If I could get an extra year added to my life for each empty apartment or residential building I could count in Lekki, Ajah and Ikoyi alone, I'd most likely live for another millennium. You'd drive or walk past several streets and estates in these locations only to find sprawling buildings devoid of habitation. In some case, you may find gatekeepers who have never set eyes on their bosses (home owners) and are only there to ensure nobody goes onto or out of the premises unchecked. You'd inquire about the rent of these apartments and hear the most unimaginable amounts. Not that these apartment buildings are carved in gold but simply because the homeowners or realtors are out to make huge profits over a short period of time.
For example, in Ikoyi and Lekki, there are 3-bedroom apartments that go for 5 - 10 million naira per annum and that exclude service as well as several other frivolous charges. Also, there are high-end three and four bedroom apartments that go for 20 million naira and above per annum. Even when you try to negotiate with realtors, they're quick to make you realize how the vacancies are "hot on demand" and how you debase their value by negotiating. Let me not even talk much about houses and apartments that go for sale in these locations. Some cost well over a billion naira at the very least!
Normally, you'd expect prolonged economic recession to usher in massive reduction in the price of commodities, infrastructure and amenities but the Nigerian kind of recession is a special one. Instead of prices nose-diving, you'll find them soaring. The more economists provide reasons why this oughtn't be the case, the more service providers present counter reasons to justify the sky-high prices.
However, I can't possibly pick a bone with the realtors who are solely out for profit and not the wellbeing of the people as they may claim. I mean, it's their money and Lagos presents with several alternative locations to choose from. Summarily, you're obliged to put your money where your mouth is. But woe betides you if you fall for a mortgage plan arranged by these realtors just so you'd "enjoy the taste of luxury". Trust me, such plans hardly ever end in praise. Some have hurried in and out of living in Lekki and Ikoyi after realizing its gloomy financial impediments. And there are others who swear they can't lay claim to being well-to-do without having marked a register in Lekki or Ikoyi. At this stage, you'll agree with me that there's no point talking about Banana Island or Emperor Estate, won't you? Good.
Now, before you lampoon young Nigerians in their 20s and early 30s for not having rented apartments at choice locations in Lagos, you must think again. As in, MUST. Not everybody is out to show off what they don't have while suffering behind the curtain. There's a reason why some Lagosians simply prefer to live anywhere but Lekki and Ikoyi. Of course, we all want a taste of luxury but of what use is the luxury if there's no peace of mind to enjoy it with?
Those that have the money can stay there all they want and those of us that don't will stay anywhere else we choose. When realtors and homeowners begin to have sense, maybe people would reconsider.
But for now, no come take frustration kill person abeg. No be by force to stay for Lekki or Ikoyi.