By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
Worried by Nigeria’s dwindling economic fortune, the five owner-state-governors of Odu’a Investment Company Limited comprising Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti States rose from a crucial meeting in Ibadan on Tuesday with a resolve to reposition the conglomerate “as the engine room of economic growth and development of the west”.
Specifically, the meeting which took place inside the historic high-rise Cocoa House, Ibadan agreed in principle to admit Lagos State as part of the Odu’a group to further strengthen the conglomerate, thus making it more buoyant financially and economically.
In attendance at the meeting were Governor Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun); Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (Osun); Dr. Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo) as well as Deputy Governor Moses Alake Adeyemo (Oyo) and his Ekiti State counterpart, Dr. Olusola Kolapo, together with the respective Secretaries to the State Governments and members of the Board of Odu’a Investment including the Group Managing Director, Mr. Adewale Raji.
A four-point communiqué issued at the end of the meeting and read to journalists by Governor Mimiko of Ondo State remarked that the owner-state-governors had just approved a five-year Strategic Plan (2015-2019) to grow the financial fortune and economy of the South-west zone from N4billion to N20billion by 2019.
To actualize the dream, the governors decided that they would henceforth meet with the Board and Management of the conglomerate on quarterly basis to monitor the development within the investment company.
Earlier in an address of welcome, the Chairman, Board of Directors of Odu’a Conglomerate, Chief Isaac Akintade, remarked that the parley was holding four years after the last owner-state-governors’ meeting held on 28 February, 2012 at the office of the Governor of Oyo State at Agodi in Ibadan.
“We are very proud to host this meeting at the iconic first high rise building in West Africa – the Cocoa House Building, which turned 50 years on 29 July, 2015,” he said just as he prayed that God Almighty should continue to progress the states and keep the unity of the South-west and the Nigerian nation at large”.