Located in the Lagos capital, Ikeja, Allen Avenue is a standout amongst the most renowned lanes in Ikeja. It is a residential area with refined and urbane settlement, workplaces, and shopping centres for different types of individuals.
The street is easily accessible and well connected to some roads in Ikeja such as Opebi and Adeniyi Jones. The road is also a mid-point for social activities – there are tons of bars, inns, night clubs, and eateries which serve both local and continental delicacies.
The two sides of Allen
But there is another reason why Allen Avenue is famous (or infamous, as the case may be). During the day, Allen assumes a pretentious respectability, as businessmen and women from different parts of Lagos arrive here in hopes of chasing their dreams. However, when the sun goes down, the darker side of Allen crawls out. Home to over 6 strip clubs, several bars, nightclubs, lounges, and bars, it has over time been described as Nigeria’s own Sin City. Some people even prefer to call it Nigeria’s Sodom and Gomorrah. When the sun fades out, survival is what people come to chase on the street.
Apart from the notorious sex work that Allen Avenue is known for, Nairametrics understands that there are other activities people engage in at night to chase survival— though it could be argued that these activities leverage the debauchery that goes on there.
Of numerous spots notorious for heavy commercial sex activities, Allen Avenue tops the list. In view of how sex workers are being patronised here, it won’t be erroneous to say sex work is one of the most lucrative businesses to be engaged in.
The prostitutes’ modus operandi
Sex workers are the main drivers of every other enterprise one may come up with in this neighbourhood. They are in their hundreds, all of whom are constantly seeking who will trade with them to derive pleasures of the flesh. Ladies of different sizes and colours come from various parts of Lagos and Ogun states, to trade nothing but their flesh for money in this area. As soon as the sun goes down, the sex workers come out attractively dressed in skimpy clothes and other sexually appealing wears to entice their patrons.
At dusk, a good number of the sex workers converge in front of Peka Hotel. During the day, Peka, which is adjacent to Sweet Sensation at Opebi, just looks like an open space where anyone can go for a drink. But at night, the place comes alive. In large numbers, fun seekers gather at the open bar to drink and patronise food vendors around, while the sex workers prospect for customers.
How much does an average prostitute earn per night?
Sex workers make as much as N30,000 per night. This is according to Blessing who trades her body for money. During a chit-chat, Blessing said that on a poor night, she makes nothing less than N10,000 from one or two persons. She said that sex work for her really pays better than her fashion designing work. When asked how regularly she comes, she said she comes almost every day to make money.
According to Blessing:
“I am a fashion designer during the day, while I come here at night to hustle. Sex work really moves here and it’s being valued. To have a quickie with me goes for nothing less than N5,000 and on a poor day I will have at least 2 quickie sessions. I charge at least N10,000 for all night sexual engagement.”
One of Blessing’s colleagues, who identified herself as Ife, said that she’s still processing her admission into the university, and comes to Allen to earn money for survival.
“Per night, I earn as much as N20,000 and on a poor day, I earn at least N5,000 to N10,000 without paying for rent or anything, the only thing I pay for is condom to protect myself.”
Hotels & bars
Allen Avenue is an amusement spot for hotels and bars where liquor is sold with loads of boisterous music to energise. Aside from Peka, which is the most popular hotel and bar in Allen, there are other bars and eateries that have little rooms connected. These small rooms are let out on short notice and for lengths of time at agreed prices to willing customers who patronise the fun spot.
These little rooms around the facility are ever seldom enough for business of night.
At night, it is also easy to get spots where you find different delicacies of food. Amongst the many delicacies you can easily find are noodles, suya, grills, and shawarma. These are quickly processed meals that can easily be made for to quench your hunger.
Oddly, selling food on the roadside of Allen Avenue may be considered more profitable than working in corporate bodies like banks. While most of the food vendors felt reluctant about disclosing the amounts they make in a night, they were quick to tell how much they pay as rent on monthly basis. When our correspondent asked a shawarma vendor how sales are for him in the area, he answered vaguely that it is fair. When queried further about how much he pays for rent, he said that he pays N35,000 on monthly basis.
It is pertinent to understand that for the monthly rent of N35,000, the shawarma vendor doesn’t sell during the day, neither is he provided with a roof or anything else. The only thing he’s provided is a space to have his shawarma stand. The vendor, who identified himself as Victor, when asked if he’s not running the business at loss, replied that he makes above his rent on a monthly basis.
Similarly, a suya vendor on the road side said that he pays N25,000 as rent on a monthly basis.
Another big business on the Allen Avenue is selling prepared noodles. Vendors of this particular meal, despite how numerous they are on the roadside, are always engaged all through. Once they resume work, they stand till dawn, attending to various customers. This was an obstacle to engaging in a dialogue with them, but from observation, preparing roadside noodles is a thriving business there.
At night, transportation business is also making a killing there. Since public means of transport like keke-napeps, buses and motorcycles are often closed during the nightlife hours at Allen, private cabs are the ones that stay all night to trade.
People come from different parts of Lagos to have fun and most importantly, to do business with sex workers. Some of these people prefer to take the sex workers to destinations of their choices. In so doing, they take cabs to their preferred places.
Even some people, who work in the day as corporate staff, engage in the transportation business by night. A taxi driver, who identified himself as Deolu, said that he uses his boss’ car to make money at night when the car is released to him. When asked how much he makes per night, Deolu replied that the least he makes is N20,000 per night.
When you own any form of space in Allen Avenue, all you need to do is rent it out and literally go to sleep while earning revenue. From observation, banks’ security officials also trade during the nightlife hours. Besides banks’ security officials, other security personnel that are employed to ensure the safety of certain premises also engage in businesses outside their contracts.
During Nairametrics’ visit to Allen Avenue, it was gathered that banking premises are being used as parking spaces at night. Fun enthusiasts who visit Allen with their cars are these security men’s potential customers. To have your car parked in any of the banks and other premises, costs between N500 and N1000.
Aside from parking space, some persons also rent out space at night to food vendors and we learnt that food vendors pay certain amounts of money to authorities and landlords to trade their businesses.
More so, there are spaces in Allen Avenue, mainly designed for quickies. Some persons, while negotiating with the sex workers, prefer to engage them on short term bases. By so doing, they need places designed for brief acts of sexual intercourse. This is because, in most cases, most of the bars and hotels that have rooms for sex workers to trade are usually occupied.
In this context, some gatemen, whose workplaces are in Allen, trade with the rooms given to them by their employers. Sex workers and their customers pay between N500 and N1000 per round to have sex in their rooms.
UK-based group to investment $245 million in 100 Nigerian businesses
A UK based organization is to partner local investment funds to disburse $245 million to 100 Nigerian businesses.
A UK-based development finance institution, CDC Group, has finalized plans to invest US$425 million as an aid to 100 businesses and 38,000 jobs in Nigeria.
This is sequel to its partnership with 40 investment funds such as Afreximbank, African Capital Alliance and Indoram, NAN reports
In a virtual visit to the country by the board of the organization led by Chief Executive, Nick O’Donohoe and Chairman, Graham Wrigley, the UK Government-funded organization stated that all earnings from its investments are ploughed back to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa and South Asia.
CDC Group noted that it paid a virtual visit to the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, to discuss and ascertain the impact of CDC’s aid to its investees through the COVID-19 crisis and understand how to stimulate recovery and growth.
The discussions also focused on CDC’s own response to the pandemic through its preserved, strengthen and rebuild programme, the statement said
Commenting on the rationale of the aid, the Chief Executive of the CDC Group, Nick O’Donohe said that, “Nigeria plays a key part in our strategy of partnership and investment for economic growth in West Africa. “Hosting our 2020 board trip– albeit virtually – in both markets is a testament to our commitment.
“Looking forward, we will continue to prioritise the post-COVID-19 recovery as part of the Build Back Better agenda.
“We are committed to supporting a deeper and more strategic bilateral partnership between the UK and Nigeria that is based on enhancing economic development, job creation, inclusion, trade and investment,” O’Donohoe further remarked.
In a glowing tribute and commendation to the group, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing CBE said CDC has been pivotal to creating jobs and supporting the growth of businesses by investing in the poorest countries across Africa, including Nigeria.
“CDC’s commitment to the country signals to other UK investors that investing in Nigeria is possible and should be prioritized in order to help Nigeria and indeed, Africa, mitigate the impact of COVID-19,” the envoy said.
Just-in: Nigeria’s manufacturing sector contracts for 5th consecutive month – CBN
The CBN disclosed in its September PMI report that the manufacturing sector contracted.
The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), in September 2020, has witnessed a contraction for the fifth consecutive month, as it stood at 46.9 index points.
This was disclosed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in its September PMI report released on Wednesday.
The report stated that, out of the 14 subsectors surveyed, 4 subsectors reported expansion (above 50% threshold) in the review month in the following order:
- Electrical equipment
- Transportation equipment
- Cement, and
- Nonmetallic mineral products
The paper product subsector was stable.
While the remaining 9 subsectors reported contraction (below 50% threshold) in the review month in the following order:
- Petroleum & coal products
- Primary metal
- Furniture & related products
- Printing & related support activities
- Food, beverage & tobacco products
- Textile, apparel, leather & footwear
- Chemical & pharmaceutical products;
- Fabricated metal products and
- Plastics & rubber products
The Non-manufacturing sector PMI stood at 41.9 points in September 2020, indicating contraction in nonmanufacturing PMI, for the sixth consecutive month.
Rack Centre to create West Africa’s largest data centre in $100m expansion
Rack Centre’s expansion programme will increase capacity to a total net lettable white space of 6000 square metres.
Leading carrier neutral data centre operator in West Africa, Rack Centre, has announced an expansion programme that will increase capacity to a total net lettable white space of 6000 square metres, which will pave way for 13MW of IT power capacity in its Lagos campus.
This was disclosed in a press release by the company, which was seen by Nairametrics.
The expansion is expected to bring carrier neutral scale to West Africa, and this is in response to increasing demand for data centre space from cloud uptake, telecommunication investment and outsourcing of IT facilities by enterprises in the region.
The funding for this expansion will come from a $250m pan-African data centre platform, established by Actis and Convergence Partners, a leading ICT infrastructure investor in Africa.
In addition to the expansion in Rack Centre, the platform is also actively developing additional buy and build opportunities across Africa, to establish a network of carrier neutral data centres aimed at catering to carrier, cloud and hyperscale customers.
Back story: It is noteworthy that on March 2020, in a bid to pave way for the expansion programme, Actis, a London private equity firm, announced an investment in Rack Centre, taking a controlling stake in the business alongside Jagal.
Why this matters
Nigeria is a key entry point for global telecommunications, content, and cloud players seeking access to the region. Despite the potentials of the country; with 138 million internet subscribers, more than any country in Africa or Europe, and the largest population and GDP in Africa, a lack of cost-effective, energy-efficient IT infrastructure, has been a constraint to doing business in the region.
However, in a bid to create unrestricted connectivity between customers, telecommunication carriers, and internet exchange points within its data centres in the region, as a unique scale carrier neutral player, Rack Centre brings global best practice to Nigeria, as the first carrier neutral data centre in the region, to achieve Uptime Institute Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility (TCCF).
The global leaders that the platform has engaged include:
- Tim Parsonson, Co-founder, Teraco Data Environments – the largest carrier neutral operator in Africa, who joins the Board as Chairperson on the board.
- Frank Hassett, a veteran of the global data centre industry and previous Vice President of Infrastructure, at Equinix, brings over 1300MW of build and operate experience, to assist with hyperscale expansion.
While speaking on the expansion of capacity, Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Convergence Partners, said; “Africa is at the start of a critical time in its development, as the 4th industrial revolution offers the chance to leapfrog many of Africa’s challenges, and harness the immense potential of its people. Convergence Partners is delighted to partner with Actis in accelerating the growth of high quality data centre infrastructure, an indispensable part of the foundation of this revolution in the region.”
Dr Ayotunde Coker, Managing Director of Rack Centre, emphasized that the group is proud of the quality and scale bar which they have set in the region.
“We are proud of the quality and scale bar we have set in the region and are scaling to be the de-facto digital data hub for West Africa
“Mass adoption of digital working models and content distribution is driving growing investment in the region and Rack Centre offers a world class location to house these IT and telecoms facilities,” Coker said.
Supporting this ambition, engineering consultancy Arup, have been appointed for the project. The leadership status of Arup is uncontested, having designed over 2,000MW of IT capacity for industry-leading tech giants, and co-location providers across the globe.