A Nigerian accountant cum real estate investor, Tayo Sonuga has expressed zero regret in leaving United Kingdom to pursue his passionate real estate profession in Nigeria despite living in the spent foreign land for 23 years.
While narrating his life journey experience to stardom, the Chief Executive Officer of Haven Homes recounted his humble beginning and how he left Nigeria immediately he finished his youth services.
He said, “I was born in Badagry and my parents were teachers, but we later moved to Ipaja afterwards. I relocated to UK when I finished my youth services where I spent 23 years before I returned to Nigeria to establish Haven homes real estate firm.
‘When I later got to UK, I started with office and toilet cleaning for a living while I also applied for banking professional courses which I later got a banking job where I worked as a data input officer in a Brazilian Bank.
“The first house I acquired in UK was 30,000 pounds through mortgage and I realized that if I rent out two rooms, those rooms fees will pay my mortgage cost. I decided to acquire more houses on mortgage through loans and leasing it out to people and getting my own profits. I had 80 houses leased out during my stay there”, he explained.
Speaking about his decision to leave abroad and relocated to Nigeria to establish his firm, Sonuga explained that he got the insight when he came for his brother’s wedding in Nigeria and the hotel bathroom where he lodged was not suitable for him.
“I was displeased with their bathroom, went back to UK to meet a friend who is an architect and we decided to go into real estate. We bought land at Magodo and decided to build house for celebrities,
When we built the first house in Magodo, we introduced new sort of architectural designs and people were marvel and that was home we begin to grow and expand. As at today in haven homes, we have 70 permanent staff and 300 contract workers”, he explained.
“With longer years of working and living in UK, I don’t regret coming to Nigeria because there are lot of opportunities with brilliant ideas here which those ideas are taken for granted overseas. Here in Nigeria, ideas work like magic, he said.
Sonuga however enjoined other Nigerians in diaspora not to forget home as they pursue success oversees, saying home is the best place of return.
“I will say they should not forget home and at the same time just like myself, they should start from small, take big steps and learn the mistakes while they are small in their business so such won’t repeat when they are big”, Sonuga urged.
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