A Lebanese village built with wealth from Nigeria
This tells a story of how nations are developing and maximising opportunities provided by conducive business climate in Nigeria.
The emergence of luxurious buildings in the village of Miziara, Lebanon has been attributed to the inflow of revenue from Lebanese nationals working in Nigeria. It is noted that many indigenes of Miziara work in Nigeria, and have been successful in their businesses and professional life. Hence, rubbing off on the development of the village.
Pierre Daaboul, Deputy Mayor of Miziara, noted that “…everything was built with money from Nigeria; our entire economy relies on emigration to Western Africa. Today, about 80 percent of the village works there because they make much more money there than here.” This is a statement of facts with the management of many industries being headed by a Lebanese or expatriates.
The Deputy mayor furthered stated that Lebanese expatriates work in most of the sectors in Nigeria, including trade, telecommunications, hospitality, energy, and construction. He cited his son, daughter and three brothers working presently in Nigeria.
Remittance from Nigeria is considered of great importance to this town, as Daaboul explained that economic slowdown of Nigeria is also affecting real estate development of the town.
The first set of Lebanese migrants to Nigeria was during the 1930s. The Nigerian Ministry of foreign Affairs gave the statistics of Lebaneses in the country as 30,000, but other estimation put it as 75,000. One of the earlier settlers in the country is the parent of Gilbert Chagoury.
Gilbert Chagoury was born in Lagos in 1946, and heads the Chagoury Group, a multi-faceted conglomerate with presence in many sectors in Nigeria. One of the companies with Chagoury Group presently handle the development of the Eko Atlantic City, Lagos. Chagoury’s personal assets are valued at over $4 billion, making him one of the wealthiest people in Africa.
According to municipality figures, more than 300 houses were built in Miziara since 2008, but with the recent drop in oil prices and an economic crisis in Nigeria, new projects are slowing down.
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