The Lagos State Government is officially a co-owner of the Western Nigeria Investment Group, the Odu’a Holdings.
This was stated by the Group Chairman of the company, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru when he presented the Lagos State Government Odu’a Investment share certificate to the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The presentation took place during a courtesy visit to the governor by the company’s board and management at Lagos House, Ikeja.
The Odu’a Group was set up by the government of Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the Western Region, is owned by the Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti States governments.
Ashiru said it became necessary for the company to hand over the Share Certificate to Governor Sanwo-Olu to silence doubting Thomases who don’t believe that Lagos State is part of the Odua Group.
He said Lagos State is a bonafide member of the Odu’a Investment Company Limited, and the board members and management have been enjoying the support of the Lagos State Government.
The chairman said the focus of the board and management team to engineer a turnaround for the group, even as he added that with the calibre of people managing the affairs of the company right now, is to become a world-class company.
He, however, requested more support from the Lagos State Government, noting that Odu’a is ready to partner and work with the state government for more business opportunities in hospitality, real estate, tourism and agriculture, especially the Imota Rice Mill.
Sanwo-Olu, in his response, said the Lagos State Government is willing to partner with Odu’a Investment Company to deepen the relationship among the South-west states in agriculture, hospitality, oil and gas, tourism and other business opportunities.
He said: “We thank you very much for putting paid to doubt Thomases, who are not sure whether Lagos State has been brought in as part of Odu’a Investment. Lagos State before now has been accepted as an equal partner and equal shareholder with governors of the five other states, and we are all equal stakeholders in the group.
“We thank you very much for presenting our Share Certificate to us. We have enjoyed dividends a couple of times already and it goes to show that our investment is yielding the right results. Lagos State is happy that we have made that investment and we are part of a great and bigger agenda called the Odu’a Investment.
“We are willing to partner with Odu’a Investment Company on our Imota Rice Mill. The Rice Mill will be unveiled in October or November 2022, depending on the timing of our guests. It is something that we all need to celebrate. That would be the biggest single rice mill in the country, and it is a pride for all of us.
“And coming out of the mill itself, there are many other businesses that also can springboard like rice plantation, rice paddy, and all of it can be one of the areas in which we can look out for great business opportunities in Odu’a Investment Company. There are also other areas we can collaborate on like real estate opportunities, blue economy, hospitality destinations and tourism.”
The governor commended the board and management for their commitment, urging them to have a long view and make it a company that will outlive them.