Ilupeju Lagos Landlords Prefer Indians And Lebanese To Nigerians - |Ads4naira Blog|

Ilupeju Lagos Landlords Prefer Indians And Lebanese To Nigerians

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After two years of rigorous job search, Olanipekun James finally secured a job with a company in Ilupeju area of Lagos. It was barely three weeks after he arrived in Lagos from his village in Kogi State.

With so much enthusiasm, James resumed duty at his new work place. Meanwhile, he had to live with his friend in Sango area of Ogun State, which is several kilometres away from his office. This did not only compel him to wake up at 5am every morning so as to meet up with the 8:00am resumption time, he closed at 6pm and returned home around 9pm.

However, with a good salary and a reasonable housing loan, he was soon able to raise money to secure his own accommodation. With a strong desire to live in a quiet and peaceful neighbourhood that is not too far from his office and one that has link with the major arterial roads within the metropolis, James sought to get one within the same Ilupeju neighbourhood.

Thus, on a Saturday morning, James, accompanied by an estate agent, sauntered into the streets of Ilupeju and began looking for accommodation. He later told Saturday PUNCH that indeed he saw vacant houses but that most of them had a caveat on them, saying Indian tenants were most preferred. “I was shocked,” he said.

He explained, “The agent and I went from one street to another and most of the houses that I liked had that caveat on them. You would see a ‘To Let’ board on a property, and just below it, you could see ‘Indian/Lebanese tenants only’ or ‘Indian/Lebanese tenants preferred.’ And I could see in most of such houses that they already had Indians and Lebanese as tenants, so any Nigerian among them might be like a stranger.
“For example, I met with one of the landlords of such houses with ‘Indian tenants preferred.’ He had a block of six flats and he told me that because four of the tenants in the house were Indians, he would prefer an Indian or a Lebanese tenant to avoid crisis unless I was ready to pay more. A very clean, beautiful house, but I lost it. He said if I couldn’t pay more, Indians ‘would soon come’ for it.

“Some landlords won’t even indicate their preference until you approach them. My worry about this was that you tend to see such caveat on most of the good houses while the ones that are not very good are left open to all. And Ilupeju is almost fully occupied, so there are no numerous vacant houses which limits the options available. I found it quite strange that even as a Nigerian, foreigners could be enjoying an upper hand while we indigenes settle for crumbs.”

Since James could not get any of the houses he desired, he said he had to settle for a house in Mafoluku in Oshodi. “It is not that Nigerians cannot get good houses in Ilupeju, they can but the chances are small and getting smaller as the days pass by compared to the rising hope for Indians and Lebanese. Regardless, Indians are most preferred and that happens a lot in the very good houses,” he added.
James’ experience gives inkling into life in a Lagos community being taken over by foreigners.

Like James, 53-year-old Henry, who had just returned to the country after his 15-year sojourn abroad, is still taken aback that the community where he grew up is fast being overtaken by foreigners. He toldSaturday PUNCHthat before he travelled out of the country with his family, he could count all the foreigners in Ilupeju, as it was largely dominated by Nigerians but that since he came back, he had been struggling to come to terms with the development.

He said, “I went through a lot to get a good accommodation here when I came back. The owners or managers of almost all the houses I inspected had preference for Indians or Lebanese. Given the difficulty and the stress I went through, I could have opted for another location, maybe Gbagada, but I have been used to Ilupeju and I love its calmness, centrality, good road network and proximity to other parts of Lagos, so I had to keep searching until I got one. Of course, I couldn’t get the ones I really loved because the vacant ones are being reserved for Indians or Lebanese. Suffice it to say they have taken over Ilupeju.”

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