Michael Olanrewaju, Osogbo.
The political temperature of Osun State has continued to rise as we are gradually approaching the September 22, 2018 slated for the Governorship election. And as promised, SPEAR GISTS would continue to unveil the profiles of the political gladiators whose aspirations means much to the future of the State .
A critical understanding of the past of these gladiators means much to the over 1.2million voters in the state.
In this wise, this write up is bringing to our numerous readers the profile of a young dynamic, articulate, financial guru whose trainning and experience has adequately prepared him for leadership challenges and positions. He is no other person than Benedict Olugboyega Alabi, MSc., FCIB,FICA, SFP (aka BOA), one of the aspirants contending for the plum office of the Governor of Osun State under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).
He was born and nurtured in Ikire, headquarters of Irewole Local Government, Osun West Senatorial District of Osun State among a family of nine children whose father was a reputable administrator and mother, a business woman of great repute.
His father, late John Oyeyemi Alabi was the first graduate from Ikire who took over from the last white District Officer (DO) after Nigeria’s independence, that was why he was given OYINBO DUDU, that is, interpreter between white and black people. The mother, late Madam Eunice Alabi was well known within the region as an astute businesswoman.
Olugboyega Alabi is a homeboy whose early education from primary to higher institution revolved around Osun and Oyo states. He attended Holy Cross Catholic Primary School Ikire before proceeding to Baptist Grammar School, Ikire, Osun State and Lagos African Church Grammar School, Ifako-Agege. Thereafter, Olugboyega gained admission to Ibadan Polytechnic to study Banking in 1983.
He consolidated his knowledge further when he studied and obtained Bachelors Degree in Banking and Finance from Olabisi Onabanjo University Ogun State and a Masters degree in Economics (with specialization in International Development) from the prestigious University of Lagos.
For many years, Olugboyega worked in the financial sector cutting across various institutions and departments, among which are Societe Generale Bank (now Heritage Bank), Neighborhood Building Society Limited, Transnational Building Society Limited and left his last position as General Manager of Sterling Bank Plc.
Thereafter he set up his own company, Eliezer Workplace Management Limited. They are into facility management. With a clear vision, he nurtured and grew the company to an award winning entity with certification in compliance from ISO 9001:2008 and BS OHSAS 18001:2007 as well as the British Safety Council. Eliezer is now one of the leading facility management company with offices across major countries in Africa: Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya with affiliates in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad Republic working for mostly multinationals in Oil & Gas and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG).
Benedict Olugboyega Alabi has attended numerous training and conferences both home and abroad, and has been a recipient of many awards, is the Group President/CEO of Eliezer Workplace Management Limited. He has interest in other areas like agriculture and manufacturing.
Olugboyega Alabi is a man of integrity with great passion for Infrastructure and best practice. He has served on the Technical Committee of Federal Government of Nigeria on Development of Green Building Initiative for Nigeria as well as Committee on Establishment of Building Rating System. Both Initiatives of Federal Government of Nigeria are directed towards taming building collapse in Nigeria.
As a humanist and a man with love of the people in his heart, Olugboyega established Osun Ajose Foundation to support indigenes in Osun state. This is an empowerment foundation established with a view to eradicate poverty in the state.
Olugboyega’s hobbies include among others Squash, Golf, interacting with people and above all spending quality time with his loving family.
He is happily married with four children.
Beyond having B.Sc and Masters degree in Economics from Olabisi Onabanjo University and University of Lagos respectively, Olugboyega Benedict Alabi consolidated further in his study both in Nigeria and abroad with professional qualifications. Through his training, experience and contributions, he holds the following certifications;
– Fellow of Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology
– Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria
– Fellow of Institute of Credits Administration
Associate of Nigerian Institute of Safety Professionals
– Member of Environmental Society of Nigeria.
– International Facility Management Association (IFMA) USA
– Sustainability Facility Professional
Benedict Olugboyega Alabi was the first African to be awarded Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP) certification by International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Houston, United States of America (the umbrella body of all facility management practitioners worldwide) after passing the three practical modes of the study (Strategy and Alignment for Sustainable Facility Management, Managing a Sustainable Facility and Operating a Sustainable Facility).
His organization, Eliezer, under his leadership won many local and international awards such as;
– Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology
o Best Aviation Cleaning, Infrastructure and ground Maintenance Services Company
– Global Quality Excellence Award
o Best World Class facilities management Company in Nigeria 2014
– European CEO Award 2015 Nominee – for Best Facility Management Services Provider – Africa.
If there is anyone who is committed to human emancipation and has dedicated his life to ensuring a better life for his people and the generality of human race through sustainable empowerments and tireless philanthropic gestures, that person is no other than Benedict Olugboyega Alabi, popularly known in the political circles as BOA.
A Lion they say does not beget a mouse, growing up with a mother who had more children than her biological ones under her care had taught the young Olugboyega the value of philanthropy and the special place of those who give selflessly and tirelessly too in the heart of God and man. He learnt from his first and best teachers that giving in love is the only qualification one needs to receive more from the Almighty. As his first name Benedict implies ‘Blessed’ he understands that blessing others is the only true reflection of how blessed one is.
As part of his craves to help others, who are less fortunate in the society, Benedict Olugboyega Alabi co-founded The Osun Ajose Foundation, a not- for- profit Organization that has since become a vehicle through which succor, economic freedom and emancipation from poverty have been delivered to numerous people that desire them.
One of the key areas of focus for the foundation is the direct empowerment through training of beneficiaries in marketable skills acquisition and provision of start-up equipment and funds after training. In this key area, the foundation has trained almost a thousand people, who are now doing well in their chosen businesses ranging from Cakes and Pastries making, Beads making, Fashion designing, embroidery and a host of others.
Pocket Money E-Transact empowerment
It is a popular notion that to get the youth of this generation involved in anything, it must be computer/internet related. The understanding of this has propelled Osun Ajose Foundation to embark on empowering the young people with the right training and gargets required to key into the cashless policy of the Federal Government through the Pocket Money E-Transact
The Osun Ajose Foundation, under the able leadership of BOA, has taken more steps further by toeing the lines of thoughts of our National and State governments aimed at diversifying our economy and make food abundant for all, by encouraging active participation of youths in the agricultural sector. The Foundation has therefore empowered one thousand (1000) youth in fish production in an out-grower arrangement with some of Osun Ajose Foundation’s European partners. In the arrangement, each of the one thousand youths was trained by the foundation and afterwards given five ponds, each pond with an area of 60×40 feet wide and 6 feet deep with a capacity to house 4000 fingerlings, a comfortable accommodation near to sight, supplies of fingerlings, fish feeds and payment of monthly stipends of #20,000 to each participant as personal maintenance allowance for six months that the fish will be ready for harvest.
After the harvest, the produce is weighed and sold at the prevailing market price. The cost of production is then deducted from the revenue and profit is shared 50-50 after paying tax to the government. By the experts’ calculation, the projected profit is around #1,200,000, (one million, two hundred thousand Naira) 50% of which is Six Hundred Thousand Naira. Sounds good isn’t it? It doesn’t end there, the youth can continue to make use of the ponds on his/her own, without having to share his/her subsequent profit with anyone.
Moreover, the fishery programme has a second face that is meant for the elderly who are already fish pond owners and those that own land close to active rivers. The Foundation undertakes the expansion of their existing ponds and digging of fresh ones for those who are starters in the fish business. The same procedure as that of the youth is then followed.
PROVISION OF FARM INPUT
Beyond the out-cropping arrangements often made by Osun Ajose Foundation with young farmers, the foundation has also empowered over a thousand farmers with the provision of farm inputs, farm seedlings such as grains and stems as the various crops demanded. The distribution of this largess was done through the Grains Association.
FACILITATION OF BANK OF AGRIC LOAN
In furtherance of her financial Aid, Osun Ajose Foundation has worked to facilitate the Bank of Agriculture’s Loan for farmers. As of today, over eight hundred farmers from across the state have benefitted and many of them have moved on to the commercial farming scale courtesy of Osun Ajose Foundation.
An adage says that a bird does not fly with a single wing. The board of Trustees of The Osun Ajose foundation, headed by Dr. Benedict Olugboyega Alabi, understands that there are always two sides to a coin and that animal production without crop production is an incomplete agriculture. Hence the empowerment of another set of one thousand youths in the production of selected crops such as Groundnut, Soya bean, Maize, Cassava, Rice and Potato. These selected Crops form the major components of fish feeds and that gives the opportunity for value chain addition.
In this arrangement, benefitting youths are each given a minimum of two and a half (2 ½) hectares of land to cultivate. Seedlings, chemicals and fertilizers and all other items that are needed to ensure a good harvest are supplied by The Osun Ajose Foundation. To ensure that want of basic needs does not chase the young farmer off his farm. A stipend of #20,000 is paid monthly to him from the period of cultivation through to maturation of his crops and to harvest. The same arrangement of sales, deduction of cost of production and 50-50 sharing of the profit after tax like that of fish production is obtainable here as well.
Nonetheless, interested adults who have a minimum arable land area of two and a half hectares have also taken advantage of the programme. This is a life time opportunity of financial freedom through farming and a fast route out of the shackles of penury
FACILITATION OF BANK OF INDUSTRY LOANS
At Osun Ajose Foundation, bringing opportunities closer to the people and guiding them to make the best of available resources is one of our strong points. Hence, the decision of the President of the Foundation Dr. Benedict Olugboyega Alabi to undertake the facilitation of BOI loans to make credit facilities available for our small and medium scale business owners. As an Economist and seasoned banker, the professional understanding of the President of the foundation that small and medium scale businesses are the real growers of the economy, edged him on to soldier the responsibilities.
As at today, over five thousand people across the State of Osun have accessed the interest free loans through the Foundation. The amounts disbursed to the applicants ranged from #50, 000, #100,000 and more, depending on each beneficiary’s commitment to refunding the credit.
THE PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED
Paramount and very important in the programmes of the foundation is the protection of the very weak among us- the physically challenged. The foundation has ensured that their wellbeing has always taken the fore burner in all her events. We have strived to always provide disables-friendly environment to encourage their full participation in all that we do. The president of the Foundation, Dr. Benedict Olugboyega Alabi is of the habit of setting aside
Special days to attend to them. At such event held recently, the state executive of the Joint Association of People with Special Needs JONAPWD were at home with BOA to table their needs. Kingly among their stated
needs was Wheelchairs for their members and a sum of #500,000 to kick start the construction of a shopping complex with special facilities that might aid their disability and ease business.
Coincidentally, the president of Osun Ajose Foundation, Benedict Olugboyega Alabi had already prepared units of Wheelchairs for them and it was a matter of just rolling them out. Their other request of a sum of #500,000 was also granted and jubilation rented the Ikire home of the Foundation’s President, the venue of the programme
In appreciation of the giant Strides of Osun Ajose Foundation, her president, Dr. Benedict Olugboyega Alabi has been recognized from far and near and bagged humanitarian awards from international Humanitarian bodies like Rotary international of various zones across the country. Kings and Princes have accorded him honor and respect, and he has had to chair events of enormous importance to races and tribes, all for his selfless services to humanity.
We can go on and on counting the lives changing activities of Osun Ajose Foundation and even if we can put a number to it, we shall definitely fail to adequately quantify the economic, social and environmental impact that the foundations many empowerment programmes have left and still leaving on the people, especially coming at a time when the economy of our Nation is not favourable to the common man. To God Be the Glory.