Dr. BAMIDELE ONALAJA, GMD RevolutionPlus Property Company
One of the issues facing many real estate companies is the issue of allocation of land to customers who have paid. What are the issues?
City People recently got Dr. Bamidele Onalaja the GMD RevolutionPlus Property company to share his experience with us. Sunday 21st, May 2023, was the special day when this popular real estate guru, who is the Chairman of the Real Estate Developers of Nigeria, (REDAN) Lagos Chapter and the Group Managing Director of RevolutionPlus Property Company, celebrated his birthday.
This property tycoon was in a joyous mood a few days back when City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE & Head of Real Estate Desk ISAAC ABIMBADE, went to interview him at his Ikeja head office, where he told us a lot about the industry. He also told us some of the challenges of real estate as the Chairman of Lagos REDAN.
You will be celebrating your birthday in a few days time. What has been your experience in the last 49 years?
Yes. I will be 49. Next year will be 50 my Golden jubilee. I have had so many challenges, so many victories. I started my business when I was 40. I made up my mind that at 40 years I don’t want to work for anyone again. It’s something I was determined to do. I was a banker for 13 years, so when it was time to leave the banking sector opportunity presented itself because I was ready. There might be an opportunity but you are not ready. When the opportunity meets preparation, it will result in success.
That’s what I tell people that if you are working for someone now, don’t worry. Your time will come. Just make sure as you are working, you learning, and connecting on the job. It’s always good to be nice while you are still working for someone.
What I learned in the last 40 years before I set up my company is what I use to set up RevolutionPlus Property. Immediately I resigned when I was forty years I set up Revolutionplus and the company is now 9 years. And the company will be 10 years next year and it will be a massive celebration. And I will be 50 by then.
I have set target before next year.i have set target before I will be 50. I set target for everything I do. I have spoken to God. I pray alongside my wife because she is my prayer partner. She’s an amazing wife. It’s very important to have a very supportive wife. My wife is my push. She pushes me everywhere I go.
We started real estate business from Mowe and that what gave birth to RevolutionPlus Property today. And because we are prudent and we work together as a team, that’s why God has been so kind to us. We are one of the leaders if not the leader in the industry. We give God all the glory and to my Pastor Chris Oyakhilome for everything he’s done. And I think God loves me specially. And I thank God for His protection over my wife, my children and everybody around me.
For some time now a lot of people have been complaining about the problem they have been having with allocation. What is the cause of delay in allocation. What have you found out as the Chairman of Lagos REDAN?
I tell people that if I have the opportunity to do business again, I may not do real estate! because the challenges are crazy because the clients will not understand. Why should I pay you for two years and I will not get my land.
Let me tell you, 70-80 of delay allocation is not developers’ fault. I will use this company as an example. We bought many land and you know we deal with most of the informal sector; affordable house. And that’s the most dangerous sector to deal with because any little thing they will tell you it’s their money that have been contributing for esusu over the years. They won’t understand when you tell them some of the challenges developers face. Some of the problems are fundamental.
No1 is Omoonile, last week, we just re-bought one of our properties again. Property that when we bought has a CofO! We were on the land and somebody just appeared from nowhere and he invited EFCC and they sealed off the whole property of about 20 firms, not only Revolutionplus Property. So, now started runinng helter skelter. All of us were confused. When we finally found out the person who is behind all this, we had to rebuy.. That’s one of the challenges.
Another one is, when you want to do allocation some Omoonile will come. I remember the property we bought in Abijo. On the day we were doing allocation, Omoonile came with cutlasses and guns. They said the land was wrongly sold. And that land was a government scheme given to somebody we bought from. They cut two hectares from the land. That’s almost 30 plots from the land we were still struggling to allocate, so I have to start appealing to the clients. Thank God we were able to settle it and move them to another location.
The trouble in real estate is fundamental and there is no master in real estate. I have been in the real estate for almost 18 years. From the mortgage bank to Revolutionnplus. If you think you know it all then you must be a big fool because the way the challenges in it will come to you, you will be so shocked.
Some people will tell you why did you go and buy the land that has issues. How do you know a land that has issue? I bought a land a land with CofO and I still got it wrong. I went to Alausa to chat the land, I still discovered it’s the same person that appears on their chat. Somebody will just come and say this portion of land is my own and what do we do.
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