July 16, 2024

Olamide Lawal: Dapo Abiodun: An Ogun State realist

Uneasy, they say lies the head that wears the crown.

Undoubtedly, Leadership is often seen as synonymous with power and prestige, but when the cries of the people are heard and attended to, such headship ought to be commended.

Beyond dreams and ambitions, being the leader is not just an office or position, it is a service. The Governor of Ogun State, Prince (Dr) Dapo Abiodun, is a leader who allows himself to be used by God in order to answer the prayers of the masses of Ogun State.

He stands out as a beacon of hope and a shining example of true leadership as described by Warren Bennis that “Leadership is the capacity to translate a vision into reality”. With a vision that transcends mere politics, Abiodun has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the welfare of his people, a keen sense of innovation, and a steadfast resolve to leave a lasting and sustainable legacy. Under his transformative leadership, Ogun State has witnessed a remarkable turn-around, with unprecedented growth, development, and prosperity which attests to his desires to “build a brighter future” for generations, even yet unborn in the State.

Since his assumption of office, he has implemented numerous initiatives, cementing his legacy as a champion of progress. Ogun State has witnessed a stark contrast in leadership styles between its current governor, Dapo Abiodun, and his predecessors. While his immediate predecessor marked his administration with refusal to allow several initiatives of past government to come into reality like the Dangote Refinery project, Olokola Deep Seaport, Agro Cargo airport among others, Governor Abiodun embraced progress and development in the state by ensuring that all these initiatives are pursued into reality as a means to ensure brighter tomorrow for young people in the Gateway State

History has it that oil was discovered on Tongeji Island in Ogun State in 2004, during the administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniel. The discovery was made by PGS Exploration Nigeria Limited, following a three-dimensional seismic study of oil and other minerals in the state. The study covered various locations, including Tongeji Island in Ipokia Local Government Area, and led to a $50 million investment pledge by PGS Exploration Nigeria Limited in April 2004 but even Otunba Gbenga Daniel could not achieve anything else on it for seven years before he left office in 2011.

The short-sightedness in rejecting many of those initiatives by his predecessor denied Ogun State a chance towards economic transformation and prosperity. Those projects would have generated employment opportunities, stimulated growth, and boosted the state’s revenue. Alas, history shall judge everyone. Their decisions to disallow the establishment of the Dangote petrochemical refinery in Ogun State have been widely criticized as a short-sighted move that deprived the state of significant economic benefits. The refinery, which is now operational, had the potential to generate massive employment opportunities, stimulate economic growth, and increase the state’s revenue. Such refusal is a classic example of a leadership that has held back Ogun State’s development.

Governor Abiodun has proven himself not to be only a visionary leader but a man desirous of transforming Ogun State into a hub of economic growth. The all-inclusive development under his administration is a testament to the power of vision, collaboration, and effective leadership.

Though Otunba Gbenga Daniel’s administration thought of some of these initiatives but it could not translate them into reality like the current Governor of the state, Prince Dapo Abiodun. People dont praise thinkers, they want realists.

In contrast to his predecessors’ failures, Governor Abiodun has demonstrated a strong willingness to partner with investors, creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. His administration’s support for the construction of the Gateway Agro Cargo International Airport and oil exploration in Tongeji Island projects have already been yielding positive results.

Under Abiodun’s leadership, Ogun State has become a hub of economic activities, attracting investments and creating jobs. His commitment to infrastructural development, education, and healthcare has improved the quality of lives of citizens. These landmark projects have positioned Ogun as a key player in good governance and economic growth, attracting investments and creating jobs for the youths.

In a remarkably significant development, Governor Abiodun selected three seasoned consultants to play key roles in the off-take of the Gateway International Agro-Cargo Airport. The appointments were recently announced by the Secretary to the Ogun State Government Mr. TokunboTalabi.

According to the former Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osibajo, “The construction and development of critical infrastructure will transform the economy and create more job opportunities for citizens is one way to build a modern and prosperous future for all Nigerians.”

Prof. Osinbajo stated this at the maiden test flight into the new Gateway Agro Cargo International Airport in Ilishan, Ikenne Local Government Area of Ogun State.

“This is how we build a modern, prosperous future for all Nigerians. I have no doubt that the culture of innovation and progress that the Gateway Agro Cargo International Airport has already brought will continue to motivate the people of Ogun State even more,” he said at the momentous occasion.

Another significant milestone is the commencement of oil exploration in the state. Governor Abiodun’s tireless efforts have led to the discovery of oil in Ogun, paving the way for increased revenue and economic diversification.

Ogun State is set to join the ranks of oil-producing states in Nigeria as oil and gas exploration commences soon. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) is leading this effort, which is expected to boost crude oil production and contribute to the federal government’s revenue. The state’s inclusion in the Dahomey Basin corridor holds promise for significant oil deposits.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, confirmed that oil exploration will soon commence in Ogun State. During a visit to the Ogun State Government House recently , he emphasized the importance of this decision and its potential impact on Nigeria’s economy.

Ogun State, situated within the Dahomey Basin, holds promising hydrocarbon deposits. The state’s inclusion in oil exploration activities underscores the federal government’s commitment to maximizing Nigeria’s oil resources.

Ogun State’s entry into the league of oil-producing states marks a significant milestone, and stakeholders are optimistic about the positive impact it will have on the nation’s energy sector. Kudos to Governor Abiodun for this great feat.

Governor Abiodun’s dedication to excellence and his people-centered approach have earned him widespread accolades. He is indeed a shining example of good leadership, inspiring hope and confidence in the future of Ogun State.

In human capital development, Governor Abiodun also surrounds himself with vibrant young individuals in his quest to bequeath good governance to his people. This decision is another testament to Abiodun’s commitment to involving the youth in the governance of the state and harnessing their energy and ideas to drive development.

This move is in line with Abiodun’s campaign promise to give the youth a chance to participate in governance and decision-making processes. By appointing young people, the governor is demonstrating his trust in the abilities of the youth and his commitment to empowering them to become leaders and change-makers in their communities.

Among Governor Dapo Abiodun’s achievements through his leadership style includes but not limited to

*Infrastructure development: He has invested heavily in road construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance, improving connectivity and facilitating economic growth.

*Education reform: Governor Abiodun has implemented initiatives to enhance the quality of education, including teacher training, curriculum reform, and infrastructure upgrades. These are evident in the results from the citadels of learning.

*Healthcare transformation: He has upgraded healthcare facilities, improved access to quality healthcare, and implemented programs to combat infectious diseases.

*Economic diversification: He has promoted agriculture, tourism, and innovation, creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors. All these are tailored towards utilising the energy of youths productively.

*Job creation: His administration has implemented programs to boost employment, including vocational training and youth empowerment initiatives.

*Transparency and accountability: Governor Abiodun has ensured openness in governance, implementing measures to increase transparency and accountability in government operations.

*Security enhancement: He has strengthened security infrastructure, improved policing, and implemented community-based initiatives to ensure a safer Ogun State, unlike what obtains before 2019 when he came on board.

*Community development: He has initiated programs to uplift rural communities, providing amenities and infrastructure to improve the quality of life.

*Environmental sustainability: Governor Abiodun has implemented initiatives to protect the environment, promote conservation, and address climate change.

It is indeed visible to the blind and the sounds of joy are audible enough even to the deaf that Prince Dapo Abiodun has brought liberation to the people of Ogun State.

Olamide Lawal is the National President of APC Youth League

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