The Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of 1004 Estates Homeowners and Residents Association have reacted to a video making the rounds on social media on the state of the estate, describing it as totally misleading.
Femi Gbenle, legal officer of HORA, in a statement said the video being circulated of the estate was an attempt by a sponsored group of persons to further devalue the investment of homeowners and create the narrative of decay and crisis.
The association said the attempt by the publisher of the video and writings online to tarnish the reputation of the BOT and indeed the Chairman of the BOT, Mr Tayo Soetan, along with other homeowners was unfortunate and will be legally addressed.
The statement reads, “For the public, we state unequivocally that there is no ₦5bn or any other falsely quoted sum in 1004 Estates that has been mismanaged or misappropriated. The key purveyors of these false claims are well known in the estate for several infractions that include non-payment of rent, service charge and theft of electricity. Having been sanctioned for these infractions (consistent with the estate bye-laws), and curbed by our recent press conference and the attendant public outcry, they have resorted to outright lies and half-truths via social media and negative press to divert attention from their illegal activities.
“Suffice it to say that the estate, like all other estates, is run from annual service charges collected from homeowners and residents. For the year 2020, the budgeted service charge is N626,000.00 per flat, and for 2019 it was N546,000.00. It is pertinent to point out that as at September 20th, 2020, collection rate for the full 2019 service charge was 85%, while for the current year - 2020 only 40% of the apartments in the estate have fully paid, while 45% have paid half as at the same date. Meanwhile, due to its complexity, the estate provides a suite of services, using professional service providers, which most estates in Nigeria do not provide. These services include 24hrs power supply; water treatment and supply; security; cleaning and gardening; waste (including sewage) collection and disposal; elevators; clubhouses; maintenance of common areas/facilities; and recreational facilities. 1004 Estate has 1,074 apartments and the average collection rate annually is 60% – 70%. In the last 5 years the average service charge amount has been about ₦500,000.00
“This year is the first time since 2015 when 1004HORA took over management of the estate that service charge will amount to over ₦600,000.00.
“One of the main attractions of our estate is the 24-hour electricity supply, using a blend of public power and generators. Unfortunately, the estate has some residents who rather than pay for their electricity prefer to steal power by bypassing their meters. A forensic audit of our power account showed that over 40% of residents in the estate were involved in power theft. This organized power theft was so prevalent that it brought the power infrastructure to the brink of collapse, as receivables could no longer sustain power delivery to dues-paying Residents. At a point the deficit from power theft was over ₦185m and rising. These power theft and illegal connections apart from the financial impact, also poses a danger of fire to the estate. The firm stance of 1004 HORA under the chairmanship of Barr Lara Ademola, in fighting these criminal acts has attracted extreme hostility and propaganda against her and other HORA officials, Homeowners and the BOT by these perpetrators.
“We are however not oblivious of the façade of the buildings and the need to improve on this. It is important to note that when the apartments were sold, it was mandatory for each buyer/homeowner to pay ₦300,000.00 as an asset replacement fund to be pooled for capital development and refurbishment of the estate. The funds totalled about ₦322m at the time. Unfortunately, the then facility managers, Messers 1004 Estate Limited, a company owned by Samuel Ukpong, with whom these funds were domiciled, failed to release the funds when the management of the estate was taken over by 1004 HORA.
“We are currently in court with this company to release the funds with accrued interest believed to now be in the region of ₦600m. In February 2020 an estate refurbishment committee was set up to coordinate the execution of needed civil, mechanical, and electrical works to improve the look and value of the estate. This exercise is currently ongoing.”