By Chukwudi Nweje
When renowned actor and comedian, Jim Carrey, outlined the three golden rules of living he was not the classroom teacher of Dr. Ndubuisi Charles Mba, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CDV Properties and Development Limited. However, Mba figured out these rules and applied them.
According to Carrey, the first rule is to discover how you will serve the world. The second is to find out what the world needs that your talent can provide. The third is to leave a lasting effect on others. He said the effect one has on others is “the most valuable currency there is.”
Many people will spend their lifetime trying to figure out these thought-provoking rules to living. However, Mba has not only figured them out but has also been living them for almost two decades now. He demonstrates the exact meaning of living by using his talent to serve the world and leaving a lasting impression while serving and making a positive impact on the causes that matter to the people. His is to provide one of the most essential necessities of man – shelter – even as he has donated a considerable chunk of his wealth for the transformation of society and people.
Mba has not only carved a niche for himself as one of the biggest players in the real estate business in Nigeria, but he has also distinguished himself as a philanthropist of excellence and has left an indelible effect on the lives of those he encountered. To say the least, he has figured out how to serve the people with his talent and leave a lasting impression on their lives.
To change the world as he desires, this budding entrepreneur has embraced the words of iconic world statesman, Dr. Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, that, “education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.”
He is well schooled. And he has also embraced philanthropy. Indeed, with his pet project, the Charley Mba Foundation, a charity organisation established in December 2020, purposely to give scholarship to indigent students from primary to university level, Mba has sponsored and trained those who aspire for professional courses like Engineering, Medicine, Pharmacy and Nursing.
Today, Mba is one of the pillars of education in Orba Community of Udenu Local Government Area, Enugu State, and he has shown his commitment and dedication to curbing illiteracy and poverty in the town through his foundation. He has also donated a substantial part of his wealth for the betterment of society and has challenged other wealthy individuals to do the same in Enugu State and beyond.
Interestingly, Mba was not born with a silver spoon. Rather, he was born with a ‘can-do’ attitude. His rise to the top of the real estate sector and other endeavours he ventured into is a product of determination and hard work predicated on his high value for education. He attended the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsuuka, where he was found worthy in both character and learning, earning a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology in 1994. He started his working career with Emzor Pharmaceutical Company, where he worked for several years, sharpening his marketing skills, which he later developed a passion for. He later joined Mitchell Engineering Limited, an engineering outfit based in Lagos, as a trainee. During this period, he worked as an assistant site supervisor. He later moved on to Newsite Limited, a real estate and property development company, where he worked as a full site supervisor.
After years of paid employment, in 2002, Mba took the bold step to set up his own business, first by establishing Coutics Investment Limited, a real estate firm that was also into importation of building and construction materials. Later in 2012, he established CDV Properties and Development Limited, which has grown to become one of the leading real estate companies in Nigeria. The company first started from a temporary office in VGC before it relocated to the permanent site in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
Mba has become a developer of high quality and functional estates in prime locations at pocket-friendly rates. VGC has become the popular choice for clients because the company has provided for different classes of customers. It is founded on three cardinal pillars: Affordability, to provide various flexible plans on all properties, finish to taste to meet both medium and high-income earners and bridge the gap in housing deficit across Nigeria; Integrity, a reputation that speaks for the company from building trusting relationships by keeping its promises and in most times exceeding client’s expectations by raising the bar and thereby transforming the way business is done; and, Responsibility, built on tasking itself with a greater focus on the triple bottom line (financial, social and environmental) and an expectation that business must always operate within the interests of wider society.
Mba, says CDV first started with high-earning luxurious houses but had to switch to building affordable homes for middle-class income earners in the society following the downturn of the economy. He is a member of many professional bodies within and outside Nigeria. These include the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria and Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Resources Management and Policies, Ghana.
He also serves on the board of many companies as chairman/director. These include Coutics Investment Ltd, CILAN Workforce Ltd and JASONS Academy, among others. He has interests in importation, education services, oil and gas, and has held public positions as the board chairman of Enugu State-owned Ikenga Hotels Limited.
Mba has received several recognitions for his philanthropy, entrepreneurial achievements and community development programmes. He has been honoured with, among others, The Nigerian Entrepreneurs Award of Excellence; the Dignity of Man Award from the University of Nigeria Alumni Association, Lagos branch; the Africa Prize for Leadership Excellence as the Property Development Personality of the Year 2017; Outstanding Leadership Recognition and Inspirational Leadership Award; Excellence Award in West Africa by the Chartered Institute of Public Resources Management and Politics, Ghana, in March 2020. He also received an honorary doctorate degree as Doctor of Science in Property Development and Real Estate Management (Honoris Causa) from European American University, Ghana.