By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
A former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, at the weekend resolved to do anything possible to stimulate employment generation and enhance economic development of the state.
Obasanjo and Daniel, who are promoters of the Green Legacy Resort Hotel and Conference Hotel respectively, restated their commitment to their home state during the commissioning of 1.5 million litres water scheme held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta.
The project, which would supply water from the OOPL dam to Daniel’s nearby five-star facility, was considered an unprecedented show of support and solidarity.
Speaking at the commissioning programme, Obasanjo said he decided to strike the deal with the former governor to assist his hotel in overcoming its water generation challenges.
The former president explained that he had resorted to solar power and built a dam within the OOPL complex with a view to providing uninterrupted electricity and clean water to its facilities and also extend same to others interested.
He further noted that the collaboration between the two parties would ensure the provision of more employment especially in Abeokuta, the state capital.
Obasanjo added, “I believe our own capacity will satisfy what you need at Conference Hotel. I assure you that you will not have shortage of water in your company henceforth.
“I will do whatever I can to ensure we create employment. This is a lively city and to make Ogun State a gateway for development in Nigeria, that means whatever we can do we should always do to create employment.”
Speaking after the water scheme was commissioned, Daniel commended the former president’s gesture of extending water supply to his hotel facilities.
The former governor maintained that what exists between their organisations was never competition but only cooperation and complementary relationship.
He encouraged other business owners to emulate such initiative towards boosting the growth and development of their investments.
The former governor, who explained that he was able to rehabilitate the Arakanga Water Scheme in Abeokuta with new pipes laid to replace the old, dilapidated ones during his tenure, however, stated that he was informed that many of the pipes were destroyed during the subsequent road expansion and bridges construction.
Daniel said, “Whatever you see happening is complementary. Our dream is quite big for Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State and that is the part of the vision Baba (Obasanjo) had in putting together the initiative of the library to so that everybody will come and have opportunity for research and development and in process that will help them for accommodation.
“OOPL is not really in competition with Conference. Father and son can never be in competition. There are certain talents that are inbuilt in an African. We are the best in sports and there is no doubt that we are also the best in entertainment and in this new world order, people must look at their area of core competence.
“When you look at the amount of resources that are available in sports and entertainment, it is much more than what we can have in other industries and from what I’m seeing, this is the future. I therfore encourage everybody and the other industries to key into this initiative which is complementary to development.
“What we need to do is the initiative we have here. When you look at what the Chinese did to develop, it is not about building big power stations, big water supply stations. Rather, it is about all sorts of little, little modular systems.”
The event was witnessed by some dignitaries, including the Eselu of Iselu Kingdom, Oba Akintunde Akinyemi, and top management staff of both OOPL and Conference Hotel Ltd.
It will be recalled that perrenial water shortages have been a historical challenge in Abeokuta because of the rocky terrain in the state capital.
Therefore, to meet the water challenges, the OOPL management have had to dam a nearby stream and install a sophisticated water treatment plant to attain self-sufficiency in water requirement.