Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday, February 9, 2023, commissioned Phase 1 of the 67 residential units of Westlink Iconic Villa in Ibadan.
Westlink Iconic Estate is a joint venture project between ODU’A Investment Company Limited and Chapter 4 Estates Ltd. The Estate has located opposite Nigerian Breweries, Alakia, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Speaking, Prof Osinbajo said that there is a huge opportunity for investments in the real estate industry in Nigeria, urging stakeholders to leverage the existing gap to create wealth and drive development.\
The Vice President in an address delivered during the commissioning harps on the importance of public-private partnership for development. Prof. Osinbajo said, “I am delighted with what I’m seeing here today. This is no doubt, creating a new and vibrant neighbourhood in this part of the country; Oyo State. I am hopeful that the example Odu’a Investment has set, can serve as a model for many others to follow.
“The Nigerian business environment has been coloured and polarized with lots of challenges spawning fear as a result of insecurity, uncertainty, political, environmental and cultural disparities.
“In spite of these challenges, Nigeria is slowly but surely checking the boxes when it comes to the ease of doing business, resulting in the country being one of the topmost hubs for business.No doubt, the Ease of Doing Business reforms in Nigeria and appeal to Nigerians in the diaspora, encouraged what we are seeing here today through this magnificent Joint Venture project between Odu’a Investment Company Limited and Chapter 4 Estates Management Limited, UK.
“I must commend the effort of the Board and Management of Odu’a Investment Company Limited for initiating this noble project, and ensuring that the first phase of the project is being commissioned today. This clearly demonstrates a blend of private partnerships which brings about greater dividends.
“What we see here today, confirms that there is a huge opportunity in Nigeria for investments in the real estate industry. While government commits to creating an enabling environment, I will advise that we look to the private sector for investments to galvanize growth in the sector.
He urged stakeholders to see the achievement as the beginning of what is possible with the blend of private partnerships.
Earlier in his address, the Group Chairman, of Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, noted that the real estate industry in Nigeria experienced steady growth in the last two decades, saying that with advancement in technology, “The next couple of years will be very exciting for the real estate sector, especially with the emergence of a new generation of potential homeowners and renters who are technologically savvy and prioritise comfort.
“One component of the Nigeria property market’s evolution which I believe can make the market more vibrant is an efficient Mortgage Sector. With the amount of pent-up demand for property in the local market, if the right mortgage terms are available, I believe that originating 100,000 residential mortgages per annum is very possible.
“We at Odu’a Investment Group are bullish about the immediate future of the Nigeria Real Estate Industry. As one of the largest holders of real estate assets in the country, we see first-hand the immense opportunities across the residential, commercial and industrial segments of the sector.
“We plan to develop new and build on existing partnerships to help meet the growing demand for modern and first-class properties and living environments. Over the last four years, the Odu’a Investment Group has leveraged partnerships with developers such as Chapter 4 Estates
Management Limited, Address Homes and many others envision world-class projects such as the Westlink Iconic Villa, Alakia, and the Ikoyi Crescent JV development between Wemabod and The Address Homes Limited. There are a lot of other projects in the pipeline in cities like Lagos, Ibadan, Ado-Ekiti, etc.”
Mr Oyeniyi Raimi, Director of Finance and Resources, Chapter Four Estate Management Limited, said that rather than just wish for the Nigeria of their dream, he and his partners who were based in the United Kingdom, took the bull by the horn by coming to Nigeria to realize the vision of building quality and affordable shelters for the people.
Mr Raimi said that “Government alone cannot do it. Some people have to work in collaboration with government. When we came to Nigeria, the primary product we had in mind was to provide affordable homes. We wanted an average Nigerian with an average salary to be able to buy a home which can be paid for over a period of time. We have the template but you can hardly have affordable homes without the government playing a role”
In his address, Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, explained that the state government welcomed and supported the idea of Westlink Iconic Estate when it was mooted in 2019 due to the fact that shelter is key in any sane society.
The governor, who was represented at the event by his deputy, Barr. Bayo Lawal said there is a compelling need to address the housing deficit, which has greatly impacted on the Human Development Index as a nation.
“Basically, the human being needs food, water, air, and shelter to survive and with that guarantee, he can launch to conquer new grounds and make more discoveries.
“This initiative of the Odu’a Investment Company Limited bodes well with the deliberate design of the government of Oyo State to make life more meaningful to the people of the state, open up our economy and enhance the quality of life,” he said.
In his remarks, the Group Managing Director, OICL, Mr. Adewale Raji, expressed appreciation to the group’s developing partners for their immense support.
Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Governor Babajide Sanwolu of Lagos State, and their Ondo State counterpart, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, (SAN), were represented on the occasion.
Among the important dignitaries that were present on the occasion are the Board of directors of Odu’a, the Board of directors and MDs of Odu’a subsidiaries, Odu’a MANCOM members, Chief Onikepo Akande (CON), a leading industrialist; Oloye Lekan Alabi, Maye Olubadan of Ibadanland, Mr Seye Oyeleye, Director General, DAWN Commission; Chief Oluwaropo Adesanya, Waheed Ekun, and AIG Leye Oyebade Rtd