•MD/CEO, Otunba WOLE OGUNBAYO Tells City People
Wole Ogunbayo is a big real estate player in Nigeria. But he does not make noise about it. He is an easy-going professional who believes that his work and services will speak for him. He is a top-notch Real Estate Consultant, Building Developer & Facility Manager. He is the MD/CEO of AMBA Properties Limited, based in Sagamu, Remo in Ogun State. Though he is based in Sagamu-Remo in Ogun State. He manages a real estate portfolio that covers the entire South-West and beyond. He is all over the country.
Because his style is different from other real estate players, he stands out and his services are in high demand. His range of services covers the whole gamut of real estate. And it is tailor-made to what his clients want and need. The way he operates is simple. Once he takes instructions from his clients as regards the kind of property they desire, he goes ahead to deliver. And he also helps some of his clients to manage their properties anywhere, across Nigeria.
Over the years, he has been tried & tested, so he survives on referrals, from those he has worked for. Because he is on top of his game, his clients don’t have complaints of any kind. He is a hands-on CEO who has a quick response team of artisans that react to any form of complaint from his clients. And he has been doing this for over 25 years. He is so passionate about Real Estate, especially in the area of Facility Management.
A few days ago, City People visited him at his 77, GRA Road, Sabo Office in Sagamu and found a professional who is service driven and is in love with what he does. He spoke about why he relocated to Sagamu from Lagos where he used to stay. We asked him, what services Amba Properties Limited offers? “Like the name shows, we are into properties. We are into Real Estate. We are Real Estate Consultants. We are Building Developers. We are Facility Managers. We are based in Sagamu but we reach out to many towns and cities across Nigeria. We cater to the property needs of Nigerians, across Nigeria.
Amber Properties Limited was established in the year 2002 precisely. It was set up in February that year. Let me also explain that we are into Building Development and Facility Management. Basically, we specialise in those 2 aspects of Real Estate, because it is a very wide business. You cannot do it all alone. If you want to dominate everything, you will kill yourself. We now decided to major in Building Development and Facility Management”.
Why did he choose Sagamu as his base? “We were in Lagos before. My office used to be located at Palm Avenue area in Lagos. We got interested in Sagamu when they were trying to construct the Nestle Nig Plc, Flowergate Factory at the Sagamu Interchange I now thought about it. Okay, there is going to be a development in that axis. But there is no opening for me to come to Sagamu. So, I put it in a cooler, I didn’t do anything about it. And after some months, something came up. There is a company in Gbagada, Lagos that I normally patronise. I always give jobs to them. It is called Electrics Nigeria Limited.
They are into Mechanical & Electrifications of very large projects. They said they have spoken to my boys that they need our help, that they are starting a project in the Sagamu Interchange area, and that they need a number of buildings for the expatriates. I said okay, we can deliver. That is a good one. Let’s start from there. So, I informed my boys, go and arrange for the kind of properties they need in Sagamu for Electrics. They are Italian chaps. We started from that point, with 2 buildings, then we moved to 3 buildings, 4 buildings and their construction is ongoing there. Nestle, interchange area. Before they took the project to 60% stage, another company called OLAM Nig Plc came on stage. Another company took up the construction of OLAM and they said they also need another property. From that point, we now began to do more business. Another company came in. It’s called Honeywell. That was how we got so busy, so much so that in a week of Monday to Saturday, we would be in Sagamu from Monday to Thursday, Friday. What I did was to look for a small space in Sagamu to start with. That was around 2009 and 2010. I started to shuttle between my 2 offices in Sagamu and Palm office, Lagos. I will be in Palm Avenue to service some properties that we are managing already, in Lagos, coupled with the one that is just coming on stream in the Sagamu axis. The construction of Nestle, OLAM, and Honeywell factories was going on simultaneously, and the number of expatriates was increasing. What we now put in place during that period was to relocate to Sagamu. I told my staff that I am going to Sagamu and the staff will also move down to Sagamu. Immediately I told them that, I saw some resistance. They didn’t want to leave Lagos for Sagamu. I now discussed the issue with my partner in Lagos, Thompson Essien. He is an Akwa Ibom guy. He said, “Wole, why would you shut down Lagos and go to Sagamu. You want to go and commit suicide in Ijebu. Is there any thriving property business in Ijebu?” “I said leave me alone. It is me that is going to live in Sagamu. Let me go and commit suicide. Let me go there and explore the opportunities there. That is the reason I took that decision then. I discussed with my wife. I told my wife, Bola, we are going to shut down Lagos. I get more opportunities in Sagamu. She said okay. You are in a better position to assess the situation out there. Let’s give it a trial. Wherever you say I should follow you, I will follow you”. So, we got a property here in Sagamu to live in. I now started relocating to Sagamu. I tried to establish myself in Sagamu. Before 2012, 2013 things started changing. More companies and industries now started coming to the Interchange in Sagamu. Before this happened, along the line, we have been looking at that axis, that this place is going to be another economic hub, for Ogun State, not for Sagamu, not for Remo land, but for the nation at large. This is because that interchange is centrally located for those going to the North, East, or any part of the South-West, you will pass through Sagamu. Before we knew it CDK industry owned by Gen. T.Y. Danjuma, Kellogs, and International Breweries, and so many other companies started springing up on that axis.
And in this axis of Sagamu, now, 80% of those companies, have one or 2 things to do with my real estate company, Amba Properties Ltd. We give them accommodation. We give them escorts. We give them so many other allied services that we do with them. That is what we have been trying to do with those companies in Nigeria.”