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Eko Atlantic city, Lagos, Nigeria


Development is underway for Eko Atlantic, an artificial island-based city by Lagos, Nigeria. The developers of the city claim it will become the economic hub of Nigeria and, perhaps, all of West Africa. It will be protected from rising sea levels by an enormous sea defence wall dubbed 'The Great Wall of Lagos' (1; 2). Nearby locals blame the construction (dredging, in particular) for increased frequency of sea surges and soil erosion (3). A representative from Build with Earth, a Nigerian NGO, stated that the project "is a private gated city firmly grounded on the exploitation and expropriation and use of our common wealth for private profit", while Prince Oniru has argued that the project "is a lifesaver for Victoria Island"--a very affluent part of Lagos--due to its seawall protection (4). The Environmental Impact Assessment--submitted late and after dredging had already begun--has come under heavy fire, with experts across the board agreeing that the "project lacks transparency, participation and doesn’t always adhere to the rule of law". (5). They also claim that the sand stocks are insufficient for construction and that dredging is increasing the energy of waves while the sea wall diverts their impact to the east. (5). The executive director of Spaces for Change claims that in one such surge after dredging began there were several casualties (6). Some critics argue that proponents of the project are taking advantage of climate change to further capitalist gains. In particular, one article refers to Eko Atlantic as 'climate apartheid'. (2).

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Eko Atlantic city, Lagos, Nigeria
Location of conflict:Lagos
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Urban development conflicts
Climate change related conflicts (glaciers and small islands)
Specific commodities:Land
Sand, gravel

Project Details and Actors

Project details

-up to 10,000m³ of sand moved each day (7)

-five million square metres of land constructed (7)

-about 90 million m³ of sand total will have be dredged from offshore Lagos (8)

-The Great Wall of Lagos will be 8 km in length and made from 100,000 concrete blocks (accropodes) weighing 5 tons each (9)

Project area:1,000
Level of Investment for the conflictive project1-4,000,000,000.00 (estimate)
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:400,000-21,000,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/2004
Company names or state enterprises:Eko Atlantic (Eko Atlantic) from Nigeria - Developers of project
Dar Al-Handasah (Shair and Partners) from Lebanon - Consultant for project
Royal Haskoning from Netherlands - Consultant (marine engineers): designed sea defence wall, inland waterway, oversaw sand reclamation
MZ Architects from Lebanon - Consultant
ar+h Architects from Nigeria - Consultant
Dredging International (DI) from Belgium - Contractor
South Energyx Nigeria Limited from Nigeria - Developer; subsidiary of Chagoury Group developed to oversee Eko Atlantic
Relevant government actors:Lagos State Government
International and Finance InstitutionsFirst Bank of Nigeria Plc from Nigeria - Partner
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) from Nigeria - Partner
First City Monument Bank (FCMB) from Nigeria - Partner
Access Bank from Nigeria - Partner
BNP Paribas Fortis (BNP Paribas) from Belgium - Partner
KBC Bank (KBC) from Belgium - Partner
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Community Conservation and Development Initiatives (CCDI), Environmental Law Research Institute (ELRI) Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS)(
Spaces for Change (Nigeria)
Build with Earth (Nigeria)

Conflict & Mobilization

Reaction stageUnknown
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Soil erosion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming
Health ImpactsPotential: Deaths, Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsdisease, accident and death potential from increased flooding and ocean surges
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Militarization and increased police presence
Other socio-economic impactsincreased inequality


Project StatusUnder construction
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:the project is still underway and resistance is still taking place, but it is unclear now what direction it will take and what the results will be

Sources & Materials

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

3. article documenting sea surge and coastal erosion due to project

4. Article on project: "Eko Atlantic city project in whose interest?"

6. Article on project about widening income inequality

7. Eko Atlantic website: developing page

8. EIA summary for Eko Atlantic

9. Eko Atlantic page on construction of Great Wall of Lagos

1. Eko Atlantic about us page

5. Article on project: "fresh concerns over multi billion dollar eko atlantic city project"

2. article (originally from The Guardian) on project

Meta information

Contributor:Lena Weber, Lund Division of Human Ecology, [email protected]
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1370