Inventive Bria Okonkwo Revamps Luxury Travels With AvanteFly

Living out her childhood passion, Bria Okonkwo established AvanteFly to give its clients a superlative travel experience and the true value for their money. Revealing how she picked interest in luxury lifestyle, the shrewd CEO said: “I developed passion for luxury, while growing up which was evident in my childhood. I was raised by a mother who had style and understood the meaning of luxury, and a father who was always ready to give his children the best; so, everything we did had to be in luxury. This background, I would say spurred the vision I have transferred into private aviation. I realised there are gaps in the luxury space in the industry in Nigeria and the African continent as a whole, and I am working to fill the void.”

Poised to give its best to clients, AvanteFly does not comprise its key objectives — safety, reliability and privacy — which have enabled the company to maintain its high net worth clients.

According to the captain of AvanteFly: “We ensure that assets in our inventory are well vetted and up to date in compliance with safety regulations. Also, our network of partners are carefully chosen, meticulously guided, and held accountable to safety and premium standards.”

To chart a path for others to trail, the company came up with some strategic forums to boost and promote aviation business within Nigeria and Africa as a whole. The forum has not only impacted on AvanteFly, but has served as a positive tool to engage key aviation stakeholders locally and across the globe.

 Also, the AvanteFly mobile App, the first of its kind in the aviation sector in Africa, enables clients to access private aviation organistions and to make choices from an extensive number of private jets, helicopters, luxury car charters, hotels and executive spaces bookings right from their phones. This App has made it much more convenient and transparent for clients to enjoy luxury travel services, aside eliminating avoidable delays in making choices. It has as well redefined the way clients access and experience private aviation in the country.

“AvanteFly App has equally removed the lack of visibility in booking fees usually experienced in the private aviation industry and erase doubts in the system, as it complies to all ethical standards and boost integrity. It has made the gamut of operation to be easy and transparent. We have built-in effective systems and controls that ensure our objectives are met. The convenience and access to our services in real time is the unique value we offer,” Okonkwo said.

For its unsurpassed services, the Luxury Network International in 2022 honoured AvanteFly with the Luxury Private Jet of the Year Award. Following this was the Power Woman Award given by Enterprising Women Awards Africa; and later, the Aviation CEO of the Year from Lagos CEO Awards.

Appreciating the diverse organisations for recognising its contributions in the private aviation sector, the CEO disclosed that AvanteFly has come this far because the management team encourages curiosity and creativity, saying this has constantly made the company to create new channels, solutions and ideas for the betterment of the sector, the Nigerian economy and also, to create a premium brand for itself.

Commenting on some of the local policies on aviation, Okonkwo observed that there are rooms for improvement, especially as some policies can be revised. She urged government to look into the digitisation of issuance/renewals of permits and licenses, saying this will not only hasten the process, but will also reduce the amount of paper work involved.

 She said: “This will equally make the process much more transparent, apart from reducing revenue leakages. Government should also look into creating policies that would encourage the maintenance and support of private jets locally, as well as create enabling environment for the import and export of spare parts to ensure continued operations and in turn generate revenue.”

Disclosing her goal for the next five years, the AvanteFly boss said: “I look forward to seeing the company become the leading provider of private jet charters and luxury concierge services in Africa; hope to expand our fleet to a minimum of 50 jets across the continent; plans to set up regional and branch offices in all countries in Africa; and wants to collaborate with more international luxury brands.”

Taking a swoop at the aviation sector, the AvanteFly arrowhead regrets that the sector is challenged, stressing that some of the officials lack soft skills knowledge, as well as the right knowledge and experience for the positions they occupy, saying this needs to be corrected. 

“The sector is faced with the challenge of nonprofessionals occupying positions they are not fit for; this is happening because most of the positions are on a ‘whom you know’ basis. There is also the dearth of consistent training of the workforce and the brain drain issue, which has made some organisations to slow down on investing on human capital, particularly if retention is going to be a problem. All these have an adverse effect on the development and growth of the sector and the country at large.”

On how to correct this shortcomings, Okonkwo disclosed it is to come up with initiatives that will positively impact on the performance of the workforce such as higher remuneration, social benefits, and trainings.

According to her, working on these areas would not only spur workers to be properly trained, but will also impact on the economy and stimulate entrepreneurial creativity.

Tony Edeh, Group CEO, Norrenberg Financial Group

Nigeria is one of the few countries you are guaranteed return on investment

-Tony Edeh, Group Managing Director/CEO, Norrenberger Financial Group

Tony Edeh is an internationally renowned Financial and Asset Management expert with a degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Ilorin. He has proven his competence and professionalism at both the national and international levels. His dexterity was also on display while serving the United Nations in Denmark, where he was in charge of accounting for UNICEF’s global supply chain.

Prior to his current position as Group Managing Director of Norrenberger Financial Group, the seasoned financial analyst and venture capitalist was the Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of New Frontiers Developments, a venture capital investment firm focused on SMEs. He also worked at Vertices in Switzerland where he was in charge of M&A Accounting.

His demonstrated expertise and experience include investment and portfolio management, strategy, financial risk management, modeling, financial reporting, and operations management. Tony originated and executed several landmark investments and private equity deals that have received international recognition in his role as CIO of New Frontiers Developments. He has worked on a variety of greenfield and brownfield transactions in the oil and gas, power, agriculture, real estate, hospitality, healthcare, technology, financial services, and impact investing industries. His innovativeness and sterling leadership qualities have caused him to work tactfully and relentlessly, greatly contributing to the successful transformation of an ailing mortgage bank into one of the major lenders in Nigeria’s financial services sector.

He began his career at KPMG Professional Services, where he worked for nearly a decade. He led various risk management projects at KPMG, including Basel II, Stress Testing Financial Institutions, Asset and Liability Management, and Credit and Market Risk Management. He was also certified by KPMG International to provide clients with credit risk and economic capital modeling advice.

He earned his MBA from INSEAD Business School (France and Singapore), where he was an INSEAD-Goldman Sachs Scholar. He was the Emergent Young African Entrepreneurs leader at INSEAD. He is also a Wharton Program on International Housing Finance alumnus. He is a Chartered Accountant Fellow (FCA).

He has also completed a number of professional training courses all over the world. He was one of six Nigerians nominated for the Desmond Tutu Fellowship program in 2014. He currently serves on the boards of several financial services companies.

In his assessment of the financial sector, he stated that Norrenberger has the depth and potential to capitalize on market opportunities. He also emphasized that the recent cashless policy exposed the financial sector’s weakness. “In terms of workforce depth, we have it. When you consider the impact of the recent naira redesign policy, there are many opportunities to take advantage of in terms of population. If you go to advanced countries like the United Kingdom and other Western countries and tell them you want to go cashless, it means nothing to them because they have already gone cashless. You can keep like 100 euros for two weeks without spending it, but this is not the case in Nigeria”, he said.

“Personally, I used to think that most of my transactions are done electronically, but I never knew that cash is that important until the emergence of this policy. I’ve realized that the majority of my transactions are now monetary in nature. It has demonstrated the breadth of available opportunities. It also revealed that the financial sector is not strong enough to handle online transactions. Most banks failed to provide online services during the first week of the cashless policy’s implementation. Some even suspended operations for about three days. It tells us that some of the infrastructure that powers online transactions are not robust, indicating a lack of capacity and depth to handle online transactions, and these are institutions that we believe are the largest and performing well in Nigeria. It implies that the infrastructures required to power the cashless environment are unavailable. If they are not configured to handle extensive online transactions, it means that the institution lacks the infrastructure required to support online banking.”

He continued, “Prior to the Policy, the CBN stated that approximately 70% of cash in circulation is not within the system, which is correct, as such, aiming to put money into circulation, which has opened up new opportunities for financial institutions and value creators along the value chain. There are numerous opportunities in that field. But if I narrow it down to our core competency, which is Asset Management, we have a lot to gain from the system. The system has grown significantly over the last five years. The system has grown from 1.8 trillion to 2.4 trillion assets under management, and we anticipate a 10% to 15% increase in assets under management this year. Despite the fact that the economy is experiencing instability due to inflation, politics, and insecurity, Nigeria continues to be one of the most profitable destinations for capital around the world. Nigeria is one of the few countries in the world that guarantees a return on investment. We’ve seen it in the telecom and other industries. As we continue to grow as a country, the opportunity will compound, and the returns earned by entrepreneurs in the country will be sufficient to compensate them for capital deployed.”

On the need for the use of ICT in business and how it impacted the operations of the company, he stressed that it is no longer a competitive advantage, but it is mandatory to employ ICT in business. Any innovation that is not ICT driven will definitely suffer set-backs.”

“We used to say that ICT was for competitive advantage, but if your business has not gone ICT-wise, it has not started. I remember going to the bank to queue and collect tally numbers, then sitting down if you were lucky enough to get a seat, until things changed. Technology is the way to go; it is the future. Any institution that wishes to stand the test of time must be able to innovate around technology in all of its services. When you have innovative products and services, those products and services must interact with and be driven by technology. Technology is very important to us at Norrenberger, and we do not take it lightly. All of our one-of-a-kind services and products are powered by technology. We continue to be one of the country’s most technologically advanced asset management firms. Our app, online services, and other digital platforms have propelled us to the top of our industry”, he added.

“There is no service you are rendering that others are not rendering,” the experienced and award-winning CEO said, explaining the unique products and services that Norrenberger is offering that have kept the organization afloat over the years. “There is nothing you are doing that others are not. The distinction is in how it is rendered. Today, it is all about efficient customer service in Nigeria, because all of the banks in Nigeria provide the same services. The same is true for asset managers; the difference is in how the services are delivered. We listen to our customers and work with them to meet their needs. We provide our customers with touch points. We have one-on-one relationships with our customers, whom we refer to as partners. We were able to innovate ourselves around our products and services, and we developed products and services that distinguished us in the market, earning us awards and recognitions”, he explained.

Asked about the CSR that has contributed to growth of the organization, he said, “We have three levels of Corporate Social Responsibility, first, the employment of disadvantaged Nigerians has redefined disability, we used to limit disability to physical disability but there is also economic disability and multilevel poverty disability. Our recruitment process is free of bias; we provide equal opportunity to everyone, regardless of background or place of origin. We provide financial literacy seminars and workshops in schools. We teach them financial mathematics for free, in simple terms that will undoubtedly instill in them an investment mindset.

“For example, we have competitions for secondary and primary schools that test students’ understanding of financial mathematics. How to understand investment interest. Health is the grandmaster of it all; health is wealth, and you may not realize how wealthy you are until you are sick. We understand that health is wealth, so we invested heavily in developing healthy programs, which gave rise to our flagship program, Norrenberger Abuja FitLife, a national program in which we look at sport, walk for life, and the Abuja marathon. At the end of the day people get prices for winning any of the contest. The next edition will include children aged 5 to 10 years old, as well as people over the age of 60. That is our contribution to societal impact, and we intend to do more.”

Commenting on future projections for the company, he informed that work is in top gear to open branches in Port Harcourt, Ilorin, Enugu, Kaduna, and Kano. According to him, those branches will take off before the end of this year. “Finally, we are fine-tuning the takeoff process in London. We should be able to take off by December this year. We are expanding both nationally and internationally. For the aspiring entrepreneur, I will advise them to be patient and not give up. They must work hard and persevere. There are opportunities as well as challenges. They must remain focused and consistent in how they conduct their businesses”, he advised.

Engr. Tola Gbuyero, Managing Director/CEO, Gosslink Engineering Limited

GOSSLINK ENGINEERING: Setting Pace In Electrical, Mechanical, Facilities Services

Incorporated on June 6, 2008, Gosslink Engineering Limited has grown from its little beginning to be among the top-notch engineering services companies in the country.

With Engr. Tola Gbuyiro sitting at the helm of affairs, as Managing Partner/CEO, the company is daily showcasing its potentials and garnering professional and industry ratings from different engineering bodies. This has not only boosted business for the company, but has also contributed to including it among the leading players in the electrical, mechanical, power and facilities engineering sub-sector of the economy.

Having extensive experience and deep engineering knowledge that spans over a decade, the company’s staff are keenly aware of the various engineering standards in different aspects of construction and installation and has displayed this in its contracts for its clients, including the Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc., Ikeja Electric Plc., MainOne Cable, Hitech Construction Company Ltd., China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), Lagos State Ministry of Works and Infrastructures, Lekki Concession Company Ltd (LCC), Eko Hotels and Suites Ltd, Metropolitan Construction Company Ltd, among many others across the country.

At Gosslink Engineering Limited, customers’ satisfaction comes first. In fact, its dedicated staff work to meet and exceed this by providing the highest quality services, coupled with continual communication with clients. 

According to Gbayiro, the company started its journey with a commitment to building trust between its clients and team more than anything else and this has enabled the company to build great relationships for more than 10 years.

He noted that the company’s goal is not just to be the largest firm in the industry, but to be the best at what it does, setting the right pace for others to follow.

“We offer diagnostic engineering services for distribution companies, factories and other corporate institutions. Every project is given an exclusive element of planning and cost effective construction, documentation and specifications, using our knowledge, clear understanding of code and regulations required by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), the Nigerian Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (NIEEE) and Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

“We provide a complete turnkey and electrical system services solution for any company’s power distribution need from layout and design of the electrical services, installation, connection/ wiring, to final hook up and testing of equipment. We are fully licensed by COREN and certified by the Nigerian Electricity Management Services (NEMSA) to undertake electrical installation works in the country,” he said.

Some of Gosslink Engineering Limited major projects include the installation of the 33kv underground cable that enabled the transfer of Maroko 33kv feeder from 60mva 132/33kv transformer at Ajah transmission to 100mva 132/33kv transformer for evacuation of power for EKEDC; the rehabilitation of 33kv Ikate Express Overhead lines and its connection to 100mva transformer at Ajah transmission station for EKEDC; the construction of 33kv, 2-bus system and installation of 6nos of 33kv motorised gang isolators with interlock at Adelabu injection station switchyard for EKEDC; the provision and installation of 1 set of 7-board panel to replace obsolete/problematic panel at satellite injection station; the provision of all the necessary materials required and relocation of 33kv feeders from existing 3x60mva 132/33kv transmission substation,33kv switchyard for EKEDC Akangba transmission station; the construction of 33kv gantry support structures for Ibeju and Elemoro 33kv line for the evacuation of load from new 100mva 132/33kv transformer at Ajah transmission station for EKEDC; relocation of electricity poles, cables, transformers within Lagos-Ibadan standard right of way (rail line) for CCECC; relocation of Ikeja electric facility for construction/road expansion at Ojodu Berger by CCECC trace widening of 11 kv and 33kv feeders within Ikeja Electric Network and many other high profile contracts for different state governments, corporate organisations, not-for-charity outfits and individuals across the country.   

With its specialist knowledge to handle and managing systems that operate on high, medium and low voltages, the company is neck deep into providing on-the-site facility operation services that will exceed client’s expectations at the best possible value. It has also continued to highlight the belief that quality and reliability still count in business in Nigeria.

Gosslink Engineering Limited’s pursuit of integrity, quality and reliability in carrying out its business has earned it different accolades and professional awards, including the Engineering Heroes Award 2020 given by the Construction and Engineering Digest on World Engineering Day in 2020; International Standards Leadership Award for the Best Engineering Company of the Year 2019; African’s Most Reliable Electrical Engineering Services Company of the Year 2018; International Standards Award for the Best Company in Engineering Services for 2018; and Professional Leadership Award of  Excellence under  Engineering Category 2017, amongst others.

Dr. Tunde Ayeye, Founder & CEO, International Facilities Services (IFS) Group

TUNDE AYEYE: Cerebral Entrepreneur, Exceptional Business Strategist, Promoting National Emergency In Nigeria’s Maintenance Industry

Dr Tunde Ayeye is the Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of IFS Group (International Facilities Services), comprising International Facilities Services Limited currently operating in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and South Africa. Other companies within the group include IFS Healthcare Limited, Draiklinas Limited, Drycleaners Pty Ltd, Pristine Projects Limited, Klinserv Solutions Limited and Klinserv Manufacturing FZE. He is also the Founder and founding Chairman of Treasures Microfinance Bank Limited until its acquisition by Emerging Africa Group, where he continues to serve on the Board. He currently sits on the Board of multiple other organisations, both local and international such as Cumbamed Associates Limited, Medihealth International South Africa, Carmel Court Limited, Manchester-UK, Flying Doctors Nigeria, TAMDEM UK Ltd., amongst others.

Dr. Ayeye graduated top from the University of Ilorin Medical School and won the Graduating Prize in Community Health. In 1998, he earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Lagos, where he was the Best Graduating Student in General Management. Similarly, he was the Best Graduating Student in the class of 1999 Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH) at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos.

In 2004, he attended the Owner Manager Program (OMP 4) at the Lagos Business School, and acquired a Certificate in Leadership Competencies at one of Europe’s leading business schools IESE Barcelona Spain. Similarly, he attended the prestigious Harvard Business School, Boston, USA; he was a student in the highest Executive Programme the Owner/President Management Programme and a member of (OPM 41) Cohort.

Annually, he is the host of the National Policy Dialogue on Maintenance of Public Infrastructure usually held in the month of May to observe the World Facility Management Day where he engages the private sector and policy makers on maintenance of public infrastructure with special emphasis on health, education and public utilities. This National Policy Dialogue has featured leading functionaries including the Vice President, Governors, Ministers and leading business leaders at home and abroad to contribute to the development of strong facility management and Maintenance Industry in Nigeria. He is also the current National President of the Cleaning Practitioners Association of Nigeria.

Speaking on the passion that brought his career to life, Ayeye said “Brain Drain (Japa) is not a new phenomenal as it was expected that the average graduate from medical school at the time I left school would naturally emigrate to UK, US or SA. However, the desire to create a lasting impact on people and society where God has planted and motivated me to consider a different career trajectory. I remember visiting an imposing and intimidating multi-level commercial building in Ikeja during my final year in Medical School. I was totally shocked at the poor state of hygiene and generally tardiness of the maintenance of the building which was totally at variance with aesthetic appeal and attractiveness of the building exterior. That set me thinking that clearly, there must be value in providing professional building support services to such mega facilities and similar institutions, 

Coupled with that was the great foundation laid by my parents, who started a commercial laundry business – Draiklinas Ltd – which is now in its forty-third year and has grown into one the leading integrated industrial cleaning and hygiene companies in the soft services segment of the FM Industry. 

The desire to support sustainable and profitable enterprise performance through the whole life management of physical assets and productive workplace for businesses and institutions coupled with a burning desire to raise, inspire and nurture a local idea to global relevance birthed International Facilities Services Limited 14 years ago. And we are poised to attain our vision of becoming the leading African FM company by our twentieth year of operation!”

Concerning the level of professionalism and astuteness involved in handling IFS Group’s business operations, the brilliant entrepreneur and business strategist noted thatAt IFS we have an unending commitment to excellence. We always go the extra mile to deliver exceptional services in an excellent manner that will always exceed the expectations of our numerous clients. We ensure the deployment of experienced and highly-skilled talents, world class best in class technology and processes that always stand us out in delivering exceptional value. We call it the X revolution!”

He added that “Although the economic climate can sometimes be harsh, however our paradigm is always   seeking opportunities in every problem making us very agile and responsive creating new products and services and constantly re-inventing ourselves and profitably serving our clients.  Within its short existence, IFS Group has employed a cumulative number of staff in excess of 10,000 and our dream is to profitably engage 10,000 full time employees by our twentieth year anniversary. This is our modest contribution to economic growth and we believe that IFS and similar companies should be incentivized to emerge in this manner.”

In his view, one of the impediments to the nation’s economic development the biggest challenge which is POOR MAINTENANCE must be addressed. According to him, “Experience over the years has shown that numerous physical national assets perform sub optimally and in some cases are either abandoned or the use is discontinued due to varying states of disrepair or malfunction. Thus, across the length and breadth of the country lies numerous physical evidence of the dissipation of our commonwealth and the gradual depreciation of our common humanity in the numerous dysfunctional school buildings, hospitals and health centers, bridges, roads etc.; assets that are no longer in use for its intended purpose depriving the nation of the desired contribution of these assets to national wellbeing and economic development.

To Ayeye, “It is time to declare a National Maintenance Emergency. It is evident that a holistic national infrastructure maintenance policy and strategy is needed aimed at preserving our investment in assets and infrastructure by promoting sound maintenance of infrastructure and facilities across the whole of the public sector.  To achieve this, a comprehensive piece of legislation for the Maintenance of Movable and Immovable government owned assets is required to provide an institutional framework for an enduring intervention in the reversal of the wastage of our national assets and infrastructure. Call it “National Asset Management Act (NAMA)” that will strengthen the maintenance industry, strengthen the regulatory framework for budgeting and planning asset and infrastructure maintenance, ensure adequate health and safety standards, and assure sustainable funding for assets and infrastructure through its life cycle.”

Anthony Ajulo, Managing Partner, Costachem Nigeria Limited

AJULO ANTHONY: Experienced, Business Strategist, Business Incubator With An innovative Edge

Ajulo Anthony is an entrepreneur, businessman and industrialist. He is the co-founder of Colton Group – a fast growing conglomerate with interests in the manufacturing sector, construction, Industrial chemicals, Specialty Building material sector, FMCG manufacturing and the ICT sector 

Anthony is an experienced Business Strategist and business incubator with a demonstrated history of working in the Real Estate, Manufacturing sector and building materials industry. Skilled in Budgeting, Business Planning, Strategy, Coaching, and Marketing, he holds a postgraduate degree (MBA) in Marketing, and is also a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of England (ACCA).

His company, Costarchem, specializes in the manufacturing and supply of eco-friendly construction chemicals, designed to enhance the properties of concrete, improve the durability of the construction projects, and reduce the environmental impact of the building and construction industry. Costarchem’s product range includes high-performance concrete admixtures that help to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete by reducing the amount of cement needed in the mixture. This not only reduces the cost but also reduces the CO2 emissions associated with cement production. 

The company products are also designed to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, which is an essential aspect of sustainability, such as our insulation products, which are designed to keep the buildings cool in the summer and warm in the winter, thereby reducing the energy consumption of buildings. It also offers waterproofing solutions that are free of harmful chemicals and are safe for the environment, its joint sealants and surface treatments are also eco-friendly, and they do not harm the environment or human health. 

While speaking about his career journey and passion for excellence, Anthony noted that “I have always had a knack for problem solving and a general desire to improve situations and people. I had been in the paid sector for a couple of years but this innate desire to achieve my full potential and calling, simply by doing what I love to do is what fueled my desire of being able to help from a vantage place of position. 

Being an entrepreneur means I can provide solutions, render services and solve problems, while making the work place a better one. It means I can be a mentor to aspiring young people, teaching them how to rise from average to great. Faster way to achieve something in life is to be able to solve problems and entrepreneurship provides that. With my role, my goal is to leave a mark on the sands of time thereby becoming a positive reference point to generations born and yet unborn.

At Costarchem, one key factor that differentiates us from others is we operate by a set of values and culture. One of our values is INTEGRITY; This we imbibe in ourselves as staff and our dealings with our clients. We also have a firm value of the culture of CARE where our mindset lies in the fact that every of our employee cares for one another. This we exhibit through our various partnerships and sponsorships. It is also what guides our Corporate Social Responsibilities Another culture which aids our astuteness in our business operations is COURAGE. Our courage for innovation entails that we as a business are not afraid of taking up huge projects, or dreaming big. Having the courage to innovate has helped us attain a lot of firsts.

For instance, we are the first indigenous Nigerian-American operated construction chemical company with presence in the United States, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana and whole of west Africa.

We have also had the courage to innovation and growth. We used to import our products at the initial stage but now, we manufacture and ship to other African countries which has translated to more revenue for the government and community at large.

In terms of Costachem’s innovation that has impacted the industry in general, the experienced Business Strategist said “We recognize the power of innovation and research. We were the first construction chemical industry to introduce the Crytalline waterproofing membrane into Nigeria. We are also one of the first to introduce the PCE concrete admixture and today, we stand tall on the pride of being one of the largest suppliers of PCE in whole of Africa.”

In his view, “government needs to take urgent steps to address obvious challenges in the industry in order to fast-track economic development. Challenges at large, affects the general economy and different sectors. There are, however few things the government can do to make business easier, especially for manufacturers.

Firstly will be restructuring of the Nigerian Ports; Years back, it used to be easier to import raw materials and finished goods which has not been the case of recent. 

It is paramount to ensure that inflation is not created in a bit to generate revenue, thereby making goods out of reach for consumers. It is expedient that the government looks into charges at the sea port and levies imposed by customs and terminal duty charges. All we require is that they give these sectors a human face. If these are implemented, I guarantee that there will be a visible reduction of costs more than 30%-40%, especially if this is done for importation of not just good but raw materials.

A deliberate focus on raw materials import charges reduction will ensure that local manufacturers can produce more affordable products which can conveniently compete with imported foreign goods. This is very critical if we want growth in our economy.

Over the years, Costachem and his CEO, Anthony Ajulo have received several awards and recognitions as testimonials of his business acumen and sterling leadership qualities, viz: Most Consistent Waterproofing Solutions Company by Business Volume Network/TVC; Innovation Award Of Excellence In Concrete Structures Protection, Floor Decorative Coatings, Waterproofing Solutions, Insulation by Quality Product Service Award body; Most Reliable Quality Concrete waterproofing, Construction Solutions company by National Quality awards; Best Waterproofing and Construction Chemical Company Award by CED (Construction Engineering Digest Organization), amongst others.

Dr. Amos Gbadewole, Founder & CEO, Crown Luxury Property Ltd

GBADEWOLE AMOS KAYODE: Africa’s Digital Realty Maestro, Creator of 39 Smart Estates, 7,400 Housing Units

He is young, energetic, daring, focused, and endowed with the milk of human kindness, a rising star who is already becoming a household name in the Nigeria’s Housing Industry. Dr Gbadewole Amos Kayode, Treasurer of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN) FCT, Abuja, is an economist with B.Sc Economics from the University of Ilorin, and an MBA (Finance) from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Ogbomoso, Oyo State, A Chartered Banker and Fellow of Institute of Public Management and Politics, Accra Ghana, gathered his business and entrepreneurial skills at a tender age while managing business accounts and business development for his mother. 

During his NYSC service year at Coscharis Company, Gbadewole developed the habit of saving N2,000 naira out of his meagre weekly allowance. He had a definite sense of direction and that exact idea of what he wanted to do in life. Therefore, he gave up all momentary pleasures to save his money in order to achieve his goals. However, he never lost focus of what he wanted to do.  Gbadewole’s Real Estate business with the brand name Crown Allied Global Realty & Homes, has thirty-nine estates, namely: Crown Luxury Estate, Airport Road, Abuja, Crown Oakland City, Airport Road, Abuja, Crown Golden City, Airport Road, Abuja, Crown Hiltop City, Apo, Crown Vista City, Airport Road, Abuja, Crown Mega City, Abuja. Crown Elevation City Abuja. Hill Crest Estate, Guzape, Asokoro Extension and the Crown Smart City Phase 1, 2 and 3 at Karsana, Abuja. 

His real estate brand extends to Lagos where he has his largest estate project, Crown Sunrise City, Ikorodu, sitting on 400 acres of land, as well as the Crown Legacy City, Epe, opposite the newly-approved Lekki International Airport, amongst others.

The company also has 600 units ongoing Sabo Untra-Modern Shopping Center in Ibadan and other projects in Abeere, Osogbo, Mowe, Ofada in Ogun State. Within a short time, Gbadewole’s business territory has expanded to Accra Ghana, Kigali, Rwanda, amongst others. He is a fulfilled young man under 40, married to Gbadewole Olubunmi Mary who is the Executive Director, Crown Allied Global Realty & Homes. 

According to him, “the passion that brought my career to life is the joy of seeing people become landlords. I grew up in a very small apartment and also had a challenge in accommodation during my NYSC days in the FCT. These experiences always make me passionate about seeing people become landlords, especially young people.

Crown Luxury Properties is a real estate firm with specialization in construction of smart homes  at affordable rate. We work with professionals from project designs to architectural works, structural engineers, electrical engineers, civil engineers and professional builders. We also work with Information Technology guys to infuse soft skills into our walls, bricks and decking. We engage these IT experts to make our buildings smart. With this, our clients can communicate with their properties on their phones or iPADs from anywhere in the world.

With regards to our operations, we are adapting our payment options to meet the cashless economy demands. Our payments are automated. We also use transfers, etc. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the next phase of operations in the global economy. We are seriously walking towards AI to ease our operations as a company at Crown Luxury Properties.

In terms of innovations, generally speaking, our industry umbrella body, Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), is doing everything possible to liaise with continental bodies such has Shelter Afrique and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to ease access to mortgage facility at single digit. This in turn will reduce the housing deficit in Nigeria and Africa as a continent at large.

Meanwhile, government needs to create more opportunities to enhance wealth creation in the real estate sector. These include an enabling environment that can attract Foreign Direct Investment into the real estate sector; increase economic and financial bouyancy of the sector, which in turn generate corporate and personal taxes to government and reduce the housing deficit in the country.

Furthermore, government interventions will reduce rural-urban migration that puts much pressure on the urban infrastructures by providing social amenities in the suburban areas including good roads, electricity, potable water, drainage, etc. This will lead to accelerated developments and increased wealth creation to developers, residents and government through internally-generated revenues.

Also, provision of access to lands at affordable prices to real estate developers, cooperatives and government parastatals will reduce cost of unit per housing and in turn bridge the housing deficit gap in our nation. The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria should be further empowered to increase the number of people who can access mortgage loans. Public servants and people from organised private sector and the non formal sectors should have access to affordable loans to acquire houses through FMBN.

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