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Why S/West Governors ended political interference, mediocrity in running Oodua Group–Abiodun

...says Ogun now has capacity to sign 2,000 C of O per day

Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun said the owner states of the Oodua Investment Company Ltd have decided against interfering in the running of the conglomerate.

Abiodun, speaking while receiving in audience the board and management of the conglomerate, led by its Group Chairman, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru,
expressed delight at the successes recorded by the company in recent years.

Commending the sense of creativity, direction and purpose of the new management team, Prince Abiodun noted that he and the other South-West governors adopted a non-interference approach in order to reposition the conglomerate to reflect the true worth of the people of the zone.

He said: “I want to recall that in 2019 when I assumed office, my colleagues and I sat and we decided that it was high time we began the process of repositioning Odu’a and that the present Odu’a at that time did not reflect the quality of us as a people of the South-West.

“We decided that no longer would we want an Odu’a where the members that represent the various states are just politicians; that we would ensure that we have members that are fit for purpose, and also that we should ensure that even the management itself and the directors are professionally recruited so that they can complement the board.

“Today’s Odu’a is a complete departure, night and day from what Odu’a used to be.

“I want to commend your sense of creativity, direction, purpose, sincerity, and commitment to all that you signed up to do, and we are very happy with the results we have seen.

“Because of that, all the governors have adopted a non-interference approach; we have decided not to interfere with you. We are happy with what we are seeing.”

Governor Abiodun also noted that his administration has come up with an inter-ministerial business environment council saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that investors don’t find it difficult to set up businesses in the state, adding that the state is number three in internally generated revenue in the country.

Abiodun noted that reforms and the level of efficiency and effectiveness in governance as well as the ability to block leakages and loopholes without putting so much burden through increased taxes on the citizens are some of the reasons why the state would continue to soar in its determination to improve it’s internally generated revenue.

He added that his administration had created business clusters across the state, such as Remo, Ijebu, Egba, Magboro, and Yewa.

He disclosed that his administration has acquired an Electronic Certificate of Occupancy equipment that could sign 2,000 Certificates of Occupancy per day.

He said that his administration had to sanitize the entire land bureau of the state with the appointment of a tested hand to ensure the smooth running of the office, adding that his administration is fast tracking the processes so as to also ensure that the reforms reflect who the state is.

“People are buying land; they are speculating. We have issues of land speculators. We had to practically shut down our lands department for a while and appointed somebody new to oversee the land administration in the state.

“We have a backlog of Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) and today, I think, we are the first state to implement our ‘Electronic Certificate of Occupancy’ equipment that has a machine that can sign 2,000 certificates of occupancy in a day because it is important for you to have your CofO.

“These are the kind of things that have been a clog in the wheel in the past and we are ensuring that we fast-track these processes so as to also ensure that the reforms reflect who we are,” he said.

The governor also said that his administration recently launched the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) enabled Mass Transit, adding that Ogun is working collaboratively with other states to do the same.

Abiodun, who disclosed that the buses would now be able to charge pre-subsidy removal prices across the state, added that the state has led the park in terms of green revolution and climate change sensitivity.

“We are also converting buses for some of our neighbouring states and even one or two states in the North as well because we are prepared for this. We knew this was coming; that sooner than later, a government would wake up and realize that paying subsidy was no longer sustainable,” he added.

Speaking on infrastructure in the South Western zone, Governor Abiodun said that he and his governor colleagues from Lagos and Oyo states are looking to light up the entire Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, ensure their is internet facility on the road, just as he also noted that they are looking to deploy drones to complement the ones already bought by his administration to ensure security of the people.

Earlier in his remarks, Otunba Ashiru commended the governors of member states for appointing capable hands into various boards of the company, noting that the issue of diversification is very key to the company.

Ashiru also disclosed that the company has been given a license for the marginal field, noting that Odu’a Investment Company is on the verge of becoming an oil-producing organization in the country.

“Hopefully, we should be able to move into field by the first or second quarter of next year.

“So, Odu’a will be one of the oil producing organizations in Nigeria,” he said.

On the hospitality business of the company, Ashiru also noted that the company currently has a joint venture with international hoteliers, saying that an agreement has been signed for the increase of rooms in Premier Hotel from 87 to 150.

The group chairman, who noted that the company is looking at having an industrial park along the interchange, added that a Chinese company is on the verge of investing in the power sector of the South West with an interest in 1000 megawatts per state of the zone.

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