Lekki is a city in Lagos State, Nigeria. It is located to the south-east of Lagos city. Lekki is a naturally formed peninsula, adjoining to its west Victoria Island and Ikoyi districts of Lagos, with the Atlantic Ocean to its south, Lagos Lagoon to the north, and Lekki Lagoon to its east; however, the city's southeast, which ends around the western edge of Refuge Island, adjoins the eastern part of Ibeju-Lekki LGA.[2]

Lekki Peninsula
Lekki shown within the State of Lagos
Lekki shown within the State of Lagos
Lekki is located in Nigeria
Location of Lekki in Nigeria
Coordinates: 6°29′36″N 3°43′14″E / 6.493394°N 3.720668°E / 6.493394; 3.720668
Country Nigeria
StateLagos State
Settled15th century
 • City PlannerMinistry of Urban Planning and Physical Development[2]
 • Project ChairmanDemola Aladekomo[3]
 • Total755 km2 (292 sq mi)
 • Total401,272
 • Density531.5/km2 (1,377/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (WAT (UTC+1))
Area code010
  1. ^ Only Eti-Osa East LCDA

The city is still largely under construction, as of 2015, only phase 1 of the project had been completed, with phase 2 nearing completion. The peninsula is approximately 70 to 80 km long, with an average width of 10 km. Lekki currently houses several gated residential developments, agricultural farmlands, areas allocated for a Free Trade Zone, with an airport, and a sea port under construction. The proposed land-use master plan for Lekki envisages the Peninsula as a "Blue-Green Environment City",[2] expected to accommodate well over a residential population of 3.4 million in addition to a non-residential population of at least 1.9 million.[4]

Part of the Lekki peninsula was formerly known as Maroko, a slum, before it was destroyed by the Raji Rasaki-led Lagos State military government. One of its neighbourhoods, Lekki phase 1, has a reputation of having some of the most expensive real estate in Lagos State.[5]



Twenty-five years ago, families residing in Maroko, then a suburb of Lagos, faced eviction from their homes ostensibly to protect them from diseases associated with slum conditions and prevent unnecessary loss of life. Heavily armed soldiers, under the command of Colonel Raji Rasaki and supervised by the Military President at the time, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, carried out the eviction in the early hours of July 14, 1990.[6]

The operation was executed with military precision, showing no mercy or intent to take prisoners. The soldiers, many of them in their late teens, took advantage of the lack of resistance from the terrified residents, unleashing havoc by destroying homes, forcefully taking women and girls, and causing chaos reminiscent of a real war zone. For these young soldiers, it may have been their first taste of official violence, a brutal initiation stripping away their innocence.

In the midst of the chaos, families scattered in all directions, desperately trying to find each other amid the destruction. Some sustained injuries from flying debris, while others tragically fell victim to uncovered wells hidden in their frantic escape routes. What was once Maroko is now known as Lekki Peninsula, a transformation that erased the painful history of the past, leaving it buried beneath the progress of time.


Masterplan of Lekki

In 2006, the Master Plan of Lekki Free Trade Zone, covering a total area of 155 square kilometres at the easternmost end of the peninsula, was initiated and prepared by the State Government of Lagos. The Plan defined the free zone as a special multi-functional economic zone and a new modern city with several south-west and north–south traffic corridors. Later in July 2008, the blueprint of developing the entire Lekki Peninsula into a 'Blue-Green Environment City' was proposed by the state Government, which covers an additional area of 600 square kilometres.[2][1] The Lekki City plan was prepared by Messrs Dar al Handersah, Shair and Partners, for Lagos State Ministry of Urban Planning and Physical Development.[7]

Based on the proposed land-use plan, Lekki city, excluding the Lekki Free Zone, will be divided into 4 linear development zones;[2] the North Urban Zone, which will be largely residential; the Natural Park Zone, which will consist of an environmental and nature conservation park; the South Urban Zone, which will include the existing and new residential developments along with commercial and mixed uses, as well as light industry; and the Atlantic Coastal Zone, which will mainly be developed for tourism and recreational activities. The land-use master plan will stipulate a total built-up area of about 100 square kilometres, which can accommodate a residential population of about 3.4 million and non-residential population (touristic, hotels, commercial, offices, medical and industrial) of about 1.9 million.[4] Several institutions, estates and new investments are springing up along the Lekki axis that has been described as "the fastest growing corridor in west African sub-region".[4]

Dangote Oil Refinery


For decades, there was no oil processing industry in Nigeria, apart from illegal refineries in the Niger Delta (which were very polluting due to the lack of cracking). Nigeria therefore had to have the end products of domestic crude oil such as fuels, bitumen, paraffin, motor oil, polypropylene etc. produced in US or European refineries, with transport costs over thousands of nautical miles and margins for middlemen. The oil refinery in Lekki went into operation in December 2023[8] and is expected to process 650,000 barrels of oil per day when fully operational, making it the seventh largest oil refinery in the world.[9] 57,000 people have been hired.[10]

Lekki Deep Sea Port


At the beginning of 2023, the deep-sea harbour Lekki was put into operation 50 km to the east, but still within the Lagos agglomeration. It can handle super post-Panamax container ships and quintuples Nigeria's harbour capacity.

The container terminal has a 1,200 metre long quay, three container berths and a storage area with more than 15,000 spaces. The general layout of the container storage and handling area consists of a stacked container arrangement. The terminal is designed to handle 2.5 million twenty-foot standard containers per year.[11] The deep-sea port of Lekki is the first port in Nigeria with ship-to-shore cranes. It has three of these container gantry cranes; they belong to the "Post-Panamax" group - this means that they can reach and unload the rearmost row of containers even if the container ship is wider than the Panama Canal (i.e. over 49 metres wide over all).[12][13] The port's computerised system enables container identification and handling from the office; human interaction will be minimal in the physical processes. Nevertheless, the port will create 169,972 jobs, according to Managing Director Du Ruogang. The additional revenue for the Nigerian state through taxes, duties and licence fees is estimated at USD 201 billion.[14]

On 22 January 2023, a few hours before the official inauguration by President Buhari, the first commercial ship, the container freighter CMA CGM MOZART, docked in the port.[15]

Lekki Free Trade Zone

Detailed plan for the Lekki Free Trade Zone

Lekki Free Trade Zone (Lekki FTZ) is a free zone situated at the eastern part of Lekki, which covers a total area of about 155 square kilometres. The first phase of the zone has an area of 30 square kilometres, with about 27 square kilometres for urban construction purposes, which would accommodate a total resident population of 120,000. According to the Master Plan, the free zone will be developed into a new modern city within a city with integration of industries, commerce and business, real estate development, warehousing and logistics, tourism, and entertainment.[1]

Yellow hatched: Lekki Free Trade Zone, grey hatched: new airport Lagos, yellow: Dangote refinery

Lekki FTZ is divided into three functional districts; the residential district in the north, industrial district in the middle and commercial trading/warehousing & logistics district in the southeast. The "sub-centre" located in the south of the Zone is to be developed first. The region is close to the customs supervisory area, and it is mainly for commercial trading, logistics and warehousing operations. The second phase is located in the north of the Zone adjacent to E9 Road (Highway) which will serve as central business district of the free zone. The area along E2 Road will be developed for financial and commercial businesses, estate properties & supporting facilities, high-end production service industries and so on, which will link it to the sub-centre the Zone. The area along E4 Road will be utilized mainly for the development of logistics and industrial manufacturing/processing. A number of connection axes are also planned in-between the principal axis and the sub-axis, with multi-functional service nodes to serve the whole of Lekki FTZ.[1] Dangote Refinery is currently being built in the Lekki Free Zone.[citation needed]

In the start-up area of the Lekki Free Trade Zone, there will be a Commercial & Logistics Park which will cover a total area of 1.5 square kilometres. The Park was planned to be multi-functional with the integration of commerce, trading, warehousing, and exhibition. According to the Site Plan of the park, large construction works will be built in the park, including the "international commodities & trade centre", the "international exhibition & conversation centre", industrial factory workshops, logistics warehouses, office buildings, hotels and residential apartment buildings, amongst others.[1]



Lekki Conservation Centre


Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC) is one of the major Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) conservation sites. It covers a land area of 78 hectares in Lekki. The Conservation Centre was established in the 1990, before the development of Lekki, for the conservation of wildlife found in southwest coastal environment of Nigeria, in the face of sprawling urban development. The project has promoted environmental protection and worked against poaching by surrounding communities as well as serve as a tourist centre for local and international visitors.[16]

Over two million tourists of more than 100 nationals have visited Lekki Conservation Centre since its establishment. Most of NCF's School Conservation Clubs were established following the impact of individual visit to the centre. LCC land area is divided into two sections: the LCC Complex and the nature reserve. The LCC Complex comprises a multi-purpose rotunda surrounded by four office blocks, containing project staff offices, a gift shop, a canteen and the drivers' office. The nature reserve consists of a mosaic of vegetation types, which includes: secondary forest, swamp forest, and Savanna grassland.[16]

The Nike Art Gallery

The Nike Art Gallery is an art gallery in Lagos owned by Nike Davies-Okundaye.[17] The gallery is probably the largest of its kind in West Africa. It is housed in a five-storey building and has a collection of about 8,000 different works of art by various Nigerian artists such as Chief Josephine Oboh Macleod.[18] The gallery is the most popular tourist destination in the city and has nothing to do with the sporting goods manufacturer of the same name.[18]

Oba Elegushi Market


The Lekki Arts and Crafts Market (known to Lagosians as Oba Elegushi Market) offers a wide variety of African arts and crafts. It is considered the largest art market in Nigeria.[19]


Lekki bridge

A frequently photographed structure in Lagos is the Lekki-Ikoyi-Bridge, which was completed in 2013. Mark Zuckerberg has already jogged across it.[20]

The 12,000-seater indoor arena Lagos Arena is currently being built in Lekki, with construction commencing in February 2024 and expected to finish in December 2025.[21]



Lekki British School, a British international school, is in Lekki.

The American International School of Lagos maintains the Lekki Campus.[22]

The Italian International School "Enrico Mattei" has its campus in Lekki.[23]

The Pan Atlantic University which started as Lagos Business School is located in Lekki.[24]

Notable neighbourhoods




The proposed Lekki-Epe International Airport would serve the area as a second airport for Lagos, and the Green Line of the future Lagos Rail Mass Transit will connect Lekki with Lagos city.[citation needed]

Notable residents


Major business precincts


1. Shoprite Lekki Mall 2. Spar 3. Chevron Drive 4. Ajah Market 5. Ikota Complex

Tourist attractions


Lekki is a peninsula, bordered in the south by the Atlantic Ocean and in the North by the Lagos Lagoon. The main attractions are its numerous beaches and bustling night life.[citation needed]

Some tourist attractions are:

1. Lekki Conservation Centre

2. LUFASI Nature Park Lagos

3. Alpha Beach, Lekki

4. Elegushi Royal Beach

5. La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort

6. Landmark beach

Places of worship


1. House on the Rock (church)

2. The Elevation Church

3. This Present House

4. RCCG, Tabernacle of David


See also



  1. ^ a b c d e f "Plans of Lekki Free Trade Zone ( Lekki FTZ)". China-Africa Lekki Investment Ltd. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Lekki Master Plan". Lagos State Government. Archived from the original on 18 October 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  3. ^ Adaramola, Zakariyya (25 October 2015). "FG, private investors plan multi-billion naira Smart City". Daily Trust. Archived from the original on 24 June 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Nigeria: Development Plan Dismisses Threats to Lekki/Victoria Island's Real Estate Prospects". allafrica.com. 6 July 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  5. ^ Chibuoke, Princewill. "Is the Lekki Peninsula really at risk of being submerged?". Our Red Eagle. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  6. ^ Houses, Naija (14 July 2023). "Lekki Phase 1, History and Transformation". naijahouses.com. Retrieved 14 July 2023.
  7. ^ Njoku, Jude (25 September 2012). "Lekki, a time bomb waiting to explode". Vanguard. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  8. ^ AriseNews (2023-12-28). "Dangote Refinery Receives Third Crude Shipment Of 1 Million Barrels, To Start Diesel and Aviation Fuel Production Mid-January 2024". Arise News. Retrieved 2024-01-06.
  9. ^ "oilandgasclub". www.oilandgasclub.com. Retrieved 2024-01-06.
  10. ^ Adenuga, Adepeju (2021-09-06). "Dangote refinery to increase workforce to 57,000". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 2024-01-06.
  11. ^ "Nigeria ICRC PPP Platform". ppp.icrc.gov.ng. Retrieved 2024-01-06.
  12. ^ Babalola, Yusuf (2022-09-12). "Lekki Deep Seaport: Cameroonian Shippers Begin Cargo Import Through Nigeria". Retrieved 2024-01-06.
  13. ^ Agbota, Steve (2022-09-13). "Mali, Chad, Niger to transit cargoes through Lekki deep seaport".
  14. ^ "Lekki Deep Seaport To Commence Operations On 16th Of September, 2022 | Investors King". 2022-09-14. Retrieved 2024-01-06.
  15. ^ "Buhari Observes Historic Offloading from Cargo Ship, CMA CGM MOZART, as $1.5bn Lekki Deep Sea Port Commences Operation - THISDAYLIVE". www.thisdaylive.com. Retrieved 2024-01-06.
  16. ^ a b "Lekki Conservation Centre". Nigerian Conservation Foundation. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  17. ^ "Lagos' Best Kept Secret". Pulse Nigeria. 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2023-06-27.
  18. ^ a b "Chief Josephine Oboh-Macleod: Art creator, connoisseur, politician, activist". Vanguard newspapers. 2021-05-30. Retrieved 2023-06-27.
  19. ^ AFROTEGE. "Oba Elegushi Arts & Craft Market". AFROTEGE. Retrieved 2024-01-06.
  20. ^ Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Jogging on Lekki - Ikoyi Bridge In Lagos, Nigeria, retrieved 2024-01-06
  21. ^ Agency, Bird Story (2024-02-27). "New Lagos arena marks growing investment in sports and entertainment sectors - The African Mirror". Retrieved 2024-03-21.
  22. ^ "About" (Archive) (Select "About" on the screen). American International School of Lagos. Retrieved on April 30, 2015.
  23. ^ "Dove siamo" (Archive). Italian International School "Enrico Mattei". Retrieved on 19 October 2015. "Italian International School “E.MATTEI” Sikiru Alade Oloko Crescent Off Adebayo Doherty (Road 14) Admiralty Way Lekki Phase 1 Lagos"
  24. ^ "Pan-Atlantic University". Retrieved 2021-06-16.