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Making aspirational homes affordable …The Victoria Bay III Estate’s example

It is the dream of the average Nigerian to own a home and beyond owning a home, a home that people do not need to break the bank for, yet quality is not being compromised.

While some may have the vision of owning a home, most cannot afford an ideal home and while some who can afford these homes are most times skeptical on the right estates to invest in.

All these housing solutions and many more are part of the goals of Victoria Crest homes, which is currently living up to its vision of making aspirational living affordable with its recent launch and official handover of Victoria Bay III Estate.

The launch and handover of the Victoria Bay III Estate is said to be a celebration of NedcomOaks Group, the parent company’s obsession for excellence as well as a platform to give the public a sneak peak of the future of property development in Africa’s most populous country.

Speaking during the launch and handover of the Victoria Bay III Estate at Ikate, Lagos State, Kennedy Okonkwo, founder NedcomOaks Group, owners of the Victoria Crest Homes told BusinessDay SUNDAY that about a year and half ago, NedcomOaks Group launched what it called ‘Five Goodness,’ and this meant the company was going to do five different projects and these projects are aimed at making aspirational living affordable.

Ichechi Okonkwo, CEO, Victoria crest homes

Okonkwo explained that the units the company aimed to do with the ‘Five Goodness’ were about 1000 unites, adding that while the company finished the initial phases in the Victoria Bay Estate, by early last year, Covid-19 came and with the advent of Covid-19, it was tough for many companies to cope, as so many companies decided to downsize.

He further explained that many companies were struggling with construction and as soon as Covidi-19 pandemic finished and the government started easing up sometime in June, NedcomOaks decided to invest hugely in the real estate sector, all in a bid to provide massive employment.

The founder of NedcomOaks Group who hinted that real estate development and construction forms an integral part of the rebuilding process Post-Covid, said the company started working on several projects with the aim to deliver them by January 2021, which was eventually achieved.

For Okonkwo, January 21st, 2021, marked a major milestone in the annals of the company, as the company graciously delivered 587 units of houses spread across locations and the last of those set is the Victoria Bay III Estate project, which he said he was very passionate about.

He said the day was also important to him because it marked another important milestone in the company where he gets to hand over the baton of leadership of Victoria Crest Homes to his wife, partner and the deputy managing director of the NedcomOaks Group, Ichechi Okonkwo.

“Victoria Crest Homes is a company founded on the premise to provide affordable housing schemes for Lagosians especially. The mantle of leadership of the company is being handed over to my partner and wife, Ichechi Okonkwo to continue to move on with the vision while I focus more on strategies of expanding the portfolio of the group.

“Today is also important for us because of the need to also encourage the Lagos State government through the Ministry of Physical Planning and Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority. The real estate industry has become an all comers affair and there is a need to sanitise the industry. The ministry fought with that responsibility in Lagos. We need to encourage them so that they can keep doing what they are doing. Today we are presenting two brand new buses, one to each of the departments mentioned above,” Okonkwo said.

He assured that the project being launched is second to none, adding that when the company set out to deliver the project, it set out to deliver a world-class estate.

“We are making aspirational living affordable. We have researched and have found out that the things that the man in Ikoyi enjoys is being desired by that upwardly mobile young man or young woman and those are the things that maybe in other climes, government would have provided but where the government has not provided it, the private sector is moving to fill that gap.

“We are talking about living in an estate that is well secured, and when you go out, you are sure that your family is well protected. We are building an estate that has basic amenities such as uninterrupted power supply, potable water, excellent drainage infrastructure and beautiful ambiance. If you go around this estate, you will find swimming pools. The infrastructures we have developed here are those that you find in a five-star hotel.

“We have very beautiful and well-equipped gymnastics for people to enjoy. Here, your kids can develop their God-given talents and that is what a Victoria Crest Brand tries to propagate because if you go to all our estates, you have football clubs in them all. This is the new Nigeria we are talking about. For us as a company, the strategy is to start to build a new Lagos where all of us will live in and love,” the CEO of NedcomOaks Group said.

Victoria Bay III

Speaking on how affordable the homes are, he disclosed that when the company started the Victoria Crest brand, the first houses were sold for N21 million and these were three bed-room terrace houses and the good part is that today those houses are going for about N40 million and barely five years down the line, the properties worth N40 million.

He further disclosed the company is beginning to position itself for projects after Ajar, as it has a new set of projects that it is kick-starting, some of which are around Lagos Business School, with 309 units and another in Sangotedo with an entry level of less than N35 million.

He assured that these new projects portend a great deal for Nigerians and Lagosians who believe that they don’t have money to leave in Chevron or Lekki but the new projects affords them the opportunity to get homes that are just a little bit after Ajar.

Speaking on the payment plan and affordability of the homes he said, “We offer 12 to 24 months payment plans. Beyond the payment plan, is about the company that has built an excellent track record of delivery. The company has built a strong process for construction without cutting corners.

“We don’t believe that because it is affordable, affordable should be horrible. On that basis, we are doing background integration and most of the consumables required for the construction are produced by us, apart from the ones that we need to import. We import some of the finishes just to ensure we give a world-class quality product.”

Dignitaries present at the launch of Victoria Bay III Estate includes Toke Benson Awoyinka, special adviser to the Lagos state governor on housing; Emeka Okonkwo, Union Bank MDDesignate; Godman Akinlabi -Lead pastor, The Elevation Church; Friday Osanebi, Former Deputy Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly and Julius Owotuga, group executive director & deputy chief executive at Geregu Power Plc.

Also speaking during the event, Ichechi Okonkwo, CEO Victoria Crest Homes restated that the vision at Victoria Crest Homes is to make aspirational living affordable and continuing from where the founder of NedcomOaks Group started, she said she would make sure all the set goals are not only met but are also surpassed.

She explained that Victoria Crest Homes is making sure every individual out there who aspires to live a beautiful, convenient and comfortable life for themselves and families are able to get their dreams met.

“It is tough in our nation, Nigeria. Statistics show that more 22 million people are displaced and government is not doing so much to ensure that these figures are narrowed down but we in Victoria Crest Homes have looked at these numbers and we are trying what we can to ensure that at least everyone in Nigeria enjoys that dream of having a good roof over their heads,” Okonkwo said.

Speaking on what distinguished Victoria Bay 111 Estate from others is the location, the CEO Victoria Crest Homes said, “It is fantastic. It is close to almost everywhere and it is very accessible and right behind us is the Atlantic Ocean. We are very close to nature. It is beautiful out here.

“We have infrastructures inbuilt into the estate, we have modern social amenities. In this estate, we have two swimming pools, football fields, pure drinkable water built by NedcomOaks. When you come into Victoria Bay III estate, you would feel the ambiance and the difference in what we have done so far.

“In Victoria Crest Homes, our core values include excellence, integrity, transparency and customer loyalty. These are the things we have stood for and we will continue to stand out for. I expect that everyone will see and experience this but at even a much higher level. When a woman’s touch is in anything, there is a difference.”

On how the government can support and make more homes accessible to people, she suggested that the government can support the private sector by providing infrastructures in most of the communities.

“First, we have to source for land; if the government can provide lands, then that is one major challenge struck out and then we have to deal with creating infrastructures. We have had to build roads in most of our estates all by ourselves,” she said.

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