Nigeria is home to some of the most expensively-constructed buildings in Africa. In certain places, like Victoria Island in Lagos, sky-scrapers are as commonplace as the dust of the streets; and in other places like Lekki, Banana Island and Victoria Garden City, expensive duplexes and mansions litter everywhere.
Nigeria is a wealthy country, and a percentage of her inhabitants are wealthy. One thing typical rich Nigerians love to do is to acquire properties, gadgets like automobiles and power bikes, and also to build houses. There is arguably no wealthy Nigerian who does not currently either own or live in an expensive house.
It’s the same way all over the world. American President Donald Trump once lived in an expensive gold-littered penthouse at the multi-billion-dollar Trump Towers in New York, before he became president; while the richest man in India, Mukesh Ambani Dhirubbhai, lives in a one billion dollar worth castle called the Antilla, in India.
In Nigeria, it is quite difficult to ascertain the most expensive house, simply because there are many wealthy people who have built really lavish residences all around the country. The likes of the richest black woman, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija – who built and lives in a multi-billion naira mansion; Mike Adenuga, Chairman of Globacom, who also lives in a multi-million naira house; and many other top entertainers and traditional rulers, have houses that took fortunes to build. The list is endless, but we have comprehensively sorted through them to bring you the current most expensive house in Nigeria.
Read on, to see the features of the most expensive house in the country.
According to confirmed reports, the most expensive house in the country is a residential building belonging to a certain Umenyiora Okwudili, also known as ‘Mr. Dilly’.
Location of the house:
The house is a jaw-dropping architectural masterpiece, situated at Lekki Phase One, in Lagos state, Nigeria. It is not a wonder to many that the most expensive house in the country is located in Lagos. Lagos state is the country’s commercial hub and centre of excellence, and this house is a testament to that reality.
Cost of the house:
There comes the shock waves. According to confirmed reports, Mr. Umenyiora Okwudili’s house cost not less than ten million dollars to build, which is equivalent to 3.6 billion naira at the currency exchange market. Imagine a house that took that amount to build; it will surely be next to heaven in beauty and splendor!
Remember, this is not talking about the most expensive house in Lagos state, or on Victoria Island; but the most expensive house in the whole Nigeria. Even Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija’s classic mansion does not worth as much as this particular house.
About the house:
Mr. Umenyiora Okwudili reportedly acquired the land for the building and started construction in the year 2009. Foreign contractors were hired to do every aspect of the house, from the building to the finishing. It took four full years to build the house, and it was finished in the year 2013.
Features of the house:
Imagine the kinds of features that will be found in a house that is worth in excess of $10 million. In fact, even the imagination may not be able to fully capture some of facilities that are available in the house. Well, that’s why you have this post. Here are the features the house has:
- Indoor Elevators:
- If you think that you have seen or heard it all, more shocks await you.
- Well, that’s just what it is. There is a fully functional elevator inside the most expensive house in Nigeria. It traverses the ground and fourth floors of the building!
- First, imagine what elevators are. They are those machines that aid movement up a set of stairs or a height. Elevators are most commonly seen in Cinema houses, malls, airports, office complexes, and some other specialized buildings. However, to think of an elevator inside a house?
- A transparent garage:
- So much money!
- One of the other very prominent features about this house is the transparent, see-through garage that is built therein. In fact, he has both indoor and outdoor garages. All over the world, any environment or structure that houses cars is always built with bricks or mortar, and the only exceptions are the car showrooms, which use transparent glass for advertisement. However, Mr. Umenyiora Okwudili’s mansion does not have a showroom, but a garage for parking his incredible fleet of cars. The walls, floor and ceiling of the house are made of fine glass, and it is large enough to accommodate many cars. It is even compartmentalized, as there are sections of his glass garage for parking SUVs, there is another section for parking his Range rovers, and there are other sections for parking other vehicles.
- Swimming Pools
- It is unknown how an indoor pool can be a possibility. However, we have seen it in movies, and it is not a structural impossibility. Little wonder, Mr. Umenyiora Okwudili hired only foreign building contractors to design and build the house for him.
- In fact, it is rumoured that the house has more than one indoor pool, but at this moment, we can only attest to the presence of one.
- You heard rightly; the house has at least one indoor pool! The pool is situated on one of the floors of the house, meaning that Mr. Umenyiora Okwudili can actually leave one of the outdoor pools for his visitors’ pleasure and relaxation, while he can keep the indoor pool to himself.
- Please note, that it is not ‘swimming pool’, but swimming pools. Emphasis on the plurality of the pools. Now, a swimming pool can be found in any rich man’s house, as it is not very expensive to build and maintain. However, to have more than one swimming pool in one house? Even some fun parks, hotels and holiday destinations do not have more than two; but Mr. Umenyiora Okwudili’s house has nothing less than three swimming pools, including at least one indoor pool.
- Floor Televisions:
- People who come to the house can decide whether to look straight and upwards to watch Television on the wall, or look down and watch Television on the floor. It’s that incredible!
- Each of these TV sets cost a fortune to procure, and Mr. Okwudili allegedly has about five of them in his house.
- The television sets were not only made, but were installed by the company themselves in his home. The TVs face up, and one can actually step on their faces while walking across the room. However, due to their unique design and the specific demand Mr. Okwudili made, the screens are made to be extra strong and durable, and can withstand high pressure and force. They are not different from other regular televisions; they have remote controls, they are flat screen LEDs, they can be connected to a DVD player or home theatre system, and they can also be connected to a cable service provider.
- This one just breaks the yoke, for those still trying to believe the features of the house that have already been described. In ancient times, we have known televisions to be mounted on a stool, or a television stand, or a platform of some sort. As time went on, technology evolved, and we began to see the introduction of television sets that were mounted on the walls. The fame of these wall-mounted flat screen TVs spread like wildfire, and are still very much in vogue today. However, just when we thought that we had seen it all, Mr. Umenyiora Okwudili broke the record again, by being the first Nigerian to use a floor Television in his home. Now, it is unknown whether floor televisions are already in circulation. As a matter of fact, it is highly unlikely; and reports indicate that Mr. Okwudili contacted one of the television companies to specially make him a set of flat screen floor television sets.
- Five House-keepers:
- Typically, a wealthy Nigerian man would have around one or two housekeepers waiting on him and keeping his house in order while he is away: however, for Mr. Umenyiora Okwudili, the case is different. He has not less than five housekeepers tending to his $10 million home. In fact, one of the housekeepers is an expatriate, a woman from Philippines. Now, imagine the amount of money that would be required to maintain the housekeepers, including the foreigner among them.
One may argue that he is wasting resources in hiring five persons to do the job of housekeeping. Now, as logical as that may sound, it is worthy to note that the house itself is too large and sophisticated for only one or two individuals to maintain. Hence the need for as many as five persons.
- Giorgio Armani wall art:
- Its technically a designer house. No wonder it is the most expensive in Nigeria.
- Most houses have paint on the walls, which is good. Wealthy people go beyond paint, and fix nice 3D wallpapers on the walls of their houses, to give it an expensive look. However, Mr. Dilly went even farther, by procuring and installing Giorgio Armani branded wall art on the walls of the living rooms. Each one of the art pieces cost millions of naira, and the house contains lots of them.
About the owner:
The owner of the house is none other than Mr. Umenyiora Okwudili, an accomplished Igbo business tycoon. At 46 years of age, he is one of the youngest billionaires in Africa.
He was born in the United Kingdom, before he eventually moved to the United states with his brother. He is the chairman and chief executive officer of Dilly Motors, a company that deals in automobiles in Lagos, Nigeria. He is popularly referred to as Lagos Big Boy, and he also has police escorts that follow him all around.
He is married to Fifi Umenyiora, and their union is blessed with two kids.
According to reports, Mr. Umenyiora Okwudili is a former fraudster and fugitive. Unconfirmed FBI reports indicate that he has been involved in several money scams in the United States of America in the past, and even has a few convictions to his name. He was allegedly arrested in Alabama, United States for fraudulent activities and released from jail at some point in 2006.
It was after he discovered that the United States of America was no longer suitable for him to continue his 419 activities, that he decided to return to Nigeria. Now, whether or not these claims are true, we do not know. However, there are pictures and details of him on the United States Database for prison inmates and ex-convicts, which was captured after he was arrested and tried in court for fraud.
The case for his suspicious source of wealth gains more credibility with the fact that his only known business venture is the car dealing business he runs, called Dilly Motors. There are several car dealers in Nigeria, many more successful than him at the business, who have not built up to a tenth of what he has built, and who do not boast of up to a fraction of the wealth he proposes to have.
Asides being an automobile dealer, Umenyiora Okwudili is also the owner of top record label, Eric Manny Entertainment. The label features many top Nigerian acts, including RunTown, who was on the books until his recent departure. According to confirmed reports, Mr. Dilly had allegedly pulled a gun on RunTown, following a minor misunderstanding; and RunTown in turn, got him arrested and charged to court. At the moment, RunTown is no longer with Eric Manny Entertainment, the case is still pending in court, and Mr. Umenyiora Okwudili moves around town with mobile police escorts. What a country!
There you have it; the most expensive house in Nigeria. There are many expensive houses, but this one beats them all. However, it is only a matter of time before another business magnate puts up another structure that bests this.