A SPEECH DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY SENATOR ABIOLA AJIMOBI, EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF OYO STATE AT THE OFFICIAL COMMISSIONING OF THE HERITAGE AND COCOA MALLS AT THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT OF DUGBE, IBADAN, OYO STATE ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2013 AT THE MALL PARKING SPACE, DUGBE, IBADAN.
It is a pleasure for me to be here today. Any governor of a state like me, whose tenure witnesses the commissioning of a monument of this stature, which is positioned to bolster the commerce and economy of his state, cannot but be delighted to be here.
2. I am also here to share in the joy of Odu’a Investment Company Limited on this historic occasion of the commissioning of the Heritage and Cocoa malls. For us as an administration and you as a company, both of us with notable pedigree and heritage, today is another icing on our historic cake.
3. I am aware that the vision to construct malls of this international class was conceived some years ago by the Board and Management of Odu’a Investment Company Limited. The vision was not only to clone here in Nigeria those world-class malls we see and patronize in developed democracies, but to replicate a legacy of uniqueness that Odu’a inherited and is known for.
4. Viewed from the eye of commerce, the vision of the Board was to redirect home the footsteps and the foreign currencies of high net-worth individuals who spent time and money travelling far distances of Europe and America for shopping.
5. Today, that vision has become a reality. It has given birth to one of the most attractive shopping malls in this part of the country and a place that anyone with an eye for shopping would not be at their shopping peril.
6. Let me confirm to you that this vision by Odu’a Investment Company Limited in constructing these malls rhymes with our transformation agenda as an administration. Indeed, the zeal behind the vision is a replica of the can-do spirit with which we have broken the barriers of developmental impossibilities in Oyo State.
7. You will recall that during my inaugural on May 29, 2011, I promised the good people of Oyo State that our administration would vigorously pursue the vision of peace and order, as against the chaos that we inherited. We also promised to run an efficient and result-oriented government that has an eye on making our state welcoming, business-friendly, leisure-friendly and an attraction to investors.
8. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I am happy to report to you that, after successfully maintaining peace and order in the last two years or thereabout, after embarking on an aggressive environmental clean-up and provision of infrastructure, investors are now making Oyo State their Mecca.
9. Odu’a Investment Company Limited’s shopping malls project is one of those fruits of our developmental agenda. By this noble task of putting up two ultra-modern malls at the Central Business District Area of Dugbe in Ibadan, Oyo State, Odu’a has confirmed that we were and are on the right path. We shall not relent in our effort at partnering with the private sector, international development partners and donor agencies, as well as other major stakeholders around the world, in further transforming our state.
10. This noble stride will no doubt help in recreating the economy of Oyo State, with a view to empowering the people of the State and environs for sustainable wealth creation. I learnt that over 2000 jobs have been created for our people since the commencement of business operation by some of the brands occupying the malls.
11. The other time when I came on a facility visit of the malls with my governor colleagues from Osun and Ekiti States, I was happy to see the flow of human traffic into the malls. Operations at the malls by some international brands like Shoprite, Mr. Price, Cash & Carry, the Film House, Pep Stores, Samsung and Lifemate Furniture, among others, are encouraging and these have led to appreciable increase in human activities at the malls. These have thus positively rubbed off on the socio-economic activities at the Central Business District area of Ibadan.
12. Odu’a Investment Company Limited has helped in no small measure by joining our train in transforming the state capital to the city of our dream. This it has done by bringing International Brands of choice into these malls.
13. While congratulating the Board, Management and Staff of Odu’a Investment Company Limited on this gigantic move, I want to challenge them not to rest on their oars.
14. I want to recognize and appreciate the efforts of the past and present Boards of Directors of Odu’a States who worked tirelessly towards the realization of this vision, most especially the Group Managing Director and his management team. We commend you all and we hope to see more of these being replicated in all Odu’a States.
15. On behalf of my colleague Governors, Kabiyesis here present, I want to, once again congratulate and felicitate with you for your enviable accomplishments.
16. I hereby commission these Heritage and Cocoa malls, to the glory of God and for the use of His creations.
17. Thank you for listening and God bless you all.