Despite the current business strategies used by the majority of industries, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo declared on Tuesday in Abuja that investing in technology is necessary to remain relevant.
When he welcomed a group from the Odu’a Investment Company to the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Osinbajo remarked, “Legacy and history have a powerful draw, but it might be that what the future calls for is even bigger and this is why we must be investing in technology.”
This information was released on Tuesday in a statement by Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President for Media and Publicity, captioned “Investing in technology is the way of the future.”
Odu’a Investment Company Limited, which began operations in October 1976, has interests in breweries, commercial banks, insurance, real estate, livestock farming, fisheries, tourism, oil and gas, among other things.
Osinbajo advised the company’s chairman, Bimbo Ashiru, to “look at technology and see how to alter and improve the (business) model). Osinbajo made the following argument in favor of appropriate privatization and the benefits it would bring to the government: “If the private sector runs enterprises, it is far better because it would produce bigger dividends.
“The NLNG is making a lot of money because the private sector controls a large portion and generates income for the nation. The idea of engaging experienced, intelligent individuals from the private sector to run organizations and businesses with the interest of the government needs to be promoted.
Governors of southwestern states are big shareholders in the Odu’a corporation, but Ashiru, who briefed State House media following the meeting, that they are not interfering with its operations despite being major stockholders. He claimed that this had assured the company’s growth into a top-tier organization.
According to him, the business is being operated as a conglomerate that pays shareholders their due dividends and draws international investors to the hospitality, agricultural, real estate, and information technology industries, among other sectors.
He declared, “We have six shareholder states, but they are not in charge of Odu’a. They choose the members of the Board, but Odu’a is managed like a conglomerate; it is a sizable conglomerate. We have transformed Odu’a into a world-class conglomerate because we want to compete globally.
“So, that’s basically the reason we’re here—to inform the Vice President that this is a national issue. It’s an American thing. We are now operating as a global company, which is the key thing. The governors of the Southwest deserve praise. They do not experience interference or micromanagement. We were given total freedom to manage it. The majority of the time, though, we still have to refer to them, and I’m pleased to inform you that we are paying dividends to the shareholders.”
Ashiru continued by saying that the business was looking into international collaborations and investments. He revealed, for instance, that one of the conglomerate’s well-known enterprises, the Premier Hotel in Ibadan, Oyo State, would soon be collaborating with a major brand. He said that under the new deal, the hotel will receive a five-star makeover and see an increase in room count from 87 to 120.
The VP was also informed by Ashiru that Lagos State had just joined Odu’a Investment Company and had received shareholder certification from it.
The group’s managing director, Mr. Adewale Raji, as well as other directors including Dr. Tola Kasali, Mr. Seni Adio, SAN, and Adebola Osibogun were in attendance. Along with them were Mr. Victor Ayetoro, Head of Branding and Communications at Odu’a, and Mr. Babajide Arowosafe, Managing Director of SWAgCo Limited.