi of Eleh Ubosi & Co, said businesses are relocating from the Island because of poor infrastructure and poor finishing, adding that people are asking for efficient facilities and are willing to pay over $100,000 per square metre for an office space in Lekki and Victoria Island.

He said: “Marina and Broad Street are looked at as secondary locations as they cannot keep blue chip companies and generally businesses that are forward looking.”

Principal Partner of Laide Oshikoya & Co, Mr Laide Oshikoya, said the move may be informed by the perception that Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lekki have higher corporate outlook than Marina and Broad Street.

One other thing they have going for them is their accessibility to ancillary bodies, like airline offices, embassies and restaurants.

Chairman, Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Lagos State chapter, Shola Fotoki, said the movement from Broad Street and Marina for businesses actually started 10 years ago when street urchins were harassing people in broad-day light.

He said the situation was made worse by the traffic snarl, limited parking space and security challenges.

He said although government did a lot to improve the lot of LCBD, by the redevelopment of the area, but when banks and insurance houses started moving out of their offices, the prices of office spaces crashed.

He said: “Owners of businesses do not really mind the cost of office space in these places, as their convenience in terms of accessibility and branding far outweigh the additional cost of rentals. This is more so as many of them live in Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki.

The President, NIESV, Emeka Eleh said when the nuisance value of miscreants and street urchins became unbearable to businesses in the 90s, they started moving to Victoria Island and Lekki, adding that the human issue contributed largely to the movement, especially in terms of security.

He said people could not work late without being harassed by the street urchins.

“If you want to play in the big league, you must be in Victoria Island. The only businesses left on Broad Street and Marina are stock brokers who prefer to be close to the Stock Exchange. The truth remains that every thriving business must find presence in Victoria Island, Lekki or Ikoyi.”

 

Some Impressions:

Chinese, Japanese, & Thai food in separate restaurant areas. Rooftop garden, conference rooms & catering. Very popular venue for large receptions.