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Libragold Bags Excellence Award

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Renowned Travel Agency in Nigeria –  Libragold Travels & Tours Ltd,  a subsidiary of Libragold Group has once again added another glowing feather to its cap  as Centre for Sustainable Development (CESDEV), Tourism and Development Programme (TODEP), University of Ibadan honoured the company with an award of excellence.

The Centre, on Friday, 27th September, 2019, at the premier University of Ibadan, informed that the award was conferred on Libragold Travels & Tours Ltd due to its creative ideas,  passion for development, invaluable and remarkable contribution  in the building of  travel and tour  industry.

In her acceptance speech, the C.E.O of Libragold Travels &Tours, Chief Afolake Akanbi, who was represented at the event said,  “the award received is a confirmation of our company’s great strides and this motivates Libragold  to push harder and of course keep doing better.

“Inspired by our ‘stay together brand mantra’, we have not only made a name for ourselves, but also an eminent player in the business.

“We are thrilled,  honoured and grateful for this recognition and so incredibly proud of the entire team at Libragold Travels”, Akanbi added.

Chief (Mrs) Afolakemi Akanbi,  is an ex-banker, and a versatile business tycoon of impeccable character.

As a cerebral and highly respected Business magnate, the Alumna of Lagos Business School (LBS) belongs to various professional organisations / associations which include: Women in Management, Business and Public Office (WIMBIZ),  Nigeria British Chamber of Commerce,  Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce,  Tourism and Hospitality Committee of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) amongst others.

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Opinion

Makinde’s Concession of Agbowo Complex: Is 4.9Billion Naira Equal 50years? | By Moruf Smith

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Yesterday, Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde flagged off the concession of the long moribund Agbowo Shopping Complex to Messrs Whitestone Global Limited at a cost of 4.9 Billion Naira on a long lease of 50years!

 

The company was given a mandate to renovate the complex to a commercial real estate and a 4-star hotel within 24 months. In his remarks at the flag off event, Governor Makinde took a swipe at the immediate past administration of late Senator Abiola Ajimobi which signed an MOU with Agbowo Mall Infrastructure Development Company Limited to remodel, redevelop and rehabilitate the expansive complex at a cost of 8 Billion naira. The said MOU was said not to have seen the light of the day until the tenure of the last administration wound up.

However, the concession of the complex by the current administration was not a smart move. It was not well thought out. Everything was wrong with the concessional arrangement; from the funding of the concession to the long lease of 50 years. It’s worthy of note to revisit the story behind Agbowo Shopping Complex.

The complex was constructed by the administration of late Chief Bola Ige in 1983 on 30 plots of land. The complex was being managed by Oyo State Housing Corporation and had been a source of employment and job opportunities for the teeming people of the state while it contributed to the economy of the state and a source of revenue to the government. But Agbowo Complex suffered neglect and mismanagement as successive governments in Oyo state made no effort to resuscitate the sprawling monument until the administration of late Senator Abiola Ajimobi decided to renovate it.

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The immediate past administration signed an MOU as explained above but a protracted court case remained a clog in the wheel of progress on the renovation of the abandoned complex. It’s however not clear whether the present government has resolved the issue of the court case on the complex before the governor went ahead to initiate the concession.

It ought to be commendable that, at last, pragmatic efforts were being made to get Agbowo Shopping complex up and running. But what cast doubts on the sincerity behind the latest flag off of the concession arrangement are the manner of funding and the years of lease. It would be recalled that during the first tenure of Senator Abiola Ajimobi, Oodua Group under the chairmanship of Bar Sarafadeen Alli and Mr Adebayo Jimoh as the Group Managing Director, embarked on construction of Heritage Mall and redevelopment of Cocoa Mall in Dugbe Business District at the cost of 3 Billion Naira.

Construction of Heritage Mall was wholly financed by the Oodua Group, costing 2 Billion naira while Cocoa Mall redevelopment was carried out in partnership with Frontline Developer Services Limited, costing 1 Billion naira. Oodua Group is owned by governments of Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun and Ekiti states. After the construction and redevelopment of the two malls, Oodua Group outsourced the facilities to a consortium of facility managers who see to the functionality and maintenance of the malls. Heritage Mall and Cocoal Mall, housing Shoprite, cinema house and other important stores are doing well as we speak.

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If Oodua Group, jointly owned by states in the south west, including Oyo state, could finance construction of malls and other facilities without concession or long lease, what stops Oyo government to toe the same more viable path? 4.9 Billion naira is too paltry to seek concession and long lease for. If the present government is still creditworthy, it should be able to get a consortium of local banks to finance the project after which the government can also engage a consortium of real estate managers to manage the facilities.

It should not take more than ten years long to repay the local banks the loans and interests from the purse of the state while revenues from the management of the rejuvenated complex will have been accruing to Oyo state. This is unarguably a win-win situation for government in terms of increased revenue, for people in terms of employment and job opportunities and value chain, for investors in terms of return on investment and for facility managers in terms of professional engagements.

The present concessional arrangement of 4.9 Billion naira equals 50 years is a win to Messrs Whitestone Global Limited, a win to people in terms of job opportunities but a huge loss to Oyo state in terms of revenue as acute depreciation will have befallen Agbowo Shopping Complex after 50 years of its renovation when the state is expected to take it over. It may not be wrong to dwell on the allegation that the administration of Seyi Makinde may be preparing Agbowo Shopping Complex for personal gains of its principal.

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Even if Governor Makinde was going to spend 8years in Agodi, it will take another long stretch of 44 years for the state to recover Agbowo Shopping Complex from Messrs Whitestone Global Limited, which must have fed fatter and become chubbier on Oyo state’s patrimony. If we spend three years to prepare a man for madness, when is he going to storm market?

If Messrs Whitestone Global Limited manages Agbowo Shopping Complex for 50years to recoup 4.9 Billion naira and interests accrued, when will Oyo state begin to reap her investment and profits on the complex?

 

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Ladoja At 76: Alao pens emotional thank you message to ex-Oyo governor

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Ibadan North East/South East Federal House of representatives nominee of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) in the 2019 election, Mr. Semih Oladimeji Alao on Friday penned an emotional appreciation message to former Governor Rasidi Ladoja, describing him as the most innovative personality in politics. 

 

 

The Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, Chief Ladoja, was born on September 25, 1944.

 

Alao in a message obtained by Mega Icon Magazine also thanked the former governor of Oyo state for his amazing efforts and support over the years.

The message reads, “Happy 76th Birthday to Osi Olubadan of Ibadan, the most innovative person in politics today. High Chief (Daddy) Rasidi Adewolu Ladoja.

 

“Not only do you seamlessly adapt to address the emerging challenges from the persistent ones that we face in our society today, but you are also always striving to make things better with new approaches and such unfaltering determination.

“I just want to thank you for all of your amazing efforts and support over the years!

“Many happy returns to you today Sir”, it added.

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2020 budget touched all sectors of economy inspite of COVID-19 – Makinde

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Governor Seyi Makinde has said that the 2020 budget of Oyo state touched every sector of the state’s economy has requested by citizens and stakeholders.

The Governor, who spoke through his deputy, Engineer Rauf Olaniyan, disclosed this at the 2021 town hall stakeholders meeting held at Igboho.

The governor lamented that COVID-19 brought a shrink to the budget on capital expenditure, adding, that the state is still managing to accommodate all the needs of each community as highlighted by the stakeholders.

 

He said that the state is poised to engage more stakeholders in the preparation of the 2021 budget by consulting across the seven geopolitical zones in Oyo state as opposed to the three senatorial districts for the 2020 budget for more openness and transparency.

 

Governor Makinde further asserted that his administration is predominantly about inclusion which is the fulcrum on which democracy rests, urging the people to come out and dialogue with government since they are the most affected by the decisions of government.

 

While x- raying some completed projects executed by his administration in Oke-Ogun region, the governor disclosed that government has begun the remodeling of OYSADA headquarters at Saki, upgrading of various primary healthcare centres and facilities and the set up of a specialist hospital.

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The state helmsman urged the people to be security conscious in the face of recent security challenges, saying, security is our collective responsibility.

While responding to the requests and submissions from all local governments and stakeholders, he assured that the state will ensure that the issues of security, education, employment and power supply will be looked into and will get budgetary attention in 2021 within the available resources.

 

Earlier, the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Barr Adeniyi Farinto highlighted the projects the government executed as requested by the people of the region in the 2020 budget meetup with stakeholders.

 

He said the construction of the Moniya-Iseyin road, return of OYSADEP now OYSADA headquarters to Saki, fixing of Saki- Ogboro- Igboho road among other things are a promise kept by the current administration.

The commissioner urged the citizens of the food basket region of the state to make inputs and cooperate with government in fixing roads and other projedts to enable government in delivering on its promises.

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