Exclusive: One-on-One Interview with the CEO of The Jericho Mall Ibadan.
For a while now, the buzz has been everywhere, as the city patiently awaits the opening of the ultra modern Mall, right in the heart of the city along Onireke Road, The Jericho Mall. Passing by the exquisite building, one cant but marvel at the grandeur of such an edifice, that cant be mistaken as it adorns the beautiful and peaceful Onireke area of Jericho. Finally, the Mall is opened today and Whatsupibadan team caught up with the CEO of The Jericho Mall, Mr Makanjuola Ojewunmi, for a one-on-one Interview. He is the also the CEO of Greenfield Plaza Ibadan.
Can we meet you sir?
My name is Mr.Makanjuola Ojowumi. I am a Real Estate developer, a writer, an author of several books, I have written 7 books. I have been in this Real Estate business for about 32 years now.
Can we know about the latest Mall in Nigeria?
Yes, latest mall it is. I will commend all works and achievements.
Achieving a great deal of something is not always easy but then lets go deep into some Interesting things- I will take it from two perspectives: Firstly, it is the latest addition to the malls in Ibadan, we had it drawn out on the table for sometimes now, we did not want it to be like the common mall we see, we decided to have a blend of a different kind of architecture we see often. Going inside the mall is our staircase connection, very different and unique. This staircases connection has never hit a dead end moving around in the mall, everywhere leads somewhere, you cannot lose a friend around here, you do not need to push a call through before finding the person, this is one of latest selling points.
Secondly, you cannot phantom its designs, looking at the architecture status on some sides you will say it confidently that it is two floors, on another like three floors, let me shock you it is four floors, there is a very big basement and then you have the ground, middle and expansive top level so calculating it, it is more like the Maryland Mall in Lagos which is over 5,500 square meters.
So how did the deal of Jericho Mall come into place?
The truth about my personality is that I am a development appraiser, I am a relocation expert, a development analyst, I go out of my way to analyze projects even when it does not concern me, I have been behind many projects in terms of thinking and intelligence, I am a city person and much more Ibadan city person, I have analyzed many cities including Lagos but I live here and that made me prejudice about Ibadan’s growing and blossoming, so when this malls was coming up, I saw the need for a mall like Jericho mall in terms of Location, offering and many other important things. We have a slogans Eat, Play, Shop which came to mind during the drawing. We wanted somewhere where families can go to and the father goes somewhere, mother somewhere else and also the kids go somewhere else all inside this same mall and no one is lacking or disturbing each other’s fun.
Why Jericho and not Bodija or the likes?
A while back we discovered that the way forward for Ibadan really is in the Jericho area and GRA, looking at Jericho you see the amount of projects going on that people do not even know about, Onireke, Eleyele, Alesinloye, Alalubosa and Ringroad Axis these are the growth axis structure of Ibadan, Bodija has been there since the 1960s and it has served its purpose and well populated but I dare to say that the things we see in GRA’s cannot be seen there anymore. So when we thought of the best cool axis GRA is the best, so then Jericho came into the picture, and then it must be of high accessibility in Ibadan, how do I mean that the highway is a super highway this is because every way lead to this direction with no traffic or plenty street lights to disturb and also not just about the highway but the centrality. Then again is the direction and time people move from one place to the other, coming here from anywhere you can get here max 20/30 minute, funnily, you will cut down lots of traffic, I mean lots if you know your way well in Ibadan.
What is Jericho Mall’s Uniqueness?
Eat, Play and Shop is what we offer. A 3 in 1 package. Jericho Mall offers the most fantastic prices in Ibadan much more than any other one. No brand has it. We want the whole family to be able to come here and have fun first together, differently and then together on their way out.
We do everyday shopping for shoppers of any kind, anything you need as a man or woman is readily available, your needs are always meet.
When we say you should come and eat, we mean you have somewhere you feel comfortable eating cheap quality kind of food. What we did was to scatter the prices. You see the food court in other countries cannot be used for us here. And then people here love to enjoy their privacy and not some quadrangles where people are jamming each other.
We have also given room for couples to be in perfect comfort without the kids jamming or disturbing there parents. The kids themselves have their own games and places of attraction. And for parent who are done with what they came here to do and there lovely kids seems not to be ready to leave the games, there parent can join in because we do not have kiddy games in Jericho so that way everyone is not done yet and they are all having joyous fun in a home away from home.
Lastly, is Privacy, the mall is private in all ramifications. Ones you enter anywhere you forget where you are. Each place has its unique points.
What are the facilities that people of Ibadan should look forward to in Jericho mall?
Jericho mall is a grocery mall, other malls have their mall anchors but as far as Jericho mall is concerned it has its anchor mall and other groceries, bars, eateries, lounges, Chinese restaurant, bar and open air lounge( roof top bar), finger foods, clothing, boutiques and later we will have two levels of amusement and arcade which our amusement will come on the ground level through the basement and arcade which will have about 45 games, while the basement has about 15 games in the next few month. We are ready to tantalize Ibadan afresh and also happy hours, gifting and so many offering as well, we will also be having a cinema soon.
What is the capacity of this mall?
Let’s start with floor space; we have a floor space of over 5,500 square meters, each floor is half an archer so you can imagine how many floors with how many archers. The grey areas (corridor areas/access areas), people can get to lounge on the corridor and we have capacity for 0ver 1500 people. We also have different stores opening with us. We have capacity for 50 stores in capacity.
Can you mention few outlets that people should be expecting?
The Anchor, Baza mall- which is an India supermarket that is run by outlets in Lagos with the cheapest and best qualities ever, they are bringing same prices to Ibadan irrespective of the transportation from one place to another.
Finger licking: Is a gate restaurant with a sit out area, Large screen TV, umbrellas and other exciting views.
Neptune bar, popular stores Da Viva, Attire stores, Lamarikosa, confectionary store, photography lounge, ladies loungilies, spa, and so on.
And the realest unseen great toilet facility called the 5 stars toilet.
Now lets know about you sir. Can we know about your first book and why writing?
I came out of secondary school knowing what I wanted to do from form 4 and been doing it for 32 years. I came across the concept of Estate Management in Nigeria at form 4 and I loved the idea of buildings as somebody they hand over buildings to anytime any day. I went to university of Lagos. I studied Estate management subsequent to that I have a master in housing, development management. I became branch manager in 1987 in Ibadan, I was promoted in Lagos to Ibadan, so I was able to manage a range of office which was a first time and I then discovered that there were gaps in Real Estate.
I discovered I had writing talents way from age 15 years in my secondary school. The first gap I noticed was that as much as we are managing Real Estate survey service and values there are estate surveyors who are quakes and ones trained for the job and there are great distinctions between the two of them. I wrote my first book Titled How to buy properties safely in Nigeria and it was an instant celebration, this book was welcomed in Nigeria with Nigerians knowing they needed it to change many space lacking the Real Estate. I have also written How to build house in months with your present income which was my best seller books, How to get the best mortgage deals in Nigeria, 75 winning way to negotiate real estates, How everyone can get money from real estate, 21 things that sharpens and sharpen and so on. They are not books for the print man; they are real guide books for many out there.
What are your future plans sir?
Truthfully, my future belongs to God and once it is with God it must outshine greatly, a future where I can work into my legacies and look back into how I started remembering everything.
Do you attend programs you get to speak to youths?
I have had 20 years of exposure in public speaking, so I speak regularly. I make myself available once I am called upon. I speak in banks, churches; youth programs beyond that I am also a judge in youth entrepreneurial programs, kid starts entrepreneurial programs. I am always ready to help youth that are ready to innovate because that is the future of our dare country.