Dolphin Estate is a gated community in Ikoyi, an upscale area of Lagos State. It was built by HFP Engineering Nigeria which is the same development company that built Victoria Garden City. Dolphin Estate was built in 1990 for the Lagos State government, through its housing agency, the  Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, LSDPC.
Many people just know that it is the estate where Funsho Williams, a highly respected politician and Yoruba Statesman, who was on the verge of emerging Governor of Lagos state was killed. But there is a lot more to Dolphin Estate than that. In this article, we delve into Dolphin Estate, its creation, location and the social issues that surround it.

Interesting Facts About Dolphin Estate Ikoyi

Dolphin Estate of today stands on the site of the former Jakande Housing Estate. Of course in order to appraise the history of this estate, one must refuse to believe a story just because it is the official story. The official story is that Jakande Housing Estate was dilapidated, and so for that reason, it was demolished to make way for the construction of the beautiful and brand new Dolphin Estate. You can choose to believe that story, or you can look with your eyes and see that the land was claimed, the houses were demolished, and bigger more luxurious ones were built as a replacement. The authorities and their beneficiaries appraised the value of the land due to its good location and decided that they could put up a prime real estate franchise over there. They succeeded to some degree, but that has now raised some issues. We will discuss some of them further down in this article.

Dolphin Estate Ikoyi
Dolphin Estate Ikoyi

The  Lagos State Government, through HFC  first built two and three-bedroom flats in eight blocks of prefabricated high-rise buildings to accommodate those poor people who were displaced by the demolition. Even though they are an unwelcome sight they could not be killed off or chased away.
They now proceeded to carry out their real intention of moving into the area, which was the creation of Dolphin Estate with the construction of Phase I which is a luxurious area targeted at the upper-medium income class. Phase 1 consists of 646 duplexes of four bedrooms, and each having an area of 150m². The individual properties when put together make up a total built-up area of 102,068m². HFP finished the construction of the first phase of the housing project in 1991.
Phase II of the estate, however, has 236 units of four-bedroom duplexes, 440 units of three bedroom flats and 136 units of flats with two bedrooms each. The project was completed by the same firm in 1997.
In both phases of the Dolphin Estate development, H.F.P.development company was responsible for the entire infrastructure: including sand filling, power supply, water supply, sewage systems, roads construction, provision of drainage systems on both sides of the road, as well as runoffs for the water to drain into. They were also responsible for providing pavements, fences,  and street lights. HFP did a good job, Dolphin Estate was truly beautiful,

Infrastructure decay

The contract with the development company did not include any agreement for maintenance, neither has the Lagos State government put any strategies in place to ensure that the area is well looked after.
The high-rise section of the estate where you have the flats in which the poor people who were relocated from the Jakande Estate, are now in decrepit conditions. The drainage channels are mostly blocked while the paved roads have become unpaved. With the death of the roads comes the capitulation of the drainage, and now the estate is at risk of being flooded at the slightest drop of rainwater. Sources say that the spiral staircases leading into the block of flats have also become dilapidated and quite dangerous to use.
Dolphin Ikoyi
{{{Many residents who bought properties in the estate with huge sums of money now regret. }}}} They think  it was a wrong investment decision. Reason? The barracks-like pre-fabricated high-rise buildings are now full with poor people. Well somebody should tell them that being poor is not a crime and that poor people, just like them have the right to live wherever they choose. Instead of making claims like ‘the estate is becoming a ghetto of sorts, or our estate has been turned into a hideout for criminals,’ they should look for ways to help manage the estate, and return the lost glory of Dolphin Estate.

Security Situation in the Estate

Although the exclusive section of Dolphin Estate (with all the duplexes full of rich people) is gated and has a police station, security is still a course of serious concern to many residents of the estate.
Recall that it was at Dolphin Estate that late politician and  PDP stalwart, Mr. Funsho Williams was murdered at his residence on July 27, 2006. We must, however, say that the murder of Funsho Williams was politically motivated, highly connected, and compromising of the country’s security mechanism. It is not as if they just walked into his house and kill him, they obviously had help from within the security apparatus. Therefore, the killing of Mr. Funsho Williams should not be used as a reason to call down evil upon Dolphin Estate because the people who killed him could equally have killed him anywhere in the country.

Furthermore, sources say that security in the estate has been highly compromised as a result of the exit gate from Obalende through Abacha Estate and Ijeh Police Barracks, which means that there are now multiple thoroughfares, which could serve to aid the movement of criminals. The shopping complex built by HFP development company in the estate has also been figured as a reason for the influx of all manner of persons into the estate. They say that residents waged a spirited battle against the construction of the shopping centre because it was built on an open area which was  meant for a playground. Unchecked commercialism and utter greed seem to be at play here, and one could blame the residents for not being proactive enough in forming a residents association on time, and then challenging the developers in court.

Dolphin Estate As A Place of Interest

Dolphin Estate is still attractive despite its perceived shortcomings. As a matter of fact, anyplace within the Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Lekki axis is still a juicy piece of real estate property. Even though it may not look so good when compared with Victoria Garden City and Victoria Island, Dolphin Estate still has a lot of potential for the future, especially if those minor flaws can be corrected. This potential for the future has already translated into money.
Dolphin Estate still commands high rental value. The estate has been described as a buffer between Ikoyi and the mainland. The potential has caused a great demand for accommodation in the area and this explains why property values in the estate are still on the very high side.

Dolphin Estate Ikoyi Lagos
Dolphin Estate Ikoyi Lagos

Therefore, those who cannot afford to live in Ikoyi due to the high cost, end up looking for accommodation in Dolphin Estate. And a  duplex goes for an annual rent of between N2.5- 3 million in Dolphin Estate and is expected to rise steadily as more demand comes in, and prices soar in Victoria Island, Lekki, and Ikoyi.
It is fully expected that commercial interests will soon find Dolphin Estate attractive, and it could gradually begin to look like Lekki Phase 1 which is gradually becoming more of a commercial area. If that prophecy becomes fulfilled we should see more shopping centres, restaurants, clubs, hotels, salons, law firms, and such businesses pouring into the area. Those who already have a property in the area could, therefore, have a laugh after many years of waiting.

Tag: Dolphin Estate

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