By Saheed Fuhad
In this report, Saheed Fuhad shares his encounter and experience with Amen Estate. He brings you an insight of how Amen Estate came into existence in this interview with the owners, developers – Mr & Mrs Gbadamosi
My first contact with Amen Estate was in 2009. Like every other upcoming estate developments on the Lekki axis at that time, the developers of the estate (Redbrick Homes International Limited) promised to create the most functional enclave in Lagos. I was skeptical. Many other estate developers in prime locations around Lagos who had promised to create ‘heaven on earth’ failed to deliver anything close to it. Seven years after, I made another visit to the estate and was simply blown away by what I saw. The developers of the estate had surpassed my expectations. It was a case of promising a little and doing much more. In my ten years of reporting the Real Estate Market of Lagos, Amen Estate would in my judgment pass as the most green, eco-friendly and indeed functional estate. The ambience was extraordinary. As I sat down to have chat the brains behind the noble achievement, it became clearer to me that Nigerians are one of the most talented and industrious creatures on earth. The Amen Estate story is a testament to that. Here are excerpts of my short interview with Mr. and Mrs. Gbadamosi, the owners of Amen Estate…
Amen Estate is said to generate its own power totally off the national grid, what are the sources of powering the estate?
We have our own power plant, which we recently upgraded to just under 1MW, to stay under the required threshold for NERC registration. We hope, for the sake of future developments, to persuade the NERC, perhaps through the supervising ministry, to raise the registration threshold to 10MW, because the current threshold is completely unrealistic for a country with our power problems and our big aspirations. Through innovative architecture and sound, environmentally friendly engineering, we have been able to reduce the carbon footprint of each of our homes to less than 30% of the average national figure. In addition to this, more than 90% of our common areas lighting is via renewable energy sources.
How many years now has Amen Estate residents been enjoying uninterrupted power supply?
We have had 24 hours power supply now for 5 unbroken years. We even had power during the last fuel workers strike which blacked out most of the country, including banks and other business premises.
What year was Amen Estate’s development commenced and how many homes have been built so far?
We began building Amen Estate in 2009 and we have built 200 units so far.
What class of people reside within Amen Estate?
We have a healthy mix of Nigerians both in the diaspora and at home, retirees and non-Nigerians.
Nollywood and indeed Nigerian Hip-hop acts have found Amen Estate to be the ideal location for their projects. Can you give us the names of top entertainers that have used the estate for their projects?
We have indeed played host to a good number of entertainment industry icons, including directors like Unlimited LA, Clarence Peters, Peter Gambit, amongst many others. We have also had Artistes such as Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Korede Bello, Dr Sid Faze, Phyno, Wizboyy, Viktoh, LIL KESH…etc.
In the movie industry we have had Tijani Olaide, Chichi Nworah, Annie Idibia, Frank Rajah, Blessing Egbe, Rita Dominique, Anthony Monjaro, Akin Lewis, Ireti Doyle, Iyabo Ojo, amongst others who also seem to have taken a shine to us as a prime location for their productions. And we do everything we can to encourage and promote them too. After all, between us and them, we are projecting a better image for our country around the world.
In terms of finishing, Amen Estate Homes comes with some of the best ideas and materials. What inspires the type of finishing for the homes in the Estate?
Sometimes it’s the client that simply wants the best that the world can offer, and with our strong internal design team, led mainly by my humble self, and made up entirely of creative, hard-working Nigerians, we do our best to deliver within the customer’s budget. At other times, we simply try to set a benchmark by applying the latest global standards.
There is a plan to build a Shopping Mall within the Estate. Can you give us an update on that project and how residents of the estate will be positively affected by it?
There is indeed a plan for a high volume, multi-level retail facility in the commercial part of the estate, which will form the focal point of a high street development the type and quality of which has never been done in Nigeria before. At this point in time, we’re talking to a number of prospective joint venture partners to find the right fit to help actualize the project. If we cannot come to terms, it will have to be a self-build project. Just as we were confident that the quality of our residential offering would make Amen Estate the success it has become, we are equally confident that the mall will become the economic hub of the Lagos Free Trade Zone area, based purely on the existing demographics, even as that changes daily. Our residents will obviously benefit immensely from the economic activity to be generated at the mall, apart from the exclusive favourable rates that will apply to them for the retail space.
Which types of homes are available for sale and what are their prices?
We have different configurations of homes, ranging from 3 bedroom flats to 7 bedroom mansions and others. The prices are determined mainly by the choices made by customers and their overall philosophy. Things like outdoor spatial requirements, indoor partitioning, or lack thereof, bedroom sizing and other factors impact significantly on the final price, so we usually determine this in close consultation with our buyers, as our existing plans do allow for a great degree of flexibility.
We heard on the grape vine that Innocent Idibia, popularly known as Tuface and his wife Annie, frequent Amen Estate, because they actually own one of the Afin at Amen Estate, have they moved in already? Without any house warming?
Mr. and Mrs. Idibia are good friends of ours.
Amen Estate is located at Eleko, Eleko Beach Road, off Lagos/Epe Expressway, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos Nigeria.