His name is David Ezeodo. He is the Chairman of Yankees Construction & Co, in Osapa London, Lekki axis in Lagos. Mr. David is one of the biggest property developers around the axis. He is been there for about 2 decades, erecting structures and developing the community. Most of his houses are built to match the taste of celebrity and the creme-de-la-creme in the society. He doesn’t compromise standards.
Recently, he tarred a link road to one of his housing projects with about 8 million naira, in Osapa London. And he has no doubt become a big player in that axis. He has also just completed another set of 4 bedrooms duplexes, with good documents but are still vacate. Two weeks back, City People’s ISAAC ABIMBADE met with him in one of his new estates, and he spoke about his real estate business, what government should do. Below are excerpts.
How have you fared in the last year in this business of real estate, especially developer like you?
The construction industry has been very, very wonderful. I am extremely happy that the industry has come of age. Previously, it has been difficult for people that live overseas to build their houses, while staying overseas. Sometimes, they send money to their loved ones and the money is misused and misappropriated. Right now, there is a group of real estate developers who are actually developing properties for the domestic buyers and as well as foreign buyers. It has been wonderful. There is been a credible use amount of innovations in the industry. Some of us are emphasizing in quality production; making sure that the quality of what we produce is of the highest standard, whereby the end-users will pay exorbitant amount of money to purchase this property and the property will last for a very long period of time.
What is the motivation behind your housing estates beautiful looks, compared to those who will see around?
The motivation is that I was born in Nigeria, but I brushed up in the US, so the orientation is quite different. I lay emphasis on structural building. I lay emphasis on concrete mixing. I lay emphasis on the quality of materials. And I think, I am one of the best. When you go and see some of the buildings of my colleagues erect, and you walk into my building, you can tell the difference in terms of finishings, quality of the materials we use. And I have the money to buy the best quality materials to assemble my building, when it comes to cement, when it comes to the quality of the iron, when it comes to wirings, and when it comes to the plumbing.
Because it is not about money; it is about reputation, it is about who I am. I want people to buy the product, and I want people to buy my product and I can assure my products will stand the text of time.
Can we possibly say that staying in the US enabled you to build these luxury houses?
Not really, because there are lots of my colleagues that are good as equal as I am. Some of them don’t have overseas’ background, but they put good standard of building, as much as I do.
Tell me about your new projects?
I just built 4 bedrooms fully detached duplex, with a boys quarter and a security post, attached to each. They are wonderful. They are currently selling.
We have seen how you provide infrastructure around your estates, and the recent one is the tar of road leading to your housing estate. Why are you doing all these?
I would say that I have been in this area for a period of time and I am one of the architects of the development of Osapa, in regards to road construction and drainages. I and Prince Kazeem Eletu, (my mentor and my wonderful colleague). I love him as a brother because he cares about the environment. He has an overseas orientation.
Osapa London has become a new home as a whole. We have workable drainages, the roads are beautiful. Recently, I tarred this road. I spent about 7.5 million naira to do the road. It is part of my contribution to develop the community and as well as develop Lagos State as a whole. I wish that, what I do, others will emulate and participate in developing their various communities, whenever they are. I wish I had the opportunity to participate in the leadership of this country because I want to see this country moving into the tech industry, whereby we can build an industrial park, look at the model of China, Korea, and some of the developed countries.
We need to catch up with them. I am really pissed off about the leadership of this country. On a daily basis, what I hear is about cattle rearing, Boko Haram.
A new government just came on board and there has been clamouring to look into the property sector if you are to advise the government, what would that advise that will benefit the real estate sector?
First, they need to create a Minister from the Federal Government, which is the Minister of Industrial Revolution. This is the area I want to play a part in to assemble the players in the game, that is going to come in and get into the tech industry. They need to build factories that are going to produce the basic goods and services that we need to sustain this country. We are sick and tired of relying on the importation of goods. Every item I use to erect a building with the exemption of sand and granite is imported.
This is totally unacceptable. We need to make a drastic change to catch up with the rest of the world.