Odu’a investment: Engine of South West economic development

Odu’a investment: Engine of South West economic development

By Segun Ojo

ODU’A Investment Company Limited recently made public that the Company made a profit before tax of 788 million Naira from a turnover of 1.88 billion Naira for the financial year ended 31 December 2016. Based on this performance, the Group declared and paid out a gross dividend of 277 million Naira to its Shareholder for that financial year ended.

At the Group’s AGM recently, attended by the Secretaries to the Governments’ of Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti States, on behalf of the Owner States, Shareholders were informed that despite the harsh conditions under which the company operated particularly the effect of the Recession and the knock-on effects of Foreign exchange controls introduced by the Central Bank since 2015 as a result of economic downturn, the Group’s revenue grew by 11.3% while profit grew by 32% compared to 2015 financial year.

We note that our financial performance is still a far cry from the set targets in the five year Strategic Plan approved in 2016 but overall judging by the outlook of threats and challenges facing similar Conglomerates like Odua Investment Company in other parts of the economy we have managed to hold our heads. Globally, continentally and nationally, we all continue to witness the rapidly changing business dynamics of this century. All over the world a good number of legacy companies that failed to adapt to changing times have disappeared while the landscape is now dominated by technology driven companies that barely existed two decades ago. Our forty-one year old Company is not immune to this phenomenon and is critically poised to overcome the current tide.

Let me assure our Shareholders and Stakeholders that the Board and Management are aware of the paradox of challenges and opportunities of the current clime and are determined to reposition the Company with game-changing initiatives and partnerships. We are rebuilding a very innovative and virile workforce for the organisation so as to take the company to the enviable position of the economic engine of the South West (formerly Western Region) as envisioned by our founding fathers.

In keeping with above promise to Shareholders, the Board and Management has recently recruited two competent resource at General Manager level to head it’s Treasury/Investment and Real Estate Departments with the objective of leveraging and unlocking value from its asset base. The Company also promoted several of its workers, including Management Cadre, to boost the morale of its present workforce.

Apart from this morale boosting initiatives in the human resource space, the Company has embarked on several new initiatives that will see it actively participate in the broader and strategic sectors of the Economy. As a private sector player, we are actively extending the Group’s unique services to the Public Sector and Multilateral Agencies so as to significantly grow our revenue base. This is beside our current effort that has the approval of our Shareholders to attract majority equity partnership from financially and technically credible investors in our flagship Lagos Airport Hotel Ikeja and Western Hotels (i.e. Premier and Lafia Hotels, Ibadan). This exercise is being handled on our behalf by one of the Big 4 Global Consulting firms in Nigeria as a demonstration of our commitment to excellence and transformation of our hospitality business to conform with existing global standards of quality and service.

It is believed that these initiatives in our current business along with many more that are in the pipeline in Agriculture and Agro-Allied, Manufacturing, Transport Network, Telecoms & ICT, Power and Electricity, etc sectors that are anchored on partnership with capable local and foreign investors will significantly boost the Group’s revenue and reposition it as a true catalyst for the economic development of the South West. We are highly motivated on this mission by the support of our Owner States that mandate us to be their investment vehicle to deliver social and economic impact on all facets of the regional economy.

In this regard therefore, we are open and welcome capable entities to collaborate and partner with us on this journey of success and transformation across the entire six South West States of Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Lagos.

*Mr. Ojo is Chairman of Odu’a Group.

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