CATEGORIES: New Developments, Nigerian Property Markets, Retail

Developing a Shopping Mall in Nigeria Costs $4,109 Per Square Meter

Following the introduction and growth of modern retail across Nigeria over the last decade, more investors – international and domestic alike – are pouring capital into the development of shopping malls. An analysis of completed, planned and on-going shopping center developments illustrates that it costs these investors $4,109 per square meter to complete these malls. As the graphic below shows, malls in Lagos are slightly more expensive costing $4,285 on average, $4,087 in Abuja and $3,942 in emerging Nigerian cities. The variance in development costs for Lagos may be as a result of high land costs put together with lengthy and expensive land acquisition processes.

Shopping Center Development Costs in Nigeria, Source:
Shopping Center Development Costs in Nigeria, Source:

Resilient, RMB Westport, Persians, Actis, Novare, UPDC and Grand Towers are among existing investors, however others including Momentum and Stanlib are keen to make flagship investments into the retail sector. These investors, with development funds in excess of $100 million see an exciting opportunity for retail in an increasingly urban country with little formal retail supply.

See the table below for details on development costs for malls across Nigeria.

Estate Intel Shopping Center Development Cost in Nigeria. Source:
Estate Intel Shopping Center Development Cost in Nigeria. Source:


  1. Interesting data sheet. However, you would notice that the cost/sqm for Ikeja City Mall is almost twice that of The Palms, in a space of 5 years. This difference could be attributed to the cost of finance, among other economic and project design variables. Again, rather than use the costs for on-going and projected developments, would it not be more accurate to report the cost of construction/sqm for the developed malls, which in the data sheet you provided are The Palms, Ikeja City Mall and Grand Towers. Using these three, the established cost/sqm is $3,452. Just a thought …

  2. Hi Nnennaya, Good looking out. I definitely agree that factors like cost of finance, project design variables including size could have caused that huge disparity in development cost for The Palms and Ikeja City Mall. For a truly fair comparison I think it may have been better to adjust the cost of Palms Lekki (and other completed malls) for inflation and other factors as they were built in the different periods. Then we could do an average to provide a more precise figure.

    Thanks for your comment Nnennaya!

  3. Major factors in high cost of construction in Nigeria are materials, labor and the high perception of risk – not necessarily finance costs. Cement costs twice as high in Nigeria as elsewhere in the world. Steel costs are high and contractors demand high premiums due due to the uncertain physical terrain, security concerns and Nigerian nuisance factor (poor infrastructure, weak labor skill set).

    1. Hi Franklin. Yeah its a shame, alot of things are keeping construction costs high in Nigeria. Its hindering alot of growth

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