By Fuhad Saheed
…why the multi-millionaire blogger may be setting the path for self-destruction
Linda Ikeji is in a running battle with officials of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), social media reports platforms across the country have been reporting in recent times. According to the online publications, “FIRS has slammed [Ms Ikeji] with a N75 million fine and the agency has initiated measures to prosecute her in a court of law.” The report also adds that the celebrity blogger who has shown off her home on social media many times, including special publications including the interior photos on her blog, may have denied ownership of the Banana Island home in Lagos.
Although Linda is said to have told Pulse online magazine exclusively that the rumors surrounding her Banana Island home and FIRS tax allegations are unfounded; according to her: “FIRS go after companies not individuals. And I was operating as an individual, and the Banana house is mine 1000%..lol. Proudly mine and I would never deny it, there are concerns that the multi-millionaire blogger may be setting the path for her self-destruction.
It will be recalled that the FIRS and Linda Ikeji saga is coming just weeks after Lagos lawyer, Olumide Babalola, filed a suit against Ms Ikeji for using his pictures without permission and associating them with crime-related stories. The lawyer reportedly is seeking N50 Million in damages.
Just recently too, Linda was involved in a controversy with Star Boy Entertainment singer, Wizkid. Although it has now ended with Ikeji settling what was widely reported as a beef with the singer at the office of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, and the actions of the blogger are being described by many as unfortunate in many instances.
In the wake of Linda Ikeji’s showoff of her Banana Island N500million mansion, a popular real estate Magazine (CASTLES Lifestyle) had written this well-articulated piece about her investment decision concerning the Banana Island home: Linda Ikeji is a phenomenon. She took the regular activity of blogging and turned it into a multi-billion Naira commercial success. When the news broke that she had bought a house in highbrow Banana Island, Ikoyi for over N500m (some say the figure is closer to N650m), there was some suspicion that the famous blogger had made the money through some dubious means. Ms Ikeji, in her own words, was quick to dispel such notions. We at CASTLES Lifestyle believe Ms Ikeji. Anyone monitoring digital advertising spend will concede that Linda’s blog is a veritable money making machine. There is rarely a digital advertising campaign that does not include her blog as a channel for advertisements. And her rates reflect the demand. At the height of the election, industry sources are claiming her home page could have been making as much as N4m a day! Kudos but the enterprising lady.
But does money making prowess translate to money spending capacity? Anyone who is conversant with the histories of such wealth creating moguls like Warren Buffett should note that true wealth is developed from how you spend rather than what you make. There have been so many people who have made a pile of money only to fritter it away with bad spending choices. An old time landlord in Lagos has the following property investment advice to give money maker like Linda Ikeji:
“A N500m house may seem like a good ‘investment’ but take into account the following. You are not renting it out so that means you are literarily sleeping on half a billion Naira. There is a cost to spending money on a personal home and that is called opportunity cost. It is what you could have spent the money on instead of purchasing a house. For instance the N500m could have purchased 4 townhouses in Old Ikoyi. One to live in and the three could have given you rental income of between N18m to N24m annually. This will not make as much of a splash like a N500m home but N24m is not to be sneezed at. Your children will also be delighted – when you are gone, 4 townhouses are easier to share than a massive mansion.
It is also costing you money. From the pictures it is going to take serious millions to furnish and monthly expenses to keep it cool, clean and at optimum good looks is not small change. When you get your bill for curtains, I can assure you with the number of windows you have it will not be less than N3m! There’s a famous Nigerian whose furniture requires sections of his house to be fully air conditioned ALL the time. That’s good money …but he has a bank and around 80 flats in Ikoyi/V.I. In other words, the truly wealthy have money sources to maintain their lifestyle
Talking about splashing, have you considered that apart from your fans, the tax man is now also very interested in your affairs? Hmmmm, they are also talking about mansion tax now – who says houses don’t ‘eat’?
You can always argue that it is an investment which will appreciate with time. Let me tell you from experience such mansions appreciate over time because of the value of the land. These massive mansions are not easy to sell so if you need cash quickly well…. I am not so sure that these high end mansions keep their value – if you have over N500m to spend will you buy a ‘fairly used’ mansion? No? I thought so. Neither would the money bags who would be the potential purchasers of the property.
Of course you are young and none of this will make much sense coming from an old man, but do take this piece of advice – diversify your earning from your blogging into genuine property investments that will bring cash and get capital appreciation. Trophy properties are good for the celebrity status, but not for the bottom line.