Noah Ibrahim--NIGERIA

CEO, Novarick HomesNovarick Homes seeks to not just build and sell properties, but also create a complete and sustainable ecosystem.

What led you to establish Novarick Homes, and what have been your major achievements to date?

I chose to be in real estate because I want to be part of the process of helping people acquire a property. Novarick Homes was registered in 2018 as a development fund, and we then expanded into property development, facility management, and joint ventures. I looked into the factors affecting the real estate industry such as power infrastructure. I saw that low-hanging fruit, and we decided to look into combining renewable energy with real estate. The idea is to create a foundation first to harness these opportunities and follow up with the innovation aspect. We are currently in talks with IFC Edge, which certifies green buildings. Unfortunately, we designed and built our first project, Ruby Apartments, before we met IFC Edge. However, our second project Ruby 2 and Ruby 3 will be IFC-certified, whereby one can save 20% on water, materials, and electricity consumption. The homes are not entirely powered by renewable energy but a hybrid system. We also made them more energy efficient by installing energy-saving appliances, from the air conditioning to the fridge.

What are your main development projects, and what makes them special?

We launched our first estate in 2018, Earls Court Ibeju-Lekki, which was meant to be a renewable energy-powered estate. Ibeju-Lekki is a growing community, and we acquired the land and sold plots of it. We will raise funds to build infrastructure. More than 50% of the development will rely on renewable energy, so we will still have traditional power sources, though none of the houses will have generators. This will reduce environmental and noise pollution and increase cost savings. We have created a platform where people own properties, and as a company our duty is to raise investments to bring these plans to life. In Ibeju-Lekki, we also have Wazobia Courts. Wazobia is a combination of Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo. Ibeju-Lekki is like the new Lagos, where there is the Dangote Refinery, Alaro City, and the upcoming dry port and international airport. We want to have a mini estate there that also runs on green energy. We have areas for residential and areas for commercial where we plan to build high rises there with Microsoft staff. The Lekki Free Trade Zone will be the new Victoria Island, hosting corporations and multinationals. We are also in conversations with a firm in San Francisco for 3D house printing. We have started discussions and made a financial commitment, and Novarick will be bringing the first 3D house printing technology into Nigeria within a year. Part of our company’s core values is innovation, so we are not afraid to take a feel of what it is like and when we move from step one to step two we learn some things and adjust along the line.

How do you fund developing the land?

Real estate takes time to develop. The first step has been to raise funds from land buyers. We perfect the documentation of the land and then start building the infrastructure, calling foreign investors to come in and help. We show foreign investors that there is invested interest here, in that people have bought land and are willing to be here. We keep some of the land for ourselves to develop in the future. All our funding activities are currently targeted at international investors. We do not want to take up debt because it will take a few years for development to come to that. Banks are not ready to help us here, so we raise private investments. We predict the project to be worth NGN190 million, and we will kick start it with some of our own capital before raising investments. Pre-construction sales are one way for us to generate funds. Another way is through private investors, who may invest from NGN1 million to as much as NGN10 million.

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