Victoria Island Lagos Nigeria is a city within a city. Affectionately called VI, this part of Lagos Nigeria is about the most expensive section of Lagos state . . . second only to ikoyi, another very expensive neighbourhood reserved for the stinking rich.
Victoria Island, VI, started out like every other residential neighbourhood in Lagos Nigeria. Slowly commercial activity started to pick up, increasing in
intensity as banks arrived in droves and expatriate staff began to have special interest in the island because of its beach view.
As expatriates started to rank the neighbourhood higher, the prices of Nigeria real estate in this area began to appreciate significantly.
Expatriates brought with them big money . . . dollars, pound sterling, Yen . . . name it.
Like a rude joke, real estate prices took a hike thereby naturally evicting many low income earners who could not afford the new prices. As you know, where money is . . . business follows.
So, expectedly, big named organizations followed the trend and started shifting their headquarters to Victoria Island, VI.
Today, virtually all the commercial banks have their head office in VI. The oil companies are not left out. Mobil producing head office in Nigeria is in VI. Chevron has its office at Chevron drive on Lekki Epe expressway - an extension of VI.
Victoria Island has become an Island of the rich. As I write this, the rental price for a detached duplex in VI goes for about 6 million Naira (about
$40,000 USD) per annum. The potential tenant is required to pay two years rent upfront. And the real estate commission for the transaction is between
5-10% of the value of the transaction. That is, 5-10% of 80,000 USD.
With respect to sale, if you decide to buy the detached duplex mentioned above, it will cost you about 250-300 million Naira (about $2 million USD).
That is money!
Luckily, many houses in Victoria Island have boys quarters where some middle class workers can squeeze in at near reasonable rental prices. Those boys quarters also serve as residences for cooks and drivers of our rich expatriate staff and the creme de la creme of the Nigeria society. As is the case everywhere in the world, the poor hang around the rich because the menial jobs of the rich has to be done by the poor of society.
If you work in VI, you have one of two options:
Some have actually found that it pays to live close to VI even though you pay through your nose if you belong to the low to income category.
Whatever the case, do what is best in your circumstances.
As they say in Lagos Nigeria . . . life goes on.
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