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Governors, stakeholders want Odu’a Investment to diversify portfolio

By Benjamin Alade
15 November 2021   |   2:47 am
Stakeholders have stressed the need for Odu’a Investment Company Limited (OICL) to diversify its assets and investment into more robust business entities to allocate and deploy capital

FILES] Sanwo-Olu. Photo/FACEBOOK/ jidesanwooluofficial

Stakeholders have stressed the need for Odu’a Investment Company Limited (OICL) to diversify its assets and investment into more robust business entities to allocate and deploy capital where necessary based on competitive strengths, capabilities and character of its management.

The stakeholders who gathered at the 45th anniversary of the company, commended the management for its resilience despite the challenges encountered over the years, stating that the company has remained strong.

The stakeholders were representatives of the Southwest governors to include Lagos State Governor, Obafemi Hamzat; Ogun State, Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele, Ondo State, Secretary to the State Government of Ondo State, Catherine Oludunni, Odu’a management expert and a former Country Manager of Accenture, Dotun Sulaiman, among others.

Hazmat said there was a need for the company to explore new areas of opportunities in the economy.

He urged the company to consider investments in agricultural storage and processing to tap the opportunities in those areas.

“In our country today, 45 per cent of tomatoes produced get wasted. Not that we do not produce enough, but not everything gets to the consumer’s table.

“So, why don’t we go into storage and processing of these things? We have cocoa plantations, why don’t we invest in those areas to align with the intent of our founding fathers,” he said.

Hazmat said the world is changing and new investment opportunities are emerging and urged the company to move with the times.

He said the state is happy to be part of the Odu’a investment family once again.

Sulaiman, who gave the anniversary lecture, with the theme, ‘From regional player to global powerhouse’, said Odu’a investment is a treasure inherited from past leaders of the South-West region and that there was the need to reposition it and take it to greater heights.

He urged the company to focus on its areas of strength and foray into emerging but lucrative sectors of the economy.

The expert said the company had missed many investment opportunities in viable sectors like telecommunication, energy and fintech in the past but that it was not too late to consider those areas.

“The Western Region recorded many firsts many years ago, but where are we today? Though we have yielded grounds, hope is not lost. If we begin to do the right thing with our inherited treasure with Odu’a Investment Company, we will definitely achieve a lot,” he said.

Besides, Group Chairman, OICL, Dr Segun Aina, disclosed that the company is being restructured to enhance its performance, achieve sustainable growth and transform into a world-class conglomerate in no distant time.

Aina said the company, owned by the six states in the South-West, seeks to emerge as a world-class conglomerate in no distant time.

“Odu’a Investment Company Ltd is being transformed into a lean, non-operating investment holding company to enhance transparency, focus on investment management and sustainability, traverse a path of maximum impact, and leverage on the models we have seen succeeds in similar institutions across the globe.

Aina said the next four years would be the foundation years for the conglomerate to transform into an impact-driven organisation.

“Our targets for Odu’a investment over the next four years are audacious in terms of social impact, growth in revenue and returns on assets with various optimisation programmes planned.

“Despite the obvious challenges in the macro-economy, we are optimistic that with the support of everyone and stakeholders, we will over-deliver,” he said.

Aina said the company plans to diversify its portfolio beyond real estate and other subsidiaries and associates.

He said the new investment initiatives of the company would now target selected sectors of the economy, including healthcare, transportation and logistics, ICT, energy and financial services.

“We have the strategic intent to dilute ownership in some of the investments where we currently have 100 per cent ownership while limiting our shareholding in new ventures to minority holdings as may be necessary.

“We are also seeking partners that will provide capital and technical expertise to run these businesses,” he said.

He commended the owner states – Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun – for their consistent support for the company, urging them to continue to support the company to achieve its new vision.