Sanwo-Olu wants focus on agric value chain

ODUA

L-R: Secretary to Lagos State Government, Mrs Folashade Jaji, Representative of Ondo State Governor/Secretary to Ondo State Government, Mrs Oladuni Odu , Lagos Deputy Governor Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat and his Ogun State Counterpart, Engr, Noimot Salako Oyedele during the 45th Anniversary Lecture of Odua's Investment Company Limited held at Lagos Airport Hotel Ikeja. Lagos on Friday.

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has called on his counterparts in the South West States to invest massively in Agricultural development.

This, he said, will realign with the intent of the founding fathers for the growth and development of the South Western region in the face of contemporary challenges.

Speaking today at the 45th Anniversary Lecture of Odu’a Investment Company, Sanwo-Olu who was represented by his deputy, Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat added that it is essential to the survival and revitalization of the region.

According to him, 45% of tomatoes produced in the country get wasted due to poor storage and processing as not everything gets to the market.

He added that such underscores the need for the government in the region to invest in such areas.

“We have cocoa Plantations why don’t we invest more in all those things. We must realize that the world is changing and as such bricks and mortar may not necessarily be the only thing to invest in”.

While congratulating the management of Odua Investment that the company is still standing 45 years after, the Governor stated that it is important to accelerate the legacies of setting up the company to meet up with the challenges bedevilling the country.

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He described the theme of the anniversary lecture, “Odu’a Investment: Transforming from a Regional Player to a Global Powerhouse” as very apt and extremely important as all hands must be on deck to scale up and lift the company to a global powerhouse which all states in the region must leverage on.

Sanwo-Olu said the future beacons on all and they all have a responsibility to accelerate the process of transforming the legacy and the vision of the founding fathers of the company to make it better.

In his address, the Chairman, Board of Directors, Odu’a Investment Company, Dr Segun Aina disclosed that the company plans to upgrade and fine-tunes its corporate social responsibility efforts and have established an Odu’a Investment Foundation which will be supported by the company and its partners to selectively intervene in healthcare, education, youth development and allied matters.

He added that the company also plans to diversify its portfolio of assets beyond real estate and its existing subsidiaries and associates. The Chairman further disclosed that the company’s new investment initiatives will now target eight selected sectors of the economy which include, Real Estate, Hospitality, Healthcare, Agriculture, Transportation and Logistics. Others include ICT and Digital, Energy and Financial Services.

He said that the company intended to dilute ownership in some of its investments where it currently has 100% ownership while limiting its shareholding in new ventures to minority holdings as may be necessary as well as seeks partners that will provide capital and technical expertise to run the businesses.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Odu’a Investment Company, Mr Adewale Raji stated that the 45th celebration of the company was carefully crafted to not just commemorate how far the company has come since it was incorporated 45years ago, but to paint a picture of how far it hopes to go.

He added that as the organization reposition itself to fulfil its role as both investment vehicle and growth engine for the southwest, the company is imbued with a vision to be a world-class conglomerate driven by a collective mission and strategy to enhance this legacy for future generations.