How Recession, Revolt Undermined N13bn Alade Mall, Says Concessionaire

  • Says it will be Nigeria’s first 24-hour smart mall

Gboyega Akinsanmi

The concessionaire of the Old Alade Market redevelopment, Masters Reality Int’l Concepts Limited, has lamented that economic recession and revolt by market women gravely undermined the execution of Alade Mall designed to cost N6.8 billion at the inception.

Unlike other malls across the federation, the concessionaire said the Alade Mall would be the first 24-hour smart shopping centre situated at the centre of commercial activities in Ikeja and about one kilometre to the state’s seat of power.

The firm’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Lai Omotola, disclosed this at a session with journalists in the firm’s head office, Maryland alongside other executive directors, noting that the mall would be ready by the end of 2018.
At the session, the concessionaire lamented grave impact of economic recession on the project, noting that the project cost had moved from N6.8 billion to N13 billion due to foreign exchange crisis, crushing inflation and revolt by some market women against the project.

He said the concession “sealed in 2010. The exchange rate was N152 to a dollar, but now the official rate is N315 while the black market rate is going towards N490. Costs of building materials have equally increased.”
Omotola provided a little background about the project, on which he said his firm signed a 30-year concession agreement with the Ikeja Local Government on August 17, 2010. Nigeria of today needs bold and savvy entrepreneurs.
“We believe even in this time of recession, we have estimated that even 13 billion, we would deliver the mall by 2018. It is our hope and aspiration that by December 2018, we will have unprecedented shoppers, witnessing the opening of the Alade Mall.”

He explained that the thrust of the concession was to redevelop the Old Alade Market into a first-class shopping mall after it suffered fire disasters three times and became unsafe for trading.

He said agitation by some concerned traders stalled the redevelopment of the old market for six years until peaceful settlement of all issues and subsequent relocation of the traders on July 16, 2016.
Even though his firm lost several millions of naira in the period of six years, Omotola disclosed that the concessionaire had already commenced the construction of the New Alade Mall.

Upon its completion, the managing director explained that the new shopping centre “will be the first 24-hour live, work, shop, eat and entertain smart mall in Nigeria and West Africa at large.

“The t sits on 1.56 hectares of land at the highbrow Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos. The Mall is just one kilometre away from Governor’s Office and located at a prime area of Allen/Opebi Street.

“The layout plan consists of two basement parking lot for at least 700 cars, ground floor plus three floors, 214 shop spaces, a hotel, cinema, anchor tenants, two lounges, walk in clinic, restaurant, game shops, bowling space, offices, giant aquarium and common areas for entertainment.”

He, also, gave insight into the design of the New Alade Mall, which he said, “is iconic in nature. It will be a delight for both the customers and the vendors. We are indeed confident that the Mall will generate the most unprecedented crowd of shoppers in the history of Nigeria.

“Unlike other malls that depend on anchor tenants across Lagos State, we have been able to make more addition towards this end. It is based on the above that we invite you to be part of the coming success and take the first move advantage that will earn you great returns and add value to your business and lives in the shortest period of time,” he explained.