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“According to industry watchers, the governor has, in the last three and a half years, been credited with superlative performances in the area of investments in agriculture, road infrastructure, ICT, urban renewal, the building of an Agro-allied Airport, and security of life and property.”

It is innate. President Muhammadu Buhari is not one given to effusive praises for anyone. Many describe him, and he does come across, as patently taciturn and impassive. However, with Governor Dapo Abiodun, the President never holds back. He bears, like a badge, an indecipherable flame of affection for Abiodun.

Abiodun is a true gem of a leader. Never one to decorate himself in gold or jewels, but his performance in office continue to bring him a plethora of awards from home and abroad. With a deft combination of courage, compassion, and confidence in his vision, Abiodun is rewriting the existential narrative of Ogun State, governing humanely while steadily changing the people’s fortunes.

Viewing governance through his own lens and navigating leadership through his peculiar, private ethics, Gov. Dapo Abiodun governs humanely and decisively, thus, asserting the essence of his leadership and portraying it with deep empathy – irrespective of judgment or commentary bias.

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Earlier today, 21st October, at the cavernous State House Conference Centre, Abuja, Governor Abiodun was the cynosure of all eyes. The governor, resplendent in flowing adire kampala – popular among his people – was honoured with the ‘Distinguished Award for Industrial Revolution’ by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to The Best Strategic Media (TBS), which organises the award in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Governor Abiodun was honoured for his efforts to enhance rapid industrialisation, enhance the ease of doing business, and make Ogun State Nigeria’s top investment destination.

In a letter addressed to the governor by Dr. Nnamdi Mbaeri, the Permanent Secretary (General Services) in the Office of the SGF, “The latest award, coming on the heels of the confirmation by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that Ogun State, with N100.9 billion revenue profile in 2021, is one of the states with the highest internally generated revenue nationwide, coming only after Lagos, the FCT and Rivers State, is expected to spur the Ogun governor further to achieve greater excellence in governance.

“According to industry watchers, the governor has, in the last three and a half years, been credited with superlative performances in the area of investments in agriculture, road infrastructure, ICT, urban renewal, the building of an Agro-allied Airport, and security of life and property.”

The governor was accompanied to the glamorous event by his deputy, Mrs Noimot Salako- Oyedele; Chief Olusegun Osoba, former Governor of Ogun State; Oba Kehinde Gbadewole Olugbenle (Asade Agunloye IV), the Olu of Ilaro; Oba Adewale Ajayi, the Akarigbo of Remoland; and Senator Adeola Yayi. A beaming and visibly impressed President Buhari commended the governor for his impactful strides in the state and urged him not to rest on his oars.

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Reacting, Governor Abiodun said, “The focused and continuously productive investment drive of our administration towards Ogun State’s now improved internally generated revenue, rapid industrialisation, and ease of doing business has again been recognised for its verifiable impact.

“I immensely appreciate President Buhari, GCFR, and the organisers of the awards for bestowing on me the Distinguished Award for Industrial Revolution. I pledge to remain committed to the cause that will better the lot of Ogun State, not only as a home to people but also as a host of businesses.”

Abiodun dedicated the award to the people of the state for their support and cooperation, saying, “We are happy that this award is in recognition of our modest efforts in our approach to governance and which has continually demonstrated in concrete terms, the commitment towards a wholesome and sustainable development of our dear Ogun State.”

Indeed, as has become a part of his unfolding leadership éclat, Governor Abiodun recalled that before this latest honour, “We have had several awards in recognition of our contributions in different areas of human endeavour since the inception of our administration on 29th May 2019.

“We have the awards as the Most Improved State on Security Infrastructure by Business Day Awards; Most Improved State on Agriculture and Economic Empowerment by Business Day Awards; Best State in ICT Penetration and Adoption; Best State in ICT Infrastructure Development by the National Council on Communication and Digital Economy; SMEs Most Supportive Governor by Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria, ASBON.

“We have also won the 2020 Best Governor on Education in Nigeria by the National Parent-Teacher Association, PTA; Best Education-Friendly Governor by All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools, ANCOPSS; 2020 Governor of the Year Award by the Nigeria Agriculture Awards, NAA; Best Governor on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs); and so on.”

It bears recalling also that Ogun State, under Prince Abiodun, was on November 26, 2020, presented an award by President Buhari in recognition of its outstanding performances in rice and cassava value chain activities and up-to-date payment of counterpart funds in the Federal Government/International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP). Eight other participating states were also honoured during the 2nd National Workshop on Commodity Alliance Forum (CAF) held at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

At the event, Governor Abiodun reiterated the commitment of the state to maintaining the lead in cassava production in Nigeria, and rice in the southwest while assuring the president of the state government’s continuous support for the FGN/IFAD VCDP and other federal government agricultural initiatives in the state. A week earlier, the National Parents’ Teachers Association had named Governor Abiodun as the Best Governor in Education in Nigeria for his landmark achievements in the sector. Last September, Governor Abiodun won a good governance award at the Nigerian 62nd Independence Anniversary and Global Awards Gala, held in London, the United Kingdom.

In the years ahead, more awards will expectedly pour in as the governor has promised that more road infrastructure that links the industrial hubs, adjoining states, and urban and rural areas would be given all the needed attention while the construction of the Agro Cargo International Airport is also part of the wholesome strategy towards developing air transport infrastructure to boost the agricultural development agenda of his administration.

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