Hammed Rokeeb Atanda
Government projects, programmes and businesses have always been made an exclusive rights of the political afflates or associates and the money bags. Patronage is a function of who you know but not really what you can offer. Brilliant talents and initiatives thus, dies a natural death with many youth with what I call an ordinary background.
Big government projects are awarded to foreign companies at its best. Some companies are floated overnight in some cases to corner projects for political cronies.
These from past experiences have resulted in local capital flight, little opportunity for home grown economy, scuttled chances for young businesses and overall economic dysfunction of a state.
As a young and focused-not-lazy youth with ordinary background however, I had found it so hard to realize my dreams of creating wealth through a burning zeal for private entrepreneurship. The road to actualizing business dreams by people in shoes is not only rough but tortuous as well. But with strong determination, right mentorship and faith in God, I started an agro-allied food processing and packaging business few years back as an undergraduate.
Value chains on major agricultural produce such as cassava, maize, beans, yam and plantain is explored and packaged into final staple food items like dry palp, maize gritz, Tuwolina, powdered beans, gaari, yam, plantain and cassava flours are some of the products of ATROK Nig. Ltd but at a very low key and subsistence but high quality level until the good and exemplary local content development initiatives of the book visionary and dynamic governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola came as a divine intervention.
As low capital producer and self marketer, I took my products to government agencies, offices and parastatals. It was this effort and the catching quality products that caught a visionary attention of one of the noble people around Mr. Governor, the Honourable Commissioner for Commerce and Industries, Dr. Olanipekun who was highly impressed and remarked that the effort was the kind Mr Governor would like to support.
Not minding who I was or who I know, not even asking of my political afflation, I was expressly to another lofty program of the Mr Governor.
ONJE ILERI is a social intervention programme of the Osun State Government to support the vulnerable members of the society, the aged, widow, people with disabilities and so on with staple food items on monthly basis. This program under the able anchorage and coordination of Hon. Olamilekan Badmus (omo oloore) , the Honourable Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties recruits small and medium scale indigenous food processors to feed the programme with various high quality staple food items.
In other climes, big names in the industry would have been gone for, for so many political reasons. People from other state for mere reason of afflation and interest would have been major beneficiaries. Partisanship would have robed many talents the opportunity to participate and the programme would have been more popular on the billboards than on the table of the target beneficiaries. But the visionary administration of the Mr. Governor, Alhajji Gboyega Oyetola believes that *the rain that falls on a soil is absorbs by the soil*. *Ojo to ro si’nu ilu, ile ilu nii fii mu.*
This pragmatic and sincere intervention had generated countless invaluable ripple effects across the production chains from the farmers to the processors to the value chains enhancer down to the final end users and beneficiaries. The vulnerable of Osun, the land of virtues.
My business enjoys a major turnaround with opportunity to increase production capacity and scope. Hundreds of families and allied businesses have been touched and the per capital income of the people of Osun has by this and similar approach of the current state administration improved.
The monumental iconic Olaiya flyover with countless road construction and rehabilitation projects of this administration have been handled by an indigenous company owned by an ilustrous son of the soil of the state of the virtues, Osun.
It was quite unthinkable that this laudable approach to govanance for sustainable development could still be lampooned by a right thinking person who is aware of where we are coming from as a people of a state.
But no matter the level blasphemy, honey will not lose it’s taste. And no matter how long, trees shall rejuvenate. *Egan o pe k’oyin ma dun, bope titi, igi a ruwe*. The good people of the state acknowledge the patriotic, dynamic, sincere, visionary and exemplary approach of the Mr Governor towards empowerment and economic recovery of the state through a local content development and support for young businesses. I am optimistic that the good people of the state will show their appreciation on the ballot when the time comes. *Telegan lo soro*
4 + 4 = Oyetola.
Hammed Rokeeb Atanda
(ATANDA FOODS) now
ATROK FOODS SERVICES LIMITED. IWO
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