Some foreign banks have agreed to finance a N5bn investment project scheduled to commence in October this year.
The proposed project, an ultra-modern three-storey edifice called Ikeja ICT Mart, is being positioned as the hub for Information and Communications Technology-related matters in the country and Africa in general.
Scheduled to open in early 2019, the project is expected to boost economic growth and enhance the Federal Government’s quest to diversify the economy.
The Group Managing Director, Master Reality International Concepts Limited, a member of the CFL Group, the firm building the modern architecture, Mr. Lai Omotola, said arrangements had been concluded to begin the construction in the next two or three months.
He said the firm was waiting for necessary approvals including that of the Lagos State Government to commence work on the edifice, which is expected to be completed within 18 months.
Omotola said the proposed Ikeja IT Mart would be located in Ikeja, not very far from the famous Computer Village.
He said, “We introduce to you Ikeja IT Mart, the next hub of ICT for Africa at large. We are building it on Simbiat Abiola Way directly beside the new Ikeja bus station on the axis of Otigba Computer Village and the rest.
“We believe strongly in government’s effort to diversify the economy. One of the fastest ways of diversifying our economy is through ICT. Why ICT? Basically today, there is so much crave for content and content development. How does content travel? Content travels through data. It is now known that data will move faster than voice and that people will be using more of data than voice in the nearest future.”
He added, “In order for us to prepare for the coming demand and even the existing demand that is making our network today shaky, we have decided to pioneer the Ikeja IT Mart as a way of solidifying the value chain end of the IT and communications industry. We have come to realise the value chain end is very important in bringing us to global recognition as an IT super house.”
According to Omotola, the company has chosen Ikeja as the location of the Ikeja IT Mart because the history of IT in the country started in Ikeja, adding that the country must not lose that history.
“What we want to achieve with this is to build our own Silicon Valley in Ikeja and in Lagos. When it comes to anything concerning IT, the first point of call will be Lagos and Ikeja. So, we are building up an edifice that the entire globe will recognise as our own IT super house,” he noted.
The Master Reality boss said major brands including key IT companies had signed up for the project.