By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
Frontline contender for the governorship ticket of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun state, Senator Ademola Adeleke has opened up on his business and entrepreneurial activities in the United States before his return to Nigeria.
This was contained in a statement issued to journalists on Wednesday. The businessman turned politician recalled how he established series of thriving businesses in the United States without support of his family.
“I don’t like saying it but our people in Osun deserves to know more about my work and business background. I am what our people called serial entrepreneur. The good thing is that I started those businesses on my own without any support from my family members. As a business minded individual, I pushed hard to record successes that even shocked my brother and his friends.
“When my brother and his friend , Alhaji Aliko visited my warehouse in the United States in one of those years, they were surprised at my activities. Both of them asked why I never briefed them of this business effort. I told them I wanted to show what I am capable of doing.
“My Company , Origin International Limited which I co-founded with a friend was into production of fragrance and flavour for food and beauty industry. It was a thriving enterprise. I made a lot of money from the business. The business expanded so rapidly.
“The business was a major break for me. It was also a pioneering effort. We penetrated several American markets. That manufacturing venture yielded a lot of returns. You know only a competent and smart people can successfully create and run business in the United States.
” That is not all. Prior to the manufacturing venture, I also started a Courier service firm that won a major courier contract then in the United States. It was a one man business. My business acumen and skills ensured that the contract was awarded to my firm. I competed with a Whiteman to win. How can an incompetent hand compete and win a competitive contract against a white man?”, he asked rhetorically.
On the business environment in the US, Adeleke noted that it was the vast business opportunities he saw in the US that warranted his many breaks during his educational studies.
According to the former Senator, the United States is a land of opportunities where “I demonstrated my competence, strengths, skills and capacity among whites and people of colours. What a better place to demonstrate your competence?
“When I returned to Nigeria and I was appointed as an Executive Director of Pacific Holdings, my brother’s company, it was a recognition of my own antecedent as a man who had distinguished himself by building and successfully running his own businesses. The management of Pacific Holdings was aware of my business exploits in the US.
“For those who may not know, as an Executive Director of Guinness Nigeria Limited, I also contributed immensely to the expansion of the company. At the age of 32 , I was on the board with the likes of General TY Danjuma.
” I played many critical board room roles including being selected to lead a company team to negotiate for expansion loans from the Dublin headquarters. I not only negotiated and secured the loan but deployed my experience in the negotiation. I was a major asset to the board where I served for two terms”, Senator Adeleke said.
On why he was silent about some of the narrated exploits , Senator Adeleke said his late father , also a Senator of the Federal republic, taught him to be humble even when under attacks.
“My upbringing prevents me from saying too much about myself. This is more so as I am now the issue in Osun politics. But I gave the above snippets to reassure our people that I am indeed a business manager with track records”, he said.