•LAGOS Property Developer, Chief MURPHY OSUALA
Chief Murphy Osuala is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Empire Homes, a housing development company in the Lekki area of Lagos.
He studied Criminology and security in school but opted for Construction because of his passion and love for quality housing.
About 17 years ago, he floated his property company, Empire Homes in Japan, and he has since built and constructed many houses in Japan and his activities in the real estate sector of that country has been noticed by the government. In just a few years, he has built his company to an enviable height.
Five years ago, he left Japan to float a new real estate company in Nigeria, and it has developed and constructed several housing estates on the Lekki axis.
Right now, Chief Murphy is one of the biggest property developers in Lekki/Ajah axis. His Empire Homes provides the quality needed in good homes.
A few weeks back, he spoke with City People Senior Reporter, ISAAC ABIMBADE about his 5-year real estate business in the Nigeria industry.
You have done well in terms of standard and quality infused in your housing estates, tell us the secret behind this?
Its all about innovation. My name is Chief Murphy Osuala and I have been in this industry for a long time. I actually resided in Japan.
I came back from Japan 5 years ago and I have always had a very great passion for real estate; I want to contribute my own quota to the development of Lagos State and more especially in this area (Chevron Alternative Route). All those ‘things’ I have seen in Japan is what I want to implement here in Lagos State.
As you can see, His Excellency Governor Ambode has given us a good background for our business to thrive and we appreciate his effort, and whatever he is doing in Lagos. So far, so good, we are doing our best to making sure Lagos is a wonderful place.
How long did you live in Japan before relocating back to Nigeria?
It’s now 17 years. I was doing real estate there.
How deeply were you in real estate back in Japan?
I was very much involved. If I start mentioning cities, you probably might not know them. Our real estate firm was involved in so many housing developments in Japan. We did very well, even the government recognized our effort. So, when I looked at the development of Lagos State and its environment, I deemed it fit to come down to invest and try to develop Lagos.
Tell us your love behind real estate?
My love for real estate is not measurable. I have a very great passion in building, when it comes to structure. Before I was involved in real estate, whenever I passed where construction work was ongoing, I would just stop to appreciate what they were doing. I have love for constructions and that is why I got myself involved.
Who is the man behind Empire Homes?
(Smiles) Like I said, my name is Chief Murphy Osuala. I’m the MD/CEO of Empire Homes, the Ginza Hill as well. I’m a native of Isiekenesi Ideato South Local government, Imo State. I reside here in Lekki, Lagos and I have our office branch in Japan.
Altogether, how long have you been in the business?
I have done Real Estate in Japan for 17 years but I came back to Nigeria to continue another one, 5years ago.
How did real estate start for you, sir?
I have love for constructions and I have love for quality! That is why I found myself in the sector.
What did you study in school?
I read Criminology and Security in the National Open University, here in Lagos.
Tell us more about your family?
I come from the family of High Chief Jacob Osuala and late Mrs. Osuala. We are 6 in number and I’m the last born. Basically, my parents live in the east, precisely Onitsha, that was where I attended my primary and secondary school before I came to Lagos and later to Japan.
Tell us some of the challenges you have faced so far?
The challenges have always been there. The land in this area is waterlogged; we have to spend a lot of money to sand fill the area.
Basically, most of the site we work on are waterlogged; we spend a whole lot of money to reclaim the land and make the land sustainable before you start your building. That is the area we are having challenges. We thank God, we are equal to the task
How can the government come in to help property developers as it is in Japan where the business started for you?
In Japan, there’s a whole lot of assistance from government basically on infrastructure and equipment. Their Government gave us maximum support, while over here in Nigeria, it’s about your personal effort. But so far, so good, His Excellency, governor Ambode is doing his best; he is trying.
If you were to advice the Lagos State government or the authority in charge of housing and land in Lagos, what would it be?
What I would advice is actually what he is doing, by expanding the roads and make Lagos to decongest. Also to create more road networks, especially in Lekki. Lekki axis should not only have one central gate way. Creating more road network will help our businesses, and it would make a lot of investors to come in; when you are trying to access a particular location and you spend the whole day in traffic, that can be discouraging.
What plan do you have for the low-income earners?
We are working on that. But when you think about land, that is very expensive. We have been talking with some people in the government to see how they can allocate us a cheap land to develop some housing estates and that would definitely come cheap.
The issue of land. Is it the only reason why houses are so expensive to buy?
Like I mentioned, one of the causes is high cost of the land. Secondly, the infrastructures; There isn’t enough infrastructure on the ground. When we talk about infrastructure, we are talking of good road network. Where I’m working now, I did the road network myself without any contribution from Lagos State government but I believe that is my own contribution to the development of Lagos State.
The company name, Empire Homes, how did you come about the name?
You know that, Japan is an ancient country and at the same time, I myself I’m from a royal family. So, it got to do with Empire things. And Empire Homes started from Japan and not Nigeria.
At the first glance of your housing estate, one would see quality, serene environment and architectural master class, was it as a result of your experience in Japan?
That is it. I told you earlier that, what I’m doing here is a blue print of what we learned in Japan. We are picking up the way we do things in Japan and trying to duplicate it here because Japan is a very wonderful place when you think of constructions and real estate generally. I’m doing my best to replicate the same standard here in Nigeria. So, whatever we are doing, is what we learned in Japan.