The Founder/CEO Pennek Group, Kennedy Nnadi speaks extensively on the renewed commitment of his firm aimed at providing affordable housing and respite for all Nigerians.
The need for affordable and qualitative housing has always been a serious concern for most Nigerians, however, considering the bottlenecks in property acquisition, Pennek Nigeria Limited, a leading real estate company in Lagos has changed the dynamics of the industry and eliminated the bottlenecks in achieving such a feat via creating real estate investment opportunities for individuals and organisations.
Mr Nnadi is a man with many aspirations. His greatest dream is to provide free and affordable shelter for all Nigerians.
Mr Nnadi has attended the Harvard Business School Management Programme, Lagos Business School, Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University, Strathmore University and the Federal University of Technology Owerri where he earned a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) in Soil Science. He is from Imo in the South-eastern region of Nigeria but he lives in Lagos.
I have always had an interest in construction and estate development.
I started my career with the importation of commodities like rice and sugar, worked out for a while and competition arose and I stepped aside to strategize to formulate a renewed strategy. As a Youth Corper in Jos, I saw an opportunity to sell drinks interstate and I grabbed it and made some money, instead of buying a car then, I bought my first land in Lugbe Abuja for about N150, 000 in 2009. I sold the property in 2019 for 18 million. I have an uncle who is a quantity surveyor and I always watched him and his passion inspired me. I believed I could add something to the real estate industry, so I started to make a difference. I repackaged the popular “Lekki Price” and made housing a lot more affordable. I have been in this for seven years, I started with real estate investment, and now I am into real estate development, and in a few months, we will go into real estate management. We are also incorporating real estate technology. In going into real estate, money was secondary, I wanted to add value to the nation and contribute in my way to nation-building by developing underdeveloped places.
I wanted a brand that can outlive me
I want a brand that can outlive me, so, I played a little with my name, I didn’t want it to be my name outright, I wanted a brand separate from me, so I flipped my name and removed some letters and added the letter ‘P’.
PENNEK is a consumer-oriented firm
We are more concerned about the consumer, so we do our best to make our houses affordable, we go to places where we can chart the course. Recently the Lagos State Government named one of the roads around the Ajah axis “Pennek Drive” because we were the first estate developers to open up the place, and we made the road motorable. About six other estate developers have come to that area since we went there.
We construct roads in most communities for easy access
Challenges are enormous, for instance, because we are a community development-based company, in most places where our estates are located, we construct the roads in that area and ensure other amenities are in place, like electricity. And even though we do this, we still pay our tax to the government like we have done nothing. Also verifying lands and property should go online, you shouldn’t have to go to the land office to verify the credibility of a land. From anywhere in the world you should be able to verify your property, and this also reduces the risk of being defrauded. I do not like to focus on challenges, but this is one I wish the government will look into.
I focus on what we have and I develop them
I am very focused; I don’t deviate from my primary target which is community development. I do not look at other areas like Banana Island, I focus on what we have and I develop it.
We plan to be in all the major cities in the country
We are currently in Lagos, Abuja, Awka, Anambra State, Owerri and Imo state but we plan to be in all the major cities in the country. We are working towards being in Port Harcourt, Jos, Kano and Ibadan. We are currently working on it and very soon we will get there.
You have to start small to get there
You have to go for it first, nothing is impossible, I currently have a client who doesn’t have a structured payment plan because he is a businessman, he pays based on how he gets money, and in just a short while he has been able to pay more than 50 per cent of the property cost. So you just have to start small and you’ll get there, and with what we are offering, I believe anyone can own a house.
In advanced countries, 90 per cent of people pay for houses through mortgage.
We also partner with mortgage banks who sponsor the client’s property purchase upfront, and there’s an agreement with the client at an interest rate and the client spread their payment through a period of 20 years. Depends on your age, some can even get as long as 25 years. In other countries outside Nigeria, 90 per cent of people pay for houses through mortgage as only 10 percent pay upfront.
Money invested in a property appreciates
If you own a house or land, I see it as you owning your bank, for example when you buy a property or land for N2 million, two years down the line, that house will not be N2 million, it could have appreciated to up to N10 million. There is little or no interest in the money you have in the bank, but the money invested in a property appreciates. I call real estate “My own Bank”. I am not saying you should put all your money into real estate investment, but a portion of your funds has to be there. And if you want it to appreciate, even more, you continue to develop it and the price gets higher. Moreover, it is only when you buy a land or house you are called a “Lord” when you buy a car, no one calls you a Car Lord, but when you buy a house or Land, you are called a Landlord. The benefits are enormous, you own a part of the earth, when God blessed Abraham, he gave him land, not property, so land is wealth. When you have a property it is like a guarantee for your future.
Lack of infrastructure bane of real estate development
Lack of infrastructure development in the country is a major cause of imbalance, as developers, we add the cost of developing the infrastructure in an area to the houses we sell. For example, when we build roads to get to that location or ensure electricity gets there, we have to recuperate those funds through the property, but if the government does more in terms of infrastructural development, properties will be less.
Be focus, even Dangote started with a product
Focus, I see a lot of guys in the real estate industry, today they are selling Banana Island, and tomorrow it’s another less developed location. So I would like to say chart your course, pick where you believe you can focus on, and focus on it. There are areas I don’t sell, when I get deals for those areas, I have other people who I can direct them to. Even Dangote started with a product, and today he has several other products.
Our integrity speaks for us
Pennek Nigeria is one of the real estate companies in Nigeria that you can trust owing to what we have done over the years. We are also one of the few real estate companies without a court case in Nigeria, you can verify that. Our integrity speaks for us. You can trust us with all your real estate needs. We do exhibitions in several countries outside Nigeria yearly, we have not done one this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So we work with investors from all over the world.