Friday, 10 January 2014

“Omo Oniles” are not Thugs or Area-Boys, they are Owners of the Land – Tomori Williams (MD/ CEO Olaleye Investment Ltd

He’s distinguished and indeed a gentleman he controls one of the fastest growing real estate company, Mr. Tomori Tanimoowo Williams has over the year proven to be a shrewd administrator and a dogged fighter who has proven that impossibility is nothing with the giant leap he has taken Olaleye Investment since it was started more than twelve years back. In this interview he spoke about the real estate industry and the role of government in making houses available for the people, he also address the story that properties in Nigeria is more expensive that in most western world countries as well as the misconception about “Omo Onile”. Excerpts…

Can you tell us briefly about yourself?
My names are Tomori Tanimoowo Williams, I was born and brought up in Lagos, I had my primary and secondary education here in Lagos before I proceed to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, where I studied Fine and Applied Art with specialty in sculpture and I graduated in 1992.

The course you studied in the University has nothing to do with what you are doing presently which is the real estate, how did you come into the business as it did not tally with your course in School?
My journey into the real estate world started in 1999 when my lawyer then Barrister Tony Apovhi who is now a judge call me when he was leaving his chambers in Ebute Metta and he was leaving for Akinola Cole Crescent off Adeniyi Jones Ikeja and he decided to open an estate management arm to the chamber and he thought I will best fit into handling it because he had handled one or two land cases for me, he decided to hire me to head and manage the estate management arm of his company and that was how I became the General Manager of Olotu Properties, so I worked here from 1999 to 2001.

Your company has grown to a very enviable state since you began, how were you able to do it in such a short while to be competing with long established companies in the real estate industry and what inspires you?
Talking of competing, I wouldn’t want to put it that way, let me just say I love doing my thing and I have no cause to want to compete with anybody, but by and large the God Almighty has been so graceful and wonderful to me, He has done a lot about my work, and with dedication, perseverance and hard work we have also been able to forge ahead. So many time there are things we termed as being difficult, which we later get to solve easily with God on our side, the fact that I also make sure I’m always up-to-date with activities in the real estate world also assist a lot to defining my current position in the industry, but I’ll attribute my current status to God Almighty after which follows consistency, persistency and hard work.

How is the current economic situation in the country affecting the real estate?
The real estate is currently going through a metamorphosis, gone are the days when people will want to subscribe for government houses, now people are modernizing both in term of structure and the service delivery. In terms of structure, you see functionality merge with the use of space and competitiveness in the real estate world. The real estate world in Nigeria has gone to a level where you can put them side by side with that of the western world, because now there is provision of mortgage facilities and flexible terms of payment is being encouraged and this will make it easy for those that may find it difficult to own a house to own their own house, so there is a paradigm shift from what it used to be than is now.

Recently, findings revealed that it is more expensive to own a house in Nigeria than in most western world specifically USA. What is your take on this?
Its relative in the sense of what the findings is all about. Sometimes ago I got a call from the representative of the Executive Director of First Group in Dubai, First Group is a property firm in Dubai, they are into construction and hotel management, they build service hotel flats, studio flats, combo flats, two and three bedroom flats apartments which they help in managing as well as selling some after construction. They came up with a proposal for me to buy into their new construction works recently, so I ask them what their plan is because I know the price they offered me some years back when they had offered me a studio flat in their matrix which is now a completed construction in Dubai, so I asked the how much the new one will cost me and they said about two hundred and fifty thousand dollar, believe me that is quite expensive while in Lagos you can get a property with structure on it for N40 to 50 million compare to western world where you get a studio flat for two hundred and fifty thousand dollar. Property business in Nigeria is fast growing but to say it is expensive is not the right description, it is not as expensive as you would see in the western world.

Talking about your construction firm, are you using it to construct only your own properties or you also use it for others?
Let me make this clarification, yes, I am into construction but my area of specialization is consultancy, I consult for individuals, corporate bodies and also royal families who are land owning families in Lagos, if I have construction opportunities I take it, but people comes with various problems maybe on how to repossess, what properties to invest on, or how to develop an area, I also help in taking care of that, the major aspect of my work is consulting and construction.

How is your business being affected by government policies?
As a Lagosian, the only area I see that the construction business is going through trouble is the cost of construction, we need the government to come to our aid in reducing the amount that is being spend to take care of an average construction, let them look into the cost of cement as well as the cost of some material that is used on construction works, I know if government intervene there will be positive effect on Nigerian economy as people will have more to spend on things that will improve the economy if there is provision for housing which plays very vital roles on the economy of the people. So we need government to form policies that will assist in defining key role in the construction industry, action plan that will reduce cost of obtaining building approval, cost and process of getting Governor’s consent as per Certificate of Occupancy. This are the areas that the government will need to actively come in so that they should be seen as playing the supportive role to both corporate and individual that are coming in to the housing need of the people.

It is generally known that the menace of land speculators popularly refer to as “Omo Onile” is another factor facing construction companies, how are they affecting your work?
The term “Omo Onile” is being bastardized, as a Yoruba man when they say somebody is an “Omo Onile”, that person is not an area boy, as a proud Yoruba man an “Omo Onile” is supposed to be land owner, an “Omo Onile” is different from land speculator, a land speculator will buy and wait for some time to sell for profit, a land speculator will invest into real estate and find ways to make money. I have watched people bastardized the term “Omo Onile”, it is like calling an Idejo Chief who are the land owning family in Lagos a land speculator and this are the people that falls mostly into “Omo Onile” category not even somebody that bought several acres of land in 1940 that is now being administer by his great grandchildren can be called “Omo Onile”. An “Omo Onile” is not a land speculator he’s supposed to be the real land owner, if you own the land and you own it legitimately there is no need for you to engage touts or unwholesome act to enjoy the good of your land.

Property construction requires huge amount of money and it is public knowledge that getting loan in banks is something else, how have you been sourcing for funds in your construction works?
I told you earlier that most of the works I do in this industry are on consultation and also help people to get the best for their property. I am not into core construction, if I got a property for development I have real estate firms that I discuss with, I also have companies that are into development of real estate that I can call to give advice to after which I synergize between those companies and the owners of such properties and at the end of the day agreement is reached my payment is made, construction works commences and there will be smiles on both faces. I have not sought for any loan since I got into this business because for now I don’t have big project but in future if the cause to construct a bigger project, if I see the need I can make the push but for now I don’t have such a plan for that, even the work that I’m handling presently at Olaleye New Town development, till date the company I represent as the Managing Director, Olaleye Properties and Investment Limited has personally not sought for loan from the bank except what Lagos Building Investment Company (LBIC) got on behalf of the project from Skye Bank but personally there is no need for that in place I will get companies that will act as syndicate for such loans.

Finally, what be your advice to those who are looking at you as mentor in this industry?

I’ll advise them to work and pray

Monday, 6 January 2014

How DSTV is Ripping off Nigerians with Epileptic Services

+ Reason they will not introduce pay per view in Nigeria as they practices in South Africa

There is a saying that those who sells services will always be making profit but taking into consideration the lack of steady electricity supply in the country companies that sells services now bill Nigerians more than their counterparts all around Africa.

This is however been used by some multinationals to fleece Nigerians of their hard earned money, one of such companies is Multichoice, the owner of Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) the leading satellite pay TV in Nigeria.  

Bulls Eye on, reliably gathered that the pay TV owner has been defrauding their Nigeria subscribers of several millions of Naira on weekly basis based on the epileptic services Nigerians has been getting from the company. Sometimes back, DSTV was accused by the DSTV Mobile users of defrauding them by not activating their mobile devices despite the fact that they had made payment, this was admitted by the satellite TV company who agree to compensate them with a couple of days access.  

Recently, it was gathered that the DSTV Company may have resume to their fraudulent best as it was revealed they make the buck of their money here in Nigeria by indiscriminate deactivation of their subscribers, it was revealed that the company has been intentionally deactivating many people’s account at period they know it will be impossible to reach their customer care representative just because they want to make more money through their recently introduced mobile phone error code clearing facility which they know is not working.  

Investigation revealed that apart from their due date facility all other codes they normally advertised should be sent to Nigerian short-code of 30333, is not working while such codes in other countries are working perfectly well. To make the whole thing worse is the fact that subscribers account may be deactivated more than five time before the actual due date which put the rough estimate of the amount they will be making on helpless Nigerians to several millions every week, while Nigerians are not even getting value for money deducted for using such facilities.  

Another like that is their decision not to employ the system that is being used by pay TV operators in most countries a system the DSTV is also using in South Africa, findings revealed that the company is on pay-per-view in South Africa which means money paid on the card of subscribers in South Africa will only be deducted based on the number of hours or minutes they spent watching the DSTV, while in Nigeria they decided to adopt the monthly payment system which invariably means your money is going either you watched it or not.  

Sources within the regulatory Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), are said to be turning blind eye to the activities of the DSTV as officials of the commission has been enjoying one privilege or the other from the company just to turn blind eye to the way the pay TV has been treating their Nigerian customers with little or no consideration.

Though the company's closest rival in the country since its inception in the Nigerian supported pay TV, the HiTV has since folded-up due to the mismanagement of the company by the owner, but it is to note that DSTV also play its own role in the final closure of the Toyin Subair led HiTV, just because it was the company that is giving it the most challenge for the people's patronage, thereby increasing their opprtunity to rip innocent Nigerian off their hard earned money.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

How Prophet T B Joshua's Prophesy on APC's Leadership Crisis Start Manifesting Days after

Barely five days after his live broadcast on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 where he prophesied about the New Year, has Prophet T.B. Joshua’s prediction about leadership tussle that will rock the All Progressive Congress (APC) started coming to pass with the report in most daily papers today.
He delivered the message on air in a live broadcast on Emmanuel TV where he declared 2014 a year of ‘crossing the bridge’, prophesying it to be a year of destiny where corruption would be corrected in Nigeria as corrupt leaders would go down.

In his words “We are tempted so that we may pray the more. Afflictions are meant for our spiritual benefit. This New Year 2014 is not like any other year in the past. It is a year of crossing bridge. To cross the bridge, you need to grab onto faith.
“This is not going to be easy for the mighty. Many of the mighty will fall. Pray for them. The rich, famous and popular people – many will fall this 2014 because crossing the bridge is not going to be easy; they need God. Many of them believe it is their own making to be great in their own area of expertise. 98% of businesses and companies are owned by these people.

The prophet continued when he said “Many people that are not known will be rise by destiny. There will be a leadership tussle on who will lead and who will be presidential candidate in APC which will affect them as a political party. They should be vigilant. Many are with them in flesh but not with them in spirit.
“Many of the key leaders in political parties will go down in 2014. If many key leaders go down with 2014, what will now happen in 2015?
Pray for 2015 to be fulfilled. The beginner is not the owner but the finisher. What will happen in 2014 will result in the correction of the corruption in Nigeria because many corrupt leaders will go down in 2014.
He also state that “God has promised that 2014 is the year of destiny. Your destiny cannot be changed. This New Year, your destiny cannot be tampered with. I command your dream to come true, your dream to come to fulfillment, in Jesus' name.
It was reported that the former members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who recently decamped to the APC has been engrossed in tussled with some founding members of the party over leadership issue, the crisis which is gradually polarizing the party in Kwara, Kano, Sokoto and Adamawa State and it has been spreading to other states like that and this is bringing fulfilment to the barely one week old prophesy of the prophet who is known for its accuracy from time to time.