“My observation and small research has revealed that any Yoruba man that is relevant anywhere in the world has something to do with Ibadan either they have lived here or they schooled here or they are from here.”

Asiwaju Olumide Osunsina

Megamound, a real estate company, started on a foundation of family legacy and has become one of the biggest companies in the Southwest under the leadership of Asiwaju Olumide Osunsina. Inspired by the love of Ibadan and passion for the business it is clear to see that the core of this company goes beyond what it can get but rather, what it can give back to this city it loves so much. Meet the CEO of Megamound.

How long has Megamound been in business and what is the vision?

Megamound has been in business since 1996 and the vision is to continue to create a new lifestyle and to continue to be relevant in the real estate industry in Nigeria particularly in the south-west and of course, we want to try and build a sustainable strong company.

Tell us more about what you do and the impact that what you do has on the Ibadan economy?

We are a construction company and of course construction is the largest employer of labour in most economies. We have impacted the economy in Ibadan positively for obvious reasons; we are doing quite a number of projects here, like in Akobo, the two hotels and so much more. We even buy virtually everything we use for our Lagos projects here in Ibadan. We use Ibadan as our hub. Virtually all our purchases are from Ibadan, electrical, timber, so we spend quite a lot of money in this economy.

Starting a business is never easy but staying in business is even harder. How difficult was it breaking into real estate in Ibadan and actually staying in business?

First and foremost, one of the reasons we are here is because of the love we have for the city and not about the money itself. It's more about the fact that we chose to come here and do business and try to be positive as well as to contribute to the general economy of the state. I have always loved this city growing up and now I am happy I am able to contribute to her growth so it's more of a passion for me. It's not very easy to get into business anywhere in the world; Ibadan in particular, is not known for businesses but I can assure you there are opportunities and we are trying to explore all of these opportunities and turn them into employment source for the youths.

Megamound is about to commission her second hotel in Ibadan, CarltonGate Xclusive. What should we expect from this new hotel?

Well, the reason why we are in hospitality in Ibadan is foremost to upgrade hospitality in the state. I honestly believe this city is going to make a lot of contribution to the national economy and the south west economy in particular because my observation and small research has revealed that any Yoruba man that is relevant anywhere in the world has something to do with Ibadan - either they have lived here or they schooled here or they are from here.
The city has amazing historical values and that is why we felt we should come here and build hospitality that meets international standards.
I will keep saying this, it's not about money because if I want to make money I will probably be building these hotels in Lagos but it's more about the interest l have in the city. For me, when I'm in Ibadan it's like I'm in the UK. It's peaceful and nice; it has one of the best road networks in the country.
Regarding the expectations of the new hotel, I will ask you to visit the hotel yourself. What I have done there is an expression of myself and the way I want things to look like and how I live. Usually, when you do things it’s about how you live. That is how I live and how I want people to live as well. It's simple, classy, neat...nothing out of the ordinary, nothing extravagant.

We have been hearing rumours about the shopping centre in Bodija and the builder’s mart at Iwo Road both under construction are also Megamound projects. How true is that, sir?

It's completely true. Like I said, it's because of the love I have for this city that we are trying to do things, trying to revive and trying to modernise this beautiful town. It's my own little contribution. I will also commend the current administration. Governor Ajimobi has done amazingly well to encourage entrepreneurs because you really can't do much when the government doesn't allow it or the city is not clean because one needs a clean and decent environment to be able to invest. This administration has also done very well with security so we need to commend the government for the hard work that has made the city more receptive.

What makes Ibadan special to you and what makes Ibadan a challenging place to have a business?

Like I said earlier, Ibadan to me is like you are living in London; everything works. It's a leisure city with a laissez fait kind of life. My mum is from Ibadan and I have lots of friends from here. Ibadan is always a very welcoming city so all of this leads to more development because the host community is also extremely important.

We’re taking a poll about the best amala joint in Ibadan. What would you say is your favourite amala spot in the city?

That's a very tough question but I will be very honest about my answer. Iya Ope is my best amala joint. I have been eating amala there for more than 20 years when she was by the charcoal shop in Mokola. I think she's the best.

Finally, when you think of real estate what comes to mind, what is the first word that comes to mind, your first thought?

Wealth Creation. I think of wealth for the household because everywhere in the world family wealth is usually from homes. These are properties acquired over a period of time that simply appreciates over time without you making any further effort.



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