• Sunday, July 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Low desire for profit, others underlie Lekki Gardens’ affordable housing delivery

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Reduced desired for profit, maximum use of land, among other considerations, have been adduced as reasons for the affordability of the different house-types delivered to the market place by Lekki Gardens Limited, a new generation residential property investment development firm that entered the Nigerian market barely four years ago.

The company, which has delivered over 2,000 housing units within this short period, has been able to demystify the Nigerian property market by not only breaking the affordability jinx, but also introducing a customer-focused housing model that has broken entry barriers to home-ownership by different levels of income earners.

“Investor’s greed is not in our system,” Richard Nyong, the company’s CEO, says, adding, “the focus for us is always to say, how do we find a way to win for our customers; our concern is not much on how much profit we make but what is best for the customer.”

Nyong, who spoke in an interview with BusinessDay in Lagos, says that, as a company, they were always contented with small profit margin, explaining that if there was cause for them to make 10 percent profit from a N30 million transaction, which is N3 million, it would be okay for them.

“If the cost of a property is, say N35 million, and I find a way to bring down the cost to N30 million and my profit there is N3 million, I think a wise customer would patronise me,” he emphasises.

The company’s customer-focused housing delivery model has seen many prospective homeowners in locations that are otherwise exclusive preserves of the rich, and this has been made possible because, according to the CEO, “we don’t have any particular market in mind, so we are not out to serve any particular market.

“I am building for that man who wants to buy a house in a good environment and good location. It does not matter if it is in Ikoyi or Ajah which is considered a low-income market. I don’t bother about whether you are buying a N50 million, N100 million or N300 million house. I will serve whoever wants to own a home with all the luxury that he can afford.”

All through their research, purchase, negotiation, construction plan, he discloses, the question they frequently ask is what is best for the customer, adding that they don’t stop at just delivering the project, but also sustaining it for the next 25 to 45 years in which case their approach is not short but long term.

Consistent with the advantages of housing construction, Lekki Gadrens has created many jobs and, “we have employed over 12,000 people at our various project sites,” Nyong reveals, explaining that these are people employed as direct labour. We have other 3,500 people employed as indirect labour. We have also created wealth for those who bought houses from us two years ago whose houses have appreciated in value.

“Also, we are impacting so many lives through the materials we buy from companies who are able to pay their workers from such sales. We estimate this to be in excess of 100,000 lives,” he says.

 

CHUKA UROKO