The Odu’a Investment Company Ltd. on Monday launched the “Odu’a Investment Foundation” to rejig the standard of education in the South-West region of the nation.
Chief Bimbo Ashiru, Group Chairman, OICL, said at a news conference in Lagos State that the three priority focuses of the foundation were youth empowerment, education and healthcare.
Ashiru said this was one of the objectives of OICL’s five-year strategic plan, to plough back to the people of the South-West states of Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Lagos.
Ashiru explained that the youth empowerment aspect of the foundation would cover Information and Technology capacity building for youths, the creation of innovation hubs and incubation centres, strategic job creation, and investing and supporting youths in the agriculture sector.
According to him, the education aspect will also cover institutional and infrastructural support, literacy education, girl child education, adult literacy, vocational-technical skills training, grants and scholarships for indigent students.
He said the healthcare aspect of the foundation would focus on reproductive health, adolescent health projects, the control of communicable and non-communicable diseases, institutional support, and capacity building.
“The vision of the foundation is to create an enabling environment where everyone can live a healthy, peaceful and productive life.
“The mission statement is to improve healthcare, expand educational opportunities and promote youth development and information technology in South-West Nigeria.
“Some of the objectives of the foundation is to promote, develop and empower the teeming youths of South-west Nigeria with a focus on education and health-physical, mental and social.
“We also plan to deliver significant long-term education and youth development benefits in our stakeholder communities.
“The foundation will serve as a conveyor of goodwill from OICL to the good people of South-West extraction while enhancing the quality of life and livelihood of the people,” he said.
According to him, OICL will also inaugurate a seven-man advisory council to protect the corporate image of the foundation by effectively representing and promoting its interests and those of relevant stakeholders.
He listed Dr. Awolowo Dosumu as Chairman of the Foundation, while Dr. Olusegun Olugboyegun, Chief Onikepo Akande, Dr Biodun Shobanjo, Dr Victoria Samson, Chief Wole Onipekun and Mr Aderemi Makanjuola would be the members.
“These are highly revered sons and daughters of Southwest origin with a proven record of impeccable character and they will be inaugurated on Thursday, July 27.
“They have distinguished themselves in their chosen field of endeavours and have given their acceptance to serve and act on the Advisory Council of the foundation as “Think- Tank”.
“The Oduá Investment Company Limited, the investment hub of South-West Nigeria in September 2021 incorporated the Oduá Investment Foundation at the Corporate Affairs Commission.
“This is to serve as an independent social corporate arm of the company to give back to society and improve the life and livelihood of citizens within the confines of the owner states.
“This will complement the efforts of the state governments in impacting lives meaningfully to its people.
“Oduá Foundation is a non-profit making organisation established to sustain the ideals of the founding fathers of OICL,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Adewale Raji, Group Managing Director, OICL, said members of the advisory council were selected from each of the southwestern states, based on their antecedents.
Raji said they were to serve the foundation for two years after which they would be succeeded by a board of trustees.
According to him, a full-time Programmes Manager had also been employed to work with the council.
Also speaking, Mrs Folusho Olaniyan, Independent Director, OICL, revealed plans to work with lots of local and foreign partners aimed to attract substantial funding for the foundation.
Mr Seni Adio, Odu’a Director, said the essence of the foundation was to have a formal structure that would become an institution to focus on healthcare, education and youth empowerment.
“We are happy that the members of the advisory council are excited about their new responsibility,” he said.