Construction has started on the Delta Leisure Resorts, a tourism and leisure facility which is being built in the cities of Warri and Asaba in Delta State, Nigeria, and will be the first of its kind in West Africa.

Through its Africa and UK divisions, global attractions giant Sarner will design and create the leisure resorts, which will cover over 150ha in each city at an estimated cost of NGD49bn (US$315.9m).

The main park, located 20 minutes from the airport in the Oleri village in the Udu Local Government Area of Warri, will reflect the culture of the area while providing a place of escapism, enjoyment and fun and is set to include a water park, three- and five-star hotels, luxury chalets, a casino, a golf course, historical attractions, a family entertainment centre and children’s area, sports facilities, a spa and retail stores.

The Oleri Bridge, which is currently under construction, will link the park to the main road network for ease of access.

An animal reserve and wildlife park will be situated in Ogwashi-Uku, in the Aniocha South Local Government area of Asaba, located 15 minutes from the new International Airport in Asaba and 40 minutes flying time from Warri airport.

The new leisure resorts are being seen as a positive step towards helping the economy by creating new job opportunities and enhancing tourism.

Princess Abiodun Oyefusi, managing director of Sarner PFM, has worked closely with the Delta State in Nigeria to bring the required inward investment of US$250m to develop the first leisure and entertainment resort in the whole of Nigeria.

Princess Oyesfusi commented: "The ‘Delta Leisure Resorts’ will be a unique attraction for Nigeria helping to draw visitors to the area from across Nigeria, the surrounding countries and beyond.

"The increase in tourism will create new job opportunities and help with the development of the country’s infrastructure."

The overall theme for the resort is ‘Landscapes’, and one of the main features will be a dramatic waterfall, offering spectacular views across the leisure park from the highest point.

The first phase is due to open at the end of 2013.