Ogrih: Real Estate Investment Still Good in Economic Recession

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Bennett Oghifo

The current economic recession in Nigeria should not be an excuse not to invest in real estate; in fact, it should be a fine reason to put money in property. Real estate business pays at all times, if done correctly. Worst case scenario, investors will get their money back, said the Chief Executive Officer of Delta Mega Trend, Mr. Sam Ogrih, an Accountant, and frontline player in the real estate sector.

Ogrih, who studied in Harvard School of Design, Smart and Intelligent Housing, recommends real estate investment not only to people who want to buy property, but also to people who are working.

Ogrih has unique approach to real estate development, which promotes the development of gated-communities. He has attracted local and global attention, thereby making him a frequent guest on various industry events locally and internationally.

On the safety valve real estate investment presents, he said, “As people make some money, I will generally advise them that they should go and put their money in real estate. When you have N100,000, you will want to pay into the bank, but in my own case, I’ll say if you have N100,000, go and pay into real-estate as your bank.

“Why I say so is that if you put N100,000 in the bank, about a month ago, with the way the Dollar is now, if you go and take the N100,000 you will be shocked that you may get only $200, as it is today. Meanwhile, two, three months ago you will get $300 dollars. Then coming to the real estate investment, why I prefer that and recommend it strongly is that about a month ago we were buying cement for N2,600 and if you buy 100 bags of cement, you will spend N260,000. Today, if you buy 100 bags of cement, you are going to spend N400,000. So, it means for every N260,000 that you kept in real estate a month ago you have, earned N140,000 on it and if you had kept that N260,000 in your bank how much interest would you have received in one month?

“So, if you have N100,000 today, I will tell you go and save it in real-estate. Some people ask, why should I sell my house? It is like someone asking why you’re withdrawing the money you kept in the bank. So, if you buy houses and take it like oh I’m saving this money, the day you are broke, go to the market and sell it and you get the money back.”

Ogrih said he does not have loose cash hanging around because of his belief in real estate investment. “If you ask me any money I have at any time, you can’t even collect like N1 million or N5 million from me anytime because I put it in real estate in fixed asset, not cars. So, if you ask me, go and invest in real-estate no matter how small.”

However, he said, as in all things, there could be investment misfortunes, as with some property firms either folding up unceremoniously, or throwing the investor to the next scheme when they actually paid to be part of a current scheme and showing them terms and conditions they did not see because they were in fine prints.

Ogrih, who has over 25 years’ experience in business, including real estate, aviation, hospitality and education, said if this unfortunate situation happens, then it was “because the foundation was faulty from the beginning, yes the foundation was founded on falsehood. If you are honest, your real estate will not fold, because anything you do in real estate, if you are not out to dupe people from the beginning, you will surely prosper.”

Ogrih’s latest signature project is called The Plantation City, located in Otokutu off the Delta Steel Company (DSC) Expressway, Warri, Delta State. This award-winning developer has stated another project, the Southbrook Gardens on Warri Osubi Airport-Eku Road, Ugolo, Delta State; and a planned city project in Asaba, Delta State. Other projects of the company are Ivory Oak Apartments at Marshy Hill Estate, Lagos; Leawood Hotel, Lagos; See Events Centre, Lagos; and many other property developments across Nigeria.

The Plantation, as it is fondly called, is a complete city with provision for all house-types to suit the needs and wants of those who desire to live in the highly secure community. It has 24-hour electricity, using IPP. This huge facility has recreational and hospitality facilities, as well as a proposed school for pre-school to secondary learners.

Ogrih has a string of awards on account of his various developments, including a recent award of ‘CEO of the Year 2020’ by Nigeria Housing Advocacy Network, (NHAN) organisers of the annual Nigeria International Housing Award,

He was honoured alongside 35 other players across different categories. The ‘CEO of the Year 2020’ award, adds to the growing list of awards and honours conferred on Mr. Ogrih for his exceptional entrepreneurial skills and commitment to jobs and wealth creation in Nigeria and Africa at large.

Early this year, he was honoured by Rotary International for supporting the work of the organisation to improve lives. In a letter jointly signed by Holger Knaack, President, Rotary International 2020-21; K.R. Ravindran, Chair, The Rotary Foundation, 2020-21, on behalf of the board of directors, the organisation acknowledged his contributions towards supporting the work of Rotary International.

He was also recently honoured by the government and the state of Georgia, USA, with honorary citizenship and congressional commendation; CEO of the Year by CEOs Club Network, Nigeria; Business Leadership Excellence Award, by African Leadership Magazine U.K.; Africa’s Patriotic Personality of the Year Award, by The League of African Development Students, among others.

The series of awards, he said shows that something you think you are doing quietly, is being noticed and appreciated by some people; “that’s what I think.”