- Signs 4th landmark deal in Q4 for development of 300 more super-smart homes by Maitama Ministers Hill
- The homes reflect excellence of the Cosgrove brand, produced via our combined corporate values of youth, professionalism, experience & innovation, says CEO
- Home automation with embedded AI, BIM process, excellent recreational facilities and top structural integrity to characterise homes
Mr Umar Abdullahi is the Chief Executive Officer, Cosgrove Investment Limited, an indigenous real estate development and general construction company that has taken the lead to develop the first fully-automated super-smart estate in the FCT. In this exclusive interview, the remarkably young CEO who is steering the innovation-inclined organisation discusses the peculiarities of his latest products, saying that the homes reflect a combination of innovation, professionalism, intellectual vitality and youth strength.
Apart from deploying the world class Building Information Modelling (BIM) process, the latest advancements in automation are star features of the homes, he said, adding that latest innovation in security is also being deployed via embedded AI Artificial-Intelligence cameras with ability to recognise faces.
Discussing Cosgrove’s penchant for structural integrity of homes, the CEO said: “The Company’s resolve to use British Standard Steel (BSS) and Ready-Mix Concrete (RMC) irrespective of cost is to deliver the best structural integrity,” adding that “Cosgrove is the brand that has decided not to cut cost at the expense of compromising standards.”
“To the best of my knowledge, the structural integrity of our buildings is second to none, and we are honored to build for those who understand our taste,” he said.
Umar Abdullahi earned eminence for his innovative contributions to the development of Nigerian housing sector, especially for the uncommon successes scored under his watch at previous top management positions in premier real estate and finance institutions prior to the establishment of Cosgrove.
He further described the features of Cosgrove homes saying: “With automation, residents simply touch a button on their phones to open their doors and gates, or to turn-on the coffee-maker, or to switch on the lights, or open/close the curtains,” adding that residents will be able to view, lock or unlock their houses via their phones from wherever they may be, even if abroad.”
Cosgrove is about a year old. Would you say you have been able to meet your growth targets, and what is it that attracted you to real estate?
My first career experience completely won my heart for the real estate and construction industry. Immediately after graduating from the university, I got a job in a bank – FSB, now defunct, which was later acquired by Fidelity Bank through some merger during the 2005 banking reforms.
My interesting task at FSB was to manage real estate project portfolios as well as portfolios of investments in the construction industry. The task exposed me to the workings and importance of the industry, and I began to prepare myself to join an industry that I so much love and admired. I learnt a lot from that job because it exposed me to the knowledge of real estate development and management, and about the branches of the sector meaning commercial real estate and residential estate development, as well as the luxury and affordable aspect of the industry.
I prepared to make a difference by being innovative.
So, after a very resourceful period of about ten years in the banking sector, a period during which I acquired a lot of knowledge, I pulled out in 2010 to become the pioneer Managing Director of Brains&Hammers, a Real Estate Development Company that has become a star-brand in the housing industry today. After a successful tenure of nearly eight years, I decided to establish my own brainchild real estate organisation, Cosgrove, with a passion for distinction via innovation and professionalism, and that is exactly what you see we are achieving today.
How far have you gone in terms of building innovative homes?
Look around this site, you can see our values of youth, professionalism and best practices. You will see that from their toes to their heads, and if you know the rules, you will agree with me that Cosgrove engineers and staff conform to all the rules of construction practice.
Because of the immense experience we have in the real estate and construction industry, we carefully selected outstanding professionals who constitute the Cosgrove Teams. The teams consist of local and international experts who have what it takes to create innovation or to improve innovation. We are very particular about innovation because the team that leads a sector must be abreast of innovations and advancements in the sector.
We started two projects which are now at various stages of completion: You can see the progress of this Wuye Cosgrove site. The second site is at Mabushi, near Blue Cabana, just behind Wuse-two, and we have made progress that we are proud of.
It will interest you to know that we also have a third site at Guzape where we will also develop another first class super-smart estate. There are several future projects and continuous innovation being proposed by Cosgrove Research and Development department, and we are considering them.
By bringing the international and local expertise on board Cosgrove, we are able to develop a culture of professionalism that aims at innovation and transfer of technological advancements to the Nigeria real estate and construction industry. As a golden rule, we prioritise health and safety of staff.
Because we aim at innovation, we know we must be different. So, our construction method is quite different from what you would find elsewhere in this country.
What are the peculiarities of the fourth deal recently signed by Cosgrove in the FCT?
The deal involves the acquisition of twelve hectares of land in a very strategic location of the FCT, it is by the expressway opposite Ministers Hill, Maitama. It is a major deal inspired by the pressure we received from the public after our previous estates.
Cosgrove began operations about one year ago with the Wuye Smart Estate which consists of over one-hundred-and-sixty smart homes, but it was sold out in three months because they are signature homes that showcased the latest designs and advancements in housing technology.
After selling the Wuye project, we still had a lot of demand for more homes. So we embarked on a second project in Mabushi, near Blue Cabana which was even sold out before we cleared the land.
Then we decided on the third project in Guzape, which has also been sold out.
Now, we have commenced the fourth estate project and we are happy that we will be providing more villas to those who want to live in homes of a great kind.
What kind of homes will characterize the fourth Cosgrove estate?
The estate would be super-smart, and would consist of about three hundred housing units of various types, to include seven-bedroom gated luxury villas, five bedroom fully detached, five bedroom semi-detached, four bedroom terraces, three bedroom luxury apartments and four bedroom luxury penthouses, with maids room and elevators. Every home will be fully automated and will feature the latest innovations in housing technology, I mean various state-of-the-art facilities.
The location of the fourth project is most strategic; directly opposite the prestigious Ministers Hill which is probably the highest highbrow area in Abuja.
We will roll out the prices soon. The homes will be affordable.
When would you commence construction of the fourth project?
In January 2019. Industry watchers will agree that Cosgrove team delivers projects in record time and as you will discover, the Wuye project is nearing completion. Wuye project is fully subscribed, Mabushi is also fully subscribed, Guzape is fully subscribed and we are sure that the same goodwill will follow the Maitama project.
Cosgrove seems to have easy breakthrough with marketing its homes, what is the secret?
We give thanks to Almighty God. Our penchant for top quality and innovation works for us. These preferences are obvious in our housing designs and construction. Cosgrove does not compromise on getting the best professionals to handle our projects, we go for only the best hands. These choices have become obvious because they reflect the quality of Cosgrove homes.
People want to avoid fraudsters who are in real estate sector to defraud unsuspecting home seekers.
I have been in the industry for over a decade and have delivered more than ten estates. People are able to see and verify what we give them and they are very comfortable with the houses we have built. This is what we are enjoying.
What makes Cosgrove construction methods different?
Yes, our hardware and software are very different. Cosgrove is the only indigenous real estate company in Nigeria that is currently deploying the Building Information Modelling (BIM) process in its projects, which cost a fortune, but which is worthwhile.