Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Olota of Ota, Oba Abdul-Kabir Adeyemi Obalanlege, has tasked traditional authorities on the need to support government in the area of infrastructural development, wealth creation and poverty alleviation, to ensure peaceful and secured society.
The monarch, who observed that unlike most of the challenges being faced by Nigeria, poverty and insecurity defy ethnic and religious colourations, said traditional rulers, as the closest to the people have a great role to play in providing assistance to make their people self employed.
Olota spoke on Thursday at the maiden edition of Economic and Security Summit, held Ota, Ogun State.
The event which was organised as part of activities marking 2018 Iganmode Festival, also saw former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the head of Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo, former Attorney-General of the Federation and World Court Judge, Justice Bola Ajibola and heads of corporate organizations, being handed symbolic ‘Keys to Ota’, for their contributions to the economic development of the town.
The monarch, said that the yawning gap between the rich and poor, which according to him is too wide, has been partly responsible for the security challenges the town has experienced.
He further pointed out that the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) as the engine room of economic development of the society, must be given a boon to thrive in order to provide effective antidote to social upheavals and insecurity.
Olota, therefore, explained that through the Foundation for Economic and Development Initiative (FECODEIN), which was launched at the event, poverty and insecurity will be banished from Ota and its environs.
He added that a Board of Trustees will act as “specialist surgeons” to diagnose, manage and ensure adequate and fair dispensing of resources from the pool together and invested, saying “whatever fund we are able to put together will be disbursed as revolving loans”.
Oba Obalanlege, however, called on corporate organisations, well-to-do individuals, clubs, societies and other corporate citizens, to help raise fund for the Foundation and be part solution to mass poverty and insecurity.
“If we need to banish poverty and wrestle insecurity, we need a drug like FECODEIN. Or who does not know that a man who lives in squalor, cannot feed himself and his family or is jobless is diseases?
“Unlike most of Nigeria’s challenges, insecurity and poverty defy ethnic or religious colourations. We need to halt the drift and depopulate the growing class of junction boys, scarlet ladies, vagabonds and area fathers, who now constitute a social menace. We must educate them and empower them to discard these shameful vices,” Olota submitted.
Presenting a paper entitled: “That Aworiland May Survive: Implication for Development of The Economic Potentials and Security of the Citizens”, Prof. Idris Ayinde, noted that Aworiland has become the business and industrial hub of both Lagos and Ogun States, generating above 60 percent of the states’ revenue.
He observed that despite the industrial advantage of Aworiland, the social and physical infrastructure are sub-optimal to meet the need of the population.
Prof. Ayinde, however, expressed confidence that the economic initiative of Olota will be a core fulcrum to achieve the dream of the survival of Aworiland, in terms of the development of facilitating the economic potentials and security of the Awori people among other citizens.
In his remark, the convener of the Summit, Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, said the summit was put together to highlight jobs, business opportunities and challenges in Aworiland.
Earlier in his welcome address, the chairman of the event, Senator Ayo Otegbola, said it was ironical that Aworiland which is the industrial hub of Nigeria was just having its first economic summit, organised by the indigenes.
He, therefore, expressed hope that the Summit, which is the intellectual part of Iganmode annual festival, would continue to be embraced to deepen knowledge and understanding, and improve the socio-political and economy of Nigerian state.