First ground has been broken at the site of the US$1 billion Virgin City project in Southeast Nigeria, which will deliver an entire urban settlement including various infrastructural networks.
The new city will be located at the mouth of the Cross River, South of the city of Calabar in Cross River state, and will consist of several markets, a residential area, schools, a supermarket and hospital along with several leisure facilities.
The wider aim of the project is to build a deepwater port surrounded by facilities for industry and tourism, while also incorporating the city into a $12 billion railway that China is building along the coast of Nigeria.
Chinese company Mark Sino Construction Company will develop the massive project and Baishan Zhongtian Development Group will construct the city.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, State Governor Ben Ayade said work would start on the port on January 15 with the first order of business the building accommodation for the 35,000 workers who will be employed at the peak of its construction.
Also at the proceedings was the chairman of Mark Sino Wei Hengshan, who said his company would “work according to specification to positively transform the lives of the citizenry.”