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Presidency, others hail Olagunju’s contributions to economy

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Waheed Olagunju

President Muhammadu Buhari and other stakeholders across different spheres of the economy have hailed the achievement of the former Executive Director, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), of the Bank of Industry (BoI), Dr Waheed Olagunju, as he clocks 60, and for his contributions to Nigeria.

In a statement from the Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President commended Olagunju for playing a significant role in supporting the vision of diversifying the Nigerian economy through innovative and actionable ideas that translated into growth of small businesses across the country.

“The President celebrates with all family members, friends and associates of Olagunju, while congratulating him for always making himself available for service to the nation and humanity, which is centrally motivated by his fear of God and sense of patriotism,” he added.

On his part, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, while speaking at the birthday celebration, described Olagunju as a quintessential Nigerian that everyone should be proud.

“I had the benefit to work with the celebrant when he was the Acting Managing Director of BoI. We worked together to establish for the first time, the fund for artisans and small scale miners. Farmers always have intervention fund from CBN, but somehow, miners were never treated with the same special support like the farmers, but with his assistance, we were able to establish that fund,” he said.

Similarly, the pioneer MD of BoI, Dr Lawrence Osa-Afiana, described Olagunju as one whom the history of banking, particularly Development Banking in Nigeria, cannot be written without mentioning his name.

“Waheed brought a lot to banking that improved the industry not only in Nigeria but also the African continent. While working with him, he was a man of many parts. He was the Company Secretary, the Strategy person who successfully coordinated the institutional and management study of BoI that was conducted by the Swedish Development Advisers appointed by the African Development Bank, and he did all of those with ease expected of a professional,” he remarked.

Former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, said: “I appointed you as the first managing director because I believed in you, your enthusiasm, your character and hard work. You made my work easier when you were there. I had 17 agencies reporting to me, and you were one of the best.”

“We have done several things together, especially in the area of youth development. The celebrant is passionate about the youth. I have the belief that at 60, the celebrant still has a lot to contribute to the country,” Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, said of the celebrant.

As colleagues, Chairman of Channels Television, John Momoh, said: “Waheed was very diligent in his duty and worked so hard. We used to work 48 hours, producing documentaries in NTA. He was so passionate about the job; we felt sad when he left NTA because we knew he was a great ambassador of the station; and today, we know he kept the flag flying up to BoI and he did exploit.”


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