‘Agriculture Will Boost S’West Annual GDP to $80bn’


James Emejo and Folalumi Alaran in Abuja

The Group Chairman of Odua Investment Company (OIC) Limited, Dr. Segun Aina, has said agriculture has the capacity to boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the South west region to over $80 billion annually as well as create wealth for the over 40 million population.

Speaking during the inauguration of a new board of directors for SWAgCo, a subsidiary of Odua Investment, which is focused on agriculture, Aina said given the potential of the sector, the agricultural investment company would seek to unlock the untapped potential of the sector within the region to create wealth, job opportunities and contribute to the country’s GDP in general.

SWAgCo is an agricultural investment company, with a strong capital base, established to unlock unrealised agriculture and sub-optimised agribusiness value by transforming underinvested agribusiness opportunities within tye country into institutional-grade investment operations.

Aina pointed out that the appointment of a new board to drive the company became necessary as part of its strategy to reposition the entire group and to make it the engine room for economic development of the South West.
He said the appointment of six new board members for a four-year term would help reposition the firm, expand its business as well as strengthen its corporate governance.

He said: “The new leadership, which were selected through a competitive process handled by KPMG, brings a wealth of professional experience and expertise at a senior level in investment, finance, agriculture and performance solutions to consolidate SWAgCo’s operation.

“This also set it on the path of achieving its mission to change the landscape of agriculture and agriculture investment in Nigeria.”
He explained that the appointment was as part of its future-forward strategy to reposition its operations to take full advantage of opportunities within the agricultural space.

According to him, the appointments had Mr. Owolabi Salami as the Chairman of SWAgCo while Mr. Adeola Adetunji, Ms. Cecilia Akintomide, Ms. Adekemi Ajayi are Non-Executive Directors to the SWAgCo board.

On the other hand, Mr. Babajide Arowosafe was appointed the chief executive as well as Mr. Adegboyega Osobu as executive director of the organisation.
Aina said: “They join SWAgCo at an exciting time as we begin the journey to grow and expand its operations and implement its strategy for economic and social impact within the agricultural space in Nigeria.”

In his response however, Salami, reiterated his commitment to work towards changing the landscape and investment outlook of agriculture in the region.
He said: “This is a significant moment in the history of our country, it is a great honour to serve as Chairman of the SWAgCo board of directors.”

“I am proud of the major accomplishments over the past few months of its establishment and the commitment put into the pre-operational phase of the institution by the interim board.
“I look forward to working closely with all our shareholders, and the management team”, he added.