‘We have always met expectations of 1004 residents’

1004EstateMoved by the claim of ownership, allegation of no transparency, accountability and fairness by 1004 estate residents’ association, the managers have exonerated the company from such allegations, arguing that all their demands lack any legal backing as any valid claim of ownership of the property must be based on legal title documents not just on publications.  

FOLLOWING claims of high service charge and mismanagement by a group known as 1004 Home Owners and Residents Association in Victoria Island, Lagos, 1004 Estate Limited has debunked the allegation, saying that the firm has shrewdly manage the funds and ensure that the estate continues to function inspite of all deliberate hindrances, false accusations and black mail.

The estate is the largest high-rise luxury estate in Nigeria consisting of maisonettes and flats and studio apartments and has become the destination of choice for discerning corporate companies and individuals.

In fact, 1004 estate has indeed proven to be a roaring success story for all our property investors as the capital values have risen by over 150 per cent on the two bedroom, three bedroom and four bedroom flats, which initially cost N20 million, N25million, and N30million and now sells for a minimum of N50million, N 60million and N65 million each.

The annual rents have continued to steadily rise by 100 per cent from an average N1.5 million per annum initially to between N3 million and over N4million per annum per annum. The rental and purchase demand for the estate flats have continued to remain remarkably high in the property market.

On the association’ grouse that there were no transparency, accountability and fairness in the treatment of residents and flat owners, the managing director, 1004 Estate Limited, estate owners and managers, Mr. Samuel Ukpong said, “We take our time every year to send a 45 – page report on the activities of the previous year, the challenges and the expense incurred and the payments received for the service and the new service charges for the new period.

This has been done yearly.    “They cannot say we don’t give accounts. We always do but they may be unwilling to accept the accounts, which is judgmental. For instance, all accounts are private to the flat and if one flat owes, the other flat is not supposed to pay on its behalf and each account can only be rendered to each flat owner.

After we reviewed their demands for unilaterally appointing an auditor to audit the company without the legal right and when that did not work, we then decided that an auditor of similar pedigree should be invited to review the service charge accounts.    “Ernst and Young, which also audits our largest banks, was called in for our own external audit and they have just sent in their reports and we are able to now send an individualised cost and billing to each flat for settlement. .”

On the allegation of high service charge, he said: “1004 estates has the lowest service charge in the whole of Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Oniru and Lekki.

Our rate of N658, 000 per annum  (about N52, 000 monthly) is the reason for the high occupancy levels on the estate.”      According to him, “the whole issue is of eight people who claim to always speak for all residents and non resident sub lessees and now decree diminishing service charges from the initial take off N450, 000 when the estate was partially occupied in 2011 down to N350, 000 in 2012, further down to N250, 000 in 2013 and incredibly down to N180, 000 in 2014 and further more that in 2014 that every one must pay only N15, 000 monthly, which objective clearly being to financially cripple the company.

It is so clear what they negatively hope to achieve by trying to decree that service charges should be reduced to N15, 000 monthly, which all the subleases and residents have since rejected as not making any sense for a flat in Victoria Island and therefore paying the actual service charged fixed by the company for 2014.

Ukpong who also spoke on the alleged claims of termination of the 93 year management agreement by the group, said: “1004 Estates Limited acquired the land and buildings in the estate for 99 years and subsequently renovated the flats and then offered subleases of 93 years to individual flats to interested investors.

All the lands in the estate and common areas still reside in 1004 estates Limited by virtue of its reversionary interest and are for the use and enjoyment of all the residents as stated in the sublease and management agreement for each flat.     “The management agreement which is also for 93 years initially gives exclusive management rights on the estate to 1004 estates Limited for the holistic operations of the services and estate.

The same sublease agreement has also incorporated an official rules and regulations for a “1004 housing estate home owners association” 1004 HEHOA.”

He further explained, “There is a need to create a legal distinction between 1004 estate the location and 1004 estates Limited, the company. The company owns the land and is distinct with its own shareholders who are the only ones that can run the company.

The company is not open to the residents to run.    “ If any one wants to confuse any valid claim of ownership of our property, it must be based on legal title documents not just on publications. There is no legal basis for this claim for which a title document in their favour must be produced evidencing from whom they derived title.”

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12 Comments
  • Pally Iriase

    No one stands against a community and prevails. The fraud inherent in the claim of ownership of the entire estate by Mr Ukpong will soon unravel. Happily, many owners who purchased their property in the Estate did not fall for the fraud of signing sublease agreement with Ukpong and his 1004 Estate Ltd under duress.
    The Guardian is too important a medium to lend itself to this cheap image laundry. Nigerians who have come to believe that the Guardian stands for excellent journalism, must feel let down by your unbalanced story.

  • Lanre

    I’m totally disappointed by this article from The Guardian. I am resident in 1004 estate and the management is a fraud that must be done away with. Even the article is full of grammatical errors that prompted me to go back to check the url with the question in my mind “did The Guardian actually publish this”? Very unprofessional indeed.

  • Gloria

    I’m quite disappointed with the The Guardian on this article as I too am a resident of the estate. Some level of investigative journalism is expected to ensure that facts are accurately presented in their articles. The management of 1004 has shown neither transparency nor integrity in their dealings with residents of the estate. No annual reports of expenditure have been presented nor have the accounts ever been audited. This is why the Residents Association has sought legal recourse with the courts.

  • Ehiosu Oviawe

    It is clear that the management of 1004 have no idea about financial reporting a 45 page report was sent to residents only in 2012 and it was not a proper financial account. It was a shoddy attempt at budget preparation. This is evident in the fact that it is 45 slides of which most of the space is occupied by pictures and text that have no proper impact on the report. The Breakdown of figures do not show unit costs or quantities, it is full of assumptions and even worse some fabricated figures are blatant falsehoods. The Facility Manager constantly act outside the law, Imagine a service provider cutting people of power which is a prepaid service knowing fully well that electricity is used for cooking and refrigerating food stuff. What is worse is that the cost of power is high and the management illegally changes the charge at will. What is worse is the health risk resident do not realize they are exposed to. See pictures from our so called world class estate. It is funny how he states that Ernst and Young did and external audit and he refers to being able to send a bill to each flat for settlement but omits to say he would share said audit report.

  • Michael

    This article is full of errors and outright lies promulgated by Samuel Ukpong. The yearly report he mentions is nothing more than a glossy report full of photos of activities on the estate without any break down of how he has spent the money of the residents. His company has failed to account for over 300,000,000 collected as an asset replacement fund. The landlords who have invested in the estate unfortunately do not pay attention to what is going on since most of the flats are tenanted. The place is run down with people drying their clothes on their balconies and weeds sprouting from the verandas, particularly block D1. This so called “luxury estate” is nothing more than a low class estate mismanaged by Samuel Ukpong. The Association has only asked that people pay 15,000 per month because of the Management’s refusal to account for the money. Most people are happy to pay for whatever amount is required to make the place a wonderful estate if management accounted for it but it does not. Sooner of later, the management will leave and we will all be free from their tyranny.

  • tosin nwafor

    I have been resident in this estate for the past 3 years. I have not once received any financial report as this article claims. One of the things I found ludicrous was the claim by Mr Ukpong/ 1004 estate ltd that they are owing Eko DC millions of Naira. If all the flats in 1004 have the pre-paid meter, pray tell Mr Ukpong why are you owing them money? The last incoherent email your company sent ordering a flat rate of 42,000 per month electricity bill for each flat was what broke the camel’s back. Following that, I have joined the HORA and I am quite determined that I will get of rid you and all you stand for. I was full of mirth at your claim of 8 residents objecting to your high handedness. The last time I looked at the list and appended signatures, It was over 700. Don’t worry, the Financial Crime Commission, would soon invite you I dare you to spew your lies when it is time face the jury.

  • TRM

    This article is wholly inaccurate. The problem the residents are having with 1004 is pretty straightforward and the Resident’s Association has support because Ukpong’s Management has not been transparent throughout his tenure.

    It has to be made clear that the service charge does not include charges for power, that is electricity and diesel. These have always been charged separately and at a premium. The service charge covers communal services only. That is maintenance of the lifts, clearing the rubbish, the security guards, the cleaners, swimming pools, tennis courts and electricity in the car park, corridors and around the estate. The service might be the lowest on the island but bearing in mind there are 1078 apartments in 1004, one need only do the math to work out that services are more than covered with the service charge and it is difficult to justify such large sums being paid by the residents. N450,000 by 1078 apartments = N485,100,000. At the exchange rate of N160 that is just over $3million per annum. That was for back then. Till today we have not seen a statement to show what and how he is spending $3million per annum on.

    Kindly note that the service charge does not include any internal apartment maintenance of any sort. If something breaks down in your apartment, you are forced to use 1004 for repairs and all charges for labour and parts are paid by you. If you do not want to use 1004, you must make an application to use your own maintenance people and this is not always granted.

    POWER: whether this comes through diesel or via the grid is charged separately and has nothing to do with service charge. When we first moved in power rate was charged at N75/ kilowatt hr is THE HIGHEST IN ANY ESTATE IN NIGERIA. All Estates within Ikoyi,Victoria Island and Lekki axis charge between N35 and N45 per kilowatt hr for diesel supply. We in 1004 paid N75/ kilowatt hr whether we used the grid or diesel. Amounting to a huge profit for 1004 Management. This was finally reduced in 2014 but has now been raised again to N60/ kilowatt hr with a minimum loading fee of N42,000 per month and does not include electricity from the grid.

    Legally, you are not supposed to make a profit from Service Charge and you are REQUIRED to show a statement annually. We have not received a STATEMENT from Ukpong to show how and what the service charge has been spent on.

    Other estates paying a much higher service charge, pay this because it includes the cost of diesel. This has to be made clear and understood when comparing to other estates. There is no luxury in 1004. A lot of apartments are leaking due to the bad renovation using prefab slats joined together. The security guards are paid minimum wage and cost less than N1million a month in salaries. Cleaners are paid even less. So what exactly has he done with the money?

  • Akpabio Esien

    I have been living in 1004 Estate since 2011 and the Estate has steadily deteoriated over the years. When I parked into the Estate, it was not the current Managers that were there. Problems were constantly attended with dispatch. Electricity charge per kilowatt was Fifty Naira and Management Cost was Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira with the explanation that the Estate was not fully occupied. And as the Estate becomes more occupied, the Cost will be reducing. Suddenly Mr. Ukpong came into the Management of the Estate with the 1004 Estate Limited and started taking unilateral decisions. Increase the Management Cost and Electricity Charge from Fifty Naira to Seventy Five Naira per kilowatt. Maintenance calls were ignored at will, power supply became epilectic and we started have coloured water supply into the Flats. Mr. Ukpong will hold meeting with Owners and Residents Association Representatives, agree on issues and go about doing something else. He started cutting electricity in the flats claiming non payment of Management Fee while electricity is prepared. He refuse to subject the accounts (Managment Cost and Electricity Tariff) for checks or Audit. If we are the once paying for th services, do we not have the right to demand for the audit of the money collected from us? If he claims that the electricity charge was fair, why did EKDC which we reported him forced him to reduce the charge from Seventy Five Naira to Forty Five Naira now? Or why did he not report the several occasion he has been dragged to the DPO of Bay Beach Station and his agreement not to disconnect anybody from electricity because of Management Fee, which he still does with impunity? The man is a dub and the earlier he is removed from the Estate, the better to save that Estate from furhter deteoriation. He cannot management the Estate.

  • Enose

    Comedian! Can’t help but laugh. Really sad how the Ex 1004 Estate manager choose to sell his comedy. We the residents and home owners are done with you already. Fabrication ain’t gonna work this time Samuel, it pretty late for you now. Just in case you think you are Samuel L Jackson. Smh.

  • Folabi Babatunde

    People have the right to speak, but it’s still quite unfortunate when you find individuals like Mr. Samuel Ukpong using the pages of The Guardian newspaper to tell lies and try to hoodwink the public to believe his lies. 1004 Home Owners and Resident Association (HORA) has the membership of a good majority of 1004 home owners and residents.

    Authorities in public institutions like The Police Force, NERC and EKEDC are now well acquainted with the lies of Samuel Ukpong/1004 Estate ltd. These institutions were involved a number of times to settle feuds between HORA and Ukpong/1004 Estates ltd bordering on transparency and accountability, but Ukpong has consistently set aside agreements reached. Just imagine, HORA prepaid for electricity ahead to Ukpong/1004 estate ltd but it was discovered recently that Ukpong/1004 estate ltd owed EKEDC to the tune of N25 million Naira as a result of which EKEDC cutoff electricity supplies to the estate. Why should such a fellow/organization be allowed to continue to manage the estate and defraud home owners and residents.

    The issue at hand is simple. 1004 flats were sold outright to home owners, not rented, so the collective owners and residents through an association need to have the overriding say on how the estate should be managed, service charges levied, etc. Charges and rates of services provided cannot just be levied by the estate managers without good basis that are transparent and agreed to by HORA. So the majority of 1004 home owners and residents have taken the decision, and no going back, to sack Ukpong/1004 Estate ltd from managing the estate. For over 4 years, 1004 HORA have endured and tried to work together with Ukpong/1004 estate ltd on how to manage the estate transparently and be accountable for all monies collected but to no avail because Ukpong/1004 estate ltd refused to subject itself to simple process of transparency and accountability. Ukpong just want to continue to feed fat from the pockets of home owners and residents. That cannot continue anymore.

  • Gamma

    In this day and age, Samuel Ukpong is trying to hoodwink more than 1000 legitimate homeowners to believe they don’t own but are tenants. The original developers of the estate were very clear on what they wanted to do – sell the flats outright. This is what they did. For Ukpong to have the effrontery to claim that he is the “owner ” of 1004 Estate is ludicrous, to say the least. If he thinks he will try to play a game of time, it will not work and hence mistaken. We are ready to fight until this corrupt individual is brought to book.

    By the way, this is new Nigeria and the wind of change is blowing.

  • Gamma

    In this day and age, Samuel Ukpong is trying to hoodwink more than 1000 legitimate homeowners to believe they don’t own but are tenants. The original developers of the estate were very clear on what they wanted to do – sell the flats outright. This is what they did. For Ukpong to have the effrontery to claim that he is the “owner ” of 1004 Estate is ludicrous, to say the least. If he thinks he will try to play a game of time, it will not work and hence mistaken. We are ready to fight until this corrupt individual is brought to book.

    By the way, this is the new Nigeria and the wind of change is blowing.

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