Ogun: An Era of Transformation Without Affliction

Governor Dapo Abiodun

By Olaniyi Ajibola


The present pace and tempo of development in Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria, indeed calls for critical evaluation,  considering the experience of the residents in the Gateway State since the inception of the fourth republic in particular, especially the period between 2003 and 2019.

While every citizen desires transformation in their socioeconomic life towards prosperity and abundant life where the security of life, social justice, affordable health care delivery, and infrastructural development among others are guaranteed, it was a different ball game for the people of Ogun State during the period under review.

The developmental agenda of those dark days was characterized by deception, injustice,  sectional tendency, pathological lies, and propaganda, making life more difficult for the people rather than addressing their challenges and aspirations.

However, the turn of political events on the dawn of 29th May 2019, when a board room guru and political pundit, Prince Dapo Abiodun, came into the saddle as the Governor of the State against all odds and machinations of a gang of power mongers permanently changed the narrative to the greatest happiness of the generality of the populace.

Prince Dapo Abiodun,  strictly working his talk during the campaign and his avowed resolution to change the old order of affliction in Ogun State initiated an inclusive style of governance that was a total departure from the past and one which brought hope and sustainable relief to all irrespective of status.

His ISEYA mantra was a robust masterplan in which all the administration’s laudable projects were predicated, with the consistent and eloquent slogan of inspiration for social mobilization”, Building Our Future Together “.

As the  Vice-president,  Senator Kashim Shettima,  GCON,  rightly observed during the Expanded National MSME Clinics held in Abeokuta,  the State capital recently, Governor Dapo Abiodun had brilliantly and sagaciously formulated and implemented projects that have maximally explored the state’s proximity to the Nigeria’s commercial city of Lagos.

Of course, the political will and capacity, amidst limited resources by which Prince Dapo Abiodun has constructed over 500km of roads across the three senatorial districts of the state in less than five years and with adherence to the best global standard implicitly corroborate the observation of the Vice-president.

In the same vein, the level of courage and determination the Governor exhibited by turning a hitherto tick forest into a world-class airport at the Ilisan-Iperu axis of the State, a continuous area to Lagos also gives credence to the submission of Alhaji Kashim Shettima.

The Gateway Agro-Cargo Airport, which has been adjudged by leading aviation experts as having the longest runway in Nigeria and the West Africa corridor,  as well as the biggest apron and control tower in that regard speaks to the unassailable fact that the Prince of Iperu is serious about the business of governance in the same way he successfully ran his private business.

Furthermore, Abiodun’s relentless efforts towards establishing a seaport and a dry port in addition to the airport, to relieve thousands of Manufacturers in his State of the frustration of congested ports in Lagos remain a remarkable legacy of a focused helmsman.

Every Nigerian can attest to the pioneering role the Governor of Ogun State has taken to make life more comfortable for his people. His impressive and prompt response to the removal of fuel subsidy in 2023, announcing immediate palliatives of different kinds to the civil servants and other residents of the State was widely applauded across the country and beyond.

Abiodun’s Social Welfare and Well-being initiative, where thousands of market women had been empowered and supported in their businesses with several billions of naira, through the popular ‘Oko’wo Dapo,  had significantly impacted the socioeconomic life of these vulnerable segments of the society.

That is the same way he has renewed the hope of thousands of students in the State, starting from elementary to tertiary institutions. The fifty thousand naira bursary distributed to all students of Ogun extraction in all the institutions of higher learning across Nigeria elicited great commendations among the students and parents alike.

Perhaps,  the most emotional and humane of all Prince Dapo Abiodun’s interventions to cushion the adverse effects of the present economic situation in Nigeria was the free Surgical Operations the Governor embarked upon for 70,000 residents who needed such medical attention but lacked economic power to secure the service.

This program recorded an array of testimonies from thousands of residents in need of various surgical operations without financial strength,  who have been suffering for years in silence until succour came their way through the intervention.

The Governor, at an Expanded National MSME Clinics earlier mentioned,  partly captured his efforts in this manner”, The Expanded National MSME Clinics mirror the successful model of our own State MSMEs Business Clinics, which we have diligently organized and pursued since the inception of our administration in 2019.

” Our primary objective has always been to foster employment opportunities, particularly for our teeming youth. Today’s event aligns perfectly with our ongoing efforts to support our entrepreneurs, facilitate business formalization, and enhance their access to government and financial institutions for favorable loans.

“Our achievements in the SME subsector are testaments to the visionary policies, interventions, and programs that we have implemented. By prioritizing Investors’ incentives such as land rebates, improved infrastructure, and enhanced security measures, we have cultivated a conducive environment for industrial growth. This commitment has garnered recognition, as evidenced by the prestigious Best of Africa Governor in Industrial Revolution Award bestowed upon me by FIN Forbes.

“Furthermore, we have leveraged technology to streamline business processes and enhance the Ease of Doing Business in our State, making us the best State in Nigeria in the Ease of Doing Business Index. The implementation of various reforms, mostly rooted in advanced technology,  planning, and administration platforms have revolutionized permit requests, tax administration, land allocation, and payment procedures, ensuring efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency in all economic activities across all sectors.

“In our relentless pursuit of economic prosperity and self-reliance, we have established vital institutions such as the State Enterprise Development Agency (OGSEDA) and the Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency (OgunInvest). These entities, along with others, serve as pillars of support for Small and Medium Enterprises, offering crucial funding opportunities, capacity-building, and business advisory services.

“The decision to designate Ogun State as a host for one of your MSME Hubs is indeed a strategic positioning pregnant with economic potential. With our burgeoning economic clusters and thriving Free Trade Zones, we are unarguably the industrial hub of choice in Nigeria and gateway to the West African subregional market.

” I am particularly proud of our initiatives aimed at youth empowerment, including vocational training programs and targeted loans disbursed through the Ogun State Agricultural and Multipurpose Credit Agency (OSAMCA). These efforts have not only nurtured budding entrepreneurs but have also contributed to the socio-economic development of our communities.

“The recent rating by BudgIT, ranking Ogun State 7th in overall Fiscal Performance and 1st in most improved Internally Generated Revenue, clearly affirmed our resilience and attractiveness to investors. We remain steadfast in our commitment to sustaining this momentum through progressive policies and technological innovation.

“As the Governor of a State endowed with vast resources and strategic competitive advantages, I am confident in our ability to serve as a beacon of prosperity and opportunities in Nigeria. I extend a heartfelt invitation to all prospective investors to explore the boundless investment opportunities that Ogun State has to offer”.

The confidence and frequency with which Governor Dapo Abiodun constantly reels out the tempo of his transformative efforts in sequence at every opportunity signify sincerity and clarity of purpose,  conviction, and capacity;  unlike the era of vague transformation with palpable affliction.

Congratulations to the good people of Ogun State on this dawn of inclusive governance with a human face.


Olaniyi Ajibola, writes from Abeokuta