Akeredolu Has Changed Economic Outlook of Ondo State – Ajipe
Akeredolu Has Changed Economic Outlook of Ondo State – Ajipe
The Chief Executive Officer of Klick Konnect Network International Limited and Convener of ‘Ibi Giga’ Movement, Chief Alex Ajipe had declared that the the economic outlook of Ondo State has been changed by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu from the ‘civil service state’ it used to be to an industrialized one.
Ajipe made this declaration in an interview with Triangle Media on Monday in Akure. He also praised Arakunrin Akeredolu for showing the political will needed to encourage private investors in Ondo State. He added that the narrative of Ondo State being a ‘civil service’ state had changed with the efforts being made by the administration of Governor Akeredolu.
According to Ajipe, “So I would rather want to praise the Governor who damned consequences and political interest to be able to come up with policies that encourage private investors. This is not what the people are used to. Any house you see around that is beautiful must be a house that belongs to a Permanent Secretary or to a Director or to a civil servant because Ondo State was a civil service state.
“This has changed now because people are begging to see private individuals. For the first time in history of Ondo State, we have three different companies that have been getting materials that they are using to export and import products in Ondo State. It has never happened before. So when you now look at this, one, you must see the value chain. Then, you must see that a private sector will tap into those value chain which is different from the normal slogan or story that is saying a civil servant, a civil servant and all that”.
Speaking on the background of Governor, Ajipe described him as someone from the private practise background. He added that Akeredolu has leveraged on his wide reach contacts and exposure to give Ondo State a better narrative.
“Let me tell you this, this is the first time you will see a pure private person in government as Governor of Ondo State. Come to look at it from the time of Baba Ajasin, he was a class room teacher. Talk of Dr. Agagu, he was a lecturer. As for Dr. Rahman Mimiko, everybody knows what he has done in the politics of Ondo State. Then Dr. Rahman Mimiko should be a symbol of politics in Ondo State. So, he is a typical politician.
“So, you are looking at somebody coming from the private sector and we believe that if we want to use the private sector now to develop Ondo State; we will look at his cardinal program.
“We are very sensitive to what this man is saying. We know that this man is a man of his words. He is a man of integrity. Once we know that he is going to develop Ondo State in term of industrialization and agripenurship, all the private sectors quickly tapped into it. This is to make sure that we bring benefits to Ondo State and the people and the results is what you have seen today”.
Contrary to speculation that Ajipe was invited from abroad to participate in the administration of Akeredolu, he responded :
“We have been the consultant of Ondo State government. Truth of the matter is that we have always been here and if we are talking about grassroots person, I think I am qualified to be called a grassroots person. I am from my small village in Emure Ile in Owo and went to the same secondary school there and to the Federal University of Technology, Akure. I have been in Akure all my life. So, I can tell you what has been happening and how we have doing our business as far back as 2012”.
While speaking on the role so far played in the administration of Arakunrin Akeredolu, he said: “I don’t want to describe myself as the pillar of the administration of Governor Akeredolu; but I will rather praise him profusely for proving conducive atmosphere for us to operate and to facilitate investments to Ondo State”.
Ajipe reiterated that he has been doing business within and outside of Ondo State even before the advent of the administration of Governor Akeredolu. He also described himself as a core businessman whose main concern is doing business.
“We were in Kano to consult for the State Government on revenue monitoring in the informal sector. We are there in Kano and we have been serving as consultant to quite a number of other private businesses here and there since year 2010”.
While reacting to his decision to champion the cause of campaigning for the re-election of Akeredolu through the ‘Ibi Giga Movement’, Ajipe answered :
“Yes, like I have said to you, a lot of people have been bombarding me as regards my coming out boldly to support Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. But, I discovered that all that have reduced tremendously after the visit of President Muhammudu Buhari to Ondo State to commission one of our hub that we are managing.
“I am supporting him in an usual manner so as to sensitize our people on the reason why they must support and re-elect Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for sustainability.
“You know for the well establish structure of the private sector in Ondo State, that is why we have decided come up with ‘Ibi Giga’ and it is not only me”.
He further spoke that his reason for championing the re-election of Arakunrin Akeredolu was borne out of patriotic zeal for Ondo State and as a way of repaying the governor for creating conducive atmosphere for private investors in the Sunshine State.
“If Aketi could damn all possible consequences and raised policy to develop private sector in Ondo State, some of us too will damn consequences for whatever it will cost us. We will support him openly with our resources and with our connection and with everyone that we have.
“You can not manage that kind of hub and and you are asked if the architect of that hub should continue in office; of course you will say he should continue. A lot of people are benefiting as I am taking to you right now. Within 2017 to 2018, we have employed over 250 staff and over 200 of them are family people.
“So you see some of our graduate that are no longer looking at the public service; they are looking at how to go into their business. You will be shocked if I tell you how many entrepreneurs have risen up since Arakunrim Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has been there”.
When asked if he was interested in joining active politics, Ajipe said he has no immediate interest in politics. He said the essence of politics was all about touching humanity which he claimed he was already doing through job creations.
“We have facilitated more in Ondo State that I can tell you that in the next two to three years, we will have over 20,000 direct employees in the State. So if I am doing that as a way of touching humanity, I think for me politic will be secondary. I am not thinking about politics at this moment”.
On whether he has the fear of being blackmailed going by his business success and his decision to go all out in support of Governor Akeredolu, he responded :
“I understand that a lot of people might want to blackmail; which Nigeria politic is known for and Ondo State is not left out. And for me, Alex Oluremi Ajipe, I have not done anything wrong. I don’t have any skeleton in my cupboard than to support openly the man I believe is Mr Performer, ‘Talk and Do’ and that is whom I am supporting. So, I may personally look at blackmail as what politic is known for”.
Meanwhile, while reacting to the in-fighting in the Ondo State chapter of APC, he counselled the political players to put the interest of the state and the people first in their politicking.
“I will tell them that they should allow constructive criticism and they should also look at the performance of the governor.
Internal democracy of a party is more than personal interests because when the thing is happening, it is also affecting the masses. So, they should put the masses interest first. They should put community interest first. They should be selfless in whatever they are doing, counselled Ajipe.