Avant-garde, debonair, futuristic, and innovative is among the traits that describe the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Sujimoto Construction Limited, Sijibomi Ogundele. In an interview with Arise TV, the young vibrant real estate magnate opens a window into his life, grit, greatness, vision, and hope for Nigerian youths in national development and transformation. He also talks about his ongoing projects and future investments. Excerpts:
A stone’s throw from the Giuliano, Sujimoto is building what’s been dubbed the tallest residential building in Banana Island: ‘The LeonardoBySujimoto.’ When completed, the 13-story glass-reinforced concrete façade building will house a private IMAX cinema for its residents, a standard crèche, and indoor virtual golf, a swimming pool in the sky, full automation, a private interactive lobby, and other exciting features. As the Agege boy who built a $400 million-dollar company, can we meet you, please?
Thanks for having me and let me use this opportunity to send my condolence to the over one million people who lost their loved ones and over 10,000 in Nigeria: may their gentle souls rest in peace. I grew up in the corners of Agege. I also spent some time in Kaduna. But when you look at my story, I think when I look at myself; I think I won an ovarian lottery. I was brought up by a very strong woman. She is a high school dropout but today she is also one of the top five distributors for Nestle. A woman, who I can describe as a ‘professor’ of entrepreneurship; because anytime I go to her she always has one or two advice to give to me. She always says: ‘Sijibomi, if you cannot hire 10 people, hire five.’ She will tell me not to struggle to build 10 houses for people if I can afford to build only five; that for me is corporate integrity. So, when you have a strong woman like that it sets a precedent and a foundation for you. When people look at Sujimoto today, or when you mention our name Sujimoto, they will not know the kind of woman I feel so lucky to have, Adebukola, as a mother, because she has been the backbone of who we are at Sujimoto, and has been the backbone of who I am as a person.
Most importantly, she taught me two fundamental things that I have used to set the path for Sujimoto. The first is integrity. The second is quality. Integrity in person, integrity in an association, integrity setting yourself and I believe that is what has set us very different from others. We also believe that the foundation of every success from the times of MKO, even way back to the times of King Solomon, the foundation of every success has remained integrity. The integrity of what you say: you say what you mean and mean what you say, especially when you promise to deliver. So, that is what has made us what we are today.
Integrity is considered very scarce in the world today. Is it with the benefit of hindsight that you can say to yourself that ‘I learned all of this integrity and keeping to my word from your mom’? Tell us a little more about her. Who is she?
She’s this great woman from Ijebu-Igbo; an astute businesswoman. The trajectory of her success is an interesting one. She grew from being a lady that was just selling from a tray to becoming a market woman that own warehouses. She’s someone that just has practical knowledge of doing what is right and when it is right and she’s also very particular about being ‘a woman of your word’ and she believes that if you can use the collateral of integrity to build anything, you are doing even the integrity of the relationship, the integrity of the people you associate yourself with. So integrity does not only go with the quality of what you are offering but also knowing that if you don’t want to go far in life then integrity is not essential. But if you want to build success, a name, a business that will stand the test of time and be remembered like the MKOs, the Warren Buffets, then you must work so fast and hard putting forward your currency of integrity.
There’s no better time to hear this coming from a young man like you who has achieved so much. A lot of young people out there believe that money just happens; most just want to make it very fast. Am sure a lot of young people look at you and think I want to be like Sujimoto: he has made so much money. I don’t know how he made it but I want to make it as quickly as he has done. What do you have to say to the Nigerian youth?
I have a philosophy that when you negotiate the cost of greatness, you will pay the full price from mediocrity. The foundation for the cost of greatness is in integrity, in quality; it’s in patience. When we started Sujimoto, people never believed in us. We never had any money; not a rich uncle or powerful aunty. They said: ‘Who is Ogundele? Where did he come from? Who is your father? Who is bankrolling you?’ Our only bankroll was in perseverance and dedication and never giving up and an annoying sense of believing in what you want to become in life. So, it’s in those things. I think one of the biggest problems we have as a generation is that sense of entitlement as if somebody owes you something. Nobody owes you anything, not even the nation. Political policies are just aspirations to get politicians to where they want to be.
It is in the fear of God for a man to promise and deliver. As a citizen, you must not wait for the government to give you what you want or you desire: be your government. MKO defeated the philosophy of death (kashimawo) and became an inspiration for so many generations after him and today he is Christ-like, an icon of our generation. So, did MKO depend on the government then? He sold coal to educate himself. We must draw inspiration from those types of people and discover different opportunities around us. The Lebanese man, the Italian man, and the Indians in Nigeria today are billionaires. They didn’t come to watch the national theatre or the third mainland bridge. They came to identify specific opportunities lying around us. There are opportunities everywhere around us.
How will you describe the typical Nigerian youth? They have been described as lazy, coming from our president; that Nigerian youths are lazy. Do you believe that?
I sincerely believe what the president meant by that concept but I disagree with that. I think that one of the greatest assets we have as a nation is in our people. I have been to different universities, to different schools and spoken with these young guys: there’s a hunger for innovation. What we lack as a nation is not in creativity. What we lack as a nation is more in leadership, not only presidential but community and family leadership, or someone to push them and provide opportunities in different sectors. Nations like America, China, and other places have identified that true asset is in their young people. They have created systems that will support people in education, health care, entrepreneurship, and infrastructure.
How have COVID-19 affected businesses, especially real estate?
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of hardship and difficulties, especially to families and countries. Businesses are not left out. My deepest condolence goes to the families of the people who died in Nigeria and nearly two million who have died globally as a result of the pandemic. I commend Mr. President for his response to the pandemic and also the governors of Ogun and Lagos states for their exemplary work and leadership. As a business, we will continue to strive and thrive through all times, good or bad. But I must tell you that this pandemic has allowed us to turn our calamities into opportunities. We have developed many projects and increased 10 times our client base than ever before.
Why did you choose real estate and how did it start?
Sujimoto started with two staff; now we have about 179 local and international staff. We have over 1,000 artisans annually. You can’t desire success with the mindset of lack. That is the word of MKO, Kashimawo. The journey into entrepreneurship is like that of Joseph in the bible, filled with tempestuous moments but keeping in mind the great principles of Assets vs. liabilities (financial and human truths). I strongly believe that life gave me little chance for success, and I declared war against poverty because there is no nobility in poverty. Growing up in Agege, I always dreamed of living in Ikoyi. I left Nigeria at 16 and returned at 33. I contemplated different options. I had worked with the largest family office in Saudi and Paris as a venture capitalist and real estate financing had been the center of my portfolio. I have lived in the richest space in the world; triangle D’or Paris, Ginza Toyo Japan. So when I decided to move to Nigeria, moving to Ikoyi was logical for me. I had to understudy Caldwell to Cappa D’Alberto to Elalan and several others. When I started Sujimoto, we had no capital. We had no name, and people wondered: ‘Who is this Ogundele?’ Even when we wanted to acquire our first land from –now mentor– Alhaji Saro, I didn’t have the full amount. I only had N100 million.
But, I knew that when you put your leg and start, the finishing will be handled by the almighty. We worked hard, tried all sorts of things to raise money. We were close to bankruptcy. But an off-taker showed up and today its history. I will never forget that morning I had only N17,000 in my account. But I acted as if I had N170 million. On the Lorenzo project, it was one of the best projects that are on hold for now. We invested all we had; invested off-takers’ money so when the economy went down and the project had to be shut down, no investor lost a kobo of their money. We refunded almost N500 million to off-takers. Some of them followed us back to the GuillianoBySujimoto Banana Island project. That project today has doubled in value.
What’s been the biggest challenge doing business in real estate?
As you may well know, real estate is tightly linked to the state of the economy, as it has to do with raising funds, capital, and the attendant high-interest rates. However, we are relying on creativity in the absence of capital. Forex volatility — US dollar was at N160 in 2015 now N460 in 2020. For me, that is an N300 million deficit on every $1 million. Nigerian banks had little appetite for real estate in the beginning. We used to chase banks. But today, banks chase us so we are very optimistic about the future. I have hope for Nigeria. The Dangote and Adenugas got over 98 percent of their money and opportunities from this great nation Nigeria. Nigeria has something for me too.
With the growing rate at which the new generation is calling for new leaders to emerge to lead the country politically, do you have any political ambition?
The politics of business is bigger than the business of politics itself. No businessman can ignore the role of politics in the 21st-century business. Nigeria is often described as a nation of potentials since 1960. Indonesia, Singapore, and South Korea are all converted to great countries through quality leadership both in politics and in business. We must refuse to remain a nation of idealists and thinkers. Nigeria needs leaders who are realists and doers. Visionary leaders put the state before self. Great leaders look beyond the next four years but focus on the development of the next 40 years. I must not forget to commend the current administration for the positive moves they are making on policy and infrastructure. But I must also remind them that a lot remains to be done.
Can you tell us more about Sujimoto’s current projects?
One of our core philosophies is ‘To be second is to be last!’ ‘If people in their 30’s are building 5,000 units annually in Asia, 75 units shouldn’t scare you.’ During the lockdown as a result of COVID-19, the real estate sector was ranked second worst-hit industry in the world, after tourism and hospitality. But for us, the COVID-19 disaster was turned into an opportunity. Projects that can take five years to achieve funding, we did in five months. For instance, aside from the ongoing Lucrezia project on Banana Island, our Leonardo project raised over N2 billion. The project coming up soon are Queen Amina in Abuja, the Sujimoto plazas in Ikoyi, and the hotel in Ikoyi, a total project portfolio of over N62 billion. Recently, the government of Tanzania asked us to bid for the construction project of a new airport. Even if we did not win this project, it is a vote of confidence in the integrity of Sujimoto. But we intend to win!
How do you describe Sujimoto’s future?
We are focusing on ‘Thinking Big.’ We have five major projects going on right now. These are Lucrezia, Leonardo, Adebukola, Ooni, Queen Amina in Abuja, and Sujimoto plazas in Lagos and Abuja. The ‘S’ Hotel is an African-cultured boutique hotel, with the character and services of a Four Seasons Facility. We are covering all six zones, Ghana, Ethiopia, and South Africa. We are also focusing on the government’s partnership. For example, the Ogun State government’s offices, facilities, etc. We aim to remain the one and only; the new leaders in real estate. Don’t be surprised when you see Sujimoto luxury in Shanghai or the ‘S’ in downtown Dubai. We are confident in the collateral of integrity, as the down payment, we made over five years ago. We’re local but our dreams are global.
In light of the ongoing conversation on the youth revolution, what word do you have for young people?
I want our young people to know that ‘Success is not served a la carte. It’s a buffet! You have to go for it!’ Youths should bury any sense of entitlement. The likes of Linda Ikeji, Davido have worked hard and are ripping the reward for their dedication. Our youths must know that there is no nobility in poverty; to achieve success today in Nigeria, you must be ready to lose friends, be misunderstood, and be unreasonable in your visions. Nigerians have stopped following leaders who are ‘complaining and murmuring’ leaders. Young people must learn to reject the ordinary and risk the unusual. We need to know that Nigeria is a land of opportunities; find these opportunities. The likes of MKO, Ojukwu, Mai Deribe, and others started from their youth days. So, as young people, we have to prepare a ‘don’t do list,’ as much as you prepare a to-do list.
What informed your decision to study Law?
I didn’t want to be a victim of corporate negligence or pure ignorance, especially when doing business in Nigeria. Corporate blunders and legal exposures account for some of the most damaging events for most businesses, especially in real estate.
What do you have to say to people who look up to you, especially young people?
It is important to bear in mind that lack of vision is proof of mental bankruptcy. The bar for integrity can’t be set low. We must all desire and intend to be judged by the quality of what we finish, not what we start. It is important to always note that to be second is to be last. Also, the collateral of integrity can never be exhausted. I don’t wait for opportunities to come to me. I visualize them and I go for them so should you, don’t wait. And for those who are looking to grow bigger, you must know that if you are in downtown Ikorodu today, you can own a house in Uptown Ikoyi tomorrow, if you work and dream hard enough. Also, readers are leaders; reading two hours a day is 730 hours a year; 1,460 hours in two years! That’s almost equivalent to earning a PhD and there’s no billionaire by mistake in the world. If you see someone doing exceptionally well in any industry, invest your envy in studying him, not bringing him down. And don’t forget that the only person that can determine your tomorrow is the almighty God, so don’t give in. Do not underestimate or overestimate. In all that you do, know that if your neighbour is hungry, your chicken is not safe. Therefore, always stretch a helping hand to the needy.
Dangote Is A ‘Beast’: An Encounter With Africa’s Most Under-Celebrated First-Son
By Sujibomi Ogundele, CEO, Sujimoto Group
“Suji my son, you must follow me somewhere, I want to blow your mind and quadruple your vision”.
This was a message I got from my royal father, the Ooni of Ife, HRH Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Ojaja II. I had to leave everything I was doing, and make my way to Ibeju lekki Free Trade Zone where Dangote has not only transformed the skyline, but also changed the social and economic value of the location, making it the new Lagos for all industrial and commercial opportunities.
It was a tedious experience traveling to a location that should ordinarily take us 40minutes, but we had to spend 1hour 30 minutes as a result of the unavoidable traffic on that route. However, I was stunned by the level of development that has unfolded in that area and I must appreciate the Lagos State government for the social and economic revolution of the Lekki Aja zone.
I enjoyed the trip which was filled with different interesting scenes, one of such is the sight of road-side hawkers, who reminded me of my days, hawking in South of France, and the endless joy when one finally makes that one sale. I saw one hawker with a carton of Gala delicately balanced on his head. I bought the whole box from him, not because I love gala but as a way to appreciate his hard work and bring joy to the face of a man who needs it the most.
We arrived Ibeju and I couldn’t but stop to appreciate the enormity of the project, the passion of the people and the humongous man-power. This was a place I had visited in 2016 with my friend Sulaimon Sanni Bello, and it was a simple desert land, all you could see then were many piles, trees and non-exhaustive swamp being sand-filled. Today what seemed like a dream has become a reality.
Getting to the gate where my name was already registered, a Hilux truck which was already waiting for us took us to Chief Edwin’s Office Wing, and we were ushered in.
I went straight, prostrated and paid homage to my most adored human – my King and mentor, Kabi o osi, Ooni of Ife, Ojaja-II, HRH Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the first son of oduduwa.
“Chief Edwin, meet my first son, the number one luxury real estate mogul. He builds skyscrapers in Ikoyi and Banana Island. He has disrupted everything mediocre in that space. I have a lot of them, my dream and vision is to inspire and motivate the great youths of our nation”.
I greeted everyone seated, the CFO Mr Femi Kolade, the MD Guiseppe Surace, the amazing GM Egbon Yinka Akande, Kabiesi’s friend and partner Mr. Rotimi Osobe and my very good aburo and friend Landwey – Olawale Ayilara.It was an incredible experience where we discussed the magnanimity of the project, the vision, the inspirations and the challenges.
Kabiesi said; “I know 24hours will not be enough to go around this 140 kilometer project but let’s start”.
I have traveled around the world and visited numerous industrial parks but never have I seen something this gigantic – a city in a city, a swamp transformed to 8 times the size of Victoria Island, and this is why my King said it’s an understatement to call the Dangote Refinery in Ibeju Lekki a city, we shall name it a NATION!
Concretely fenced around approximately 3500 hectares of land, the largest single line refinery in the world producing 650,000 barrels a day! According to Chief Edwin; “The current world largest produces 420,000 barrels a day, what we have is 50% bigger than the biggest”. A 3-in-one industrial park where they refine petroleum and petro-chemical products, and also the biggest and largest producer of fertilizers not only in Nigeria but the whole of Africa with an annual capacity of 3 million tons.
I have unfortunately been amongst some big and influential people, who throw tantrums and comments about the Dangote Refinery dream. One said ‘’Dangote should have remained in cement, he has put his hand into what will swallow him, that project will never come to pass’’. Today the 22 billion dollar project is 90% completed. Sometimes, don’t blame people for their inability to assimilate your vision, because it’s only limited to the capacity of their imagination. I am sure this man today will be swallowing his words when the plant opens in few months Q1 2022, and the fertilizer which is 50% completed will start its first commercial sale this month of May 2021.
I am sharing this as an inspiration for myself and for our generation that if Dangote can do it, we too can do it! In a country where many see calamities, let’s see opportunities! Let’s transform our anger into hunger for innovation and together change our nation.
In 2007, Dangote approached the government to buy the Port Harcourt refinery, he paid and somehow the deal was frustrated. He was devastated but what looked like a disappointment is now a blessing! Today, less than 20 years later, Dangote is building and has almost completed a project that is 10 times bigger than what he thought was a disappointment.
Chief Edwin, the brainbox and Mr. Giussepe the MD of the project narrated with an overwhelming passion the vision and the project, for more than 2 hours. We couldn’t finish the tour of the fertilizer plant with a 3,000,000 ton capacity. We also learnt that Nigeria consumes 750,000 tons annually and Brazil their biggest market consumes 8,000,000 metric tons. The lesson I learnt which is very important is this; Chief Edwin made us understand the farming sector of this nation has not yet harnessed up to 10% of its true potential. We went on with Mr. Giussepe, passionately explaining the technical data, numbers and words, in his Italian accent, just passionately expressing the gigantic nature of the project.
A project which has taken about 4 years to complete. It is still a baffle how could one man assemble a team of over 15,000 expatriates, constructing about 50,000 homes in 9 months, 2500 construction equipment (making him the largest construction company in the country, bigger than JB), 350 Cranes, building 20 control rooms for 20 projects, grouped in 5 major projects, making it the largest industrial hub in Africa. A 5 billion storage capacity of oil product (which is 5 times the capacity of all the tank farms in Ibafo and the whole of Nigeria); a power plant generating a combined capacity of 500 megawatts; a business that is employing over 200,000 skilled and unskilled people daily, Dangote is an entrepreneurial BEAST!
We drove through the 86 pump station for tanker trucks, an automated station that fills every truck in 21 minutes. At its full potential, it should disperse approximately 198,000 litres of fuel daily, an efficient and illustrious project in sub-Saharan Africa.
We went on break to have lunch, a beautiful mixture of about 12 dishes from African fusion to the pastas of Italy. I rolled my sleeves to the hot Amala and Egusi with fresh goat meat. I didn’t care staining my white shirt, it was as delicious as my experience in the mega project of 140 kilometer road network (Phase1), which is almost like traveling from Lagos to Ibadan. It is HUGE!
We finished eating and got on the bus again and Mr. Giuseppe- the MD of the project, took us on another 3hours tour. The Italian born who has been in Nigeria for almost 20 years enjoyed taking us on the tour and giving us every detail, something he has done more than 200 times. At every junction, he will stop and give us a lecture on the project, the vision, the challenges and how they overcame them, (Kabiyesi, this place you stand now was a swamp, we sand-filled 65 million cubic meter of sand bringing 3 dredgers – 2 of them were the largest dredger ever built in the world).
“After sand-filling about 65 million cubic meter, we had to do a foundation of approximately 200,000 piles, stacking 350 piles a day, a total cost of over 300 million dollars. We were frustrated and had to do many things ourselves in order to meet deadlines. We set up our batching plant delivering 30,000m3 batching capacity on a daily basis, using about 1000 Tipper trucks and today we have done more than 2.5 million m3 of Concrete”. The same amount of concrete needed to build the Burj Khalifa.
Kabiyesi Oonirisa, Oba Olu itori, and everyone were so perplexed and wondered how one man could conceive this. Kabiyesi never stopped asking questions, technical questions that if I didn’t know him, I would have thought he had done a refinery project before. Everyone was left in awe every time the Oonirisa asked a question or contributed to the conversation.
It was a great experience, an eye-opener, and a lesson for any entrepreneur on earth. One of the lessons I learnt also was that Dangote had to build his own port, out of necessity and urgency. Apapa port capacity couldn’t support Dangote’s equipment which are 3 to 8000 tons, with the biggest single steel product in the world, weighing 3,000 tons. Sometimes, your location and environment should not be enough to swallow your vision.
The so-called miniport is not mini at all, it has a tonnage capacity 3 times that of Apapa. Though limited in size, it can still handle approximately 500 containers daily. It’s small but MIGHTY! If I were the NPA, I will immediately ease the Apapa already over-congested port and divert some ships to the Dangote port.
The undisputed 10 times Africa’s richest man never sleeps and is always active and welcoming when we appear in his home. I have been here for 31 years, I love it here! I come home, sleep, off to work and many times out of the country, you can’t be sleeping when you have such a humongous project at hand, especially in a rather tough terrain that is relatively new to us.
Alhaji came outside to usher us in, he bowed in greetings to the Oonirisa and welcomed us to his home with delicious ginger tea and fresh honey. We were hosted by his assistant Mr. Sam, who always politely gave us what we needed before asking.
“The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria “Private sector”, thank you for inviting us to your home. Alhaji, meet my first son, Sujimoto….”
“Oooo I know Suji na, he’s the luxury skyscraper man, keep up the good work Suji….”
“Alhaji, we have come to bless and appreciate you as a son of Africa who has made us proud, for over 40 years! You have been consistent, moving up like this your plane on the table. You have confronted and fought the biggest battles and impacted our economy! You have made dreaming a possibility and inspired many generations. We are thankful to you and that’s why I bring you this artwork, as a symbol of wealth and good health.”
11th of May 2021, will be a day I will never forget in my life, actually one of the best days of my life! A day that changed my perspective, increased my vision and redefined my mission on earth.
We left the location around 10:30pm and I couldn’t stop thinking about my life, my vision and my projects. I told the Ooni about my Sujimoto Diamond City (SDC) – a smart city inside a city, where we shall have about 16 skyscrapers with the shortest one at 22 storey, 2 giant Malls, 2 exclusive 5 star Hotels, Amusement Parks, Games and Event centers with a 25,000 car park capacity, this trip has really inspired me and revamped my vision.
Entrepreneurship is about surrounding oneself with people, stories and events that inspires the hidden dreams in us. I shared the story on my TNL group where many appreciated and adored Dangote for his audacious project. Some were being critical and I had to vigorously address them, that it was a shame to only see the ‘hole’ when you are served a doughnut’. This is an investment of 22 billion dollar which will generate 27 billion annual revenue, with a profit margin of 15 to 25%. If this does not drive you, then I doubt anything will. If anyone wasn’t mesmerized- I was, as I even dreamt about the project again last night.
This trip has taught me that Fortune follows the Brave and life will only succumb to you if you persistently chase your dreams.
“Suji, in my experience, this has never happened before! I have never seen people coming together and contributing $50k at such a short notice! Wow! Just keep doing what you are doing because the Almighty is indeed with you”. There were the words of Lanre Alfred to me after my surprise dinner birthday party put together by my friends.
Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are.
One of the questions the king of Dubai – Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum asked me in 2015 was ‘What’s the quality of your network?’
I didn’t know how to answer that question then, because I haven’t really given it a thought but I told him about my vision and dream to redefine luxury living in Nigeria and I remember he said to me:
“If you want to grow faster, build a quality network. And to do this, you must remember that friendship is more like Farming than hunting. You plant, nurture and weed it.”
Today these words came to me and I understood better what HRH King Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum was trying to explain to me.
On my 40th birthday, I had wanted to travel to Saudi Arabia and rest, restrategise and refuel! But my friends had other plans. First, I couldn’t find my passport. Secondly, numerous people started calling, giving me reasons not to travel. Some raised the issue of the pandemic, while others were bent on taking me for dinner. Someone in particular called to say his Mum is interested in purchasing a unit of our project in QueenAminaBySujimoto Abuja Project and would want to come around to discuss with me (Of Course anything transaction, I am surely interested). All of these was just to get me not to leave the country before my birthday and they succeeded!
To my greatest surprise, in less than 4 days, they raised About 20 million and planned a surprise birthday dinner party, bringing friends from Lagos, Abuja, Dubai, NYC and the UK. How they were able to do this within the shortest possible time is the true test of friendship.
I was blown away when I got to the venue of the surprised dinner party and saw a lot of my friends, some that I haven’t even seen in years. It was a very emotional event for me because it reminded me of my Mother’s famous saying: ‘Eniyan Laso Mi’ which means ‘People are my covering,’ and the little investment we put into the development of friendship, gives the highest Returns.
My friends didn’t only plan a Surprise Dinner Party, knowing fully well my love for children and my philosophy of generosity, they also went ahead to put together a Charity Visit to a slum school on a dunghill in Ilaje, Bariga; known as the Footprints of David. The fact that through them, I could put a smile on the faces of these kids, who have defied their environment and have embraced learning as a tool to fight poverty, increased my faith in humanity.
I have learnt over the years that one of the fundamental secrets of success is surrounding yourself with assets, not liability. If Jesus, understanding the importance of building a strong network, loved the whole world but selected 12 friends from different walks of life, then why shouldn’t you?
I am forever grateful and will never forget this favour from these amazing friends who have turned family, they are; Adedoyin Alatishe, Kabiru Rabiu, Chioma & Kika (Good Hair), Maurice Khawam, Jad Jarmakani, Frederic Nader, Seyi Tinubu, Hafeez Balogun, Olori E, Maiden Ibru, Toke Ibru, Tive Ibru, Hajia Tai Elemesho, SIP brothers , Eni Adenuga, Mr. Obi Iyiegbu (Obi Cubana), Petee, Chief Chikelo Ejikeme, (Amb) Dr. Sowemimo Abiodun, Bovi, Ubi Franklin, Tosin Oshinowo, Dr. Wole Aboderin, Folajimi Lai-Mohammed, Arese Alonge, Alh balogun, TJ Saro, Folly Coker, Chef Tolu Eros, Ahmad Damcida, Mariam Timmer, Akin Cole Onitiri, Dabota Lawson, Rasheed Muri-Okunola, Habeeb Okunola, Tayo Otubanjo, Bamikole Omishore, Tim Trevari, Victor Ovia, Rep Babajide Obanikoro, Tunde Otufale, Chinedum Odogwu, Niyi Adeyemi (sirspin), Hon Ololade Onakoya MFR, MKD Araoye, Suleiman Sani Bello, Akin Cole Onitiri, David Branbaifa, Hon Elvis Dada, Mbadiwe Twins, Mary Dinar, Mr. E.A, Miss MA, Demola Fashola, Seun Okin, Chima Anyaso, Alao Semih Oladimeji, Andrew Zidon, Nkemkanma Kama, Akinfemi Akinruntan, Commander, Tunde Otufale, Korede Roberts, Joseph Orike, Kennedy Njideofor, Christopher Taiwo, Laniyan Kolawole, Victor Ikem, Uzoma Konyeaso, Mr. Akin Afe, Nkemkanma Kama, Osemwengie G. Agbonlahor II, Tope Ajileye, Lanre Badmus, Solomon Agbataekwe – Richmond, Ogunlesi Simon Kay, Ola Daramola, Suwaid Muhammad, Wemo, Afolabi Olatunji, Funmilola Olotu, Sam Iwuajoku Jnr., Olakunle Olaniyi, Owolabi, Farouk Bello, Hon Funke Adesiyan, Tobi Emeke, Saheed Kuteyi, Mr. Tajudeen Ahmed, Olaseni Ogundairo, Richard Nnadi, Alaoma Anumudu, Rt Hon Amarachi C. Iwuanyanwu, Ogunlesi Simon Kay, Mr Tajudeen Ahmed, Nicole Tafawa Balewa, Lakunle R, Joseph Orike, Zero percent, Mustapha Umar Ali, Dr. Jamal Akinade, Uzoma konyeaso, Mr Akin Afe, are Aliu TDA, Akin Olaoye, Sagun Malumi, Donald Wokoma, Babajide Balogun, Tayo Otubanjo, JT, Yahaya Zekeri Junior, Leke Dokunmu, Dr. Jamal Akinade, Aedan Asika, Gbenga Adeyi, Rasheed Kashamu, Stephen Ajadi, Estanola Oyelese, Rilwan Layode, Seun Okin, Tope Shonuga, Mazi A.V. Orji, Frank Papas, Barr Ify Morah, Kennedy Njideofor, Lanre Onabowale, Dr. Ibidapo Fashina, Gbolahan Osinowo, Aramide Adetayo and others.
Sijibomi Ogundele is the MD of Sujimoto Construction Limited, the n0.1 Luxury Real Estate Company in Nigeria and the Developer of LeonardoBySujimoto, the 24 storey luxury building, including private Cinema and full home automation; the Lucrezia, the 14 Storey Residential Highrise with premium features and facilities; the QueenAminaBySujimoto, a first-of-its-kind luxury tower located in highbrow Abuja; and the developer of the proposed Sujimoto Tower in Downtown Dubai.
Africa’s Most Luxurious And Extravagant Skyscraper: LucreziaBySujimoto, Banana Island
Towering 65m above the ground, the $52 million architectural masterpiece, LucreziaBySujimoto audaciously dominates the landscape of Africa’s most expensive square meter, Banana Island. The 14-storey skyscraper which is the brainchild of Sujimoto Construction Ltd, the leading luxury construction company in Africa, has a combined liveable space of 18,000 square meters and will be the tallest residential building in the highbrow neighbourhood.
The design of the sophisticated building combines the rare attributes of Beauty, Affluence and Style. The purely residential 14 storey tower includes luxury apartments which comprises magnificent maisonettes and 2 of Africa’s best penthouses, the first Virtual Golf Bar in Africa, Full Home Automation where you can control your lights, door, air conditioning, curtains, music & TV from the touch of a button, an IMAX Cinema, a 345 square meter temperature controlled pool including a Jacuzzi and kids’ pool, the 14 storey building has a floor to ceiling height of 4m, which creates an illusion that makes it look 20 storeys tall, an Interactive lobby where business meetings and casual hangouts can be held, Zaha Hadid by Porcelanosa sanitary wares, Private Salon, Crèche, amongst a host of others.
During the construction phase of the foundation, 25,000 cubic metres of soil was excavated, a total of 11,500 cubic metre concrete of C40 was used to create one of the biggest pile caps in the world which has a 900 mm piles diameter that goes 45-meter-deep, making the Lucrezia’s foundation one of the strongest foundation ever! The pile caps have a depth of up to 2.55m with 900 x 300mm tie beams. In all, a total of 1470 trucks of concrete were required to deliver these pile caps. The luxury development will use approximately 1000 tons of steel, Bonded Post Tensioning slabs, this makes Sujimoto the first indigenous company to use such technology which is only used in Dubai for the construction of high-rise buildings. This technology reduces the weight of the building, increases the speed of construction by 40%, eliminates shrinkage and offers more flexibility for structural modifications.
The 56 metres condominium will be the first 14 storey with Glass Reinforced Concrete façade costing the company over €2 million (N1,146,000,000) to deliver one of the best façades systems in the world. The façade panels will have a finishing covering of approximately 7500 square metres.
Having raised the first slab on the 1st of December, 2020 and currently on the 8th floor, the Lucrezia will be the fastest luxury condominium ever built in Africa with a delivery timeline of 1st of January, 2022.
Those who came onboard 11 months ago are the biggest winners as some of them bought the maisonette for $1.2 million. The almost sold out maisonette is selling for $1.9m at the moment while the penthouse which is approximately 1400m² is selling for $9 million, making it the cheapest yet most sophisticated penthouse in Africa with exclusive and remarkable features such as: a private gym, private looby, private lift, the first private pool in the sky which is located on the 12th floor, a private cinema and the first private golf Garden in Africa!
According to Sijibomi Ogundele, CEO Sujimoto Group, the Lucrezia’s penthouse is arrogantly built for the vital Few.
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