Osun State First Lady, Erelu Ngozi Adeleke participated at the just concluded United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA), in New York, United States. She spoke to select journalists about her vision and support for the State, how she marketed the investment potentials of Osun to several investors, local and foreign at the high level meeting of world leaders, and what Governor Nurudeen Ademola Adeleke is doing. NewsQuest was there and report:
What are the takeaways for you at this 78th session of UNGA?
I have taken part in so many meetings since I came to New York for the United Nation’s General Assembly. First was the meeting for the trade and investment. In fact, all the ministers were there. And it created an avenue for me to meet most of the ministers put together.
As a marketer that I’ve been, you know, I worked in the bank as a marketer. It has been my tradition to market people. I left banking in 2018 to join my husband in polictics. And I keep telling my friends that, I left banking, but I did not leave marketing. Because, when I left marketing where I was banking products, I started marketing my state. During the investment meeting in New York, I marketed my state to them, and I told them, all these investments we are talking about here, will definitely come and land on your different tables in Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital, being the country’s seat of power, but you the federal will still share it with the different states.
I pleased that they should not forget my state, Osun where my husband is also doing so much in terms of development. I pleaded with the participants and we exchanged contacts. Some of the Nigerian ministers at the meeting were Festus Keyamo- minister of Aviation, Betta Edu, minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, the minister of Women Affairs Uju Kennedy Ohanenye, and the chief executive officer of the Nigerians Diaspora Commission Abike Dabiri.
Did you make any request from these ministers?
I told them that Osun needs some business and they promised. For instance, I told Festus Keyamo for instance, that citing an Airport in Oshogbo would not be a very bad idea since we don’t have an airport, which to promised. Since I have established contacts with them, I believe it will help my state in along way. I intend to create good relationships even between these government officials and me I am between my husband and them.
I did same to all other investors from other African countries and even New York that were there at the investment meeting. I pleaded to their emotions about my state Osun to come and do business in the state.
What do you think Osun State requires most in terms of investment opportunities for potential investors?
There are many areas. In Osun, you can invest in Agriculture, Tourism, Mining, Education, and Infrastructure. The state is a fertile land waiting for investors to come and cultivate. My husband’s government had investors in mind from day and what did he do. Governor Adeleke in the very six month of his administration, fixed all the roads in and out of Osun so that every investor coming into the State for investment purpose will not find it difficult to operate.
He fixed electricity. Right now in Osun, electricity is regular. Do you understand? The governor has improved on the State’s water supply system. All the 33 local governments of Osun have been provided with boreholes, there is adequate water supply for the people.
In terms of security, what the governor has done is top notch. You cannot come into Osun to invest and you say that your life is being threatened. It doesn’t happen. Security in Osun is something else. My husband had investors in his mind and he did all of these in order to make sure that any investor coming in would have an enabling environment to operate freely.
All the things he has done in the very six month of the administration is the reason for the different awards which he has attracted. As at today, my husband is being recommended as the best governor of the year. This is because of what he has been able to achieve in quite a short period of time in office. Governor Adeleke is doing a great job.
I believe that anybody coming to invest in Osun State would not have anything to regret about.
You interacted with many companies, potential investors. How many of them are you expecting in Osun?
Let me tell you, today, I went to the commissioner of International Affairs at City Hall, here in New York. I visited him today, he took me around the city hall even the chambers. He asked what I wanted New York City to do for my State Osun. I told him that my area of focus was women and children and I needed anything that could impact the lives of women and children. It is quite interesting that he made some concrete promises and then, mandated one of his staff to start establishing email contact between us. He said that New York City was coming to do something for our schools.
In fact, without wasting time, he introduced me to the Mayor, took me around even their chambers, everywhere. As I needed it as soon as possible, it was same for him. He told us his life story, told me his life story that himself was originally from Turkey, and was victim of discrimination before he was able to wriggle out of it. My meeting him was mind blowing. I also met with his deputy.
My visit to New York is so fruitful. All the Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), that were writing me while I was in Nigeria met me here and we sealed quite a number of deals. I am going home with some deals proposals for my husband’s government. I expect that his cabinet would look into the two or three proposals, so that the investors can come over to Osun to seal the deals. For me, it has been purely business here in New York. I am glad that I achieved a lot for my women, children, and the government of my husband Jackson Ademola Adeleke. In fact, I am going home as a very happy person. Taking home with two letters for my husband and for people that need investments, gladdens my hearts