The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, has reiterated his earlier commitment to ensuring conducive business environment. The governor maintained that as long as investors abide by the rules and regulations guiding investments in the state, they would continue to enjoy friendly business environment.
Speaking at the opening of the Maryland Mall in Lagos recently, the Governor who was represented by Mr. Adeyemi Benjamin Olabinjo, Special Adviser on Commerce, said the shopping mall is strategically located to serve those from Anthony area of Oshodi, Ojota axis, Maryland and environs.

The mall, which opening was witnessed by several stakeholders and the Lagos business community, according toSola David-Borha, who represented Mr. Atedo Peterside, Chairman,Stanbic IBTC Holdings Company, was financed with a specialised mode of instrument.
She said the mall, which cost N5 billion was completed with 50 per cent debt instrument and 50 per cent equity, stating that out of the N5 billion, Stanbic IBTC provided N1.23 billion, courtesy ofPurple Capital Partners Limited (PCPL), which began financing and developing the retail, lifestyle and entertainment complex barely three years ago.

Declaring the Maryland Mall open for business,Chief Onikepo Akande, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry(Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)), said: "It is my sincere belief that this new mall would help to expose and grow the manufacturing and commercial potential of Lagos State and by extension, the national economy".
"Indeed, retail is one of the cornerstones of trading and investment, and Purple Capital, the developers of Maryland Mall, have done extremely well to give Maryland a new lease of life through this retail investment."

The official commissioning of Maryland Mall is coming barely two months after Purple Capital attracted additional funding for the development in the form of a N800 million investment fund from asset management firm, AXA Mansard Investments Ltd.

As Nigeria's industrial and commercial capital, Lagos is expected to lead the national count for modern shopping malls over the next decade, in tandem with the city's fast growing population currently put at between 17 and 20 million people.

Mr. Omotola Mobolurin, Chairman of Purple Capital Partners Limited, said: "I am delighted about the safe arrival of this new retail, lifestyle and entertainment infrastructure, with the capacity to provide merchants and shoppers with amenities and services that befit the state's mega city status. It is particularly gratifying that the construction and financing for this retail development is being concluded on time and within projected funding estimates."

Sited where the defunct Maryland Shopping Centre was once located, Maryland Mall sits on one of the most important arterial routes in Lagos today, with an estimated 5,000 cars passing through every hour. The mall sits on a total land size of 7,700sqm and will have the first dedicated underground car park within any mall in Nigeria. It will play host to a mix of local and international brands anchored by Shoprite, The Place Restaurant, Stanbic IBTC Bank, among other retail, hospitality and entertainment brands.

The exterior of the mall will be a 550sqm LED screen, the largest in sub-Saharan Africa. This unique feature will set it apart from any other retail complex in Africa's most populous nation.

Currently, only 2 per cent of Nigerians shop in formal retail supermarkets compared to 60 per cent of South Africans, 30 per cent of Kenyans, 4 per cent of Ghanaians and 2 per cent of Cameroonians.

The Maryland area aptly illustrates the various realities of city life. Located right in the middle of mainland Lagos, Maryland has been a residential district and a hectic hub of social activities for decades. It is also an economic and commercial nerve centre; a major intersection connecting citizens and visitors alike to the major thoroughfares across the city, and a perfect exhibit of the city's quest for affordable, urban development.

Retail trade presently accounts for about 30 per cent of the world's GDP (gross domestic product). This is about $22 trillion of retail sales each year. Official government data shows that Nigeria has attracted over $1.5 billion investments into its formal retail sector over the last three years. Available statistics also show that over 80 million Nigerians now live in metropolitan areas, creating huge opportunities for formal retail business to thrive.

Lagos is currently home to several malls. Most of these malls are, however, located on the coastal, more affluent sections of the state - in the Ikoyi-Victoria Island-Lekki Peninsula axis - commonly referred to as the Island.

On the mainland side of Lagos are population heavy zones likeOjota, Oyingbo, Ojuelegba, Mile2, Ikorodu and Ikeja, the state's administrative capital, which also has many residential cum commercial districts like Agege, Ogba, Ojodu, and Maryland just to name a few.