We Are Building A City From The Jungle -Lam Adetunji
Lam Adetunji is the Chief Executive Officer of Fresh Forest Nigeria Limited, a reputable landed property company which has carved a niche for itself as far as estate property is concerned.
A quiet socialite who is up to date about his environment, Mr Adetunji established the company over a decade ago and has formidably built the company to become one of the best not only in Nigeria, but in the world.
The Oshogbo-born entrepreneur hosted The Glitters Online/Palmchat’s AJIBADE ALABI in his office in Lagos, where he spoke about the company, the mentality of Nigerians about owning property in remote areas and the Nigerian economy among other things. Excerpts.
The Glitters Online/Palmchat: There are many real estates in the country. What makes yours different?
Mr Adetunji: We have a company where we run a lot of things. We are into different things. Real estate is one of the major things we are into. We are different from others in many ways. We always come up with different projects that can help people.
Sometimes ago, we came up with installmetal payment options for people who wanted to own houses but couldn’t settle the bill at once. Most people as tenants have bitter experiences with landlords. We said okay, you can pay 500.000,00 naira with initial deposit, you can now spread the rest of the balance over the next 20 months and a 2-bedroom flat is all yours. Just walk in with your bag, every other thing is intact.
That is the project we are coming up with now and we want to make sure the project is flexible so that everybody can benefit from it. Some people pay instantly and move in, we have seen some people who will pay the initial payment and we see the consistency , we can tell such a person to move in, but we don’t just want a person that we ask to move in and afterwards to balance up will become an issue.
The Glitters Online/Palmchat: Does that mean you have the houses on ground?
Mr Adetunji: Yes we have the houses on ground. Allocations are made immediately, but there are some items we don’t put on ground like furniture and other things, since the house will be well furnished. We are putting up multi media buildings. Some of the gadgets we are introducing, most people are still ignorant of how to use them because they have never seen them.
With the little amount many use to flex around, you can use it to live comfortably. We are also working on wireless internet whereby you can just stay in your house and get connected and you enjoy 24-hours free internet. We are also working on solar panels. So these are the things we are considering as investors.
And Agbara area, being an industry hub, we have many industries around us; banks, schools and the likes. Then in terms of proximity, it is close to Badagry, which makes it a better option for people to want to live.
Thereafter, we moved to Ibeju Lekki. You and I know that Ibeju Lekki is hot now. So it is good for investors to invest in both Ibeju and Badagry.
The Glitters Online/Palmchat: But some Nigerians complain about long distances when acquiring land property…
Mr Adetunji: It is true many Nigerians, especially the youths, complain of lengthy distance to travel, but what they don’t realise is that in little or no time, the so-called isolated areas will turn to a city.
Ikeja, the capital city of Lagos, was once a bush mind you, so people should not think in such a way.
The Glitters Online/Palmchat: You are always busy. How do you unwind?
Mr Adetunji: I always maintain a quiet life. I am a shy person. To unwind, I just stay by a pool side, even though I don’t know how to swim, I just watch people swimming. I love the good life. I love people dancing around me. I like happy people.
The Glitters Online/Palmchat: How does the economy affect your profession as a land investor?
Mr Adetunji: Yes, as a real estate developer, we are always at the center of it all, whatever affects the country affects us.
The Glitters Online/Palmchat: Do you have any professional association?
Mr Adetunji: Yes, we have.
The Glitters Online/Palmchat: Do you belong to the association?
Mr Adetunji: You are at liberty to either belong to it or not.
The Glitters Online/Palmchat: Why the name ‘Fresh Forest’?
Mr Adetunji: Every good thing in life is from the forest and we are building a city from the jungle. We are lovers of nature at our company. We don’t just destroy everything and put up a structure, no! We make sure nature is preserved. We use the sun to maximum effect. We know the direction of winds before we position our windows. Those are the things we study. That is why we maintain that name.
The Glitters Online/Palmchat: How old is your company?
Mr Adetunji: We are just 10 years old.