Paris has Seventh Arrondissement, New York City has Tribeca, San Diego has La Jolla and Tokyo has Shibuya and Roppongi.
Nigeria has the answer to all those attractions with Banana Island, a small man-made island in the Ikoyi neighbourhood of Lagos.
Banana Island is a billionaires’ paradise completed in 2000. It is populated by the country’s most well-known and richest families. It’s quiet and has a peaceful atmosphere far from the clamour and crowds of Lagos.
The 1.63-million-square-meter sand-filled island is little more than 5 miles east of Tafawa Balewa Square. This Lagos square has some breath-taking monuments where you get to admire statues of gargantuan horses. It’s where Nigeria celebrated its independence in October 1960.
Real estate prices on Banana Island depend on the value of the land. As per the managing director of Madingwa Real Estate, it’s NGN400,000 (US$1,101 per square meter). The most expensive listing now on the market is for a six-bedroom detached house. It is worth NGN5 billion and has 2,600 square meters of land.
Initially, Banana Island was meant to be an uber-exclusive area of single-family detached estates separated into 535 property plots. The first houses were built on the south side of the island. Throughout the years, land prices skyrocketed, and high-rise condo developments were built on the north side.
What Makes it Unique?
Seclusion and beauty set Banana Island apart.
"Banana Island is a piece of heaven in the middle of noisy Lagos," said the managing director, Ms Nouboue, adding that the island contains two parks. "It offers security, tranquillity and privacy. To get to the island, you have to pass through a security gate. It’s by invitation only."
The latter added that because there is not much traffic, "you can jog in peace." The island’s good roads, security network, proximity to the waters of Lagos Lagoon and 24/7 street lighting make it special.
The most expensive house on the island belongs to Mike Adenuga. His remarkable mansion is built in the most luxurious and classy part of Lagos – Banana Island. It costs approximately 8 billion Naira (22 million U.S. dollars). But the owner of Globacom has a net worth of over 4 billion U.S dollars and can easily afford it.
Would you like to visit Banana Island anytime soon?