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Naira Sustains Gains on Thursday, Reaches N1255/$1 at Official Window, N1,245/$1 at Parallel Market  

The Naira has sustained its rally against the dollar, showing resilience at both the official and parallel markets.

The naira on Thursday continued to gain against the dollar, at the official window while it maintained stability at the parallel markets.

At the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange (NAFEM) window, the naira closed at N1255.07/$1, a gain from its previous close at N1,262.85/$1 on Wednesday, reflecting a gain of N7.78.

However, on the parallel market for the first time in two weeks was unchanged, as it exchanged N1,245/$1 the same as the Wednesday.

The daily turnover saw a decline reaching $138.99 million yesterday, in contrast to the $166.18 million recorded on Wednesday, indicating a decline of 16.36 per cent.

Furthermore, the highest spot rate observed yesterday stood at N1,294 with the lowest spot rate recorded at N1,200.

Meanwhile the Landmark Group has appealed to the federal government to intervene in facilitating the rerouting of about 1.5km out of the 700km stretch of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road to its original location on the Water Corporation Road median.

Landmark said it acquired beachfront realty along the Water Corporation Road in 2007 and at the time, the original construction plan for the road, as part of the West Africa coastal highway, was to go through the Water Corporation Road median which to date remains undeveloped.

According to the group’s statement, in the implementation of the Lagos-Calabar coastal road construction, the federal government should consider the preservation of tourism and hospitality businesses along the coastal right of way.

It made an urgent call for in-depth consultation with affected businesses to safeguard the tourism and hospitality industry growth

“The Landmark Group is in the business of creating enabling environments for the provision of world class business, leisure, hospitality and tourism services within its ecosystem, known as Landmark Lagos, located along the Water Corporation Road, Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos, and along the Road’s proposed right of way.

“Worthy of note is that there are over 80 businesses operating within its ecosystem and it welcomed over 3 million visitors in 2023; a significant number of which were from the diaspora or foreigners who came to enjoy “Detty December” in what is arguably the premier leisure and tourism destination along the West African coastline.

“The Landmark ecosystem has indeed become a cultural phenomenon in Nigeria catering to the aspiring middle class and beyond and helping to establish the culture of ‘staycations’ for many who would otherwise vacation abroad thus saving millions in foreign exchange.

“ It is also a favoured meet-spot, particularly for the younger demographic with our ecosystem frequently featured in Nollywood movies, Afrobeat music videos, influencer social media posts and the like,” the company stated.

Landmark said it supports the contribution of over N1.6 billion in annual tax revenue to various strata of government.

“The Landmark Ecosystem produces over N2 billion in annual tax revenue to various strata of government. Landmark has invested over $100 million (a large part of which comprises debt from both local and foreign sources) to develop the Landmark Ecosystem.

“It boasts an enterprise valuation of $200 million, BBB+ investment grade rating from Agusto & Co. The Landmark Ecosystem welcomes over 3 million visitors annually- both domestic and international. Landmark has received over 30 local, regional and international awards for excellence in property development, tourism and hospitality service delivery.

“Consistently highly ranked as a tourism destination by local, regional and international tourism bodies and experts.

“The ecosystem is only one of a handful of privately owned tourism establishments showcased in the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. The Ecosystem regularly hosts events of a regional or international stature by organisations such as Google, Facebook, YouTube.

“Other events include international conferences and exhibitions, movie premieres, concerts by Grammy awardees or nominees, to mention a few,” it said.

It added that Landmark hosted the only privately run Covid isolation Centre in 2020 in partnership with the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) and the Lagos State Government and hosted a vaccination centre also.

“It is well known as a ‘small business incubator’ as the Group supports the development of small businesses with its low entry barrier. The majority of these small businesses are owned or managed by the younger demographic, a large number of whom are women.

“The destruction of this Ecosystem to make way for the Road would undoubtedly create a huge void which would be very difficult to fill given what the ecosystem represents to many Nigerians and the outsize role the Landmark Ecosystem is playing in spotlighting Lagos as a viable tourism destination on the global stage,” it added.

While describing the coastal road as a laudable project, it said the construction of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road stands out as a commendable project as it will connect vital regions of the country and contribute immensely to the growth of the economy, particularly the tourism industry while enhancing employment.

The construction of the road as presently planned, however, it said, portends the destruction of the Landmark Group with the over 80 businesses operating within its ecosystem, thus leading to the demise of a major player in the hospitality and tourism industry, mass unemployment and lost taxpayer revenue, among other socio-economic fallouts.

Bennett Oghifo and Nume Ekeghe

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