The changing fortunes of Ilubirin


Once a squalor and unfit for human habitation, Ilubirin is gradually being turned into an abode for the young, upwardly mobile Nigerians. It is fast becoming an economic hub with an exciting new water front district on the shore for the middle class, OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE reports


IT may not have been listed as one of the top nine slums in the state, but Ilubirin, located on Lagos Island, occupies a space in the over 36 slums that have been identified in Lagos State. Areas like Agege, Ajegunle, Amukoko, Badia, Bariga, Bodija, Ijeshatedo/Itire, Ilaje, Iwaya, Makoko, Mushin, Somolu and Ikorodu remain high on the rankings in this category.

A slum, as defined by a United Nations agency, UN-Habitat, is a run-down area of a city characterised by substandard housing, squalor, and lacking in tenure security. According to the United Nations, between 1990 and 2005, the percentage of urban dwellers living in slums decreased from 47 per cent to 37 per cent in the developing world. However, due to rising population, especially in urban areas, the number of slum dwellers is rising. An estimated one billion people worldwide live in slums and the figure is projected to grow to two billion by 2030. This is why countries are striving to improve the lot of their housing sector.

Ilubirin before the change obviously was one of the areas designated as slum and unfit for human habitation. For those familiar with the area, it used to be a dark spot on the Third Mainland Bridge axis. The area was home to miscreants, who indulged in all sorts of social vices, creating serious security issues for the state.

But, the fortunes are changing for this once-dreaded area. The Lagos State Government, in its quest to turn slums around, is partnering  with the private sector, to push its the smart city project.

Located on the northwest coast of Lagos Island, the development is centrally positioned between the Mainland and the core districts of Victoria Island, Isale-Eko, Obalende and Ikoyi, Ilubirin is being transformed into an exciting new water front district on the lsland. It is gradually being positioned as the city’s first affordable luxury mixed-development. Central to the vision of Ilubrin is creating a truly vibrant and inclusive community with world-class shops, concerts and dance, restaurants and cafes, places to work, live and play. Stunningly landscaped with garden, wetlands and lagoon-side promenades, this engaging and dynamic new community will set the standards for urban living.

Ilubirin sits on a 29-hectare piece of land. The middle class abode is a joint development between the Lagos State Government and First Investment Development Company (FIDC). The estate specifically targets Lagos’s vast emerging middle class – an affordable solution for people who wish to be close to central Lagos without the burden of high-end gated communities.

Reaffirming the positive progress to-date, the Commissioner for Housing, Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, said: “We have a solid plan to deliver the first phase of the project in the third quarter of 2021 and the first residential in 2020. Ilubirin is a critical important development for the city that will rejuvenate the area. We have a duty to ensure that more Lagos residents become homeowners and that the homes themselves are built to the very highest standards.“

He said the estate was hinged on the new thinking of the current administration to partner with the private sector to re-engineer the state through urban regeneration.

FIDC Managing Director Wale Bamgbel, reiterated the collective determination and commitment to the timely delivery of Ilubirin, which will set a new standard for mixed use projects.

He said: “Ilubirin will create a benchmark for future community developments in Lagos, anchored on the concept of ‘Live, Work and Play’, with not only a residential offering but with schools, offices, mall, hotel, medical centre, leisure facilities and a brand new marina for the lagoon.A revised masterplan has been recently completed that optimises the marina positioning and creates a new shopping spine through the new neighbourhood”.

On the details of the development, Bamgbelu said it is a premier collection, with 108 spacious apartments across five blocks, consisting of 20 studios, 64 two-bedroom and 24 three-bedroom apartments. It incorporates modern medical facilities, schools, sporting facilities, chic shopping boulevards and spacious public squares, a hotel, performance and leisure spaces.

He said Ilubirin provides a unique community for families, couples, and individuals, adding that the community would set new lifestyle standards in that part of the city.

On the fears of the public of possible flooding of the estate in future, Bamgbelu explained that they carried out hydrodynamic studies to determine the movement of the lagoon in the next 100 years.


Source: The Nation


Omotimehin Nelson is a Nigerian award-winning content writer. He derives passion for creative writing. Join me

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