Happy birthday to OGIDI OMO, Justus Olugbenga Daniel (OGD), the amiable, handsome(O poju), brilliant, extremely hardworking, resourceful, considerate yet firm and “Unblackmailable” son of a “Woli ati Alufa”.
On the hardworking side of OGD, I once suggested to him that we should start a massive farm so that his abundant energy, entrepreneurial capability, organizational ability, managerial acumen and intellect which Nigeria has not been tapped sufficiently in the past eleven years could be put into use. OGD’s numerous businesses, thriving and keeping him engaged still leaves him with enough to do a lot more.This original Eleniyan is 66 years old today which puts him into the category of the young enough, old enough, matured enough and experienced enough not just to serve in the Nigerian Senate but to serve Nigeria as its President.
Having known him as the man that recruited me into H. F. Schroeder in March 1989, and having spent the past 17 years managing his Kresta Laurel Limited, six of which he spent as governor, I have no iota of doubt that the man who turned 66 today is the quintessential presidential material.
His phenomenal performance as the governor of Ogun State is a stuff for the gods.
His vision comes first…. In eight years, his government came up with three Free Trade Zones, he prepared the state’s Master Plan, he built three FIFA Standard Stadia, set up four Mono Technics, established Nigeria’s first University of Education, initiated Olokola LNG plant, initiated the Abeokuta Business Zone, by relocating all civil servants into a brand new purpose built Secretariat which he ensured that it was completed and put into use. The 12 storey OPIC plaza, Olumo Rock reconstruction, international cargo airport and so many other developments spread across the state were eloquent testimonies to his vision and capability to see his vision to fruition.
Otunba Gbenga Daniel (OGD) ran Ogun State as if he was running Nigeria!!! Vision, Dedication, Fairness, Equity, Hard work, Balance and so on. In short, all required to run a sane, progressive and peaceful nation.
OGD as Ogun State governor restored hope, rehabilitated infrastructure, re-engineered institutions and firmly put in place an agenda of modernisation in Ogun State.
His programme on Public Private Partnership attracted several businesses into the State during his tenure taking Ogun State into the ranks of the world’s emerging markets.
A partial listing of the landmark achievements of the unusual Justus Olugbenga Daniel administration include road rehabilitation, employment generation, ICT revolution, investment influx, tourism, rural healthcare programme and sports development.
Some of the landmark achievements include but are not limited to:
👉Founding of Nigeria’s first University of Education.
👉Founding of Four ICT Polytechnics.
👉The construction of 3 world class Stadia and the upgrading of one stadium to FIFA standard.
👉The Successful hosting of National Sports Festival & some of the Junior World Games.
👉The transformation of Ogun state to a virile private sector driven business haven by encouraging public private partnership.
👉The construction of over 2000 kilometres of road rehabilitation.
👉Resuscitation and expansion of several agricultural plantations.
👉Creation and Invigoration of the South West Resource Center.
👉Encouragement of Local & Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through Partnerships with various countries and Development Partners such as the Guangdong, China’s Business Community which agreed to commit One billion Dollars to its Industrial Park in the state.
👉The Initiation of the Olokola NLNG project. It is instructive to note that the multi-billion dollar Dangote Refinery, petrochemicals and fertilizer factory was meant to be located at Olokola while the implementation of Olokola as planned by the OGD administration would have put Ogun State firmly on list of oil producing states with all its benefits.
👉The modernization of Olumo Rock & Beautification of Logo Beach thereby improving on the Tourism potentials the state.
👉The Signing into law of the Child Right Bill as the first Governor in the whole Country to do such.
👉Conceptualisation and Setting up of three Free Trade Zones in the State.
👉Development of the Ogun State Master plan.
👉The initiation of the International Cargo Airport and International market at Sagamu.
In addition to patronising only Indigenous Engineers in the Execution of ALL his projects, Engr. Gbenga Daniel, a Fellow of the Academy of Engineering, through personal supervision and institution of compulsory safe practices on all sites, ensured that all projects executed under his watch as the Governor of Ogun State, were delivered on time, within budget and safely.
On leaving office in 2011, Otunba Daniel continued funding youth development initiatives within Ogun State. With the core objectives to prepare, produce and support young leaders to improving their opportunities and competitiveness to impact on the society significantly, he established the Political Academy (POLA) with the vision to identify, codify, enhance and propagate principles and capacities needed for effective value-based socio-political and economic leadership by offering high quality, accelerated socio-political and economic education.
In recognition of his contributions to educational development in the State Otunba Daniel has been honoured with several academic laurels, including:
•.Honorary Fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (2004)
• Doctor of Development Administration (DDA, Honoris Causa) 2004
• Doctor of Agriculture (D. Agric, Honoris Causa) 2005
• Doctor of Science, Engineering (D.Sc, Honoris Causa) 2006
. Doctor of Public Administration (D.Admin. Honoris Causa) 2009.
He has also won several distinguished awards including but not limited to the following:
• One of Nigeria’s 100 most successful Businessmen (National Concord) – 1993
• MKO Abiola Leadership Prize – 2004
• Africa Leadership Prize for the Best Performed Governor for year 2003 – 2004
• City People Magazine Award for Best Performing Governor for 2003 – 2004
• Man of the Year (by the American Biographical Institute Inc) – 2004
• Best Performing Governor in Primary Education Development – 2005
• Corporate Governance Award of the Institute of Directors, Nigeria – 2005
• Zik Leadership Award, 2006.
• The Raymond Dokpesi: Electronic Media Award 2009.
He is currently the Chairman, Nigeria/Finland Business Council. He was also the Pro-Chancellor/Chairman, Governing Council, Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State.
Otunba Daniel is the Grand Patron of Boys Scout Movement in Nigeria and of the Red Cross.
Detribalised, sociable, cultured and grassroots politician par excellence, his diverse achievements and amiable disposition has earned him honours and recognitions from far and near as well as many chieftaincy titles including the Otunba Adeoti of Omu-Ijebu, Otunba Asoludero of Makun, Sagamu, Arole of Remoland, Asoju-Oba of Ijesaland, Aare Ajibosin of Owu Kingdom and Otunba Obalofin of Ijebuland.
He is also the Asiwaju Onigbagbo (Okunrin) of Remo Christians.
Otunba Gbenga Daniel is married to Yeye Olufunke Daniel and they are blessed with wonderful children and grandchildren.
Today, I call on on all Nigerians to stand up, fill and raise their glasses, as I propose a toast to the good health, long life and prosperity of this sixty-six years young, table tennis loving aspirant for the Ogun East Senatorial Seat in the 2023 elections who could also have contested for the Presidency of Nigeria and he would have been more than eminently qualified, His Excellency, Engr(Otunba) Justus Olugbenga Daniel (OGD), FNSE, FIoD, FAEng.
Congratulations and Happy birthday OGD sir
Engr. Dideolu Falobi, FNSE, FIoD
April 6, 2022