•KEVIN OKEOMA UMEH Tells City People
Talk of stardard, durability, luxyury and good architectural designs, Goddosky Global Power Limited, the developer of Santos Gardens in Lekki, Lagos has all these features attached to their housing projects. They are one of the few property development companies who dedicate their time to deliver luxury houses to Lagosians. This real estate company is just 5 years in the sector and it has developed over 150 luxury houses.
The MD of the company is Mr Kevin Okeoma Umeh, while the Chairman is Mr Godwin Eloka, who is also the financier of the company.
The MD, Mr Kevin, spoke to City People’s ISAAC ABIMBADE (08155107955) a few days ago about the contribution of their company to the real estate sector and also told us what stands the company out among its peers.
Can you share with us some of your experiences since you started real estate development in Lagos?
The real estate business is something we started like a joke. When we started, myself and the Chairman of the company, it wasn’t easy at all. It’s not easy to acquire land and build but the company, Goddosky Global Power Limited, the developer of Santos Gardens, has been doing well in the last 5 years. We thank God.
I’m the Managing Director of the company but I have a Chairman who is also the financier of the business. Two of us teamed up to see how we can further develop Lagos in terms of building new estates.
What location did you start from: Was it Lagos Mainland or Island?
We started from the Mainland. We started with the construction of flats. We have about 25 buildings on the Mainland of Lagos.
What did you discover when you relocated to the Island?
The experience is that Mainland doesn’t move fast. I’m talking about the real estate business. What we did on the mainland majorly was to build and rent but since we got to the Island, we build and sell but it takes a lot of money to do that. What we normally do is that we build and develop the road to our estates and we have developed over 150 buildings here on the Island.
What do you think people should be aware of when buying houses, especially in Lagos?
There is no place we build and the other developers will not complain. We have outstanding buildings everywhere we build because that’s what we set out for. Lagos State government always rates us above every other property developers. After their (Lagos State government) assessment and investigations, they gave our properties 85 percent standard, here in Orchid, Lekki.
We have the documents and everything. We are well organized. No one has ever bought from us and complained. Though it may be a little expensive but you don’t have to worry about the collapse of the structure. It always costs us a lot of money to develop because we don’t like to build sub-standard houses where people would be complaining.
What should the public be wary of when buying houses from developers?
When people buy off-plan property, it’s what they see after the building they take. They can’t change it again. We don’t do off-plan because if you want to buy our property you need to see the skeleton. When we started from the foundation, come and take a look at it. Come and see the thickness of the decking. All those things matter during construction. We don’t manage materials. Sometimes people can build a duplex like this for 45 million naira while I build mine with 60. I don’t manage materials. Those who have bought houses from me are not complaining and many of them haven’t even repainted the houses. I use Italian paint for my houses. All my materials are imported.
What should government do to help developers like you?
If the government really wants to help us they have to start with the building approval. The fees for building approval is enormous. You can’t ask the government for money, they won’t even listen to you. They also need to reduce the tax. They are charging us high. If you have noticed, anywhere I build or we have property we always tar the road. They should also help us in the road maintenance and construction.
What is your take on the building collapse and the developers who cut corners?
The major problem is that, you have land that can only accommodate 5 structures but you want to build 6 or 7. No 1, there would be a lack of parking space and when you are building skyscrapers of 8 storey building and the foundation can only carry 7 or less, the house will collapse. Or where you are supposed to put ten pillars, you only put 6, what do you think would happen? Or a project that requires 2000 bags of cement, you reduce it to 1500 bags of cement, tell me what will happen to that project?
Look at some of our projects and take a look at the level of the road. We have raised it high that in the future we won’t experience floods.