Akinade Ogunbiyi

Dolapo Ojo

Behavioural theorists posit that leaders are made not born.
It is an assertion that is strengthened by the success stories of some top players in most sectors today.

With vision, passion and commitment, they weathered the storm to excel in one of the most difficult socio-economic environments in the globe.

The founder of Mutual Benefit Assurance, Dr. Akinade Ogunbiyi is one of those Nigerians, who have used the power of consistency and vision to emerge one of the innovative leaders of the moment.
Anyone conversant with his trajectory since he graduated with a degree in Agricultural Economics from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife in 1986, won’t be amazed that he is at the peak of the ladder of success.

This feat which was attained within the period of three decades, saw Ogunbiyi distinguishing himself in business and a philanthropy.

His engagements resulted in not just job creation for more than 5000 people, but gestures that have given a direction to many.

He considers philanthropy a calling that deserves the kind of response other pursuits in life get.

This explains why he is replicating his business excellence in philanthropy. It is a mission deeply rooted in his passion for the impacting on humanity in many ways.

The serial entrepreneur, who is distinguished by the gift of identifying opportunities and creating values, has been constant in his race to change the society better than he met it.
This journey which started since his 1986 graduation from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, has seen him rising from an undergraduate, who specialised in Agricultural Insurance to a wealth creator with vast business interests.

Having founded and nurtured many successful enterprises, one is not surprised that he took to human capital development as a way of creating a generation of successful Nigerians.
This, he is achieving through the Arubiewe Educational Foundation which is committed to the promotion of secondary, tertiary and professional education.

Empirical evidences suggest that more than 100 people have received scholarships for various educational pursuits from the foundation.

Of these awards, there were 10 graduates of the West Africa College of Insurance, Banjul, Gambia; 15 graduates from Chartered Institutes of Insurance and Management, Lagos, Nigeria; a postgraduate studies leading to the award of PHD in Architecture from University of Leeds, United Kingdom among others.

Currently 15 pupils who just finished primary school, are in Adeleke College, Ede, five undergraduates are in private universities while several others pursuing tertiary degree and professional education.

Apart from that, many examples exists to testify that Ogunbiyi, has through his business interests continued to empower this generation.

As the Group Chairman of Mutual Benefits Group- a conglomerate with nine subsidiaries, he employs many people in various value-adding sectors of the Nigerian economy. Ogunbiyi is the Chairman of the USIG, a real estate investment firm and Charles Enterprises LLC; both in the USA, and CIL (Inc) UK. He was the Chief Promoter/Founding Managing Director and Chief Executive of VTL Insurance Brokers Ltd from January 1993 to September 1995.

From January 1992 to December of the same year, he held the position of the Managing Partner/Chief Executive of Finance & Insurance Experts Limited, Lagos.

At NICON he held the positions of the Research and Planning Officer as well as Head of the Economic and Business Development Unit at different times.

Till date, he is reputed to have pioneered grass-roots insurance as catalyst for revenue gains, growth and expansion in the economies of catchment countries.
With this robust profile, no one was taken aback since his intention to govern Osun State became known.

Rather, there is a feeling of enthusiasm as many considered his private sector record a testimony to his capacity to lead.

His accomplishments suggest that his ambition is driven by the sheer desire to create wealth and add value to the Osun narrative.

Having successfully transformed businesses into highly profitable ventures, there is no doubt that he comes across as best suited for the job.

Although people like the Chief of Staff to Osun State governor, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola; Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Moshood Adeojo; an ex-Chief of Staff, Mr. Peter Babalola; and Ademola Adeleke, have indicated interest, Ogunbiyi leads the pack.

His reputation as a resilient business manager and leading captain of industry place him ahead of others, who have indicated interest in his party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and All Progressives Congress, APC.

The most certain factor about Osun State if he is elected governor, is the prospect of an economically viable state. And such viability is what the state needs to harness its potentialities.

This why there is a consensus that his leadership skills matter so much in Osun at a time like this.

––Ojo a public affairs analyst writes from Ilesa