Wednesday, 6th December 2023

Adebanjo expresses disappointment in Seyi Makinde, others

By Eniola Daniel
28 July 2023   |   8:23 am
*Challenges governors to push for federalism *OICL commits 1% of revenue to foundation as Sanwo-Olu commends initiative Leader of 'Afenifere', the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Pa Ayo Adebanjo yesterday said he is disappointed in the governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde and other governors of the southwest region for not doing enough to improve the region…

Odua Chairman, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru(left), Dr Victoria Adunola Samson, Chairperson, OIF, Dr Olatokunbo Awolowo Dosunmu, member, OIF, Chief Onipede Akande, Dr Biodun Shobanjo, SSG Lagos, Bimbola Salu- Hundeyin, SSG Ekiti, Dr Habibat Adubiaro and others during the inauguration of OIF board. PHOTO: ENIOLA DANIEL

*Challenges governors to push for federalism
*OICL commits 1% of revenue to foundation as Sanwo-Olu commends initiative

Leader of ‘Afenifere’, the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Pa Ayo Adebanjo yesterday said he is disappointed in the governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde and other governors of the southwest region for not doing enough to improve the region and follow the steps of first Premier of the Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

The elder statesman singled out the Oyo State governor for criticism over representation of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Olanike Adeyemo by the Permanent Secretary, General Administration in the Office of The Governor, Oyo State, Adedayo Ayorinde, to the official launch of Odu’a Investment Foundation (OIF) held at the Lagos Airport Hotel.

He said “Considering my age, I ought not to be here this morning (yesterday) because I was in Ijebu Ode yesterday to honour a departed friend and I will be returning to Ijebu Ode tonight (yesterday night) to attend the Diocesan Board meeting of my church but I am here because I can’t miss anything related to Oduduwa. So, I want to thank all you directors of Odu’a Investment Company Limited (OICL) because you are inheritors of a good heritage, God bless you for establishing the Odu’a Investment Foundation (OIF).

“I am the only surviving founder of this establishment but many of you don’t appreciate what you are seeing here.

We are talking about production today. It was the founder of OICL, under the regime of Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1951 and was then known as Western Nigeria Production Development Board and
while we are talking about production now, Chief Awolowo has been talking about production decades ago before many of you were born.

This is one of the investments the Action Group(AG) did while one of the policies of the party is egalitarian society to create a society where no one will be suppressed, where there is opportunity for everybody to get to the top and make free education compulsory, free scholarships of 200 since 1954; the leaders of public opinion, profession today in the country are all product of chief Obafemi Awolowo through the foundation.

I want to appeal to the governors; they have not been doing their jobs, but I want to send a particular word to the governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, I am not proud of you today at all. Others didn’t do well, but what are you doing; you are not here and didn’t send your deputy but sending representative of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG). We are are the product that created you into existence, all the politicians in the western region of Nigeria today are products of this organisation. OICL was competing with the UAC, founded companies.

“Until this country (Nigeria) is restructured back to federalism, we will not be able to do than what we are doing and that’s why it’s the duty of all the governors to insist on the restructuring of this country back to federalism so that every region can develop at its own pace.

Chairperson, OIF, Ọlatokunbọ Awolọwọ Dosumu, said: “Beyond the role of the conglomerate in the business of adding value to the economy, as well as their statutory obligation of enhancing the revenue of their various shareholder governments, they have now decided to deploy a further percentage of their income to an initiative that offers a wider latitude to impact lives through creative, inventive and effective philanthropy that cannot be accomplished by other means.

“By setting up this Foundation, therefore, this Board has intentionally introduced an additional avenue through which the company can further impact the lives of the people positively. In other words, rather than neglect or erase the legacy of our founding fathers, they have elected to maintain and, even, propagate it. I commend them once again for taking this bold step.

“I note with great joy that several decades after the group was set up and more than three decades after the transition of the prime legator, Chief Awolowo, the legacy has remained in very safe hands. The journey may not always have been particularly smooth but it is important to note that in spite of all odds, and as a testament to the solid foundation upon which it was built, coupled with the commitment of its board, management and staff over the years, the house of Odu’a Group is still standing tall, sturdy and safe.
On his part, chairman, Odu’a Investment Company Limited (OICL), Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, said: “Odu’ a Investment Company Limited has committed 1% of our Profit After Tax going forward to the
Foundation. Our hope is that this will provide the Foundation with the seed money required to attract additional external funding and resources needed to achieve the necessary impact and reach.

To achieve its objectives, the Foundation will rely heavily on collaborations and partnerships with individuals, businesses, and public and private institutions, including non-governmental organizations, development agencies, multilateral bodies, etc.

We believe that with your support, the Foundation can tap into the vast collective economic and social capital available to the Southwest Region, and direct the resources pooled together into projects and initiatives that will improve the welfare our people.

Also, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu who was represented by the SSG, Bimbo Hundeyin, said: The name “Odu’a” is deeply rooted in our culture and history, reminding us of our noble heritage and the virtues of resilience innovation and love for fellow mankind. As we launch this foundation which will serve as the corporate social responsibility arm of the company, we
invoke the spirit of Odu’a to guide us on this transformative and empathetic path.

It is a well known fact that the primary goal of any business oriented organization is profit making. However, in the pursuit of this legitimate goal, it is expected that organizations must commit part of their resources to cater for/to the welfare needs of the community and the people that patronize their business. I am therefore excited that our company by this initiative, is showing commitment to its corporate social responsibility with focus on education, health, housing, agriculture environment and youth empowerment.

“Indeed, these areas of focus fo the Foundaion are critical and fundamental to improving the human capital development profile of our region for sustainable growth and development In Lagos State, the activity of this Foundation will complement our efforts especially in the successful implementation of our T.H.E.M.E.S+ developmental agenda. While the pillar It stands for Health & Environment, the pillar ‘E’ stands for Education & Technology, and the ‘+’ represents our renewed focus on youth development, social inclusion and gender equality.

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