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It is quite evident that OGD is a formidable politician from the Southwest. He has successfully navigated through various challenges and obstacles that came his way over the past 25 years. One of his strengths is his adeptness in politics and the art of politicking

At the recent 60th birthday of his wife, Yeye Olufunke Daniel, a few weeks back, many were surprised at how Senator (Otunba) Gbenga Daniel was able to pull a mix of politicians from all parties to the party. Although he is a valued member of APC, politicians from the PDP, Labour, and other parties attended.

His colleagues at the Senate all showed up at the party held at Balmoral Event Centre at The Sheraton, Ikeja, Lagos.

Members of the House of Reps were in ample attendance. It was a mixture of all the who’s who in the 2 Chambers. A lot of former Governors attended, and many of the big politicians across the country gathered to honor one of their own, OGD.

Yes, it was a colorful birthday, but it sent strong signals to many politicians about the political strength of OGD’s inner caucus. He is the Finance Minister & Coordinating Minister of the Economy to represent him at the Birthday. He also delivered a beautiful birthday message meant for both the celebrant and her husband.

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That OGD is a powerful politician from the Southwest is pretty obvious. He has scaled and survived all the landmines thrown his way over the last 25 years, since his days as governor. One thing he has going for him is his mastery of politics and politicking.

When he was in PDP, he was also quite influential, so much so that he vied for the Chairmanship of the party. That made him travel round the country several times over, during which he built alliances across the Niger and Up North. When he handled Abubakar Atiku’s Campaign a few years back, he again engaged in marathon journeys across the 36 states of the federation. With the result that today, he has friends and political associates across Nigeria.

Otunba Justus Olugbenga Daniel is an accomplished Engineer, a consummate politician, and a quintessential Manager of Man and Resources. He is now The Senator representing the Ogun East Senatorial District. He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers; the Institute of Directors, Nigeria; the Nigerian Institute of Mechanical Engineering; and the Academy of Engineering. He was the Founder/Chairman, Kresta Laurel Limited (KLL) Lagos, an Engineering firm that specializes in elevators, power systems, overhead traveling cranes, and hoists which has remained a leader in its area of competence. He was a two-term Executive Governor of Ogun State between 2003 and 2011. Born on 6th April 1956 into the family of the Most Reverend Adebola Daniel of Makun, Sagamu, and late Madam Olaitan Daniel of Omu-Ijebu, Otunba Daniel, brilliant, audacious, and intuitive as a College Boy, attended the famous Baptist Boys High School (BBHS), Abeokuta, the School of Basic Studies at The Polytechnic, Ibadan, and later studied Engineering at the University of Lagos. He further earned a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Lagos and subsequently attended the Lagos Business School for an executive program. Otunba Daniel cut his professional teeth with Metal Construction (West Africa) Limited. He later worked with H.F. Schroeder (West Africa) Limited, Lagos, where he served as the General Manager and later, Deputy Managing Director, making him the first African to rise to that position in the history of the company’s operations. Kresta Laurel Limited is the foremost and the first ISO 9001 certified lift company in Nigeria. It is also the authorized distributor of KONE elevators; one of the biggest elevator makers in the world.

Otunba Daniel’s resolve to plow back into society inspired him to go into public service through a not-for-profit organization, the Gateway Front Foundation (GFF), which has, over the years, impacted the lives of the people positively. Otunba Gbenga Daniel contested and won the 2003 and 2007 Governorship elections in Ogun State, under which he signed “A Contract with the People” with a commitment to improve the living conditions of many by awakening the sleeping giant Ogun State, through harnessing its human and natural resources.

He brought positive innovation and productive dynamism into governance. In terms of people-oriented programs, it is widely acknowledged that Otunba Daniel restored hope, rehabilitated infrastructure, re-engineered institutions, and firmly put in place an agenda of modernization in Ogun State. It is to his credit that Ogun State became the investment destination of choice not only in Nigeria but also on the West Coast of Africa. Indeed, his program on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) attracted several businesses into the state during and after his tenure while the state gradually eased into the ranks of the world’s most attractive market. Some of his landmark achievements include; road rehabilitation, employment generation, ICT revolution, investment influx, tourism, rural healthcare program, and sports development.

His footprints dotted several areas like:

Founding of Nigeria’s first University of Education; The Tai Solarin University of Education(TASUED) which is the first in Nigeria; second in Africa, and eighth in the world.

Founding of Four ICT Polytechnics across the four zones of the state.

The construction of 3 world-class Stadia and the upgrading of one stadium that attracted FIFA to hold a world cup at Ijebu-Ode.

The successful hosting of National Sports Festival and tournaments.

The transformation of Ogun State to a virile private sector-driven business haven by encouraging public-private partnership.

The construction of over 2000 kilometers of road rehabilitation in his first four years as Governor.

Resuscitation and expansion of several agricultural plantations.

Creation and invigoration of the South West Resource Centre.

Encouragement of Local & Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through Partnerships with various countries and Development Partners such as the Guangdong, China’s Business Community with multi-billion Dollars Industrial Park in the state.

The initiation of the Olokola NLNG project.

The modernization of Olumo Rock Beautification of Laogo Island Beach thereby improving on the Tourism potentials of the state.

The conceptualization, initiation, design, acquisition of lands, payment of compensation, getting all necessary approvals for the establishment of an Agro Cargo Airport and Aerotropolis in the Remo area of Ogun State are all to the credit of Otunba Gbenga Daniel.

The Signing into law of the Child Rights Bill as the first governor in the whole country to do such.

Conceptualization and setting up of three Free Trade Zones in the state. Kajola FTZ in Ifo, Ogun-Guangdong FTZ in Igbesa, and Olokola FTZ in Ogun Waterside.

Development of the Ogun State Master Plan, including the establishment of an Abeokuta Business District/City Centre at Oke Ilewo Ibara.

Otunba Daniel has continued funding Youth Development Initiatives within and outside Ogun State. He established the Political Leadership Academy (POLA) with the vision to identify, codify, enhance, and propagate principles and capacities needed for effective value-based socio-political and economic leadership. In recognition of his contributions to educational development in the State, Otunba Daniel was honored with several academic laurels some of which are: Honorary Fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (2004), Dr. of Science Doctor of Development Administration (DDA, Honoris Causa) 2004, and Doctor of Agriculture (D. Agric, Honoris Causa) 2005 among others. He has also won several distinguished awards including; One of Nigeria’s 100 Most Successful Businessmen (National Concord)-1993, MKO some of the Junior World Soccer Abiola Leadership Prize 2004, Zik Leadership Award, 2006, and Africa Leadership Prize for the Best Performed Governor for the year 2003-2004 among many others.

Otunba Daniel was elected by an unprecedented number of votes in the history of Ogun East Senatorial District elections during the 2023 general elections to represent the people of the District. Since he was elected a Senator to represent the people of Ogu East Senatorial District, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on the Navy and the Vice Chairman, National Identity Management and Population has: Floated a Zero-Interest Micro Credit revolving loan empowerment Scheme for petty traders in the Senatorial District.

*Sponsored Free Eye Care program for thousands of people. in the Senatorial District.

Facilitated a Rice Value Chain Training program for Rice Farmers in Remo

Facilitated the distribution of Fertilizers to farmers in the district

Facilitated the Renovation of a block of four Classrooms with Office finally completed and delivered at Omu-Ajose Comprehensive High School, Omu Ijebu, Ogun State (Status: Completed)

Facilitated the Construction of Perimeter Fencing of Otunba Gbenga Daniel Nursery and Basic School and Gated (Status: Completed)

Facilitated the sinking of Boreholes in Ijebu Ode and Ago Iwoye.

He has sponsored so many Bills. They include:

South West Development Commission Bill: which has passed the First Reading Stage and is waiting to be gazetted in the National Assembly Journal, on its way to 2nd Reading.

Federal College of Aviation Technology, Ilara Remo: 2nd Reading taken on Wednesday, 15th November 2023.

National Economic Coordinating and Intelligence Committee Bill: Submitted for 1st Reading

Hospices (Establishment) Bill: Submitted for 1st Reading

Terminal Illness Trust Fund Bill (SB 223): 1st Reading taken on 2nd November 2023

Draft Federal University of Industrial and Petro-Gas, Oni in Ogun Waterside Bill.

Draft National Academy of Science Bill.

Draft Medical Physics Regulatory Council of Nigeria Bill

Draft Media Practitioners Registration Council of Nigeria (MPRCN) Bill: MOTION (July 5, 2023)

Urgent Need to Intervene in the Flooding Issues in Sagamu, Ijebu Areas of Ogun East Senatorial District, Ogun State, Edu and Patigi Areas of Kwara North Senatorial District of Kwara State, and other parts of the country.

*Aside the change in headline, this report first appeared in the CityPeople magazine

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