A modern City may come up soon in Abeokuta. The idea was disclosed on Saturday by the new Lisa Aje of Egbaland, Chief Oladipupo Olatunde Adebutu.
Chief Lado Adebutu, who was giving a welcome address at his pre-installation Seminar as the Lisa Aje Egba at Park Inn Radisson, Kuto, Abeokuta on Saturday, further disclosed that the new Railway Station in Abeokuta had provided an enabling, commercial and economic wisdom for the project.
The Topic of the lecture was, Public and Private Partnership, A Catalyst To Economic Survival of Nigeria.
Chief Oladipupo Olatunde Adebutu however added that there must be a synergy between the government and his private sector business.
Chief Lado Adebutu argued that if the Private Sectors cooperated and collaborated with governments, all the capitals, locked up in many places, would be unleashed for rapid development.
The new Lisa Aje Egba, therefore appealed to the Alake to affect the Ogun State authorities to support the project.
Professor Pat Utomi, the Guest Speaker, said that PPP was not working in Nigeria because of three major reasons.
The first is lack of continuity in governance whereby a new administration would abandon projects and prospects already started by an earlier one.
The second is a situation when a new Government would repudiate all previous legal agreements.
Professor Pat Utomi warned that Governments should respect the rule of law by not respecting all agreements to stabilize the economy of the State and not to send investors away into debts.
Speaking on the third reason, Pat Utomi said Ogun State Government should realize that the Budget of Ogun could never be enough to take care of the needs of the people adding that only the PPP could.
He also refereed to how he as an investor, lost billions of naira to hire OPIC Property in Ikeja, Lagos was frustrated because of change in Political leadership and Administrator in the State, adding that the extra income could have been a sustainable revenue for the State.
Pat Utomi gave another example of an Ijebu man, Ogunlesi, who was still running a railway business in Italy.
He wondered aloud, if ever any Governments in Nigeria, would create such enabling environment to a foreigner and its own citizens to thrive thereby creating jobs and stable economy.
The Moderator, Kehinde Sogunle, commended Pat Utomi for identifying what had affected Nigeria for not making it as Singapore under Lin Kuan Yu, was inadequate leadership, political selfishness and lack of vision.
Sogunle said that Pat Utomi suggested that Nigeria and State Governments should build institutions and not personalities.
He added that this is because persons would leave the stage, while the institutions would remain.
Professor Ishola Rufus Akintoye, an Accountant and Administrator of academics from Babcock University agreed that PPP was the only way out of poverty in Nigeria.
Professor Rufus Akintoye gave example of Private Universities and Adebutu’s Heart Centre in Babcock University where more than 300 open heart surgeries had been done, arguing that the feat was made possible because of private initiatives of the founders of the Babcock University and Ladipo Adebutu’s Contributions.
The Professor also disclosed that the Best Accounting Faculty was at Olabisi Onabanjo University, also through the Private Partnership of Lado Adebutu, adding that this had helped OOU to produce 19 PhD holders in accounting science, whereas production of Doctorate Degrees in Accounting was scarce in Nigeria before then.
In her submission, a renowned financial academic, Prof Teju Sodipo-Somorin, pointed out the advantages of PPP-
She disclosed that Ogun State came 4th in revenue generation, which according to her was good on the surface value perhaps because this had been consistent.
She however argued that that was not enough, adding that Ogun State should go beyond all these regular taxes, personal income, company, education, etc taxes.
Professor Teju Sodipo- Somorin advised that Ogun State should go after partnerships in electricity, road engineering, agriculture, world bank initiatives, Debt Management Office, Extractive Industries and others.
She however commended Ogun State, having passed an enabling law in 2019 to make investments and businesses to be safe in the State.
Dr Biodun Adedipe from Ekiti State wider aloud why both Federal and State Governments had been knowingly blocking the progress and prosperity of their people by not working in tandem with the Private Partnership to have a breakthrough in a sustainable economy.
Dr Biofun Adedipe gave examples of Ghana Defence Industry, which went into partnership with Canada through advice from Israel, its ECOMOG troops having suffered humiliation and had to be rescued in Liberia by the Nigerian soldiers.
The Defence Industry experts disclosed that Ghana swore not to take part in UN Peace Keeping activities again until it was capable of defending itself.
It went into collaboration with the United Nations to buy its manufactured arms and with Canada to be a producer of good and functional armaments
Kehinde Sogunle, a reputable economist and President, Egba Economic Summit, who was the moderator of the Seminar concluded that all the contributors at the Seminar agreed that it was only Public Private Partnership that could make life meaningful to Nigerians.
Mr Kehinde Sogunle said that most governments’ annual budgets, only cater for recurrent estimates and nothing much for infrastructural developments.
The former finance commissioner under Gbenga Daniel, argued that Ogun State Government should go all out to engage, collaborate and cooperate with the private sector and businesses to take their people to sustainable growth and development.
The Seminar was attended by the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Awujale of Ijebuland represented by the Dagburewe, some Remo Obas, the academia and businessmen as well as high networth personalities.
The Alake’s entourage included Balogun Sikirullah Atobatele, Seriki Tosin Fadare, Bantun Kehinde Sofenwa, Baaroyin Layi Labode, Baamowe Professor Delano Adelekan and Luwoye of Egbaland.
Other dignitaries at the occasions included, High Chief Onafowokan, who presided at the Seminar, Aare Oyefeso, Asiwaju Kayode Somolu and Asiwaju Babalaje OgoOluwa Bankole of Premier Paints.