BusinessDay

How affordable homes initiative is revolutionising real estate market

…as RevolutionPlus produces 9,500 landlords in 8years

For many close watchers of Nigeria’s real estate market, the activities of some housing product suppliers could be described simply as a revolution given their time and footprints in the crowded market.

One of such products suppliers is RevolutionPlus Property Investment, a new generation real estate development and investment firm that has, in the last 8years, produced about 9,500 low income landlords, having made them homeowners in 43 estates across six locations in Nigeria.

Given the size of Nigeria’s housing deficit variously put at 17 million, 20 million and 22 million units, 9,500 homes may be just a drop of water into the ocean, but the officials argue that the number is significant considering that those homeowners are low income earners who were given opportunity to contribute piecemeal towards owning those homes.

Again, they point out that given an average of five persons per family, it means that their initiative has provided shelter for about 47,500 persons. The significance of this, they add, also shows when placed side by side with the level of destitution, homelessness and hopelessness in Nigeria where poverty has become a native.

With about 500 staff nationwide, RevolutionPlus has now expanded into property development, building what it calls “mega housing projects.” These include Flourish Apartments and Terraces in Lekki, and The Royal Terraces, Whiteoak Estate Ologolo by Jakande, Lekki,

Others are Flourish Residences, Eluju by Bogije, Lagos; Flourish Residences , Monastry Road, Sangotedo; Royal Haven Garden, Agbowa-Ikorodu, and Embassy Court, Asese.

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It is expected that these projects will also produce landlords that will be more in number than those in site-and-serviced schemes, meaning that gradually but steadily, the company is contributing to efforts at closing the country’s housing demand-supply gap.

Speaking about these projects at an event to mark the company’s 8years anniversary, Bamidele Onalaja, Group Managing Director/CEO of RevolutionPlus recalled, “we went to these people—vulcanisers, mechanics, petty traders and the likes—pleading with them to subscribe to our site-and-serviced scheme which was our turf until recently. We encouraged them to pay according to their income flow. Today, all of them are happy and proud home owners.”

He assured that they would do more in time to come, but developers, they needed social intervention from government by way of providing critical infrastructure which is a significant percentage of construction. When that is taken off their shoulder, he reasoned, houses would be more affordable.

He revealed that it was the plan of Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) to move up the contribution of real estate to GDP from the current 4 percent to first or second highest contributor, commending Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State for donating 50 hectates of land to REDAN as part of efforts at tackling housing problem in the state

Onalaja noted that, in the course of the past eight years, the company has grown to a point where it has six branches in Nigeria and one in Dallas, USA. The company has also become a group with 10 subsidiaries that cut across various sectors of the economy.

Earlier in her opening remarks, Tolulope Onalaja, the company’s Group Executive Director, had said that RevolutionPlus was a product of vision and passion, explaining that it was the vision of what they set out to achieve that propelled them to forge ahead despite the challenges.

“We have enormous challenges to face. Every business has its own challenges and real estate is no exception. It is even more in real estate. Our first major challenge was in 2017 when we were just three years into business and we came out of it stronger and better,” she said.

Continuing, she noted, that was when the recent challenge—the allegation by some of its clients that RevolutionPlus is a scam—we told ourselves that we would surmount it; that the challenge came too late because we have overgrown that and moreover, the allegation was baseless.”

Besides housing provision, RevolutionPlus has also, through the Chris Bamidele Onalaja Foundation (CBOF) impacted many lives in its host communities in Lagos, Oyo, ogun, etc.

The foundation has empowered widows with grinding mills and sewing machines; it has provided health care services, mainly eye and dental care to both the old and young in Iddo, Ibadan and also in Obada community in Ogun State. In all of these, free care services and drugs were given to the people.

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