Mr Babajide Odusolu, former Managing Director, Ogun State Property and Funding Company (OPIC), has given insights into how he turned across the affairs of the company throughout his six-year tenure.
Talking with newsmen on Friday in Lagos, Odusolu who served as OPIC MD from 2013 to 2019, stated that he and his crew moved the ‘bureaucratic’ company to a profit-making, profit-minded firm.
The one-time oil and gasoline employee recalled that added that the OPIC constructed 188 housing models in Isheri earlier than transferring on to construct VIP Housing in Abeokuta which metamorphosed into the Mitros Residences Lodge shortly after its building.
“Till we got here, OPIC simply took land with out enhancing it and offered it because it was. By the point we had been leaving workplace in Could 2019, for those who valued the full property of OPIC, it was a 50 to N60 billion company. We had lands we had recovered and fenced and had been out there to builders. We additionally had the Mitros Residences which is an enormous funding and a really worthwhile one for the state authorities,” he stated.
In keeping with Odusolu, in about 29 years that OPIC existed earlier than his appointment, the corporate had not remitted as much as N100 million to the state authorities account.
The previous MD added that within the six years that he ran the company, Ogun State Authorities acquired over N1.9 billion in remittances from OPIC.
“By the point I used to be sworn in, the utmost OPIC had ever contributed to Authorities coffers was about 20 million Naira cumulative. For all of the over 20 years it was in existence I don’t assume it was even as much as 100 million. However inside a six-year interval, with the lively help of His Excellency the Governor and his encouragement, OPIC did greater than 1.9 billion in remittances to the state authorities.
“We went from an organization that had property that had been undermined and undervalued to 1 that did a turnover of 18.7 billion inside a six-year interval. OPIC didn’t get subventions from the federal government; we needed to generate sources to fund all our work. As a result of the federal government was averse to industrial loans we additionally couldn’t borrow, so what we did was to speculate and recapitalize all of the returns we acquired from our varied initiatives.
“Regardless of doing that, we had been nonetheless about to ship returns of N1.9 billion to the state authorities. Throughout this era, the government-mandated us, together with different businesses, to show across the Gateway Mortgage Financial institution. We had been in a position to flip it round and make it a going concern; all inside this six-year interval,” he stated.
Odusolu famous that he met OPIC being run like the same old civil service institution, with grossly undervalued property, demoralized employees, dangerous workplaces and damaged down gear.
He recollected the intense safety challenges in OPIC’s property in Agbara the place land grabbers had taken over quite a lot of the property’s land whereas many purchasers had been in gross default of their compensation obligations.
The authorized practitioner added that with marching orders from Gov Ibikunle Amosun, he needed to conduct a reorientation of staffers, enhance the morale of employees and enterprise language, whereas additionally transferring at high pace to show OPIC round.
“That meant I needed to take individuals who solely understood civil service language and train them to grasp the language of enterprise, all whereas transferring at high pace to restructure the whole group. We carried out a forensic audit and discovered that over 500 hectares of our land had been mainly grabbed by individuals who had not paid for them.
“Working with the state authorities, we needed to conduct large safety sweep in Agbara and restore sanity. It was so dangerous then that industrialists had deserted their factories and flour mills whereas vans had been damaged down all over the place; there was nothing happening. We needed to go in there, restructure and do every thing to make it work.
“We had been in a position to between 2013 and 2015 we had been in a position to ship over 15 km of street networks in Agbara, get well all of the lands that had been stolen, encourage and entice new industries. After we succeeded in doing that in Agbara, we moved to Abeokuta the state capital; it was nonetheless a civil service city.
“There was nothing that appealed to industries to remain there. What we used to have was that the majority corporations would come to Abeokuta for conferences after which depart for Lagos. We had been in a position to ship Orange Valley Property, which was the primary gated neighborhood in the entire of Ogun State. There we delivered 66 semi-detached duplexes between 2013 to 2014.”
The previous OPIC MD added that about 4 multi-million greenback industries got here in as a result of intervention of his administration.
“After we completed, based mostly on our observe report, we had been in a position to get a partnership with Household Houses Fund, which was a Federal Authorities-backed initiative to construct reasonably priced homes in Nigeria. OPIC gained a contract to construct 1020 housing models at New Makun Metropolis. That’s nonetheless ongoing as we converse”, he famous.
Odusolu additionally identified that the observe report of OPIC spoke for it because the company was invited to deal with one contract after one other.
He stated that OPIC dealt with building works at Isheri, an space which he ought to have been the Lekki of Ogun state however was then largely undervalued and ill-maintained.