WALKING THE PATH OF GREATNESS – A TRIBUTE TO OGD @ 64

There are many ways a man can be described as great, but being able to lay a path for others to follow take much tenacity and deep sense of personality.

This qualities undoubtedly reside in a man we have known over the years as a man with the midas touch. Having succeeded in almost everything he has ever ventured in.

Otunba Justus Olugbenga Daniel is an accomplished Engineer, a consummate politician, a quintessential Manager and philanthropist

A Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, the Institute of Directors, Nigeria and The Academy of Engineering. OGD, as he is popularly called in political circles was a two-term governor of Ogun State and the Founder/Chairman, Kresta Laurel Limited, Lagos, an engineering firm specialising in elevators, power systems, overhead travelling cranes and hoists which has remained a leader in its area of competence.

Born on 6th of April, 1956, Otunba Daniel, brilliant, audacious and intuitive as a college boy, attended Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, the School of Basic Studies at The Polytechnic, Ibadan and later studied Engineering at the University of Lagos, where he won several scholarships and became acquainted with the legendary Prof Ayodele Awojobi.

OGD

During his National Service year at the School of Engineering of the Lagos State Polytechnic, he supervised the construction of the Engineering Complex of the institution and also conducted the semester examinations for the School of Engineering, without any whiff of leakage or scandal. That feat was described by an appreciative management as “quite remarkable in an environment where examination fraud was quite rampant”. Daniel was to proceed to earn a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Lagos and subsequently attended the Lagos Business School for an executive programme.

A distinguished Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Otunba Daniel cut his professional teeth with Metal Construction (West Africa) Limited. He later worked with H. F. Schroeder (West Africa) Limited, Lagos where he was the General Manager and later, Deputy Managing Director making him the first African to rise to that position in the history of the company’s operations.

In 1990, he harnessed his extensive skills in vertical transportation, power generation and structural engineering in search of greater challenges and a wider field to plough and so, established his own company, Kresta Laurel, which in a few years of its existence had become a household name, blazing the trail in a world dominated by foreign corporate giants.

Kresta Laurel Limited is the foremost and the only ISO 9001 certified lift company in Nigeria. It is also the authorised distributor of KONE; the number one elevator makers in the world.

Otunba Daniel’s resolve to plough back into the society inspired him to go into public through a non-profit organisation, the Gateway Front Foundation (GFF) which has, over the years impacted positively on the lives of many through humanitarian an charitable activities.

To further affect the lives of the people positively, in 2001, Otunba Gbenga Daniel announced his candidacy for governor of Ogun State in the 2003 election, seeking the nomination of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). His foray into politics drew extensive media coverage with unprecedented level of popular support as he was regarded as a symbol of populist ideal to the common people.

He launched a trail-brazing campaign declaring the official slogan, “A Contract with the People” with a commitment to better the lot of the people by awakening the sleeping giant which Ogun State was by harnessing its human and natural resources.
He won both the 2003 and 2007 general elections and subsequently lived up to expectation by bringing positive innovation and productive dynamism into governance. In terms of people-oriented programmes, it is widely acknowledged that Otunba Daniel restored hope, rehabilitated infrastructure, re-engineered institutions and firmly put in place an agenda of modernisation in Ogun State.

In addition to patronising only Indigenous Engineers in the Execution of ALL his projects including the 12-Storey OPIC Plaza in Abeokuta, Engr. Daniel, through personal supervision and institution of compulsory Safe practices on all sites, ensured that all projects executed under his watch as the Governor if Ogun State, were delivered safely.

Engr. J. O. Daniel

Today, Ogun State has become the investment destination of choice not only in Nigeria but also on the West coast of Africa. Indeed, his programme on Public Private Partnership attracted several businesses into the State during his tenure taking Ogun State into the ranks of the world’s emerging markets. A partial listing of the landmark achievements of the Daniel administration include road rehabilitation, employment generation, ICT revolution, investment influx, tourism, rural healthcare programme and sports development.

Some of the landmark achievements include but are not limited to:

Founding of Nigeria’s first University of Education.
Founding of Four ICT Polytechnics.
The construction of 3 world class Stadia and the upgrading of one stadium to FIFA standard life.
The Successful hosting of National Sports Festival & some of the Junior World Games.
The transformation of Ogun state to a virile private sector driven business haven by encouraging public private partnership.
The construction of over 2000 kilometres of road rehabilitation in four years.
Resuscitation and expansion of several agricultural plantations.
Creation and Invigoration of the South West Resource Center.
Encouragement of Local & Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through Partnerships with various countries and Development Partners such as the Guangdong, China’s Business Community which has agreed to commit One billion Dollars to its Industrial Park in the state.
The Initiation of the Olokola NLNG project.
The modernization of Olumo Rock & Beautification of Logo Beach thereby improving on the Tourism potentials the state.
The Signing into law of the Child Right Bill as the first Governor in the whole Country to do such.
Conceptualisation and Setting up of three Free Trade Zones in the State.
Development of the Ogun State Master plan.

After leaving office in 2011, Otunba Daniel continued funding youth development initiatives within Ogun State. With the core objectives to prepare, produce and support young leaders to improving their opportunities and competitiveness to impact on the society significantly, he established the Political Academy (POLA) with the vision to identify, codify, enhance and propagate principles and capacities needed for effective value-based socio-political and economic leadership by offering high quality, accelerated socio-political and economic education.

In recognition of his contributions to educational development in the State Otunba Daniel has been honoured with several academic laurels, including:

•.Honorary Fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (2004)
• Doctor of Development Administration (DDA, Honoris Causa) 2004
• Doctor of Agriculture (D. Agric, Honoris Causa) 2005
• Doctor of Science, Engineering (D.Sc, Honoris Causa) 2006
. Doctor of Public Administration (D.Admin. Honoris Causa) 2009.

He has also won several distinguished awards including but not limited to the following:

• One of Nigeria’s 100 most successful Businessmen (National Concord) – 1993
• MKO Abiola Leadership Prize – 2004
• Africa Leadership Prize for the Best Performed Governor for year 2003 – 2004
• City People Magazine Award for Best Performing Governor for 2003 – 2004
• Man of the Year (by the American Biographical Institute Inc) – 2004
• Best Performing Governor in Primary Education Development – 2005
• Corporate Governance Award of the Institute of Directors, Nigeria – 2005
• Zik Leadership Award, 2006.
• The Raymond Dokpesi: Electronic Media Award 2009.

He is currently the Chairman, Nigeria/Finland Business Council. He was also the Pro-Chancellor/Chairman, Governing Council, Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State.

Otunba Daniel is the Grand Patron of Boys Scout Movement in Nigeria and of the Red Cross.

Detribalised, sociable, cultured and grassroots politician par excellence, his diverse achievements and amiable disposition has earned him honours and recognitions from far and near as well as many chieftaincy titles including the Otunba Adeoti of Omu-Ijebu, Otunba Asoludero of Makun, Sagamu, Arole of Remoland, Asoju-Oba of Ijesaland, Aare Ajibosin of Owu Kingdom and Otunba Obalofin of Ijebuland.

He is also the Asiwaju Onigbagbo (Okunrin) of Remo Christians.

Otunba Gbenga Daniel is married to Yeye Olufunke Daniel and they are blessed with five children.

From us at Creative2concepts Inc. We say Happy birthday sir and many Happy returns in good health.

Published by chrisadelugba

Creative2concepts Incorporated is a Media Centre

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