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- On November 23, 2021
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1. Sir, you are recognized as one of the 100 Most Distinguished CEOs to look out for in 2021. What does it take to be successful in a business environment like Nigeria?
Ans: Well, thank you very much for this opportunity and privilege accorded me and my company, it’s a privilege and an honour, so I say a very big thank you to the editorial board of EOM Network on STV.
But I must say that one person does not and cannot make success because there’s nothing like self-made success or millionaire, it takes a team effort among other success factors
Here in Bayit properties, I can’t acclaim the success to myself because I work with my partner, friend and brother Mr Jude Omole. So the success of the company (or my success so to speak) is built on team spirit, trust, dedication to work among other factors.
I must also mention here that the management team of this company played a vital role in this professed success, I won’t fail to mention the company’s legal adviser, Barr Benjamin Egwim, he has been a very veritable tool to the company as well other managers and staff – Miss Rita, Mrs Mary and Miss Juliana to mention a few.
Again, it takes team spirit to build success in an environment like Nigeria among other factors of success such as dedication, trust, hard work, commitment to your goal etc.
2. Give us a background of Bayit Properties and Inv. Ltd.
Ans: Bayit Properties and investment Ltd. was basically incorporated to solve housing problems in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.
The former Minister of Housing, Ama Pepple pronounced then in 2011 that: 80% of Nigerians are living in deplorable conditions, in informal housing without access to potable water and other public infrastructures. That would have affected 130 million Nigerians at the time! This was especially shocking, as, at that time, Nigeria was the 8th largest exporter of oil globally. At the same meeting, the Minister also estimated the housing deficit at a whopping 17 million units
I have always been an investor, investing in stocks and shares and having an eye in real estate but for capital, but honestly, these words inspired to me delve into real estate, just to solve this pending time bomb, and of course as an entrepreneur we turn every passion into a business.
According to Prof. Akpan Ekpo (2019) in an article titled Housing Deficit in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges and Prospects In Nigeria, published by the Central Bank of Nigeria Economic and Financial Review, he said a majority of cities are fast becoming homes to scores of individuals due to influx, rapid-growing population and rapid urbanisation, among other factors.
With this trend, there has been an increase in the demand for houses across the country. The housing deficit crisis in Nigeria has worsened in recent times with the statistics showing a deficit of at least 17.0 million. There has been a steady rise in the housing deficit, from 7.0 million in 1991 to 14 million in 2010. From the report of the World Bank in 2018, Nigeria requires about 700,000 housing units annually, spanning through 20 years to accommodate the rising population.
This is highly unattainable with current indices, coupled with the sluggish growth of the housing sector in Nigeria. With a population of approximately 197 million (World Bank, 2019), coupled with high demand in housing units, both in quantity and quality, there is a need to seriously address the issue of the housing deficit in Nigeria.
Bayit Properties and Inv. Ltd is built on this premise, playing its role to solve a possible housing deficit problem in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.
3. What is the Vision and Mission of Bayit Properties and Inv. Ltd and how much of it would you say has been achieved?
Ans: Our vision is simply to be the most foremost real estate service provider, providing housing and real estate services at a world-class standard.
And our Mission; To provide real estate services, making housing affordable to all in a profitable, standard, ethical and sustainable manner.
So far, I would say we are yet to achieve it, because if we have, then, there is no need to remain in business, however, we are proud to say that we have made many Landlord today, even those that never believe they can be landlord owing to their income level, but right now they can be proud to say “With Bayit Properties, I am a Landlord.”
4. Tell us about the services you render at Bayit Properties and Inv. Ltd.
Ans: Basically we sell lands and properties, developing new lands/estate. We also do property documentation, lands surveying, property management/maintenance, architectural/structural designs, constructions and other real estate services.
We make owning landed properties easy irrespective of your income level, social status, educational qualification or any other limiting factor.
5. How would you assess the growth and development of the real estate sector in Nigeria so far?
Ans: I would say that real estate is fast growing in Nigeria when compared to her African counterparts and According to the Q4 and full-year 2020 GDP data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the real estate sector returned to positive growth of 2.81% y/y in Q4 2020 following six consecutive quarters of negative growth since the last positive growth posted in Q1 2019 (0.93% y/y), this, of course, is after the lockdown recorded all over the world in 2020 that grounded the entire economy of the world.
So, there is a marked growth and development in the real estate sector of Nigeria.
How have been sustaining the good performance of your company over the years despite the challenges in the country?
Ans: Sustaining good performance in business in a country like Nigeria I must say is like cracking a hard nut, but in anyways, the hard nut needs to be cracked when doing business.
Talking about how, honestly I can’t point out a single factor but I must say that we learn to understand business and market dynamics, know the competition and our competitors and find ways to improve our visibility in our way to gain some level of market share and most especially we improve on our service delivery to maintain and satisfy our customers.
7. In the face of a competitive business environment in Nigeria, Bayit Properties and Inv. Ltd has upheld excellence and good corporate governance. What are the factors responsible for this feat?
Ans: Well thank you very much for this remark but I must say that we are yet to attain excellence because I know we still have much work to do especially when facing the supposed giants in the real estate industry, however, if I must say; we have a clear strategy and we try as much as we can to deliver on every promise to our clients.
More so, we ensure discipline and commitment to our corporate goal.
8. The incidence of collapsed buildings has been attributed to private developers. What is your take on this?
Ans: Truly, building collapse can be easily traced to private developers and of course in Nigeria, it is very easy to cast blame when something or anything goes wrong but the fact remains that there are so many other players in the real estate sector and there are so many other factors that can constitute building collapse, though some of this factors can be avoided when there is proper due diligence at every phase of the building.
Well, Bayit properties and inv. Ltd is building on this failure made by some other private developers and as such we have put up a qualified team of experts that handles all projects and every material purchased must meet the specified standard without any form of compromise whether from client, suppliers or contractors.
9. Sir, where do you hope to see Bayit Properties and Inv. Ltd in the near future.
Ans: woow… This is a wow question…. I see bayit becoming a household name in the real estate industry. I see bayit among the biggest and second to none real estate companies in Nigeria and beyond. I see 80% of Nigerians investing and/or owning property or portfolio with Bayit properties… the list is endless my brother.
10. What is your take on the ease of doing business in Nigeria with particular reference to your line of business.
Ans: To this question, I will say it is tough doing business in Nigeria, this can be largely traced to the dwindling Naira fall against the dollar.
Our economy seems to be built around the dollar and the fall of Naira against the dollar is affecting every sector of the Nigerian economy and let’s not forget that Nigeria seems to be a consuming economy so to speak and not producing. This means virtually everything in Nigeria is imported hence the fall of Naira and it’s really affecting our economy.
No wonder the world bank ranked Nigeria 131st out of 190 countries in 2019 in terms of ease of doing business, I think these statistics says it all.
Referencing it o real estate, the fact is this, real estate is not an essential commodity like rice, garri and the likes, only those who have eaten enough at least can delve or invest in real estate, this means when the economy is not friendly or when a common man has not eaten enough he cannot invest or go into real estate business, however, real estate being a perfectly competitive business according to an economist, that allows for free entry and free exit, anybody with enough capital can invest or go into real estate.
11. Please share with us your corporate social responsibility?
Ans: In many ways, I can’t start mentioning, we have affected our societies positively especially in the various environment where we are developing new lands. Like I said I can’t start mentioning all that, but the thing there is, we are rolling out more plans to impact society and our community in bigger ways come 2022.
12. What is your advice for Nigeria youth on career pursuit?
Ans: Honestly, when it comes to the issue of the youth, in recent times I get scared and worried, why because our youth are no more learning trades or going to school, they say school is a scam and learning a trade is a waste of time.
Anyways, my advice, there is no shortcut to success, internet fraud cannot and will never lead to success but rather to the destruction of both self and the economy. No economy is built on fraud, but rather on entrepreneurship, industrialization, education and the likes.
China is termed an economic giant today because of industrialization, no economy or future can be built on fraud.
13. No business grows without facing challenges. Tell us about your experience so far.
Ans: Truly, no business grows without facing challenges and here in Bayit Properties, we had our fair share of challenges and of course, these challenges come at every level of growth.
As a new brand in the market, coupled with stories of failed real estate companies, it was not easy selling, however with doggedness and resilience, selling our corporate values, we were able to break through the market.
And one thing that helped us through then was keeping to our promises. Promise little and delivering more, today we have records of clients across the continent not just in Nigeria.
More so, looking at the bureaucracy in land acquisition, land registration and land titling, this poses considerable difficulty in effective housing delivery, especially in urban cities. For instance, the process of obtaining a certificate of occupancy may take up to 2-5years following normal protocols and the cost is extremely high.
So if I must say there are challenges at every phase of the business, a wise man says, “new levels, new devils “but in anyways, we must conquer and deliver our mandate.
14. Lack of integrity and contract dishonour is a common feature of Nigeria Business. Tell us about the situation of Bayit Properties and Inv. Ltd.?
Ans: integrity, if I must say, is lacking in the fabrics of an average Nigerian citizen, but you cannot do business without trust, so when it comes to this, we trust with our eyes open.
But in Bayit Properties and Inv. Ltd, we promise less and deliver more hence gaining the trust of our clients. We honour every contractual term and as a matter of fact, we love reducing all contracts to prints and/or get the endorsement of all involved, so every party involved is clear about his role, responsibility and liability with respect to the contract.