60 leading real estate CEOs of 2022 in Nigeria (Part A)
Sijibomi Ogundele, Founder/CEO Sujimoto Group
A ‘Simple’ Vision To Revolutionize African Luxury Real Estate Industry
Suave, futuristic, classy and more words that can be used to describe elegance is his trademark. Sijibomi Ogundele, founder, Sujimoto Group of Companies and Chief Executive Officer of Sujimoto Construction, stands heads above many in the real estate industry.
Ogundele started his career in risk assessment in 2004, where he moved up to lending in SMEs and set up Moto Finance in Paris, which later branched out in Accra, Dubai, Madrid and New York City; achieving significant industry milestones, later moving into the Nigerian Real Estate industry; additionally into Risk Assessment and Project Management.
He describes his vision as ‘simple’, which is to revolutionise the African luxury Real Estate industry with Nigeria as a starting point. With the success of his company’s pioneer project in Nigeria called Medici, high demand for Sujimoto’s forthcoming project in Ikoyi “LorenzoBySujimoto” is highly anticipated by investors and high net-worth individuals.
Inspired by the Ritz Styled Hotel & Apartment, LorenzoBySujimoto is an unveiling of world-class hospitality bringing a redefinition in high-value residential structures, comprising of 2, 3 & 4 bedrooms, a fascinating addition of penthouses with private swimming pools.
Sijibomi is very unapologetic about his opinions concerning the luxury real estate industry and has been described as the Donald Trump of Nigeria; claiming that the Nigerian Luxury Real Estate industry has not achieved five percent of its true potential.
This inspired his vision to set up his company called Sujimoto Construction Ltd, which has achieved impressive strides within a few years of operations and gained recognition for being one of the most dynamic luxury real estates and construction companies in Nigeria.
Sijibomi believes in the principle of giving back to society and empowering the people as exhibited in various social responsibility efforts setting him apart from his peers.
Sam Ogrih MD/CEO, Mega Trend Limited – Champion of Professionalism, Goodwill and Integrity in Real Estate Business
Sam Ogrih founded Delta Mega Trend Limited (DMTNL), a real estate development and civil engineering works Company in 2009, to help bridge the housing and infrastructure deficit in the country. With offices in Delta, Lagos, Abuja and Houston -Texas, the Company has gained a reputation for blending excellence and profitability for discerning real estate investors. DMTNL is a proudly Nigerian company and a recognised member of Real Estate Development Association Of Nigeria (REDAN).
An accountant by training, Sam Ogrih is a fellow of the Institute of Strategic Management. He has attended several local and international courses on Leadership and Real Estate Development from notable institutions including Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Ogrih is a Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Management, the Association of University Administrators (UK) and Fellow of the Institute of Strategic Management (FISM).
He has been involved in extensive road construction and building since 2000 and contributed significantly to raising the standards of practice in the industry. Prior to establishing Delta Mega-Trend Nigeria Limited, he was involved with setting up of the Lagos State University, Lekki campus, where many young Nigerians received a quality education and obtained various degrees. He has participated in several local and international trade/housing exhibition fairs where he gave extensive insights into improving housing and real estate development in Nigeria.
With his passion, drive and taste for more knowledge in ensuring high-quality standards in all that he does, he was recently honoured with the African Business Leadership Award for Excellence in Real Estate Development and inducted into the inaugural African Leadership CEO’s Hall of Fame in South Africa. Ogrih is very interested in providing affordable housing solutions and smart buildings coupled with excellent customer service delivery. The company’s ongoing real estate development in Warri, Delta State, The Plantation City has in the last three years recorded a significant upsurge in price and profitability for investors. It has also been rated the largest and safest real estate development in the South-South part of Nigeria. Its new gated housing project also in Warri, Southbrook Gardens, is being planned to be as successful as The Plantation City.
As CEO of Delta Mega-Trend Nigeria Limited, Ogrih has brought his expertise in gated residential estates, which has seen them develop different types and sizes of property. The very prestigious Plantation City in Warri has entered Nigeria’s premium Real Estate Market. This has significantly increased its value and prominence. The Plantation City has definitely propelled Warri, Delta State into being one the four main premium real estate hubs in Nigeria. Other projects by the company include the Ultra-Modern DMTL Mall within The Plantation City Estate, the new smart Southbrook Gardens Estate, all in Warri, Delta State, Nigeria and the stunning Ivory Oak Terrace Apartments at Marshy Hill Estate in Lagos, among numerous private, public, corporate, community and collaborative real estate projects across the country. He has championed and delivered an Independent Power Project (IPP) in The Plantation City which provides 24 hours electricity supply to the utmost delight of residents, property owners, investors and the commercial community. He has led a team of dedicated and efficient employees to consistently deliver high-quality affordable housing projects.
DMTNL properties are an outstanding example of best practices and real estate designs responding to customer needs. DMTNL has extensive expertise in the design and construction of high-quality living spaces. DMTNL also has a strong social corporate responsibility policy and ensures it gives back to the communities in which it operates. Hospitality meets real estate in Sam Ogrih’s world. His passion for real estate led him to design as well as build the outstanding, modern, smart boutique Leawood Hotel and Events Centre in Lagos. Leawood Hotel has become the reference point for the hospitality business in Nigeria comparable to its peers around the world. The brand continues to provide jobs for Nigerians as well as deepen the hospitality business and culture in Nigeria. The hotel company has in its employment, bright young Nigerian men and women who are gaining hands-on experience and skills. As an educationist, Sam not only provides strong Leadership to his company employees and associates; he has mentored and continues to mentor many young Nigerians towards channelling their energies into productive areas.
He does not stop at that; he supports small start-up businesses in his own little way to create extended job opportunities for other young deserving individuals within and outside his community. He dedicates his time to supporting and ensuring that the Delta State Chapter of REDAN is well structured, brings on board all relevant stakeholders and can proffer real solutions to the housing needs of Deltans. Through The Sam & Lawretta Ogrih Foundation (SLOF), Sam Ogrih has continued to provide annual scholarships and education support for over 1500 students in the South-South region of Nigeria.
His support for primary, secondary and tertiary education is premised on the fact that Education holds the key to liberating the mind and setting individuals on the path to greatness. Sam Ogrih is a Rotarian and an award winner. In recognition of his outstanding posture as one of Africa’s most distinguishing CEOs who has consistently championed ethical business practices, displayed inspirational leadership, contributed to economic development in Nigeria, created employment and redefined the face of the real estate sector in the country, he was meritoriously recognised by the International Advisory Board of African Leadership Magazine, a publication of African Leadership (UK) Limited.
In February 2018, he was awarded the Prestigious African Leadership Business Leadership Excellence Award and inducted into The African Leadership CEO’s Hall of Fame 2018 in South Africa. In March 2019, he received The Real Estate Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2019 from The Nigerian National Chapter of CEO Clubs Network Worldwide. July 2019 was a spectacular month for the company and for Sam Ogrih. He was conferred with Doctor of Science (D. Sc. Hons) In Property Management and Estate Development, Honoris Causa by The Senate of European American University in July 2019. He emerged the CEO of Real Estate Company Of The Year given by The Nigeria Housing Awards at the 13th edition of the Abuja International Housing Show.
Ogrih was elected as a member, the Board of Trustees of The Real Estate Developer of Nigeria (REDAN) on October 8, 2021. Mr. Sam Ogrih is very humbled by these accomplishments. He will use the goodwill and opportunities they provide to intensify his support for education, entrepreneurship, health, and his work for humanity as well as attract investments to Nigeria to benefit more people.
The Best Time For Real Estate Investment Is Now- Olayinka Braimoh, CEO, Hall 7 Real Estate
Kogi State-born Olayinka Braimoh grew up in the midst of entrepreneurs and read so many motivational books that shaped and became the influencing factor for the entrepreneurial drive he exhibited later in life. His foray into real estate was not by chance and his strong belief in wealth creation through passive and multiple incomes was intentional and rewarding.
He founded Hall 7, one of Nigeria’s fastest-growing real estate firms in 2013 and has developed and delivered over 1.4 million square foot of completed projects in the last nine years. He remarked that his company’s focus has always been about doing things differently but with excellence and value to the esteemed customers. Braimoh had noticed the gaps in Nigeria’s real estate market. Some people/firms wanted their lands developed but were unable to because they lacked the funds. Others wanted better value for homes they bought from real estate firms. They wanted more than a roof over their head. They wanted a home with the best experience. These two groups of prospects formed the target market of Hall 7 Real Estate Limited.
“Our vision is delivering value to stakeholders, because if all your stakeholders are happy, like the investors, the contractor and the employees, if everybody is happy, then it means that they all enjoy the value across the value chain. We have done a couple of projects across Abuja. We have done The Brookshore Residence with 230 family homes in Karsana south district, we have The Bridge Paradox with 47 luxury villas and duplexes in Mbora district, we have The Bridge Garnet which is about 50 family homes in Galadimawa, and we have Imperial Vista located in Life camp, Kafe district which covers about 200 family homes, then we also have the Chesna which is located in Guzape district.
“We have been able to look at projects critically, we have looked at the challenges of timelines because of the spike in construction cost and we have been able to develop a means to be able to handle those challenges. The primary challenge in the sector has been that of access to land as a developer; that is direct access to land from the government. I am not sure if any developer has gotten a direct allocation from the government in the last seven years so we have to buy land from those that were privileged to get direct allocation from the government and that already increase the cost because it is part of the cost element for you to be able to deliver housing, it is a major factor and in fact, it is the bedrock of the business. Nevertheless, this is the best time for investors. It is the investors’ market right now; this is the best time for anybody to invest in real estate as a store of value.
“This is because if you want to keep money, your money will be losing value due to the current economic instability. If you like, convert all your money to dollars, it is not guaranteed but if you invest in real estate, it is a guaranteed investment; it is a store of value. Nigeria is going through a phase right now but we will eventually come out of it so when we are out of it what happens? Everything normalises and as a store of value, that is when you get the best because currently, all developers cannot just be increasing their prices on a daily basis based on spikes in construction cost so at one point or the other, developers are taking a cut on their profits by doing some transactions at a loss, low-profit margin by taking a cut on your profit because you have to stay in business anyway,” he said.
Braimoh believes that ease of doing business in the real estate business is important and it can be achieved by engaging with stakeholders in the sector. He stressed that government mortgages and social housing projects are not really working because the category of people they are creating them for are financially challenged, so, they find it difficult to meet up with the terms and conditions.
“For example, family homes and the Federal Mortgage Bank, have funds not yet deployed in those mortgages because of issues like this. I think the government needs to engage more with the stakeholders to come up with a framework that will work and if those funds are going to be applied, maybe it is going to work in some few states but how is that going to work in Abuja with the cost of the land and infrastructure? Even in those few states, the question is do you have off-takers in those places? Have you checked our rural-urban migration? Because those that would have been able to afford them in these states have migrated to the urban centers.
We need to do some critical analyses before we say that the government is voting a certain amount of money for this purpose and at the end of the day the monies are just there or are wrongly applied in such a way that government will never be able to get those funds back.” He advised.
“Hall 7 is always open for business for those that want to invest in real estate in the federal capital city. We have various locations and new locations. To solve the challenge of rising costs, we have introduced a new project called Direct Development across the city. This project enables you to be in control of your timeline, control of your delivery date and control of your construction while we provide the infrastructure. It is a direct development strategy for customers to be in control and it is yielding great results better than the regular flexible plans which do not work right due to rising costs of construction.”
OSILAMA EMMANUEL OSILAMA, Chairman/CEO of Nuel Osilama Global Investment Limited – Serial entrepreneur par excellence
His resilience in the face of challenges and his capacity to surmount them is of one the attributes that stand him out amongst other professionals. A highly decorated guru, Osilama E. Osilama is the founding CEO of Nuel Osilama Properties Ltd, United Kingdom, Chairman/CEO of Nuel Osilama Global Investment Limited, a subsidiary of Nuel Osilama Group, CEO, Sogreat Nigeria Ltd, CEO, Sogreat Energy, Oil & Gas Ltd, CEO of Nuel Osilama Technologies and also Principal Partner at Osilama Osilama Consulting.
In preparation and reinforcement of his capacity for his career in real estate, Osilama has continued to pursue knowledge acquisition locally and internationally. Among these educational sojourn include the Federal Polytechnic Nassarawa, where he graduated in Estate Management and Valuation, an International Post Graduate Diploma in Project management at the Metropolitan Business School of Management in the United Kingdom, and a master’s degree in Human Resources from Western Vile University, San Diego California, USA and another master’s degree in International Business Administration with Guglielmo Marconi University, Rome, Italy.
In 2003, Osilama conducted a strategic review of his business activities after attending a course on business growth, management, and development. This course spurred him into conducting further desk research and concluded therefore to de-invest from every other business sector to focus on a property business that is acceptable, solidifying for a reasonable time before diversifying into other business interests as it is today. In view of that decision, he invested massively in property agency, and facility management among other real estate-related business activities, through which he had his first major facility management retainer ship with an international firm, AMG Asset Management Group, owners of the Asokoro Business and Life Style Centre where he left a landmark achievement as an outstanding facility management firm.
In the spirit of his decision to fully focus, professionalise, expand and consolidate the real estate empire, the company in 2005 changed its operational name from Osilama Properties to Nuel Osilama & Partners, which led to the opening of the first international office at Ivory House Park Royal, Central London in 2012 as Nuel Osilama Properties Ltd, United Kingdom.
While the business has continued to deepen its footprints across the length and breadth of the real estate industry value chain globally, in 2015, arising from the company’s strategic retreat, a decision was reached to expand its operations into other sectors of the global market.
This decision prompted the management to explore opportunities in the hospitality industry, energy and mines, necessitating another change of name to Nuel Osilama Global Investment Ltd, so, the company can easily engage in other businesses that are outside real estate sector. In contributing to the reduction of the housing deficit in Nigeria, Nuel Osilama Global Investment Ltd has initiated, developed, and is still developing a series of estates across the country.
An estate surveyor by training, estate developer and property consultant by practice and experience, political analyst and social media personality by interest, he is the current State Chairman of REDAN FCT Chapter and also the current Chairman of the FCT Chapter of his alma matter Adosa Abuja and also sits at the council of Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria as a council member.
He was listed as one of the Outstanding 50 Real Estate CEOs in Nigeria in the past 60 years by the African Housing News as part of the record to mark Nigeria at 60 in 2020 and recently as one of Viewpoint Housing Men’s Personality of the year 2021, as an Achiever Par Excellence by National Association of Northern Nigerian Students (NANNS) in 2021, also awarded the Abraham Lincoln Awards for Excellence 2021. Because of his leadership qualities, the National Institute of Town Planners FCT Chapter presented him an Award for Leadership in Real Estate Development and Management.
As an entrepreneur par excellence, by the third quarter of 2002, he incorporated Sogreat Systems Technology to take advantage of the note-counting machine business opportunities among others. However, owing to challenges in operational ethics in the banking industry where such machines are utilized, he incorporated another company known as Osilama Properties, specifically on the 2nd of October, 2002 and that transited into Nuel Osilamna and Partners that has now metamorphosed into the global brand Nuel Osilama Global.
A man of impeccable character, integrity, and camaraderie, who prefers to live and keep a very quiet life, Osilama takes pleasure in public speaking, writing and in spite of his busy schedule, takes out time to engage with his global community through the internet social media engagement channels on a regular routine.
Mortgage Financing, cornerstone of housing – Dr Young-Tobias Ekechi, CEO, First Generation Mortgage Bank (FGMB)
The story of Dr Young-Tobias Ekechi shows how dedication, grit, skills coupled with the right attitude can lift one to any height imaginable. An associate of the Institute of Directors, Ekechi has over 20 years diverse work experience in the finance sector with competence in project structuring, financing and processing, operations control and mortgage administration.
Sir Ekechi, a graduate of Economics from the Abia State University, Uturu, also has an MBA in Financial Management from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology and an M.Sc in Financial Management from the Institute Prima Bestari, Malaysia.
His professional career started in 1999 with Citibank Nigeria for eight years before he moved to Access Bank for about six months after which he moved to Aso Savings and Loans. From there, he joined public service when he was appointed as Chairman of Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State from 2011 to 2012. From public service, he returned to Aso Savings and leveled up with his appointment as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Generation Mortgage Bank in 2018.
Under Sir Ekechi’s leadership, FGMB has grown remarkably. The bank is the first private-sector mortgage bank in the country to grant loans to homeowners on single-digit interest rates. This has made the bank very attractive to homeowners and has assisted many Nigerians in their quest to own their own homes.
FGMB has contributed towards bridging the huge housing deficit in Nigeria by financing over 5000 affordable housing homes to resident Nigerians and those in the diaspora at a single digit interest rate of 9.9%. FGMB in partnership with various real estate developers have funded over 22 housing projects, which include; the Efab Court Estate, Efab Sunshine Estate, Efab Dakwa Estate, Efab Dynamite Estate, Efab Lokogoma Estate all in Abuja. Other projects include: Ansphil Estate in Owerri, Imo State, New Ajoda Estate in Ibadan Oyo State. FGMB are also currently funding the biggest mall in the country, The Mall of Dubia in Abuja.
Commenting on the challenges of mortgage financing in Nigeria, Ekechi who bagged the award of excellence (financial industry category) at the National House Fair 2021 explained that the major challenge which is finance is prevalent because the provision of housing requires huge financial resources, which most of the medium and low-income earners in Nigeria are unable to afford. According to him, “mortgage finance is the cornerstone of housing construction. This implies that the implementation of housing development is contingent largely on the availability of funds.
“To address this issue, the Federal Government has developed liberal housing policies, created opportunities for employers and merchants, as well as Primary Mortgage Institutions to make funds available for intending house owners to build or buy houses of their own with the support of agencies such as the Federal Housing Authority, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company and the Family Homes Fund. At FGMB, we have financed mortgages for thousands of Nigerians who today are owners of decent and affordable homes and we are not relenting.”
FGMB has also broken the monopoly held by previous mortgage banks and has become the trailblazer in the mortgage banking sector. It has won the best indigenous mortgage bank in 2020, 2021 and remains on course to win the one for 2022 as it has been also nominated this year.
Other notable awards won include Best PMB in West Africa 2019 (West African Innovation Awards), Best Indigenous Mortgage Bank in Nigeria 2020 (Private Sector, National House Fair), Most Peaceful Friendly Mortgage Bank 2020 (National Peace Awards), Best Indigenous Mortgage Bank of the Year 2021(Private Sector, National House Fair), Most Customer Friendly Bank of the Year 2021 (National Peace Awards) and the Most Innovative Mortgage Bank of the Year 2021 (Africa Housing Awards).
In its quest to ensure better service delivery while meeting up with the need of 21st-century technology, FGMB has recently migrated to a more robust software which will enable the company to satisfy its increasing customer base.
BARRISTER FESTUS ADEBAYO: Nigeria’s Foremost Advocate of Affordable Housing
Festus Adebayo, a banker, lawyer and media guru, is the mastermind behind Fesadeb Communications Ltd, Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN), Africa International Housing Show (formerly Abuja International Housing Show) Africa Housing Awards and Housing Rights Initiative.
Adebayo is Nigeria’s foremost Advocate of Affordable Housing, and Executive Director, Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN). He has, through his programmes, successfully raised advocacy for affordable housing to enviable heights.
This dogged advocate, through a public-spirited determination and unabashed interest for low-income earners, is assiduously pushing for a better affordable and accessible housing deal for all.
His advocacy has seen him collaborate with various stakeholders towards ensuring that affordable housing is achievable in Nigeria. His efforts have, in turn, yielded results with policy formulations and implementation. One of them, most recently, is the announcement of the National Pension Commission that workers can now use 25 percent of their Retirement Savings Account (RSA) as mortgage.
This career has seen him working with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) as a media adviser. He is also playing the same role to Family Homes Funds, and the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, a loud confirmation of his determination to ensure affordable housing for all irrespective of background and socioeconomic status.
The enigmatic Adebayo is the convener of the largest housing event in Africa that has featured Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, state governors and international participants.
Unarguably, he has made a remarkable impact on the ethos of accessibility and affordability of housing for all, a struggle that has become an integral part of his purposeful life.
He has received numerous awards for his unparalleled contributions to housing development. Presently, Adebayo is part of the federal government’s sustainability committee on housing charged with the delivery of two million houses across the 36 states of the federation in addition to being a member of the Nigeria Institute of Management and a leading promoter of housing development in Nigeria.