For the real estate sector of the Nigerian economy to recover from the shock of the present global health emergency, investors and developers in the sector must shift from the current quick fix-quick gain approach to development, industry experts have said.
The experts note that real estate is one of the sectors worst hit by coronavirus, explaining that many development projects have been put on hold while physical inspection of finished products for sale have been made difficult by the social and physical distancing rule.
Like other sectors of the economy, players in this sector are worried over what will become it after this virus is gone. They are worried especially about its recovery, considering that it is a laggard—coming behind others in boom or gloom.
This is a huge challenge which, according to Sujibunmi Ogundele, CEO, Sujimoto Construction Company, is a challenge of the mind that requires paradigm shift.
“Our major challenge is the challenge of the mind. There is a need to revamp the old ways of doing things and start replacing our immediate gratification mindset with that of value creation. The potentials of the Nigerian real estate industry have no match,” Ogundele said in an interview in Lagos.
The luxury real estate developer said that, as investors, there is need for a shift from the old order, insisting that “there need to develop the real estate sector and move from the ‘quick fix – quick gain.”
He believes that most Nigerian developers lack patience. Their quest for immediate gratification supersedes the need for value creation, saying that this would continue to leave Nigeria in the backwaters of world-class real estate development.
“You cannot change a system by repeating the same mistakes of the past. Someone has to do things differently and I have chosen to be that person by creating the Sujimoto brand with the intent of producing only world-class luxury that offers true and exceptional value. We are here to stamp our seal of excellence in this industry,” he assured.
Sujimoto, a relatively young but very ambitious real estate investment and development company, is the developer of the ultra-luxury GulianoBySujimoto in Banana Island, Nigeria’s most exclusive settlement for the country’s super rich citizens.
GulianoBySujimoto rose on the ashes of LorenzoBySujimoto which ended up at dream level. “I had conceived the biggest project in my life; I earmarked over $90 million to build the tallest residential building in Sub-Saharan Africa. Unfortunately, government policies and bad economy made my Saudi investors pull out,” Ogundele said of LorenzoBySujimoto.
He explained that the economy was so bad and things became so rough that he had to refund hundreds of millions of naira to the off-takers and let go of some of his best hands. He recalled that on the verge of almost giving up, he reassessed his plans.
He added that he reviewed all his decisions, identified his pain-point and made the much-needed adjustment which included letting go of the land for something much better in Banana Island.
“Riding on the wings of criticism and media backlash that followed, I conceived the GiulianoBySujimoto project on Banana Island. 20 months after, the Giuliano has metamorphosed from a proof of concept into a proof of product.
“It was fully sold-out six months before completion. A stone throw away from the Giuliano, we are building the future. It is called LucreziaBySujimoto. It will be the tallest residential building in Banana Island,” he revealed.