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The biography of
T. ADEOLA ODUTOLA
By: Reuben Abati & Sesan Ajayi
Africa Leadership Forum 1995
Published by ALF Publications P.O. Box 2286, Abeokuta Ogun State, Nigeria
Typesetting By Ojo Ahraham Tai
The Business Years………………………………. Statesman and Politician ………………………… The Schools that Odutola Built ………………….. Attitude to Religion …………………………….Contents From the General Editor ……………………………………………………v Preface………………………………………………………………………vii Chapter One: Chapter Two: Chapter Three: Chapter Four: Chapter Five: Chapter Six: Chapter Seven: Appendices: Appendix A ……………………………………………………… Appendix B ……………………………………………………… Appendix C ……………………………………………………… Appendix D ……………………………………………………… Appendix E ……………………………………………………… 135 145 151 155 161 The Beginning …………………………………….. Homecall………………………………………… What the Press Said ……………………………… 1 11 37 45 79 87 99 .
In his Forward to Abebe: Portriat of a Nigerian Leader (1991). General Olusegun Obasanjo. therefore. In our humble view. It is also the type of leadership that demonstrates indisputable excellence in thought. volume by volume. in the biography series of contemporary leaders in all walks of life. be tested against these universal and timeless standards. set out these goals. its General Editor has consciously sought to ensure that clear goals envisaged and enunciated then are attained and maintained. in these times that threaten. Leadership abounds in all sectors of human activity and ALF Publications takes on the challenge of extolling positive leadership and leadership qualities whenever and wherever they are found in Africa. Each of the volumes in the present series shall. regional. the void will be filled by negative tendencies. This book is the first. he said: ALF Publications have embarked on publishing books on leaders and leadership in Africa. In May 1991. Separate guidelines. volume by volume. the first volume in the ALF series gave readers an opportunity of ascertaining these goals. what our world still seeks. of the present biographical series. subject to the direction of ALF. Indeed. what Africa needs. the coverage will spread to include more eminent men and women who have made inspiring contributions to leadership at the national. is leadership of manifest credibility and lasting radiance. . to the utmost. under the auspices of the Africa Leadership Forum (ALF). influence the selection of persons covered in the series. the patience and peace of humankind. continental and global levels. Chairman of ALF. indeed. If a vacuum is created in the development of the future leaders. It is hoped that.From the General Editor Since the inception. word and deed. in 1991. We are going to search and comb every nook and corner to provide role models for the youths and the up and coming leaders.
In conclusion. Correspondingly. volume by volume. FHSN. useful comments by readers shall always be welcome. However. (London) General Editor . every effort necessary to balance the preservation of relevant essential freedoms (of thought and expression) with meeting high editorial standards will always be made. D. each volume shall seek to make sufficiently weighty impacts on readers at home and abroad. in the dissemination of knowledge of sustainable quality and value. the distinctive character of each volume in the ALF series will reflect the unique roles of the personalities involved as well as the research capabilities and writing skills of the biographers. Cooperation of this kind. in our considered opinion. as much as possible. Furthermore. Tamuno. the utilitarian value of subsequent volumes in the ALF series will be considerably enhanced. Through these channels. adequate steps shall also be taken by this General Editor to secure such other desirable elements as novelty and significance. Tekena N. will also help the world of learning get better and better.Lit. and more and more efficient as well as competent.The other element of attaining and maintaining quality acceptable to readers at home and abroad does raise sensitive issues for biographers on one hand and any General Editor on the other. the level of readers’ interest will differ: depending on several other variables. The other germane issues of libel and defamation shall also receive due attention as the relevant laws of the land demand. volume by volume. These inevitable variations apart. Thus.
. And work on the project began. the Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebu-Ode. I had received a phone call from Ayodele Aderinwale. turned out to be a meeting with General Olusegun Obasanjo himself! ALF had wanted to do a biography of Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola. former President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). had initiated a series of publications on leadership in Africa. We mapped out the chapters. We gathered date. as I gathered. The proposed meeting. It was Dr. We visited the Odutola home at Ijebu-Ode. my boss at The Guardian (not yet proscribed at the time). Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians. fate soon conspired against us to delay the project. We combed libraries for existing literature. We also had access to other sources. Olatunji Dare. frontline industrialist. Project Manager of the Africa Leadership Forum (ALF). should be contacted. OFR. who was teaching English at Ogun State University. Would I mind coming over to the Obasanjo Farms at Ota straightaway? Would it be alright if he sent a vehicle to pick me up? To both requests. He said he needed to see me urgently. General Obasanjo wanted to speak with us and further stress the importance of the project to ALF which. I obliged. however. sought audience and interview with Chief Odutola. In the early months of 1994. We agreed on a time-frame of eight months with the grace of additional two months.Preface The writing of this book has a story of its own that is worth narrating. who had recommended that myself and Sesan Ajayi. OBE. businessman and educationist who at 90 plus remained a leading light in industry and commerce. But. Sesan Ajayi was later contacted. CON.
With his death. asking me to hurry up. Still. I returned to meet the shocking news of Sessan’s death. He was 35 and one of the most remarkable friends that I have ever had. He had a long and valiant battle with illness. I was anxious not to disappoint him. and began to write. In retrospect. deadline to coincide with the 50th Founder’s Day Anniversary of Adeola Odutola College and the 93rd birthday of our subject. In September 1994. when he toyed with the idea of doing one essay on “The Reality of Pain” and another: “I was ill too”. And work progressed. His illness had suddenly become more serious. He was particularly strong. Great men always end up providing a canopy under which the rest of us. I gathered all the research findings together. One night. Even. death came just when we all thought the worst was over. in those harrowing moments. less endowed beings can hide. Chief Odutola was a . I remapped the chapters and paid extra visits to Papa Odutola’s house and visited important sites denoting his life and times. became more seriously ill as the project progressed. One morning. news came that Chief Odutola had passed on. They wanted us to meet a fresh. officials of ALF visited my house more frequently. to everyone’s dismay.Sesan Ajayi who had been ill. Egypt. I conducted additional interviews and gathered more date. June 1995. The need to complete the book became even more urgent. My publishers became more impatient. This book is therefore as much a biography as it is a tribute. In writing about them. it was all understandable. fate chose to remain villainous. the writing of this book remained close to his heart. I traveled out of the country to attend a conference in Cairo. off and on. the completion of this book became a test of our friendship. As the writing progressed. we find that we build a story of our own and therefore realise a part of our own lives.
in fact. later. The first time I encountered him. were quick to acknowledge his uniqueness. men who had worked for him all their lives and who still stayed with him because they could not imagine a more humane employer. . Mrs. He did all that in spite of the stroke which he had had to live with since he was 80. was how Odutola’s lifestyle marked an unintended indictment of the way we currently run our own lives.m and 6 p. I was struck by his sense of culture. When he celebrated his 90th birthday. he attended to visitors from all walks of life. among his staff. At 93.m. As his story would show.. he could still point out. At other times. whom he had brought up without any excess of emotions. I was shocked by his youthfulness. still he advertised the gift of eternal youthfulness. it was this sense of duty and personal industry that had always kept him going. What this book does is to offer his story as we found it. What we confronted. He was not only alive. This was why when he died. Although he was a ripe old man. statesman and for seven decades. lived for so long that many of us were beginning to take his longevity for granted. Till his death. Adesola Adeyemi. His was a life of service and industry. even his own children. At 93.fantastic man. Between 4 p. a rare breed. in 1992. He continued to wake up very early as he had done for over 50 years and remained awake till late. a public figure and a famous man. as this work progressed. he was patriarch of a vast empire. everyday. His passage could not have gone without such a substantial notice as this. he was one of the very few members of his generation still alive. strict parent and man of the people. His daughter. He has. Many had even resolved that he would live till the next century. the news was received with surprise and. He was the generous employer. with understanding. the vast empire which he had built remained intact and his spirit was unbroken.
an old student of Adeola Odutola College. He was an affectionate man who took an abiding interest in his fellow human beings. 1992). business-wise. his popularity was not restricted to his household. Former President Ibrahim Babangida. a Lagos lawyer. Femi Odutola. He was one businessman who never needed the services of a Public Relations consultant. intimated that “his business empire will probably go public so that there won’t be need for any member of the family to really oversee things personally”. had gone there in his capacity as President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). accompanied by Chief Jerome Udoji. Senator Ladega. always. He had been invited by the Senate Committee. would not have been considered unusual had it taken place in the midst of an all-Yoruba gathering. came across him in the lobby. is too big for any of his children to wear” (The Guardian. in 1992. industrialist. by the way. even the initial critics were converted. As a mark of respect. It was nevertheless an indication of how deeply Odutola touched other people’s lives. he re-invested by ensuring that it went round. he was likely to stress that everything was possible by the sheer Grace of the Almighty. Whatever he made. June 27. Senators who witnessed this unedited show of deference were alarmed and not a few considered it a breach of protocol. Yet. educationist and devout Cheitstian. He gave as much as he took and. In 1968. Bayo Kuku. When Ledega proceeded to inform everyone that he owed his membership of the Senate to Chief Odutola. Another child. described him as the “Grandfather of Nigerian business”. He was a politician. Chief Odutola. Such an occurrence.was reported as saying” Our father’s shoe. a drama which was largely typical had occurred at the National Assembly in Lagos. wrote: . his was a life of compelling praise. Yet. representing the United Party of Nigeria (UPN). the Senator prostrated full length before the eminent Chief. In 1980.
they would only have told a small part of the story. to be regretted that the same society and the same future generations for which Odutola toiled and provided opportunities have failed to learn from his example. It is precisely in the same areas and manner in which Odutola was so distinguished that Nigeria is today facing its most depressing problems since 1914. With Moslems and Christians engaged in violent competition. undisturbed sleep and need not use his money for intimidating others less well placed than himself. a great many more (Daily Times. the beauty of wise philanthropy as opposed to clap-trap self-adulating money spraying. our schools are crumbling. Odutola was still the subject of affectionate praise. 1992. honest work has lost its attraction. and avarice. 1968). MCK Ajuluchukwu. He has shown the value of self-contentment. industrialist. It is. expressed the following view: Chief Odutola has proved conclusively that a man of immense wealth is capable of easy. however. twenty-four years later. Truly. horse-trading and the importation of second-hand goods. short-term investments and quick gains have become fashionable. statesman and benefactor. Manufacturing has become an entrepreneur’s nightmare: investors have learnt to go elsewhere. with the small god of . the name of Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola would be given a conspicuous place. May 25. the teachers themselves have taken to trading during school honours. And if he is named philanthropist. Our politics has become the politics of hate. school calendars are disrupted at will. their students have taken to crime and cults. because Chief Odutola is all these things and indeed. teachers salaries are left unpaid. Religion has also become less than secure.When the history of this great national comes to be written and read by ages yet unborn. Ours has become the era of “419”. writing in the Sunday Times of June 28. educationist.
The virtues of justice. We are preceded in this effort by Foluso Longe. until now. In an interview with The News. found his own work. author of. he summed up his shock in a few rods: “This is not the Nigeria of our dream. 12. now. in the environment. honesty has become an item in the museum. Ours is a strange world indeed. But. Our objective has been to produce a more detailed and up to date biography. useful.commerce competing for space in the pulpit. by which he had lived. times have changed. Canon E. Odusanwo who was the first person to have attempted to write Odutola’s biography. to be admired not to be possessed. in the same measure. Very. balance and fairness. .O. Longe himself benefited greatly from the unpublished manuscript of Late Rev. Everything that is happening now is very strange. the would-be faithful are finding it costly to look up to the sky. covering the period 1902-1995. Businessmen have become part-time assassins. The result is that his book has the flavour of an insider’s report. He was right. We hope to write a book which would qualify as a biography and as a torchlight on a different time in the history of the Nigerian nation. have become terribly endangered. of a poetry of higher virtues. in this harsh season when the ground is shifting under our feet. very strange” (Dec. Part of our discovery is how Odutola lived in that other time and excelled through honest means. Odutola was moved by this collapse in his last days. Longe. It is a useful text. Longe worked closely with him and was able to observe him at close quarters. We have. It was a more lucid phase of history where individual excellence was matched by the flow. the only biography of Chief Odutola titled A Rare Breed: The Story of Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola (1981). now dead. was privileged to have served as the Executive Secretary of MAN at a time when Chief Odutola was its President. 1994).
Ignatius Ogbakani. was both my editor and critic. Olufunmilayo Odutola. Rev. Oba Ogunfuye.K. little did they realise how many more livesx have been. In doing this. it would probably still be lying on my desk. Mr. Ms. Florence Smart. Reuben ABATI Lagos. Obaseki. Rev. and would be. together with their staff at the ALF Secretariat. ALF Project Manager. Mr. My wife. Mr. Fasanmoye. and Edwin Baiye (Deputy Manager. Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi and Engr.S. touched. A. Without their insistence that the manuscript should be submitted. Olayide Odutola. Programmes and Publications) who joined ALF as this book was being written. Mr. Ayodele Aderinwale. we were assisted by many notably. with a share of the guilt of an age that has gone crazy. Mr. March 1995 . Biodun Sangosanya. were helpful. Chief Adeola Odutola and his staff and family were also extremely kind. Canon T. E. Sina Kawonise and Wale Olaitan. Iyabode Ajike. Fatai Oyelaja gave me much encouragement. Adebiyi Sangosanya.N. Odutola. Mrs. A. While supporting this project and assisting with data. Mr.We tell his story. therefore.
in the firmament of days. time without end. men who will live on this side. leaving the beyond. From the baby’s first cry. was viewed among the tribes. The piercing natal cry had brought the family together. by all standards. and from what the spirits said. a land trapped in culture and modernist transition … a child was born. this was a special child. This birth had not been prophesied but from the configuration of stars. was. in the rising of the second and the minute. however. one of those with the lack of the palm kernel in Orunmila’s bag of munificence. had picked a head that will be bigger than all heads. a society in transition. like any other day. . it was history that poured forth in syllables and cadences … And a story began. in a land without electricity. Men will bow before that head. many of the roads today did not exist. among the Ijebus. trapped between traditional systems of authority and the emerging influence of the colonialists. The exultant parents having their first child. had looked up to the sky in appreciation. as always. no pipe borne water. as a blessing from above. worshipped by their fellow beings. they will be happy whenever they find favour with the palm nut. without tarred roads. A son. significantly a son. It is in the star. amidst dance and song and gesture. Yeeepaaa!!! The knowing exclaimed. On the eight day. It was. It is called Apesin. The palm nut. awed by nature’s miracle. What existed was a closely-knit Yoruba community whose indigenes were proud and who for years had proved a terror to their kinsmen in the North and the South. 1902. There was no electricity. The Ijebu-Ode into which Timothy Adeola Odutola was born on June 16. and the falling of the hour in the town of Ijebu-Ode. the child received a name.Chapter One The Beginning One day. a different time altogether. not in the man. Colonialism helped to open up the community but it did not rob the Ijebus of their pride and of their devotion to their birthplace.
and as a demonstration of virility. This. The people were traders and farmers who were well known for their nationalism. They made it clear. This was the British way of clipping the wings of the Ijebus who had treated colonial officers with spite. and in the North-West by the people of Ile-Ife. Like many Yoruba communities. . loss of life was a thing to be mourned. and as a blessing from God. that IjebuOde was the heart of the Ijebu kingdom. After the Anglo-Ijebu war of 1892. The people’s tradition and culture. were ideas yet to develop. however. death and such other events were celebrated. and designated a province. the Ijebu kingdom lost this sovereignty and became part of a Protectorate of Southern Nigeria. stretching as far as Lagos in the South-West. Its boundaries were also shrunk and re-drawn. then. was the IjebuOde into which Timothy Adeola Odutola was born. On the day he was born. and of regional ethnic consciousness. it was reduced to a fraction of its former self. rather than the rhetoric of survival that has become the refrain of current times. He was the first. birth. What was worse. Before 1892. in the East by the Ondos. His birth had nothing of the fairy-tale content of predictions. to the seaport of Lagos. bordered in the West by the Egbas. Procreation was then largely determined by the need for support in old age. Children were valued as prized possessions. It was a time when men defined themselves in relation to their ethnic group. the Ijebu kingdom was an exceptionally vast empire. in the North by the Oyos. there were no comets seen. The Nigerian nation and the idea of Nigerianness. at no time did they fail to demonstrate their superiority which was interpreted by others as arrogance.It was also a slightly different type of Ijebu-Ode from what it had originally been. remained. The Ijebus used this to great advantage. His parents were humble and modest people. and the eldest son of his parents. to colonialists and traders. This strategic location made Ijebu-Ode the gateway. for several Yoruba communities.
He was a trader. education was becoming increasingly important in the agenda of the Ijebus. had a hand in the affairs of the Odutola home. but with the colonial resident. she was a devoted Moslem but later became a Christian. Women had their own place. as mothers of the community. Within the Ijebu home. a missionary school which offered a . The dream was to have a child who would stand out in the age-group associations known as Regberegbe. The mere thought of a man. was a devot muslim. palm kernel and palm oil. and popular. as in many homes. Sanni Odutola Seyindemi. in fact. when he was seven years old. Odutola’s parents had great hopes for him. and as its spiritual nerve-centres. In the Odutola home. His mother was Sabina Otubanjo Odutola-Seyindemi. Those who could afford to spare a son. It was. not surprising that when Odutola was old enough for his right hand placed across the skull to touch his left ear. Odutola’s mother had her first son christened Timothy Adeola in the church. Italupe. a trader in textiles and general goods. from trading. Saviour’s School. it was becoming clear that the educated man had become the man of the new age. He was one son they wanted so much to educate. Christmas and Ileya (the Moslem festival) afforded the children and the long clan of relations in the neighobourhood an opportunity for celebration. the Awujale of Ijebu-Ode. but serious decisions were left to men. allowing his wife to determine the religion of the child was considered sheer taboo.with ties to the aristocracy of the community. and those who attended schools were ever fewer. decisionmaking was treated as a prerogative of men. Like her husband. Schools were few. an Ijebu man for that matter. his parents registered him at St. and his officers. under the “indirect rule” of the British. At the time. But fate. or the farm. His father. next only to the King. dealing in export produce especially rubber. therefore. probably. therefore chose the option of education. Educated members of these associations were revered.
he was sent to Ile-Ife to live with a relation. His father’s support which would have made much difference was. Odutola started school rather early. lost rather early. He. when his father died. Odutola managed to complete his primary education. this was a thing envied in the neighbourhood. ‘The responsibility of maintaining the home became solely his mother’s. By the standards of the time. Odutola was thirteen years old. however. shortly after. This brought tremendous pressure on his mother and the family. . returned soon.mixture of education and religious upbringing. however. in 1915.
Sabinah Otubajo Odutola. . Saviour’s Anglican Church. to mark the first anniversary of the death of his mother.In December 1970. Mrs. Ijebu-Ode where the memorial was held are the Ogbeni-Oja and Sir Adetokunbo. Pictured outside St. he is joined by many Nigerians including Sir Adetokunbo Ademola.
The pressure on the family was such that his uncle Pa Abraham Adesina Seyindemi suggested he learn some trade. became Awujale of Ijebuland. For Odutola’s apprenticeship. Odutola also met Rev. Otunbusin. Mr. depending on ability and the whim of the master.O. and fend for himself. arrangements had to be made for Odutola to return to St. Saviour’s School to complete his primary education. the apprentice would gain his freedom and then set up his own shop. then a young pastor and school Principal who devoted his lifetime to teaching and service. After a number of years. The usual process was that the prospective tailor and draper would be placed on apprenticeship with a master. O. This was quite in agreement with the thinking of many Ijebus at the time. . But Otubusin refused. at the time. was considered prestigious and lucrative. Otubusin who in 1933. fate still chose to be stubborn. The choice was the job of a tailor which. Tailors were something of local superstars. for Odutola. D. Seth Kale who later became a bishop and remained Odutola’s long-time friend. founded in 1913. was literally the only secondary school in the Ijebu-Division at the time. was considered prestigious and lucrative. He insisted that Odutola should go back to school and study. he gained admission to Ijebu-Ode Grammar School for his secondary education. There. This teacher later became the most outstanding educationist of his time. I. chose to give a lecture on the value of education. Subsequently. It would later turn out to be the training ground for several generations of famous Nigerians. Ijebu-Ode Grammar School. Yet. The method was much the same for other trades as well. Odutola had the privilege of being taught by the inimitable Rev. was approached. He did. So. rather than taked on yet another willing hand. Tailor which. at the time. At Ijebu-Ode Grammar School. Ransome-Kuti.
from an inherited background of illiteracy and. Students saw the opportunity to wear school uniforms as a grace from Heaven. . there was a divine design in his affairs. The colonial investment was therefore huge. For Odutola. He did not return to formal education. though. for all his vicissitudes. The education which he had received. students’ riots and sudden and continued disruption of the school calendar were also unknown. by far. Unlike events now. The good thing. again. That he set sail. was more than adequate. Odutola. At 18. like an expeditionist. thus. as learners. better than the university degrees of today. at 18 was sheer coincidence. was that he was prepared. Odutola was. Odutola left school and travelled to Lagos in search of employment. the struggle for survival had begun.He could not. The missionaries who ran most of the schools. their students and the community. and they took their studies seriously. teachers’ strikes were non-existent. but there was much in the curriculum which stressed character and learning. complete his secondary education. He. was ready. by today’s standards. and another four of secondary education between 1909 and 1921 was. was a good student. the teachers were thorough. Sound education was considered a function of good citizenship. except in another context and form. Six years of primary education. saw education as an important tool of liberating people. Much of the content was European. Education in those halcyon days was taken as serious business by the teachers. the community treated them as semi-gods. from backwardness also. and the colonial authorities who articulated policies. too. it seemed. after four years at Ijebu-Ode Grammar School. a product of the school system in its early glorious days. The teachers worked hard. As events would later show. in their view.
But it was precisely this that got him into trouble eventually and led to his premature exit from the Treasury. There was a brass band on hand supplying music. Adeola Odutola packed his few odds and ends. Odutola was like an orphan. Odutola’s work posed little challenges. with tales of how the streets of Lagos were littered with cash.He was also being prepared for the future by the circumstances of his birth. who retired as Police Superintendent in 1914. One of the main attractions was the availability of white collar jobs in Lagos. It was a most colourful procession and a major . and thriving commercial centre. in search of fortune. So. many Ijebus even long before the birth of Odutola. and returned to Ijebu-Ode. The culture of civilization. which Odutola chose for his subsequent exploits was the major metropolis for many of the Yourbas. Naturally. had seen as a land of opportunities. colour and entertainment. it was considered an achievement for anyone to go to Lagos. and headed for Lagos. To be called an Omo Eko (a Lagosian) was the equivalent of a high-grade chieftaincy title. Pratt. Lagos had a pulse of its own that was unique. It was one of such jobs that Odutola got on arrival. the funeral procession of Adolphus Pratt. He was employed as a clerk in the Treasury Department. encouraged by the colonial residents. Ladega who later became the Ayangbunrin of Ikorodu. This seaport. People went to Lagos. one morning in 1921. the procession was joined by several important public figures. At a time when many still hid under the protective wings of their parents. Because of the stature of the deceased. was one of the earliest batch of Nigerian superior police officers. under A. and the Sierra Leoneans. It was exciting and modern. then. Lagos. was evident in its boisterous life-style. One day. The fact that he had to leave school prematurely also meant that he faced the equal challenge of succeeding against odds. passed by the Secretariat on the way to Ikoyi cemetery. he had much time to himself.
A frantic search for him within the premises yielded no results. His offence was wandering during office hours and missing the afternoon session. civil servants. His stay there was also brief. In Odutola’s time. Those were the days of discipline in public service. It was as if a group of conspiratorial forces decided to push him out of . Time passed. and he was only 19. He enjoyed himself thoroughly. his desk had been re-assigned and another man had taken his place. she would go to the market. He had never seen anything like it. through their office windows. His indiscretion was understandable. All the same. it was different. about an hour later. Odutola secured another appointment in the Audit Department. Odutola was impressed. the day begins with two hours of chatter. Odutola was nowhere to be found. But Odutola remained with the procession. when he got to the office the following morning. he would leave to pick his children from school. at all levels. He was new to Lagos. dancing and swaying. and getting swallowed up by the festivity. It hardly occurred to him that he was supposed to be on duty in the Treasury Department.discovery for Odutola who together with his colleagues watched the display in the street below. In the case of a woman. These days. It was also easier to get jobs. That such a thing could happen showed how different the civil service of the time was from what exists today. He followed the mourners to Ikoyi cemetery. Shortly after his dismissal from the Treaty. the civil servant then wanders around the premises doing nothing. When they do at all. hardly bother to show up in their offices. By the time the procession left the frontage of the Secretariat and went into the distance in the direction of Ikoyi cemetery. Odutola had sneaked away from the office and joined the funeral procession. Government offices have also been transformed into shops where workers sell all kinds of things ranging from jewellery to bags of cement.
Odutola visited and worked in different parts of Ijebuland – particularly. in the 1920s. Once again. he tried to build up a business of his own which would serve as an additional source of income. Fowokan who had invited him felt obliged to help him secure another appointment. Just when he was torn between the prospect of another employment and yet another dismissal. to be yet another risky appointment. Odutola had no option but to begin the search for another job. Ijebu-Igbo. Odutola therefore left Lagos. was like the gateway to hel. As a court clerk. He had both power and influence. he got a telegram from Ade Fowokan. Besides. Sagamu. In his private time. Odutola was appointed a Court Clerk in another section of the Ijebu Native Administration. She had kept up the pressure that he should return home. Fowokan wanted him to return to Ijebu-Ode to take up the position of a Tax Collector which had become vacant in the Ijebu Native Administration. The import and export of commodities . Again. It turned out. and a terror too. Ijebu-Ife and Owu-Ikija.Lagos. if he did not get another job early enough. The offer was timely. Odutola paid attention to and cultivated his private life. he was lucky. his mother never wanted him so far away. He had hardly settled down to the job when it was decided that he would be transferred to Minna. Minna. based in Ijebu-Ode. working for the British Crown. Inter-departmental politics in the Native Administration put Odutola’s appointment in jeopardy. He had always wanted to be independent. however. A useful period of stability and consolidation followed. The plea that Minna was not as far as he thought did not impress him. The young IjebuOde man would rather not be that ambitious. a friend of his. His sense of adventure did not include a trip to such a distant land. It was also attractive. Odutola found this difficult to believe. he was lucky. Soon. A tax collector was a celebrity in the community. When he was not in the courts.
It was also about this time. The extended family. The two brothers grew in stature and prospered. among Yorubas. Even till today. There was honesty. cloth. gas lamps and fishing nets. The colonial government encouraged trade between its territories and Europe. Odutola’s foray into buying and selling soon became more profitable. Jimoh Akintola Odutola. was then unknown. . 1924. Odutola Brothers became known far and wide. However. and the legitimate investment of labour and time could be expected to yield results. There were also fresh opportunities for expanding into the exportation of cocoa and palm produce. In 1925. he had almost virtually monopolised the sale of gas lamps. Odutola was therefore forced to marry another wife. nowadays. silk. Gas lamps. For almost two years. On Sunday. Odutola was attracted to the importation of damask. The two of them established Odutola Brothers – a multi-purpose company which. his first child. in particular. The tyranny of corrupt practices which makes trade with Nigeria so hazardous. June 15. in 1922.was easy then. There were not many people as enterprising as himself. apart from general commerce. in no time. the relationship had no issues. was born. he teamed up with his younger brother. and Odutola was willing to work. This gave him the opportunity to know many people. friends and the neighbourhood were all up in protest. this is treated as a crime. also mined god in Ilesha. and to build up a network of customers and acquaintances. What was needed was sheer industry. his first wife later also had issues. His clients were the churches in the Ijebu division and. brought him much popularity. that Odutola took a wife. Olayide Odutola.
as a businessman. The challenges of his position as Managing Director of Odutola Brothers were already becoming enormous. with the gift of genius. Adeola Odutola resigned his appointment and left the civil service.In 1932. Within a few years. He soon became known at home and abroad. Adeola Odutola’s star was in the ascendant. . This turned out to be a wise decision.
The result was that he became exceptionally popular. it was dusk. especially among the church leaders to whom he sold gas lamps. What remained was for someone who had something to sell to match the goods with social needs. “Ignatius. The chair could barely be heard. to his earlier career as a Court Clerk in the Ijebu division. Chairman is bustling with energy. get me that file!” And Ignatius going back and forth these past 35 years. criss-crossing the world. the Stock Exchange. Another day. Dawn is still in the sky. . so early in the day is our subject. in part. asking for files on the capacity of an engine. It is evening: Not so much energy. Mornings. But he kept asking for the files on MAN. the Ijebu Town Council. gas lamps and damask materials. capturing dreams and conquering territories. Soon. Now. At the head of the board.” This was how Odutola himself described his early beginnings as a businessman. anymore. Odutola was a genius. at the arrival of morning. This had exposed him to the needs of the people. another place. the Lagos Chamber of Commerce … as if it all happened. it is another time. making friends and enemies at once. From the sale of fishing nets.Chapter Two The Business Years A boardroom. and I imported and sold damask materials to the upper class of those days. In this area. the other day… “I dealt in fishing nets for the middle and lower classes in the riverine areas and sold gas lamps to churches. but the chair remains as active as he’s never been. The rest of the community also began to look up to him as one trader upon whom the community could depend. It was a modest beginning but nevertheless a significant one. gets the file. he was able to build a network of contacts across the various social classes. the voltage of an equipment and the amount of space which yet another factory would occupy. He owed his success.
particularly as he had discovered that personal attention to details yielded greater dividends. off Degun Street in Ijebu-Ode. The stores served him as a storage facility not only for cocoa but for all other produce goods. At that time. He had a compelling urge to want to supervise his business all by himself. He slept little and toiled hard. To this company. he was what is called a “one-man riot squad”. his human relations were deep and unaffected. but he just preferred to do things by himself. palm oil. It was not that he trusted no one. The labourers and porters who assisted him were inspired in their task by the involvement of their employer. the story of which is told in this book. He knew the grades of cocoa.He soon expanded his trade by getting involved in the local sale and exportation of produce goods: palm kernel. He was very shrewd and firm. as he was able to establish the infrastructure to aid his business. It was also around this time that his almost weekly trips to Lagos began. Odutola sold cocoa. One of the companies with which he had a meaningful and lasting relationship at the time was Busi and Stephenson company of Liverpool. The demands on him by this enterprise soon became enormous. Zard. He had the ability to follow-up on contacts. until he withdrew from produce business.K. He also exported produce to Germany. The stores would later provide the base for the realisation of Odutola’s dream as an educationist. With his foreign partners he maintained a very cordial relationship. the cocoa store was like his home. he could smell a good pod of kolanut from a distance. Odutola had built two gigantic cocoa stores. and A. As far back as the late thirties. . His purposefulness paid off. His local clients included UAC. John Holt. kolanuts and cocoas. the United Kingdom and the United States.
The more usual thing was that cars were owned by the District Officers and key foreign residents. the produce business became unattractive to private entrepreneurs. He had done very well. apart from foreign residents. Ransome-Kuti of Abeokuta Grammar School. Abeokuta. They turned out to be restrictive agencies whose regulations were bound to change the rules of the game and endanger the business. Through sheer hardwork. also later acquired a car. particularly in the cocoa trade which. he had been able to do well. What the marketing boards were meant to do was to regulate Nigeria'’ agricultural exports. father of the ex-Biafran warlord. As a produce merchant. every vehicle had to pass through Abeokuta. By this time. It was a spectacle in the Ijebu-division and a celebrated thing in Abeokuta. almost . and well-known. to get to Ijebu-Ode from Lagos. Odutola saw the handwriting on the wall. The others were Sir Odumegwu Ojukwu. and Mrs. he would later acquire many. Emeka Ojukwu. who could boast of owning a car. A car was not only a status symbol. Sir Odumegwu had an Austin with registration number L 7500. like UAC and John Holt. a clear announcement of the status of its owner. he was outstanding. At that time. The Emir of Kano also owned a car. It meant that Odutola who was in Lagos. however. enjoyed a near monopoly. Rev. had a story to it. and hold his own in an area where foreign multi-nationals. it was a mark of wealth. There was also Nnamdi Azikiwe who went about in a small Austin. till the early 1950s enjoyed the kind of significance which crude oil would later enjoy in the Nigerian economy. Cars were a rarity in Nigeria then. Chief Adeola Odutola was one of the first few indigenous millionaires who also owned cars.With the establishment of marketing boards in 1946. It had a flag on it. a tireless Ford Prefect with registration number AB 640. he was already wealthy. Alhaji Alhassan Dantata had a Morris car registered K3. Odutola’s car. He was one of the very few Nigerians.
for him. and his staff.twice every week. Following the Second World War. it became a more compelling reason for him to succeed. it was with relative ease. He made his first visit to London: to attend the African conference. something happened which market yet another turning point in Odutola’s life. After the produce business. The farm estate was. farming. He mined gold at Iperindo in Ilesha. that success is something that comes over the years. He would for many years tell interviewers. ten years away. This coincided with the emergence of the manufacturing of vehicle tyres as a popular activity all over the world. He was also lucky in that. however. Public recognition. and he had an unusual gift of foresight. and then ruin the business. Instead. he lived a simple life.. Odutola had realised that there was no such thing as instant success. covering more than five miles and a cattle ranch. In 1948. would acquire it. . in spite of his wealth. To keep the timber business going. he founded Omo sawmills of Nigeria which became so prosperous that the Ogun State Government. and he trusted his instincts. vehicle tyres had become scarce. He could smell out opportunities. he established a timber industry in Ijebu-Ode. that Odutola diversified into gold mining and timber business. trading and education were the main options available to most people. He was prayerful. did not make Odutola indolent. and exported both gold and logs to Europe and sold part of the latter in Lagos. He had always loved farming. along the present Lagos-Benin Expressway. part of a dream fulfilled. passed through Abeokuta often and he was as popular in Abeokuta as he was in Ijebu-Ode. He was not an addict in anything but work. This would eventually form the nucleus of the Adeola Farm Estates Ltd. In the early part of the century. several decades later. one of Odutola’s earliest companies. He also set up a vast rubber plantation. Very early. given his experience and accustomed habits as a businessman.
whereas the elder Odutola was actively involved in the activities of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. he was described as the pioneer of the tyre retreading business in Nigeria. The head of such an association must be versed in technology. In 1948. He agreed.N. It was during this visit that he succeeded in obtaining the franchise of the Tyresole factory to set up the business in Nigeria. Zarpas and Company. Government is for protection and security. He also engaged in mining. Odutola was curious. Novices often head them. the two brothers would grow in different and markedly individual directions.and governments and individuals were taking up its manufacture. In one newspaper interview. In 1948. when he visited Britain. The Nigerian government had. he was described as the pioneer of the tyre retreading business in Nigeria. he later invested in public transportation and established a transport network which extended as far as Northern Nigeria. Commerce is the power of any country. the business career of the two brothers had followed almost the same pattern. Alhaji Jimoh Akintola Odutola. Here it is for politics. 90 years old at the time of this writing. drawing attention to the fierce independentmindedness that is a telling characteristic of the Odutola clan. In London. also invited some people overseas to come and help set up tyre-retreading with J. he was reported to have declared: I am not a member of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). The same goes for the Chambers of Commerce. The year was also important because it marked the parting of ways of the Odutola Brothers. when he visited Britain. and who has also had a distinguished life like his brother. Alhaji Odutola was indifferent to such associations. he mentioned the idea of tyre-retreading to a friend who arranged a visit to the Tyresole Factory in England. was also a produce buyer and exporter. In the years ahead. . in fact. Till 1948. He traded in cocoa palm kernel and palm oil. For example. He also engaged in mining.
on Firestone Company for the supply of tread rubber for tyre retreading in his three companies. In 1967. Odutola had become the first Nigerian to own a modern factory set-up. his home-town. however. his business interests were first and foremost. the most populous and commercial nerve-centre in the West. With those three factories. and still is. another factory was opened in Kano. Ibadan was. determined to go into manufacturing. to manufacture tread rubber for the tyre retreading business. During Nigeria’s civil war. The company manufactured bicycle and motorcycle tyres and tubes. that although he was emotionally attached to Ijebu-Ode. The three factories were. established in Onitsha. He depended. Eastern Nigeria got its own tyre retreading factory. at the time. Kano and Onitsha is instructive. the Odutola Tyre and Rubber Company. plans to re-build the factory never quite got realised. he set up Odutola Nigerian Industries Limited in Ijebu-Ode. an expression of nationalism. The choice of location was well-advised. Odutola became interested in the manufacturing of bicycle tyres and tubes. to serve the North. the factory at Onitsha was destroyed. To take care of this. In Adeola’s case. . In 1949. What is relevant here is that the parting of ways ended as a blessing for both brothers. he established a company. In 1956. he registered a company known as Odutola Tyresoles Company and set up a factory in Ibadan. This vision was clear from the outset. With the spread of hostilities and new realities that followed the war. is another story.This. well received. he returned from London. Their regional spread also said something quite early about Adeola Odutola. however. The choice of Ibadan. however. namely. These were the three most commercial cities in the whole of Nigeria. In 1954. Later. also in Ibadan.
Adeyinka Adebayo Signs off at the Odutola Tyre Soles Factory.Front view of the factory Western State Military Governor. Ijebu-Ode . Brigadier R.
” Odutola also decided to set up a brewery. cream.G. In 1979. Odutola’s objective. was established in Ijebu-Ode. nice. short cakes. Leventis would turn out to .Just before the scheduled opening of this particular company. for Bateye was a successful son-in-law who had risen in the civil service and had become Permanent Secretary in the Western State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. His son-in-law. the opening ceremony had to be postponed. Before that accident. manufacturers of “33” lager beer. Crown Products Limited. Because of Bateye’s accident. Leventis of the Leventis Group. It provided corks for the brewery industry. 52-year old Oladipo Bateye. and in honour of the dead. The estimated cost of the factory was #500. individual Nigerians must be prepared to contribute their quota. tragedy befell the Odutolas. efforts of individuals. The country’s development must not be left with the government alone.000 which was a lot of money then. I am convinced that for this country to be developed. Odutola continued to diversify. The collaboration with A. in association with A. Odutola had been busy putting finishing touches to the new factory opening which was scheduled for April 6. They were. etc. It was a major loss. known as Odutola Food Industries Ltd. again in Ijebu-Ode. The motive. he explained: Should be to leave the world a better place than we found it. strawberries. I had the opportunity of seeing developed countries. he set up a factory. husband of one of Odutola’s daughters. in the main. sandwich filled with vanilla. especially to Europe. was to make a personal contribution and to encourage the private sector. marie. 1968. he said. petit beurre. sugar tops. We ought to strive to put back something before we take the final bow … During my several visits abroad. banana. With this conviction. died in a motor accident. chocolates. another company.G. The company was advertised as “manufacturers of OFIN top quality biscuits: digestive. crunchie cookies. This became know as the Continental Breweries Limited.
He woke up very early and slept late. to the benefit of the various companies which each of them owned. It would be observed that many of these companies are based in IjebuOde.G. These companies constitute the Adeola Odutola Group of Companies. At a time. Ijebu-Ode had always held a special attraction for Chief Odutola. partfounder. The power engine of it all was Odutola’s style as a person and businessman. One other highpoint of their collaboration was the Odutola Stores Limited which concentrated on the sale of provision and general foods. a holding company whose story is one of industry and vision. and the native philosophy that inspired them. I have known too many people who are not terribly intelligent.be of tremendous help. a habit. Hence. Leventis became good friends. and Alcatel Kabel Metal Nigeria Plc. He once told a newspaper reporter who was determined to find out his secret: Over the years. he remained faithful to his own habits. but who somehow get things done slowly and perhaps not imaginatively. Chief Odutola was also a part-owner. but they get there. Chief Odutola and A. I also get the people. But the greatest truth is in his declaration: Ijebu-Ode has everything.. This supermarket was also established in Ijebu-Ode. Unichem Nigeria Ltd. There has been nothing that I wanted that I have not got in Ijebu-Ode.. When his business expanded a . Outside Ijebu-Ode. It is a practice. he confessed that he did not think there was any place better than Ijebu-Ode. Yet too many able people who understand much better and see much more clearly and talk much clearly get nothing done. I have observed that effectiveness is neither a talent nor an ability. For many years. of three other companies – Bayer Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd. Chief Odutola lived out these words.
victims of self-made hubris. and Mr. which was something unusual in those days. Ajasa Street. Boni who was General Manager. as Production Manager. 1980 in Ijebu-Ode. His home at No. Odutola also had high standards. The Odutola home was a neat mixture of Victorian and Brazillian architecture. 26. He shuttled between this house and Onibudo House in Ijebu-Ode. he travelled abroad to recruit experts. manufactured biscuits with licence from the Basisen Tet Group of Companies in West Germany. When the factory became operation. closing or negotiating a business opportunity. Two were expatriates: Hartmut Bollinger. For example. Which is why many of his contemporaries who at the time seemed to hold some promise never could make it. and settle down to work. also served him as an office.lot. he was far afield opening. He wanted only the best in anything he did. he was always in search of technical assistance and partnership. Not Odutola. long before Lagosians woke from sleep. opened on August 9. On several occasions. his N5. he travelled twice a week to Lagos. He kept away from vain publicity. When he was not at home. it had about 652 staff. . While his companies created job opportunities for Nigerians. Lagos. Ajasa Street was an upper class neighbourhood. Not even once did he allow a musician to wax a record in his name. in keeping with the character of the street. Recognition by musicians was thought by many to be an important public achievement.6 million biscuit factory in Ijebu-Ode. Whatever publicity he received was in the process of excelling in his business. They fell by the wayside. Situated behind what is now the National Assembly buildings. He would arrive in Lagos.
He had a policy of searching far and wide for good hands. wherever he found them. Chief Adeola Odutola was the Chairman. notably. an economist and a lawyer. Matthew Eperokun who. Chief Odutola’s first son. he had even asked the Nigerian Institute of Management to help him recruit manager of the Tyresole Company in Kano. Odutola was determined to ensure excellence. At various times. this was the talk of the town.It had become obvious that. entrepreneur that the produce business permitted had no place under the Adeola Odutola Group of Companies. probably gives a picture of how Odutola’s mind worked. Odutola recruited only on the basis of merit. Managers. till 1980. was named Chief Executive/M.D. served the supermarket as Deputy Chairman. which in comparison to his manufacturing outfits was a small business. he could not run all his businesses by himself. Between 1985 and 1986. It was of the same standard as the major supermarkets in Ibadan and Lagos and. Although many of his companies were in Ijebu-Ode. were also seconded from Leventis. lone-ranger. The first set of staff were brought from Leventis and subsequent employees were trained by this first set. in his estimation. Still. It was one of those ventures he executed in collaboration with the Leventis Group. The supermarket was not small. The other two. Ekhaguere. The kind of one-man. and Mr. at a time. By the nineties. Ijebus in other parts of the country used to boast with it. were snatched from the Nigerian Tobacco Company and Flour Mills. until 1984. he was assisted by other persons. Two of Chief Odutola’s sons were later involved in the running of the supermarket. with diversification. The supermarket at Ijebu-Ode. Oladipo Odutola. he lured them to his companies. it was operated closely with Leventis Stores. Apapa. at all. . In 1973. Opened in 1975 at its 179 Folagbade Street location. Olufunmilayo Odutola came on board as General Manager.
He only had an office at Odutola tyres. twenty-years later. the number of clients has dwindled. staff had to be retrenched. He paid well too. The 1980s saw the opening of the Ita Osu market. He was particularly committed to the welfare of his staff. He would go round.The supermarket had nine sections: clothing. the arrival of competition in the form of other supermarkets began to affect sales. his presence would not be noticed. He emphasised training and excellence. The only difference was that he was well-known by the staff. worked with him for over 30 years. But times had changed. He believed in what he called “backward integration” which meant the recruitment of local labour. One of Chief Odutola’s staff. Each of these sections was well stocked. and the turning back into the community what had been taken from it. Odutola Stores has outlived out its glory. He was like any other customer. Ignatius Ogbakani. his Personal Secretary. it was the only one of its kind. he was personally involved. In the later part of 1987. Otherwise. Chief Odutola travelled a lot. In the hey-days of the supermarket. discuss with the manager and leave. The supermarket flourished. provision. take a look at the various departments. He was in the store. and the once vibrant cafeteria now sells only beer. travelling goods. the postal agency is no longer operating. coldstore. stationery. Every indicator points to the absence of Chief Adeola Odutola in dayto-day management. electrical and a cafeteria and a postal agency. At the time the supermarket was opened. hardware. and always accompanied him on his several foreign trips. He also went outside official ties to compensate devoted staff. . He did the same for all his other business in Ijebu-Ode. everyday without fail.
Odutola promptly built a house for the family. E. he querried. the longest-serving teacher. He was enraged. He was full of protest. had no house of their own to move into. Bamidele Idowu. There was once an interesting incident. His Onibudo house was the meeting place for the expatriate community and the local elite. popularly called “Go Slow”. and handed over to them its keys and documents. Odutola got to know of this in advance. Anyone who wanted to visit Ijebu-Ode necessarily had to visit Chief Odutola and his factories.N. then Governor of Western State. Florence Smart (nee Adedeji) also was a member of staff at Odutola Stores since 1975. was Chief Odutola’s Personal Driver for about 34 years. his family who had lived with him in the Odutola compound. When the programmes of his visit to Ijebu-Ode was prepared. His wife. When he died. He put a phone call through to Colonel (later Major-General) Adeyinka Adebayo. His father had served Chief Odutola as Chief Steward for 21 years. was to visit Ijebu-Ode as part of his tour of the then Western region. in 1972. then Head of State. He had two law tennis courts and a lot of space. General Yakubu Gowon. favoured by his pre-eminence. At Adeola Odutola College. has been in the school since 1964! When Chief Odutola turned 70. “What would Gowon and his entourage say they saw in IjebuOde?”. in a way. He made it a point of duty to take genuine interest in the welfare of his staff and their family. another employee.Dele Smart. was born inside the Odutola compound. What kept the staff on for so long. there was no indication that Gowon would visit any industry. The children were also offered free education to whatever levels they desired! Odutola was. Obaseki presented him with a bronze statue. The programme was quickly re-drawn! . Obaseki. was Odutola’s warmth. They both met in the line of active duty.
It was easy for him to acquire land. He also ended up with much land in Ibadan. The rest of the community was not amused. He was also known as a statesman: he had a solid reputation behind him. Odutola went to a remote and undeveloped part of Ijebu-Ode. Odutola’s housed was pointed out from a distance. For this reason. I challenge anybody who says I have taken his land from him to come forward. In 1933. He had established Omo sawmills in Ogbere. Onitsha. Those seeking to establish just about anything wanted him in it. particularly. He had the resources. with its roof barely visible amidst trees. In many places where he had acquired land. Foreign investors sought his advice. so many people have asked me to buy their land. when he was publicly accused of being a land grabber. he was always invited by communities to come and establish a factory in their area. when he built his house in Ijebu-Ode. For many years. In fact. either given acres of land or required to pay a negotiated amount. Ijebu-Ode and Lagos. On this point. his ownership was contested by persons who insisted that they had been badly treated. This soon turned out to be a major problem. it was this that made such moves possible. He also had foresight. which before the government take-over was almost 12 acres of land. The result was that he ended up having shares in virtually every major business that sprang up at any time. He was. Kano. Today. Long before the present Lagos-Benin expressway was constructed. . Onibudo House is in the heart of Ijebu-Ode! It was with the same foresight that Odutola acquired lands and went into real estate development.The success of Odutola’s businesses was public knowledge. in such cases. at J4 where the Adeola Farm Estates is situated. he snapped back: I have never grabbed anybody’s land. Odutola had along that route acquired vast acress of land. Once. as an illustration of the queerness of wealthy people.
Lagos. no nonsense man. Chief Adeola Odutola. at all times. But. in some cases. The way he resolved the matter. led a team of 20 men. Alhaji Quadri himself later complained: . whenever confrontation became necessary. he had opted for a full “agbada”. local politics or any other circumstance. a complete traditional wear. Chief Odutola’s men allegedly destroyed the electrical in Quadri’s factory. however. off Ondo-Benin Road. On March 10. he was always anxious to sustain his network of contacts. land. in business. Ijebu-Ode. Akinlosotu and Co. Yaba and Ikorodu Road. He was. a company warehouse in Anthony Village. Agangan. about 1956. All these were managed. When others were not challenging him. 1979. He would ordinarily not set out to confront anybody. he too was challenging others whom he accused of poaching. was to take the photograph of the man from whom he bought any piece of land and ensure that his papers were in good order. he invested in estates. had led to a confrontation between him and one Alhaji Adebisi Quadri. with no more jewellery than a gold chain and a pair of goldrimmed spectacles. by estate agents. the usual source of problems. that land-acquisition was a serious matter. Outside land. an IjebuOde based businessman. and houses in Somolu. long ago. in an unusual display. and Adegbemile. His usual attire was a three-piece suit but. he personally supervised the design and gave specifications and instructions. He had taste not only in architecture but also in his personal appearance. Odutola could be counted upon to stand and give a fight.Odutola had himself known. When the erection of buildings was involved. behind Adeola Odutola College. He hated ostentation and flamboyance and as a businessman. He built a full residential estate in Ikeja. He was always neat. until his death. allegedly armed with cutlasses and clubs to attack Alhaji’s premises at Yemule Road. These included Fox and Company. In 1979.
He also called on the Head of State. General Olusegun Obasanjo. files.They removed into the waiting lorry my block moulding machine. bank tellers. big generating plant. bicycle and later locked the doors leading to the offices in the block factory and took the keys away. a full drum of diesel oil. The matter was eventually resolved. He did so in a letter dated 20th April 1979: . Alhaji Quadri reported the incident to the Military Administrator. to protect him and his workers from Chief Odutola. but not before the Commissioner of Police intervened and instructed both men to maintain peace.
Odutola could seek redress in civil court so as to determine the true owner of the land. Please report to the Divisional Police Officer. You can count on our cooperation at all times. Military Administrator. Threatening (sic) to Life and Property By Chief T.A. 4. Odutola I am directed to refer to the above-mentioned petition addressed to his Excellency. Abeokuta copies this office and to inform you that investigation has been conducted into your petition and the Divisional Police Officer.JB7050/OS/Vol. Odutola. I am to add that you and Chief T. .B.E. Administrator’s Office. 2. Odutola to maintain peace. Dear Sir.M. Yours faithfully. Ijebu-Ode to collect your items which were recovered from Chief T. A. 2012. (Sgd) P.2/274 The Commissioner of Police Ogun State State Headquarters P. Ijebu-Ode has been instructed to warn you and Chief T.A. Ogun State. Ogun State. 3. Abeokuta 20th April 1979 Alhaji Adebisi Quadri Yemule Road Behind Adeola Odutola College Off Ondo-Benin Road Ijebu-Ode. Adegoke W/CSP Chief Superintendent of Police (Admin) For: Commissioner of Police.A.
at one time or the other. virtually every businessman finds that. however. He later became an active member of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce. Because of the competitiveness that business entails. indigenous cocoa traders would have been at a disadvantage: the expatriates would have pushed them out of the trade. in the later part of the 1930s. and let both the public and the governing authorities be constantly reminded of the importance of the business component in a society.Occurrences such as the one just described were. It represents only part of the challenges that Odutola faced as a businessman and investor. indeed. later a frontline politician. and Obafemi Awolowo. were both Secretary and member respectively. Industries and Mines. two other Nigerians (P. . If the expatriates had succeeded.C. this was the beginning. Later. For business to succeed.J. there had been plans by the expatriate merchants operating in West Africa to form a cocoa cartel through which they hoped to buy cocoa as a group and fix prices to be paid to the producers. it was not personal interest alone that mattered to Chief Odutola. they sent a delegation to Lagos and Ghana. businessmen will have to attend to the politics of business. He was also a member of the Nigerian Transporters Union of which Samuel Akinsanya. He was. Odutola led the rebellion that led to the failure of this plan. For Odutola. It was his conviction that business and politics are inextricably linked. the first Nigerian member. his own interests will clash so much with other people’s interests that some measure of arm-twisting becomes inevitable. Every other member was either British or French or Greek. of the Produce Buyers Union. However. He spent the better part of his career protecting the interests of business and of all businessmen. In 1937. To this task he gave as much time as he did in other areas. later Odemo of Ishara. few. The earliest instance of his involvement was his membership. He got all Ijebuproduce buyers together.
with such distinguished persons on its membership list as Chief Adeyemi Lawson. Dr. Chief Chris Ogunbanjo. Okwesa.S. and S. and had acquired the distinction of being its first life Vice-President. Eribo look on. Because of its regional character. Pearse) joined the chamber to bring the number of local representation to three. In later years. the Chamber would become fully Nigerian. As President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. By 1955. he received Federal Commissioner for Economic Development. Chief S. it could not wield much influence with government. Edu. but he remained a valuable member of the Chamber.L.J. Alhaji Baba Danbappa. Otunba Ade Tuyo. Jackson and E. Chief Odutola had also become more interested in manufacturing. . The Chamber was mainly an association of traders and businessmen. But its influence was limited. Omoniyi Adewoye while A. Bedises.E.Thomas and H. government was more interested in encouraging local manufacturing activities.A.
Council. a position he attained in December 1971. and Peter Lidell. because of its regional nature. In December 1975. the Managing Director of Dunlop Nigeria Industries Limited.Odutola was also an active member of the Lagos Stock Exchange.A. Chief Obafemi Awolowo. His excuse had been that he wanted to create room for younger people to serve. The I.M.A.A. .A. he became a member and President of the Association almost without effort. Odutola voluntarily relinquished his position as President of the Stock Exchange. Yet. His association with the M.M. policies were continually rebuffed by the Federal Government.A. however. The newly formed MAN had grown out of a merger of the Ikeja and Apapa Manufacturers Association. particularly marked a special period in his life.A. The Management Committee of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria had decided. that Chief Odutola realised himself fully as a champion of economic rights. more than this.N. among whom were staunch advocates of industrial union such as Ross Gilham. He was made an honorary counsellor of the Exchange in 1965. the Vice-Chairman of the I. which he joined in 1962. It was as President of M.A. Odutola needed more time to concentrate on his added and bigger responsibility as President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. concluded that the time had come for the formation of a national body.N. at one of its meetings in 1971. then Federal Commissioner for Finance. almost at the beginning.M.A.M.A. he became the President. The I. it would be difficult for it to influence the Federal Government. But. in 1972. that. had had to remind the I. Chief Odutola had been one of the vocal businessmen who kept encouraging government to offer more support to local initiatives. He was then 73.A. His tenure coincided with the preparation and release of the Indigenisation Decree. that Chief Adeola Odutola be approached to accept nomination as the first President of the Association.
N. Lagos in November 1971. and they returned to report a unanimous wish for a national association. By then. through his activities in the Lagos Chamber of Commerce.N. Derek Reeves. and Foluso Longe. Lagos residence.A. at his 26. Executive Secretary of the proposed M. Foluso Longe. and the Management Council of the proposed M. under Chief Odutola’s leadership. which would be representative enough to influence national industrial and economic policies. as the man to lead.Representatives of the Council were sent to all over the country. trade and industry for about four decades and he had become popular as a union man. the Executive Secretary acted as Returning Officer. and the election of officers was held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs.A. More than this. At the election.N. In attendance were the same Council members. They met Odutola.N. The first General Meeting of the M. and the Lagos Stock Exchange. The first General Meeting of the Association was scheduled for November 1971. the Association would boast of well over 500 member-companies from across Nigeria.A. were mandated to visit Chief Odutola and present the proposal to him.A. The issue of leadership naturally cropped up. Ross .A. both expatriate and indigenous in attendance. There were about eighty manufacturers. during its formal inauguration. Ross Gilham. membership soon after the meeting would exceed 110 companies and in a number of years. and after a discussion of the objectives of the Association and government’s trade-related policies. Odutola accepted to be nominated for election at the November meeting of the M. and after the reassurance that other associations in other parts of the country will join the M.N. Ajasa Street. he had been in manufacturing. he had factories in the three major parts of Nigeria. to elect officers and adopt a draft Memorandum and Articles of Association. had no problem in identifying Chief Adeola Odutola. and enough influence to give the Association the credibility it would need.
Other members of his Executive Committee were E. Derek Reeves (Vice-President). Ross.N. The Management Committee was discomfited.N. when his attention was drawn to the fact that none of his four registered companies. Odutola was such an intimidating personage. had nominated Chief Odutola as President. (Metal Box). the newly formed M. there was no way he could have received enough votes. Mike Bloomer of the U. on this account. In this regard. MAN disappointed his democratic ideals. it was not as if the young accountant posed any threat. that no one would have been expected to challenge him. could be rude enough to challenge Chief Odutola. Despite this outcome.. Pat Barrett. Frank Shekleton (Nigerpak) and Alhaji Hassan Adamu (Nigerian Leather Works. but his mere gesture was considered an embarrassment.C. and there were those who felt affronted that such a young man. Oviasu (Benin Industrialist). He was promptly dealt with. declared his nomination null and void. A. Mike Bloomer (UAC). In later years. Odutola’s young challenger made a gallant (though unsuccessful) effort to assert his fundamental right to seek an office of his choice in a free society. before the General Meeting.N. G. His only credential was that he was ready to tell anyone.A. four of which he had hurriedly registered for membership of the M.A.A. Adedayo (Lafia Canning Factory). and all seemed set. It was such a relief when the Returning Officer. There was shock all around the hall. would also . There wasn’t supposed to be a contest. But events turned out differently. Kano). that he was the owner of 23 companies. The election was meant to be a mere formality.Eribo (Vice-President). unopposed.Gilham and Mike Bloomer who had proposed Chief Odutola as first President. until a young accountant and industrialist rose and nominated himself for the office of the President. Chief Odutola was therefore elected President of the M. Grilham (Treasurer). who had become rich by accident.A. had paid the membership fee or the annual subscription.
caught in the euphoria of the worship of oil which became the fashion in the seventies and eighties. His contributions were always documented.N.A. collaborating with the Ministry.A.N. instead he thought the future was in the growth of industry. and to ensure a closer integration of industry and the society. His position had been that “oil will finish while industry will hot”. and at all times. he brought respectability to the M.A.A. a rolling development plan. and canvassed for policies which would make manufacturing attractive. Richard Cheney (West African Portland Cement).N. He became a very well-known commentator on business and economy. or a fiscal policy. to protect the interests of the manufacturing industry.N.N. and Chief Jerome Oputa Udoji (Vice-President. M.A. he it was who formally opened the factory.). and he had an exceptional knack for keeping records. . He was not at any time. and well thought out.A. the initial tasks were obvious: to build the then fledgling M.C. the M. and when Odutola Food Industries. When Mallam Adamu Ciroma became Honourable Minister for Industries. had a good time. As President. to ensure meaningful collaboration with government in designing and implementing industrial and fiscal policies. into an effective organ for articulating the interests of the manufacturing sector. The M. Chief Odutola supported the idea of Made in Nigeria goods. Odutola applied himself vigorously for over 10 years that he was President of the M. and the M. To these tasks. It was in this context that Odutola was appointed a Director of the Central Bank. also found itself actively engaged in the promotion of the Nigerian Standards Organisation.N. under him.). Mr. By and large. was completed in 1980. became an association that government had to consult whether it was designing an annual budget. Ciroma himself would at another time be a member of the Council of the Association.benefit from the contributions of Stanley Calvert (Liptons Nigeria).N.A. Abidogun (U.A. He argued for the support of local manufacturers by government. Under Odutola.
Adamu Ciroma.Alh. Federal Ministry of Industries. Eribo . Alh. E. Mr. Ahmed Joda (in suit) and the Vice President.E. Chief Odutola Shares a joke with the Permanent Sectary. then Industries Minister unveils the plaque to declare Open the Odutola Food Industries Factory in Ijebu-Ode. As President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
’s Annual General Meetings would give a clearer picture of his concerns.N. .A. Odutola closed down his Ijebu-Ode factory rendering 1. When this happened. however. and the industry was becoming unattractive.N. the tyre business became dull and unprofitable. In 1975. had instituted a N2. The purpose was to promote local entrepreneurship.A. M. fourteen of which Odutola was privileged to preside over was his usual platform for deep reflection and exposition on issues which concerned M. to encourage research aimed t improving local products. Shortly after the civil war.Yet. and presented government with strategies for empowering local industry. The Annual General Meetings. a random review of some of Odutola’s annual address at M.N. government had to take the proposal more seriously.A. The M. When it seemed no one was going to pay any heed to him.A. Reason prevailed.N.000.500 people jobless. Odutola made representations to government. and was outspoken about industry and the economy.N. but industry. This was announced at a Made-in-Nigeria Exhibition organised by M. Odutola’s M. He mined no words whenever the interests of the industry was at stake. His concern. he lamented. Chief Odutola was firm. in an address instructively titled We’ve never had it so bad. was well known for its Made-in-Nigeria Campaign.N However.00 annual award for five years. “the seeming disregard of manufacturers by some public officers who consider non-oil revenues as of no consequence”. which he led continuously pleaded for the collaboration of government and the private sector.A.A. and in 1974. and the IjebuOde factory was re-opened. asking for a reduction in the excise duty payable on locally manufactured tyres because of the high import duty placed on raw materials for tyre manufacture. was not always tyre.
through a review of the mechanics of the foreign exchange. In 1978. It is my view and that of my Association that the most workable and constructive system for our economy is the mixed one in which some services in demand by the public are supplied by the private sector and other services which cannot be efficiently supplied by the private sector are given by the public sector.A year later. but should also be divested of the monopoly of operation they enjoy. Odutola returned to the theme of “investment constraints in Nigeria”. His words: Whilst we appreciate the difficulties facing the authorities in control of our public utilities. his concern was inflation. a lot of misunderstanding still persists in government circles with regard to the nature of inflation now raging in Nigeria”. that inflection would continue for so long because of poor harvests in Nigeria and other part of the world. we take this opportunity to reiterate that National Electric Power Authority. The private sector in the interest of the economy of this country should no longer be barred from competing in these fields. He lamented the collapse of public utilities and advised that the private sector should be permitted to compete in the provision of these utilities. he pleaded again. and he had predicted. assistance of manufacturers with infrastructural facilities. Post and Telecommunications Department and the Nigeria Airways should not only be allowed to operate on a commercial basis. for the encouragement of manufacturers. He continued: . “it can only succeed in killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. He advised that a policy based on the coercion of the private sector would not benefit the country. Although we have made the Association’s views known to the government through our budget representations and through the antiinflation task force. the abandonment of factors which promote uncertainty and a request for relief for manufacturers.
a few of which I should life to mention – (a) inadequacy of industrial plots. The following year. he said: There are other ancillary services and problem areas worth stressing because they are vital to economic development. not too pleased with the state of essential infrastructure such as telecommunication services and electricity. it is not attractive for him to do so.Now that the manufacturing capability in t he country is increasing rapidly. we call on governments to look into the matter of industrial decentralisation which government can readily encourage by providing the necessary infrastructural support and granting some measure of relief to new industries sited outside urban centres. a persistent spokesman. Odutola. Cautioning. We have been told that it is government’s . noting that infrastructure for economic growth had been strengthened. was once more asking for incentives from government. It is also desired that accelerated depreciation allowances be granted on capital spent on manufacturers’ transport costs. it is our desire that the manufacturers should be encouraged to take a more active interest in the distribution of his products but under present regulations. (d) inadequate sanitation and waste disposal services. (b) water supply. where applicable. In conclusion. He acknowledged that progress had been made since the last meeting. Then there is the overall National Industry Policy which seems to be calling for some overhauling. His Association. while “plans for economic development are being implemented and efforts are being made to stimulate and expand the economy”. he stressed. It is our view that the Price Control Board should take into account. This arrangement should bring closer co-operation between manufacturers and Price Control Board and also beneficial to curbing inflation in distribution costs. because his lorry is not permitted to ply back to its base with return load. (e) more warehousing facilities where necessary. (c) bad condition of roads in many industrial estates. unit transportation costs so that more manufacturers would be prepared to move towards delivered price concepts. was however.
He was invariably a highly subscribed speaker at public events. and in consequence. had adverse effect on industries due to the delay of raw materials. many manufacturers were having to lay off their workers. In a keynote address at a two-day National Seminar on Industrialization Policy. Having stated this. Odutola dwelt further on the theme of cooperation and collaboration between government and industrialists. and his concerns were wide-ranging. The scheme. machineries and spares. Economic growth would be really meaningful if it results in raising the standard of living of the average man and not widen the gap between the have and have-nots. whose lot he said would be improved if there is enough trust between government and M. In 1980. he proceeded to call on the Federal Government to abolish the Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) which he said was forcing Chief Executives “to develop high blood pressure”.avowed policy to promote self-sufficiency and to inculcate selfreliance. and at public functions.A. offering guidance and praise as necessary.N. When Odutola was not thus providing direction. and more important stills. to the benefit of our common people. organized by the Nigerian Society of Engineers in July 1980. Odutola had called for a . he noted. in his seminal Annual General Meeting addresses. The product of such a free flow of information would be clear and precise government policies. Odutola also had a few words for the consumer. on developments in the industry. As he put it: Our Association expects an established policy or regular dialogue with the government based on mutual trust. to continue to the advantage of manufacturers and consumers. especially in planning and policy development. he could be found making statements in the press.
but it was not in business that Odutola first encountered politics. he had said. and the hope that “participants will put forward ideas and recommendations which will be acted upon by those concerned and thus further secure greater progress for indigenous companies in the eighties and subsequently”. he had been an active politician. the story of which is taken up in the next chapter. What all this represent is the extent of Odutola’s active involvement in the growth of the manufacturing industry. are provided at the end of this book. these are traits of adept politicians.A. and hence provide focus for future efforts. “should begin and is precisely what we have left undone in Nigeria”. . The speeches and correspondence reveal Odutola as a master tactician and advocate.A. expressing the support of M.N.A. His efforts were so broad that a paraphrase would not do much justice: this is why an appendix containing select Odutola speeches and correspondence as President of M. and his stature as a businessman who was as knowledgeable in the enterprises as he was in the politics. A year later when the Nigerian Stock Exchange organized a seminar in Port-Harcourt on public Quotation for Indigenous Companies.N. Long before he became the President of M.study of the engineering implications of the Fourth National Development Plan.. “This is where industrialization”. Odutola sent a goodwill message.N. He said this would help to determine whatever gap existed between the country’s objectives and available technical resources. He called for an interweaving of agricultural and industrial development.
whereas it gave what seemed like special powers to local rulers. British colonial rule was structured in such a manner that. practically avoiding the politics of the day. The educated elite considered themselves a privileged and knowledgeable group. the more important factor was the pre-eminence which the educated elite enjoyed in Ijebu-Ode in the thirties and forties. he had the opportunity of participating in national politics. First was the need to protect his business interest.Chapter Three Statesman and Politician This is the legislative council. the Constituent Assembly … Would Hon T. perhaps. The educated elite who would later form the nucleus of the nationalist struggle. . make his submission. the House of Representatives. Hence. The Awujale also had no option but to acknowledge the growing influence of the Alakowes.? Not many in the present generation would remember that Odutola was at any time a politician. the Western Region of Assembly. please…. The only way that could be done was by not leaving political decisions to people who probably knew little about the reality of business. A number of factors conspired to push him into politics. They fulfilled that role by also acceding to the whilms and caprices of His Majesty’s representatives. he was active in politics between 1945 and 1966. representing the Ijebu Division.A. He spent his later years. The reason for this was not far to seek. they took more than an ordinary interest in politics. Odutola. But. They were also not too pleased with the obviously disadvantaged position of the Awujale under “indirect rule”. Yet. the rulers were no better than puppets. later in 1978. felt that this arrangement would only further ensure the exploitation of their people.
Olusoga as representative for the Ijebu Province in the Legislative Council of Nigeria. He had a similar relationship with Samuel Akinsanya. around this time. Odutola was well served by his exposure as a court clerk and businessman in the Ijebu Division. During this period. in a manner of speaking. It was. He was eloquent and persuasive. therefore. and worked with. considered quite normal. Given his intimate knowledge of the . He tried. It was a unique opportunity which he used to the best advantage. an active member of both the Produce Buyers Union and the Nigerian Transporters Union. In 1938. by Ijebu youths. famous as a frontline politician. later Odemo of Isara. (Awujale. N. in 1945. Adeola Odutola had been invited by Oba Daniel Adesanya Gbelegbuwa II. He brought to the attention of the Council the development needs of the area. It was in this capacity that he championed the request. This marked his first entrance into national politics. These youths wanted it replaced by a Native Authority Council in which the Awujale would be President. should not wield the kind of sole authority which he hitherto enjoyed. He was also a member of Ijebu-Ode Town Council. He was a member of the Council for the period 1945-47.T. also. He was. The Awujale.In 1934. Chief Obafemi Awolowo whose political career he would help to build and support in latter years. It was in the latter that he first met. to place the Ijebus on the map. for the abolition of Sole Native Authority Rule. 1933 – 1959) to attend meetings of the Ijebu Native Administration in an advisory capacity. they said. Odutola had become so well-known in local circles that he was made Chairman of the Nigerian Youth Movement in Ijebu Division. for Odutola to be nominated as the man to succeed Dr. He knew all the relevant persons and had a first-hand knowledge of the area. he made Ijebu Province the centre-piece of his contributions. soon after his resignation as a court clerk.
please permit us to bring to your remembrance some of the immediate pressing needs of our country of which you are aware. and implored him to help plead their cause with the government. His maiden speech. We heartily commend this gesture which.province. In February 1946. responded to the question of Land Tenure. signed by representatives of the Goodwill Society. Their letter also represented a vote of confidence. it was easy for him to live up to the demands of his PanIjebu mandate. We trust you will leave no stone unturned in pleading our cause with government for these amenities. the Ijebu-Ode Aborigines Society. dear compatriot. As a member of the Legislative Council. the Ijebu-Ode Muslim Improvement Union and the Ijebu-Ode Muslim Friendly Society. he made over 75 speeches. And Odutola was well and able. will tend to mutual confidence and solidarity in Ijebuland. and more medical and educational facilities throughout the country. Odutola needed no such prompting but the letter from the Union showed the support which his nomination to the Council enjoyed among his fellow Ijebus. Colonial Development . he drew attention to Ijebu Province. the Paragon Improvement Society. construction of Lagos-Ijebu-Ode Road. for example. In nearly all. The Union praised him for his commitment to the affairs of Ijebu Division. Ijebuland stands in dire need of many social amenities such as water supply. Their letter read in part: Since your nomination. we have no doubt. he received an important letter from the Union of Ijebu-Ode Societies. In conclusion. electric light. we have learnt with great satisfaction your laudable activities in visiting some important district towns of Ijebu-Ode with a view to discussing with them their local problems and needs which may be brought to the notice of the government thought you as their representative on the Legislative Council.
the bulk of the Ijebu people are traders. During the world war years. In other contributions. we shall have no money with which to buy export goods from the other country. as he sought to build a business empire with factories all over Nigeria. He would find this useful later.Schemes and Controls. This gave him an opportunity to make friends with other representatives from various parts of the country.m. otherwise. especially in t he matter of carrying produce between Ijebu-Ode. notably Great Britain. He was particularly emphatic about the need to relax those controls which were beginning to threaten economic development in Ijebu Province: As he put it. Ijebus were more severely hit by road transport restrictions than other people. I appeal to you. that we should be allowed to improved our trade without any undue restrictions. Sir. As it is well known. But now the war is over. the Ijebu people will like to see a complete relaxation. and we loyally accepted. I can understand this is the time of war for security and emergency reasons: and I would ask. We were then told. Another aspect of the restriction which does not appear to be necessary any longer is that which prohibits the movements of lorries between 7p. in view of the fact that the Province has not the advantage of rail or river transport. It is observed that restrictions are no longer as vigorous as before in some other places by rail and river transports. that the emergence of war made it necessary. With the cessation of hostilities. the Great powers. and the request for relaxation of restriction of transport is a most reasonable in this case. Odutola pleaded for the provision of basic amenities in Ijebu Province. Ibadan and up-country. . particularly in the direction of movement of produce. are anxious to develop their export trade. He also argued for improved relations between the Provincial Council and the Central Government. He soon became famous among his colleagues in the Council. Sir. And 6a.m. that it be removed in view of the fact that there is no potential enemy to whom movement of lorries during the hours of darkness may be of any help.
Odutola had even taken up the problems of transportation. He had made a case for the reduction of company tax and Company Profit Income tax. and agriculture. That he had a good case was well borne out. when in subsequent years the major issues he had highlighted became the targets of concern in both government and business circles. a commentary on the Appropriation Bill. During 1952-1956. “The speech was made on March 7. gave clear indications of Odutola’s public-spiritedness. inadequacy of basic public infrastructure and the maltreatment of qualified engineers. the need to provide an enabling environment for business and commerce and the development of the country through prudent management of resources. Throughout that period. He also represented the Western House of Assembly in the Legislative Council through the Electoral College System. He further commented on complacency in government circles. In what was a remarkable display of forthrightness. infrastructural provision. for example. Almost immediately. The speech.Odutola’s term in the Council ended in 1947. he was a member of the House of . he told the Assembly that the decision to ban the importation of American trucks in preference for British trucks was unwise because British trucks were not strong enough for Nigerian roads. government departments and agencies. poor staffing of public departments. in the main. and businessmen who were being forced to use them were recording huge losses. he was called upon to serve in other capacities. He had argued that this will encourage foreign and local investments. It was. which turned out as a critique of company tax. author of the first biography of Odutola made his most important speech as a politician. he was again nominated to represent Ijebu Division in the Western House of Assembly. Without mincing words. laden with genuine passion. He was interested in public welfare. Odutola was in the Western House of Assembly till 1959. 1950. Foluso Longe.
B. Odutola was a member of the delegation to the Telecommunication conference in Dakar. Chief Akinpelu Obisesan. In 1949. It all paid off. Dr. It was also in this year that Odutola was selected to represent Nigeria at the African Conference in London. by his outspokenness. E. Oba Aderemi I (the Ooni of Ife). Awani. Odutola remained Chairman till 1959. Emir of Katsina. Venerable Archdeacon T. in no small measure. Alvan Ikoku. This was not surprising. a vote of confidence was passed on him. He had fully become a man of the people. He was the recipient of many honours.Representatives. he was on the Nigerian delegation to the . In 1948. with great and infectious conviction. He was also very generous. He cultivated friendships with ease. This enabled him to present his contributions. King George VI. In 1957. He also had an abiding interest in people. Charles Onyeama. Chief Eyong Essien. Emir of Gwandu. at political sessions. the same process was repeated. he was awarded O. His career as a politician was helped. and Yahaya of Ilorin. a year after he had served in the Legislative Council. Odutola contested on the platform of the Action Group and recorded an overwhelming victory. A general election was called. beliefs and geography. he had been elected Chairman of the Ijebu Provisional Council.A. Ogunbiyi. Senegal. In 1951. In 1956. In 1956.E. the dual membership for the legislature was abolished making it impossible for Odutola to serve in both the House of Assembly and the House of Representatives. He was also re-elected Chairman of the Council.J. by His Majesty. and the beneficiary of his own selflessness. He was therefore not only famous but also affable. Akanu Ibiam. He built bridges of affection across all barriers of religion. in recognition of his good management of the Council. however. In 1955. He was a very frank debater. Others representing Nigeria included Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa who would later become Nigeria’s Prime Minister.
Odutola began to prepare for his Iwuye ceremony. and who were present at the occasion. Odutola. When the title was offered. he. Everywhere. He was making a contribution to a debate on the order of precedence in the arrangement of names of traditional chiefs. His thinking was that Chieftaincy titles were meant for successful sons who had established themselves in other lands. to accept the title of Ogbeni-Oja fully. there and then. with the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON). Odutola was hailed O ja ja gba (he has at last accepted). But since. and proceed with the Iwuye ceremony. were excited and they exclaimed: Oja ja gba. was settled in Ijebu-Ode. This expression also became a title of sorts. really. .B. Odutola thought nothing of it. shortly after he had been awarded the O. He paid the necessary customary dues and performed the necessary rites but he did not perform the Iwuye ceremony which would have meant a public announcement and acceptance. was that the title had been offered long before 1948. The truth. In 1956. and actively involved in nearly everything. perhaps. a title was a way of bringing them home so that they could contribute to the development of the town.Festival of Britain. he was honoured with the title of the Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR) and. however. he felt a Chieftaincy title would amount to open patronage. but Odutola had rejected the offer. Soon. the most remarkable recognition of his contribution to public good was the offer by the Awujale of a Chieftaincy title: the Ogbeni-Oja (Prime Minister) of Ijebu-Ode. But. This hurt him. and he resolved. when some radicals in the Council reminded him that.E. he had no basis to speak on the subject. in 1982. since he was not a chief. All this was in 1948. an incident at the Ijebu-Ode Town Council compelled him to change his mind. In 1966. Those who had been privy to the hide and seek game which Odutola had been playing with the Awujale over the title.
many people referred to him as Kabiyesi (Long live the King). has robbed the Odutola market of its initial preeminence but it stands. The establishment of the Ita Osu Market. When Oba Gbelebuwa II died. and the popularity that the new market enjoys. . It is situated at Aiyesan Street. for example. made a number of enemies. The Resident had sent a contingent of policemen from Ibadan. Thus. They resolved to disrupt the Iwuye ceremony. He also single-handedly built a market which he handed over to the Ijeb-Ode Local Government. painted yellow and green. in 1959. Odutola became the Ogbeni-Ode. as Ogbeni Oja. leader of the Action Group. by this time. with a fence round it. Odutola brought much respectability to the title of Ogbeni-Oja. The market which stands till today is known as the Adeola Odutola Olu-Iwa Better Life Market. all went well. At the end of the day. Off Folagbade Street. He was consulted by the palace on any major decision affecting the town. the new Awujale and old student of Olu-Iwa college.He had. it would have amounted to a suicide attempt. ensured a life-long commitment to a town that had become not only the land of his birth but also the headquarters of his many business. Till he died. His position. comprising modern stalls and shops. was presented to the Ijebu people at Itoro. Odutola responded by giving more of his time and resources. Apart from his businesses. all the same. It is a major complex. Odutola was the regent in charge of the town until January 1960 when Oba Sikiru Adetona. These were people who hated him for his prosperity. he would later give the town two schools and a church. if anyone wanted to disrupt the ceremony. and for his support of Chief Obademi Awolowo. as yet another major testimony of Odutola’s public-spiritedness.
with such a profile and network of influence to stay away completely from politics. Odutola who had been used to a different kind of political style lost interest in politics. on the platform of the Action Group. Odutola was no exception. He withdrew. M. beginning a continued involvement of the military in politics. In 1966. In 1965. and the House of Representatives. and concentrated on his business and local politics. Odutola would have none of this. It became difficult. He was detained in Ilesha. however. He had significantly seen Nigeria through the constitutional struggles for independence. The Western Region faced the major crisis that earned it the title of the Wild Wild West. and which brought Dr. As member of the Legislative Council. up to the point it became established as a sovereign nation and a federation. the military struck. In 1960. along with Mojidi Agbaje of Ibadan. troubled erupted. The loss of human lives became an index of the seriousness of politics. again. he was elected to the Senate (Nigeria’s Upper Huse). . he was used to the politics of give and take. following the 1959 Federal Elections. he eventually had to withdraw from national politics. division and violence. Majekodunmi to power as the Administrator of the region. Many of Awolowo’s supporters were hounded and victimised. Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello and Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. He had also had the distinction of sharing that phase of history with equally remarkable Nigerians – Dr. Chief Obafemi Awolowo. He remained a member of the Senate till 1964. Many of Awolowo’s to power as the Administrator of the region. without bitterness.It is worth nothing that. the Western Region House of Assembly. whereas Odutola’s involvement in local politics was a life-long affair. The new politicians were different: they preached and practiced the politics of hate. Nnamdi Azikiwe.A.
the times have changed. his response was a mixture of nostalgia and shock: Forget about now. Odutola was again called to public service. Politicians now are unprincipled. He supported many an aspiring politician but he kept out of the limelight. when political activities resumed in earnest. In 1979. unserious. poorly. it is the exact opposite. That was Odutola’s parting short for Nigerian politicians: an affirmation of how. When.In 1978. They have no respect for themselves. they were principled. many politicians trooped to Ijebu-Ode to receive his blessing. they had respect for themselves. At that time. Now. . in an interview with The News in December 1994. people were serious. He was nominated a member of the Constituent Assembly by the Federal Government to represent the Private Sector as the President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. he was asked to comment on present-day politicians. undedicated.
And the grounds. space and structures. attained the smooth articulation of a rehearsed concert. and soon. six elderly looking persons sat.. least of all a researcher in a season of hunger and anger. each verb was pointed like an accusing finger at a lost glory. And the notes poured forth too: strident and angry. Under the tree. and patches. The story of the same college which had served as their home since time appeared as an element in the firmament… . conspired to tell a story. They bemoaned their fate. surrounded by patches of brown. and the trees. painted light green. They had no time for any visitor. dust and black. on holiday. the very tree under whose foliage they took shelter. Just about this perimeter. shot through with existential anguish. the teachers were on strike although they had no students to teach. on a day like any other. the converse was an angry look back at history.Chapter Four The Schools That Odutola Built It was noon. and the roads. as they did. and the anger poured forth. They would rather discuss their condition. The visitor entered through the northern gate. Their anger swelled like the notes of the accordion. a Peugeot 504 was packed. The compound looked desolate. with an ambulance lamp on top of it. of black-vengeful relics of a once smooth macadarnised road. this was open. sitting in a roundabout. with enthusiastic branches. the ground on which they sat. and the aged roads on which their wellused cars were packed provided a counterpoint saying it was not always like this. the roads leading to the premises were the colour of brown. leading directly to the main hall.a reminder that the compound was again.. around here. Mat seemed like desolation was broken by the anger of the teachers. it became clear: Teachers salaries had not been paid. in the harmattan.. Welcome to Adeola Odutola College. or just about. There was an eerie silence in this vast stretch of land. and. The entrance gate through the western part of the premises was shut . with two young ones who from their mien resembled students. In the distance was a festering tree.
And so it was that Ijebu-Ode Grammar School received students in large numbers. The cocoa stores were large enough for his purpose. Education then had virtually become an industry among the Ijebus. Abeokuta. he had already abandoned the procurement business. They were. The nature of those times saw to it that anyone growing up could either trade or farm or go to school.Adeola Odutola was himself a pupil of this school. By the 1940s. outside Ijebuland.. Ile-Ife. He decided to establish a school. however. could no longer cater for the horde of students who were continuously thrown at its doorsteps. along Degun Street. School children. the option of education was particularly attractive. mighty halls. was the only secondary school in Ijebu-Ode Division.. with their teachers.The result was that many parents had to arrange send their children to school. therefore constituted a major attraction. In this. chose to settle down outside Ijebuland. and was venturing into manufacturing. This loss of critical manpower bothered Chief Odutola. He found it difficult to stand by and watch generations of Ijebu children drift away to other lands and becomes a loss to their homeland. two on either side of the road) that he turned. Because of the increasing spread of Christianity. founded in 1913. soon after their education. At the time.For close to three decades. and the rising popularity of the elite. Ijebu-Ode Grammar school. Many of these pupils. particularly to Lagos. after about 32 years. in fact. Ibadan. played a noble role. Ede or just about anywhere where there was a school a that could guarantee admission and accommodation. His response was simple. Ijebu-Ode Grammar school. It was as if fate had a hand in it all. his cocoa stores. Those who wanted their children to assist them in their trades or on the farm also wished that one or two of their children should go to school. . with a part already converted for use as a tennis court. It was to these stores (four of them.
Thus. S. his long-time friend who had been his classmate at Ijebu-Ode Grammar School. He was worried that his motives were misinterpreted. O. Jadesimi (later Bishop and administrator of Ibadan Diocese) who served the college. His critics complained bitterly. The monopoly that had been enjoyed by Ijebu-Ode Grammar School for 32 years had been broken. by the support and counsel. The school had a total of sixteen students. all male. was that. I. whom Samuel Johnson.A. Hogan. Onyakwere was its first Principal. A revolution was born. For the first time. The Ijebus. an acorn had been planted. . Hence. of a different character from IjebuOde Grammar School. however.G. on its register.O. The truth. It was called The Secondary Commercial College. Chief Odutola carried on. dutifully. in its early stages as school manager. J. Their grouse was that Odutola had designed yet another money-making venture.A. negative. Kale. however. It offered only commercial subjects. He was however not deterred. has described as "the most exclusive and inhospitable of the whole of the tribes". Encouragement also came from Rev.I. His concern was far more humanitarian than commercial. Odunowo and D. The college was. he received from Rev.In 1945. found reason to query Odutola's motives. Sangosanya. On the staff were B. Odutola. a product of the personal initiative of T. although the students were required to pay a token fee. of course. however. the people of Ijebu-Ode were offered another school to which they could send their children. Ijebu-Ode.A.F. He was encouraged to forge ahead. himself a biased critic. a grammar school was invariably considered more prestigious. Odutola was susidising the college to the tune of 700 to E800 annually. a school was eventually established. He was called names. behind his back. ranging from greedy to over-ambitious. The initial reaction was. Macjob.
shortly after. more than anything else. Okonrokwo.C. Lardner. The other teachers included B. . N. and the roads were just a little wider than footpaths.O. OluIwa college was formally opened on February 28. G. at the occasion. was such a shock to both the teachers and the new students. electricity would later come in 1959. Within three years of the existence of the commercial college. the District Officer and the Kabiyesi. Taiwo. when the college had grown so rapidly that the cocoa stores became inadequate. This was at a time when there were just three cars in the whole of Ijebu-Ode owned by: Odutola. it had become clear. 1948. The students. and the point had been well made. with a flag on it.J.K. There was no electricity. Admission into a secondary school. Onadipe (who would later earn the distinction of being the longest serving principal. Odutola again fulfilled the need for a grammar school by establishing yet another school which he named Olu-lwa College.A. A. He had attended the ceremony in a posh blue and light green car. Odutola. were.In 1948. was a Sierra-leonean. Both schools were operated under the same management. was the fulfilment of a lifeambition. It was easy for him to obtain the approval for the establishment of this other school. Ogunowo and F. Hussey (Principal. about sixty of them. Sampson. The principal.T. It was a very colourful and impressive ceremony attended by Western state Ministry of Education officials. at the time. Olowofoyeku (who would become principal in 1949). They were together till 1951. Rev. 1961). Olu-lwa college shared the same premises with the secondary commercial college. that Odutola was determined to offer service. whose death. was the proud proprietor. however. exultant. A. among whom was M. although with different curricula. 1950-1959). The credit for this growth belonged both to the proprietor and his staff.E.
S. on the South-Western outskirts of Ijebu-Ode. and he had to complain loudly. Kale. He. Odulaja. Work on the new site began almost immediately. By 1952.) Rev. English. Parents even brought their children to the school to be disciplined as thought appropriate by the teachers whose word was law in the community. The original plan was to develop both institutions. Latin. that. with the growing strength of Olulwa college. succeeded. This was the time when corporal punishment was appreciated even by the students who were expected to receive corporal discipline with an expression of gratitude. the commercial college was moved out of the cocoa stores to a site near the present Our Lady of Apostles site in Ijebu-Ode.The teachers stressed discipline. . even by the standards of the period. A. eventually. he would need to acquire and develop a permanent site for the school. it was as if every penny he made from his business was taken up by the school project. on the foreshores of the Yemule river. These included (Rt. Meanwhile. Elementary mathematics and such other subjects which made them feel superior to their counterparts in the commercial college. The school had virtually overgrown its temporary premises. of course. who kept encouraging him. as separate schools serving the differing purposes for which they were established. Olu-lwa College remained at the cocoa stores. He paid for the land. They considered it their duty to ensure that their pupils turned out well and they did not spare the rod when it became necessary. The students were taught English literature. Fowokan. Odutola was disturbed about the expensiveness of the venture. but at a very generous discount. It had occurred to Odutola however. in spite of himself. Odutola therefore began the search for land. to his friends. S. through the kindness of the Porogun community and his maternal family who made available to him 150 acres of land.I. John Otuyelu and J.
The plan was to move the Commercial College to Owojona hall. in the school premises. the two schools (The Secondary Commercial college and Olulwa college) were merged to form the nucleus of the Adeola Odutola Comprehensive College. is formally opened by Chief the Honourable Obafemi Awolowo. founded and erected by Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola. 1965 by Chief Obafemi Awolowo. first Prime Minister of the Western region Government of Nigeria.By 1956. It was an extra-ordinary ceremony attended by persons from nearly the whole of Ijebu-Ode. The Western State Government went ahead to establish the Aiyetoro Comprehensive High School. Hence. . Chief Odutola studied the idea. It occurred to him that his schools already constituted the objectives of the new system. then Premier of the Western region. for the spread of knowledge. records the event for posterity as follows: To the Glory of God and in Ever Thankful Remembrance of his Mercy and Grace vouchsafed this college. a library and an assembly hall. The two schools stayed separately until 1963. this 8th Day of December. A marble plaque. government began to toy with the idea of encouraging a comprehensive high school system. when Odutola completed Owojona hall. The buildings were completed and Olu-lwa college was moved to this new site. The new school became operational in February 1964. 1965. Chief Odutola had successfully put up two blocks of building-the science block and a main block-containing sixteen classrooms. It was formally opened on December 8. But about this time. The Secondary Commercial College was then moved back to the cocoa stores. the Ogbeni-Oja of ljebu-Ode. which had then become appreciative of Chief Odutola's ventures. in front of Adeola Hall.
To translate this idea into reality. known as Aiyetoro Comprehensive High School. interests. two such institutions have recently been established in the region: one of them. This publication sought to offer a definition of the new method of secondary education. Both the commercial . in that unlike the old Grammar school type. which offers purely academic work.I. The system is not only dynamic but also unique. A radical departure in secondary education from the Grammar school type is seen in the introduction of a Comprehensive High School System . The future meant nothing but greater challenges as spelt out in a Western Nigerian Government publication: Progress in Western Nigeria Education. The foundation upon which the new school would be built had however been provided by its precursors.owned comprehensive High School in the Western region. ljebu-Ode was established in 1963 by Chief T. with the merger of his two schools. and academic capability of each student. established the first voluntary agency .A. obviously. The exclusive value of the setup is the flexibility and possibilities it offers of variations in the curriculum without detriment to the academic quality of the fifth and sixth form products.a now phase in the system of education in Western Nigeria.A.S. Odutola. aptitudes. The new school was also a personal breakthrough for the proprietor. started to run on an experimental basis two years ago as a joint venture between the Western Nigerian Government and the U. He who had already earned a reputation of being first in many things had. this system affords a total of seven years of post-primary education suited to the needs. Ogbeni-Oja of IjebuOde. had been reached in the life of the school.D (Technical Assistance) programme: the other Adoola Odutola Comprehensive High School.A turning point.
who later left to join the Nigerian Army where he rose to the distinguished rank of a Major-General. August-December 1963). Awolalu (Acting Principal. he returned to take up a full career in his alma mater. he went abroad for post-graduates studies. In October 1956. N. In both schools. They were offered scholarships.A. J. Between 1967 and 1969. who later became a Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Ibadan. April July 1967. . became something of a legend for his devotion to work. During vacations. Principal for nine years.college and Olu-Iwa college had been run. whose life and that of his alma mater appeared closely linked. showed how deeply the Odutola dream has transformed many lives. Ogunfuye was not the only alumnus.K. with a deep sense of duty. And significantly. He was a teacher from 1960 to December 1972. Ogunfuye was retained as number of staff and was later sent on in-service training. Ogunfuye studied classics. later a full time clergyman in the Ijebu-Ode Anglican Diocese. The students equally fared well. Ogunfuye was sponsored for further studies at the University of Ibadan under Regulation 19: a form of scholarship for in-service training. This was what happened to Timothy Ogunfuye who graduated from Olu-Iwa College in 1953 as the best student in his class. and thoroughness. It was the policy from the onset to encourage brilliant students. Olu4wa college.December 1959. upon graduation. at the Nigerian College of Arts and Science in Lagos. he returned to the school to teach. Other members of the staff included Olufemi Olutoye. and substantive Principal from September 1977 to December 1988. Acting principal of Olu-Iwa college April . Some of the bright ones were retained as tutors in the school and layer sent on in-service training. Onadipe. the teachers and the students had begun to build a future. He returned to become Acting Principal. October 1954 – June 1956. Ogunfuye.
from the onset. appointed Principal of Ijebu-Ode Muslim College. The Ministry. and another for Olu-Iwa College. Odutola. with eleven expatriates on its staff. F. His arrival was fortuitous. S. an expatriate. D. but its principal. The former was headed by D. he was considered a spoiler not only in the commercial college but also in Olu-Iwa College by those who felt his presence had robbed them of expected opportunities. In due course. If the two schools were to be compared. despite the bad blood that had attended his appointment. If Hogan had been a Nigerian. He had been recommended to Chief Odutola by the Western State Ministry of Education. Hogan. Odutola (not a relation of the proprietor). The popular thinking. which at the time set standards. beginning with the choice of a Principal for the combined school. S. with students of both schools insisting that their Principal should be THE Principal. At the time of the merger. But there were. Like all newcomers. for it was the following month that Adeola Odutola Comprehensive College was created. indeed. Awolalu. very serious problems. was that Odutola was a newcomer. A. F. The Ministry of Education eventually resolved the matter.It was this same tradition that Odutola had set out to establish in the new school. there were two principals. A. chose A. . The choice of a Principal became such a political issue. Odutola. exceeded the expectations of his worst critics. was more experienced. but it also created another problem. and the latter by A. he probably would have been the Ministry’s choice. S. The commercial college had only two expatriates. Hogan. Olu-Iwa was the bigger one. in 1963 when Odutola had been hunting for a principal to take over from J. one for the commercial school.
and non-Yorubas! Teachers were also recruited from anywhere. in government regulations. with five arms in each school. At the time the college was opened. Eight years later. in 1964. the Head Boy was S. with students coming to Ijebu-Ode from far and near. Parents particularly wanted their children to attend Odutola College.300 students. It also paid teacher salaries. The children of the expatriates’ community in and outside Ijebu-Ode also attended the school. The Principal was. Although the school was fully owned by Chief Adeola Odutola. and Aiyetoro Comprehensive High School. there were about 1. In a short while.The school. It was also the Ministry that appointed Principals. provided an occasional grant for the purchase of science equipment and fixed school fees. the Western State Government was also involved in the running of both Odutola College. in 1970. In 1955. He remained Principal from 1964 to 1972. in 1966. Sunny Ejiogu. . Jolly Meba – all non-Ijebus. The government set standards by sending inspectors to the schools on an occasional basis. The school had no ethnic or racial policies. The schools maintained extremely high standards. were regarded as grant-aided schools. in 1971. representing the Ministry and the Board of Governors. however. it had become an international school. Gard Mafo. which he inherited. as long as they were distinguished in their respective areas. These. and approved the appointment of teachers. only a point man. only merit counted. a period that could easily be considered the school’s golden years. Iyatshere. was a large one. student’s population was a little above 400. It was under his leadership that Odutola College grew to become the most important post-primary institution in the Western region.
Odutola College did not have to take any permission from government to spend any money. What it did was to retain a fraction of the fees that were collected, only a percentage was returned to the Ministry. The Ministry’s intervention served the purpose of ensuring control, and to protect colleges under its jurisdiction from certain unscrupulous proprietors, many of whom existed at the time, who used their schools as money-making ventures, without due regard for the quality of instruction. The day-to-day running of Adeola Odutola College was, however, the responsibility of the college Principal and the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors was selected by the Proprietor. It comprised mostly his friends, representatives of the Ministry and the Principal. Later, it was the practice that an old student should be a member. The Proprietor was Chairman and he was very powerful. He and the Principal were the two signatories to the account. The board could recommend the removal of a teacher; but generally, teachers applied for appointments through the Principal who would write to the Ministry for assessment and approval; the board appointed Principal. The school had its full complement of teachers, most of whom were graduates. At a time, there were about 58 teachers. Chief Odutola, at every turn, was the moving spirit behind the enterprise. It was his personal industry and devotion that kept the dream alive, and the standards high. The tendency, at the time was to compensate with the government school in Aiyetoro. Odutola wanted only the best. It was clear, even to the students that the Proprietor was in love with the school. Every morning, as early as 7.30am, Odutola came to the school premises. He would drive round; ask the Principal questions, before going to his office at Odutola Tyres. The school enjoyed no building grants from the government, all the buildings were put with Chief Odutola’s own personal funds.
His commitment was electrifying. He was also always in the school in the evenings, supervising labourers and artisans, and mapping out areas for further work. The period 1968 – 72 saw the unending construction of buildings and the provision of other facilities. As at 1972, the school already had 32 classrooms, 6 science laboratories, one administration block, one ultra-modern boarding house for girls and a Higher School Certificate library. Some of the projects had also been completed by that time, including the installation of electricity and pipe-borne water, the construction of six staff quarters, including that of the Principal, construction of two dining Halls, one for boarders and the other for Day Students; and the construction of a science theatre. There were plans also to start a students’ union building. These efforts resulted in a very beautiful compound, which had become known as the local university. It was also a source of pride and happiness to the proprietor whose personal taste and love for excellence had informed the design of the campus. Within a short time, Odutola College had become popular among parents and the community at large, and soon the school also enjoyed the goodwill of persons and institutions, which felt obliged to assist Chief Odutola in realizing his dream. For example, A. G. Leventis who had earlier given a donation of #200 also donated modern furniture and helped to equip the HSC library. The Awujale of Ijebu-Ode, Oba Sikiru Adetona, also an old student of Olu-Iwa College, a scholarship worth #200 and volunteered to build a tennis court. The West Africa Steel and Wire Limited, Apapa, donated #1,500 to assist the construction of the classrooms. The Western State Ministry of Works and Transport helped to pave the school roads at a generous discount. O. Holzmayer of Messrs Kari Zangal in West Germany donated ball biros for students’ use. Alhaji Olatunji Omo-Owo awarded a scholarship worth #360. Dyekes, an American Peace Corps
Volunteer, gave a scholarship worth #380. More contributions continued to pour in over the years. Because all these came largely from Chief Odutola’s associates and friends, he took it upon himself to acknowledge every contribution. The HSC library, for example, was named after A.G. Leventis who had helped to equip it. For him, it was a dream fulfilled. Odutola college was no longer a personal project but a communal one, with which everyone sought to identify. Odutola was also very much concerned about staffing. He wanted only the best; hence, he could not leave the staffing of the schools to only the Principal and the Ministry. He made his inputs which, as things stood, were quite crucial. Teaching, at the time was a distinguished profession. The teachers were not bothered about promotion. The thinking then was that a teacher’s reward was in heaven; teachers tried to give their best to their students. While many proprietors cashed in on this to exploit their staff, resulting in certain privately owned schools in open confrontation with teachers, Chief Odutola was generous towards his teachers. He made sure they were given additional incentives, outside the salaries they received from the Ministry. There was an inducement allowance, for example, which Odutola gave to teachers. Salaries were not only paid on time, teachers enjoyed loan facilities: car loan, furniture loan and whatever assistance they required. Staff quarters, occupied mainly by expatriate teachers, were also given out free. In return, Odutola’s teachers gave of their best to the school. The presence of the expatriate teachers was especially helpful. Many of them were Peace Corps Volunteers, from America, Canada and Australia, whose salaries were paid by their own governments. There were also Indians. These expatriates, many of them very competent and experienced hands, helped to design the school curriculum. Whereas the idea of a comprehensive college was new to Nigerian
teachers, expatriates were familiar with the system. They helped to give focus and depth to the curriculum. Chief Odutola, in dealing with them, did not discriminate. His interest was quality; as he did for A.S. Odutola, he would do anything to retain a good hand. In 1969, five years after A.S. Odutola had become Principal, the Western State Government began to grade schools and their Principals. The objective was to match the Principals with appropriate schools. Both Adeola Odutola College and Aiyetoro Comprehensive High School were graded Special Grade I, the only two schools in that category. Ibadan Grammar School, Abeokuta Grammar School and Ijebu-Ode Grammar School were considered Grade I. Other schools were in Grades II, III and IV. For Principals, time of graduation and experience were considered. It turned out that A.S. Odutola was placed in Grade III: the Ministry therefore resolved to post him to a Grade III school. Chief Odutola put his feet down. He could not accept that the same Principal who had toiled to build Odutola college would, five years later, be considered inferior to the same school. He took the case to the meeting of Proprietors. A formal protest was lodged with the Teaching Service Commission agreed and made an exception for Odutola. He was appointed Acting Principal, Special Grade One; but, he was to receive the salary of a Grade III Principal. A. S. Odutola, naturally, was annoyed. He complained to Chief Odutola and pleaded that the Proprietor should reconsider his case. Chief Odutola was concerned. He summoned an extra-ordinary meeting of the Board of Governors. At the meeting, he told the Board that A.S. Odutola should be paid two salaries: the Grade III salary approved by the Ministry and the outstanding difference for Special Grade One should be paid, every month. He added that, if the
Ministry were to raise any queries, he Adeola Odutola would accept responsibility and explain. That settled the matter. Odutola was equally liberal with the students. He had, at all times, stressed the need to maintain a liberal admission policy. Odutola College therefore welcomed all intending students. This was the saying soon made popular: Aitan ko ko ilekile, Odutola ko ko omokomo (the garbage site does not discriminate, Odutola welcomes all children, including the rascally) Aitan ko ko ilekile, was incidentally, Chief Odutola’s personal motto extracted from the Seyindemi family praise name (Oriki). This was the inscription on his official coat of arms which contains the symbols: a palm tree, a lion, a traditional horn, and divination marks of Ejiogbe. This coat of arms is conspicuously displayed inside Adeola Hall in the college, and on the entrance gate to Onibudo House. It is a telling commentary on Odutola's philosophy and adventurous spirit. In its application to Odutola college, it was not meant to represent indulgence. Rather, the idea was that there was no child who was so rascally who would not be reformed at Odutola college. And this was true. There was so much emphasis on discipline. The students who had come to study in the school from Lagos were notorious; there were -cases of rascally conduct, but the school authorities were up to the task. Every Friday afternoon, all students were expected to gather in the Assembly hall, with their teachers and the HSC students. It was called Home class at which the students were expected to speak their minds. It was a democratic forum where the students and teachers compared notes; a consensus was reached about conduct and welfare. Thus, misdemeanour was rarely forgiven. There used to be what the students called "detention": it entailed punishment ranging from public caning to suspension, expulsion etc. Any student whose name appeared on the "detention" list knew that he was in for trouble.
All this had the support of Chief Odutola. He was a father to all the kids. They all knew him; he was known around town as Olomoyoyo (father of a thousand children). But he stressed discipline. He was strict, even with his own children. Odutola college was not a school for outsiders only. It was considered good enough by Odutola for his own children and many of them attended the school. They include Olufunmilayo Odutola, Joke Odutola, Tokunbo Odutola, Femi Odutola and Sola Odutola. They received no preferential treatment. Anything that applied to others, also applied to them. They even had to pay their school fees! On one occasion, one of the sons had offended his father at home. He was brought to the school. An Assembly was called, Chief Odutola reported his own son to the Principal, and, there, in the presence of everyone, the boy was given 24 strokes of the cane. That was Odutola. He never spared anyone, a character trait which earned him yet another sobriquet, ,Eni mo o ko, eni koo mo, Ijebu okan, oun okan (Those who know him do not understand him, those who understand him do not know him, the enigmatic one who can stand up to the whole of Ijebu). This vigilance paid off. Odutola College students were exceptional. The annual school certificate and HSC results compared favourably with those of Ijebu-Ode Grammar School; many students excelledTwo of such students, Abiala and Ogunnaike, remained distinguished even in later life. The students were also never found wanting in football and inter-school debates. Adeola Odutola College was first in many things in the whole of the Western region. The proprietor had made sporting facilities available. There was a drama society in the school whose reputation for amateur theatricals was very high. Students also got the opportunity to learn piano and vocational skills such as painting and carpentry. There was in addition to these a school farm, where practical agriculture was made compulsory for all
Muslim students attended Jumat service at Adeola Hall. a special . A. Odutola. their school was. toured Ogun State in 1978. Everything was organized. The school was the main attraction in Ijebu-Ode. Odutola spent a month in Canada visiting 43 Comprehensive High Schools. it was visited by educationists from across the world.. and by important dignitaries. there were. was invited to Canada. college Chapel services were organized in the evenings. a group of Canadian educationists visited the school. the birthday of the founder. at all times. On Sundays. government decided to scrap all HSC programmes in schools. the Odutola sports field served as the temporary aerodrome for his helicopters. and retain only one in each province. They were so impressed that the Principal. Every year. The students were models unto other pupils. indeed a model institution. Religion also occupied a high place in the school agenda. On Fridays. Chief Timothy Odutola. A. when the Federal Government decided to send five Principals to Australia to study the comprehensive school system. Every morning. then Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In 1967. The invitation was honoured. Eight years earlier.S. Fortunately. Odutola was again selected to represent the Western region. A major item on the school calendar has always been the Founder's Day Anniversary which is celebrated on June 16 of very year.students. When General Olusegun Obasanjo. The HSC at Odutola college was the only one allowed in Ijebu province. the students attended matins in town. In 1970. The college was recognized to that extent. clergymen on the staff who helped to preach religious tolerance and understanding. reading of passages from the Bible. The students were taught that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. with commentary and prayers.S. school work began with a devotional service observed with songs of praise.
members of staff. Praise worship. a tempo of joyousness is maintained. the staff Secretary of the college. and the Head Prefects (Boy and Girl) is put together. the national association contributed money towards the erection of a fence around the premises. This early morning ceremony is followed by a thanksgiving service in the Church. University students.K. and invited dignitaries from all walks of life. Chief . Awujale of Ijebuland. at all levels. the celebration follows a fairly regular pattern. Either as set associations or as a national body. have served as the link across the many phases of the school's history. Thereafter. the Old Students Association. attended by students. The ceiling fans. The role that has been played annually by old students in this celebration has been exceptional. Major-General Seidu Ayodele Balogun.committee. presided over by the Bishop of Ijebu-Ode Diocese is held as early as 7 a. This is understandable. The old students association had practically become a formidable support for the school. an invited guest delivers a keynote address for the benefit of the students. for example. and National President of the Old Students Association. Oba Remi Adeoye. the old students. Generally. were donated by students of the 1970/74 set. and prepare for the ceremony. Adeola hall is littered with contributions from these old students. in the school premises. the Founder's Day celebration train moves to Adeola Hall. comprising representatives of the Board of Governors. Many of the old students are outstanding in their respective professions. Some of the most distinguished among them include S. A congratulatory message from the school is read. and the Chief proceeds to cut an anniversary cake. the first Military Governor of Ogun State. In 1978. Here. classes for finalists. m at Chief Odtitola's Onibudo House. for a long time. been organizing tutorial "summer. speeches are made by both guests and old students. On the day proper. among them. Adetona. Chief Bayo Kuku. once an Executive Director of Mobil Oil. had. to draw up a schedule of programmes. Awuren of Oke-Lamuren.
A. Dr. Sangosanya's predecessor was Timothy Ogunfuye (Principal September 1977 . a one-time financial secretary of the national association. At 25. is also an old student of the school. to come and assist his alma mater.S.0.I. Simeon L. Yemi Kukoyi. The list is endless. Generally. These included the Rt. G. proprietor of the Rational Bookshops. Tokunbo Adesanya. Remi Dawodu. the old students have been the school's worthy ambassadors. a former Director of Arts and Culture in Ogun State. The old students put up a particularly impressive appearance at the 1970 Founder's Day celebration. Kale.G. the silver jubilee offered the Proprietor an opportunity to pay tribute to everyone who had been part of the making of Odutola college. Otunba Odutayo. A. once the secretary-general of the Nigerian Medical Association. Bishop of lbadan and uncle of A.S. Jadesimi. Alhaji Ayinde Mustapha. S. which marked the silver jubilee of the school's existence. Rev. the Rt. It is also not surprising that the current Principal.Olu Ayeni.. returned to become the school's 22nd principal. an architect. S.A. Odutola upon his graduation from the university in 1970. Demola Dacosta. Folashade Oshiberu.O. Duro Akingbelu. It was a significant occasion.December 1988). Bolaji. returning to their alma mater to pay homage. Dr. as the signs were then beginning to indicate.. Bishop I. and. Professor Olumade Adeuja. . present students are witnesses to scores of old students. Sangosanya. a business magnate. was poised for a major turning point in its history. Supo Adetona. Rev. Sangosanya.G. got transferred. Odutola. in 1989. He taught in the school from 1971 to 1975. and President of the Old Students Association nationwide since 1978. Every year. a banker. Odutola. and A. Yomi Finnih. Etop James Usoroh. The truth really is that the college has been in the hands of old students since 1977. He was invited by A. Ibadan. But before this happened. the Principal. Adeola Odutola college. Mrs. particularly his friends and helpers.
It contained commentaries on the proprietor and the school. in 1970. Jadesimi delved into the history of the school . Speaking the minds of the alumni. he wrote: The generation of students who have passed through Adeola Odutola college in its twenty-five years of existence (in one form or another) will never forget what a tremendous influence for good the college has had on their lives. however. The tone and content of each of the messages. Kale and Bishop I.Leventis. All these were personally invited to send goodwill messages to the school. The piece is signed off instructively: Long live the Alma Mater! In their contributions. Ogbagba 11. who obviously had been chosen to speak on behalf of old students. There were also messages. S. A booklet which had been published to commemorate the occasion was designed with a sense of history and political correctness. Awujale of Ijebuland. Odutola. Rev. Oba Sikiru Adetona. The point is perhaps worth stressing that. including the proprietor's. was full of praise for Chief Odutola: It does not happen very often that the greatness of a man is acknowledged in his lifetime. Every now and again. is acknowledged 'great' in his lifetime. Rev. the college was at its apogee.G. there comes a man who. Such a man is Chief Adeola Odutola. It is not very often that a man's greatness is sufficiently understood and appreciated until long after his death. helped to underscore the maturity of the college. with pictures attesting to the multi-faceted character of the school. Rt. either by the sheer size of his achievements.O. whose name is immortalized in many spheres of our Nation's life.A. This explains why history is full of posthumous accolades showered on the long-dead great. or the special nature of his contribution to the history of progress. the trio of Rt.
he tries to keep before the minds of the boys and girls this awareness of the hand and the purpose of God in the planning and establishing of the college. Kale asserted: God used the Proprietor to give Nigeria this school. and a humble addition by the Proprietor to educational facilities then available to the children of this Province. Rt. and in as many ways as possible. that rather making (sic) profit. My special duty here is to thank God with Chief T. even though these have been very remarkable and good. .000. These armchair critics saw it as another avenue for making money on the part of the Proprietor. Our prayer is that in the future. In this vein. the Proprietor was steadily subsidising the college to the tune of E700 to E800 annually. what about the ultramodern Girls Hostel which I understand was erected at a phenomenal cost of about E30. On the contrary. I knew then.and remarked upon how the fear of the Lord had been the bedrock of instruction in the school. Bishop Jadesimi looked back and commented on the efforts of the proprietor: I was privileged to be connected with the early beginnings of its life in 1945. and the staff and pupils of the school on the good fortune of being instruments of God in funding and running the school so well for these 25 years. 1 am witness to the fact that the college was a venture of faith. Adeola Odutola and to congratulate him. the Proprietor had sunk and is still sinking thousands of pounds before the Ministry of Education started to aid the college. achievements of the school may by far be greater. Rev. in my capacity as the Manager of the college. There were those who misconstrued the idea which motivated the founding of Olu-lwa college as it was then known. and in the process of bringing the college to its present stage. The Proprietor is ever conscious of this fact. however. brighter and superior to what the past and present achievements have been. to mention the latest.
Brigadier R.S. Adebayo.D. development. Chief Odutola's friend.. the staff and students past and present of Adeola Odutola College on the occasion of the commemoration of the Silver Jubilee of the School.C.S. and it is an honour for me that the library of Adeola Odutola college bears my name. also commented on Odutola: He is a man whose friendship one can be proud of. expansion and growth. Military Governor of the Western State of Nigeria. If for nothing else.S. A. I have during my tenure of office as the Governor of this State visited the institution and gone round all the various classes and departments. Adeola Odutola College no doubt deserves to be congratulated on this occasion. Leventis. On the Occasion of the Commemoration of the Silver.D.. has done since the founding of the College. The failure or success of an institution depends entirely on the events marking these various milestones. Ijebti-Ode It is with great delight that I send this short message to congratulate the Proprietor. P.C. Chief Adeola Odutola. It is a period marked by milestones of establishment. The then Military Governor of the Western State. also sent a most inspiring message. P. teething problems. Brigadier R.C.A. Adebayo. the name of Chief Adeola Odutola will for ever be remembered in the annals of this country for this great educational monument which he has brought into being for the . which is here reproduced in full: Message From His Excellency. I. A period of 25 years is a significant landmark in the history of an educational institution. I have nothing but praise for the wonderful work which the Proprietor of the Institution.A. Jubilee of Adeola Odutola College. I.G.
time and energy far i-nuch more than any material benefit he can ever gain from it. Within the last 25 years. that they are worthy of the philosophy of this great institution. It is my hope that these youths will appreciate the deep sense of self-sacrifice and patriotism which the establishment has involved and that they will live up to the ideals and philosophy which have prompted the Proprietor in founding the College. past. I am sure all these generations of students will forever remember the Proprietor with pride and with gratitude. will show. Chief Adeola Odutola has set up a wonderful institution for the benefit of our youths. In Adeola Odutola College. I have always believed vtry firmly irr the development of education as an indispensable weapon in our aspiration for progress and development. The founding of an educational institution is not intended as a profit-inakiiig enterprise. present and future. I wish him and the College success and happiness during the years that lie ahead.benefit of generations of youths in this country. It is for these reasons that I have given special attention to the demands of education since my assumption of office as Governor of the Western State. He has put into the institution in money. both in their public and private lives. by their example and actions. It is my hope that the students. some of whom today are holding responsible positions in various spheres of fife in this country. . In this task. we see an institution which has served as a classic example of true self-sacrifice patriotism and dedicated philanthropy on the part of the Proprietor. I would uiiliesitantly hold up Chief Adeola Odutola as a shining example for other Proprietors of educational institutions to emulate. Education is the most powerful tool by which an individual as well as a nation can rise to the heights. by their words and deeds. I have been fortunate to have great men of the calibre of Chief Adeola Odutola who share with me similar belief and philosophy about education. the College has turned out men and women.
Like in all new ventures. for enabling us to found the school. A.As usual.the ljebu Ode Commercial College and a Grammar School. Grammar School. it is pertinent to ask how far the school has fulfilled. He pledged to remain even more committed to the college: Silver Jubilee Message From Chief T. staff and students of Adeola Odutola College on the occasion of its Silver Jubilee. and Chairman. Olu-lwa College. my heart is filled with thanksgiving to God for what He has done in inspiring the birth of the school. there were obstacles which were overcome by patience. in acknowledgement of the assistance and encouragement of the Government through its Ministry of Education. Board of Governors It gives me great pleasure and happiness to write this message to the Principal. Adeola Odutola College which started life with only 16 . although different in character from the only secondary school then in the whole of ljebu Province Ijebu-Ode. which had existed for thirty-two years. to create added opportunities for secondary school education. When I took back on the past twenty-five years. Odtitola The Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebu-Ode Proprietor of the College. On an occasion like this. and in appreciation of the cooperation of friends. grit and the special grace of God. and which has acquired the distinction of being the first voluntary agency comprehensive secondary school in the Western State. parents. and is fulfilling the purpose it aspires to in the years ahead. It stands today. after the pattern of the Government Comprehensive High School. a living testimony to a venture of faith launched in 1945. Chief Odutola's response was full of courtesy and moderation. Aiyetoro. With gratitude to God. which grew out of a commercial college . the path was not entirely smooth sailing. by establishing a similar school. guardians and the general public.
the names of some people whom we regard as joint builders of Adeola Odutola College . to equip yourselves for the race of life.male students in 1945. which have to be met. has now a student population of about 1. You.300 (male and female). and as true and great alumni of your alma mater. have a great part to play in further developing the school. the present students too. agriculture. sciences. through courses and studies and facilities in the arts. you are welcome to assist the management . business and professional men. and has won laurels in sports in local and state-wide competitions. As many opportunities lie in your way. At this point. the old students have a heritage to guard. I wish to invite the attention of the past and present students to their duties and responsibilities to themselves.with your concrete and constructive suggestions . so will many challenges show up. It has. about 900 of whom are boarders. commerce and home economics afforded its students. The school is yours. learn to work hard.right from its inception as Ijebu-Ode . at present holding eminent positions in various walks of life. faithful and above all. their parents and the nation. You need to acquire as much knowledge as could be afforded you in this -school. sound moral and physical training and versatile utility. By these achievements it has been possible for the school to turn out many students who today are graduates.in its work of achieving and ensuring lasting progress for your school. It has a record of high percentage passes in the West African School Certificate and the Higher School Certificate Examinations from year to year. education of high academic quality. be of service to your schoolmates. eschew cheating. lying and stealing. and a name to honour and respect. Be loyal. You. their school. a cause to support morally and financially. your parents and your God. emulate the good. Having reviewed the progress which the school has made in the 25 years of its existence. You too can shine as others who have passed through the portals of Adeola Odutola College. it is necessary to place on record for posterity.
F. in their tenures of office have been assisted by loyal and hardworking masters from various parts of the world . Macjob. Finally. Sierra Leone and Nigeria. 0. who was the school manager in the very early stages. Special mention must be made in this connection of the invaluable services of the Rt. In the merger school Adeola Odutola College . Hussey. They have worked for the spiritual. A. Olowofoyeku. has given to the College. K. God helping me. Sangosanya.Messrs. and also Olu-Iwa College. Sampson. the West Indies. In Olu-lwa College . Odutola.Commercial School. it is my prayer that men and materials may always be found to continue the progress that has been made in the school's twenty-five years history. as we look ahead with hope to the coming years. May they be amply rewarded by God for the honest services that each one. sources of its further maintenance. Jadesimi. now Administrator of lbadan Diocese. 0. Last but not the least. These people and their teams of workers deserve my thanks for the work they have done to build the College. May the Lord repay their personal endeavours. G. I am taking this opportunity to rededicate my life to continued patronage of ADEOLA ODUTOLA COLLEGE. Onadipe. G. Hogan. A.Messrs. I. are those men and women who have honoured the school in its various stages of growth and development by their free services on the school's Board of Governors. A. and something that will surely outgrow myself and still continue to grow. Oyakhire. N. All these gentlemen. In the Commercial College . England. S. B. E. to me is a growing. Lardner. A. Odutola. They were our partners in progress. A. For this purpose. which. living institution which would continue to provide a way of life for thousands of young men and women. Rev. in his own way. They will ever be remembered for the contributions they have made. additional to mine or those of my family. Australia. N. B. South Africa. further devote my personal attention and interest to see the school flourish. Theirs has been the joy of giving and of serving. S. and are making towards the further development of the school. T. with the hope that as years roll by.America. India. For my part. Boulsover and A. I will. practical and academic progress of Adeola Odutola College. G. Odunowo and D. 0.Mr. A. J. B. will be forthcoming from .
It turned out that Chief Beyioku Adebowale (Chairman of Adebowale Electricals) got to know of A. The ideas was already afoot for government to take over all schools and.S. virtually all of them. It marked the end of an era. A. and gave indications of the beginning of another. He would in later life go into private business as Chairman of the Priman Group of Companies. their father had come to know A. Odutola got appointed as General Manager.S. put an end to the private establishment and running of educational institutions. with joy. thus.S. by 1972. corporations or governments by way of donation. had attended Odutola college. His exit was however significant. At 25. He persuaded Odutola to leave teaching and come to Lagos to work for him. Adebowale Electricals. legacies. Odutola’s transfer was possible only because the Ministry was already. In the two years that followed.S. Omitade (January 1973 – . A. Odutola was succeeded by Chief S. O. S. Odutola naturally was reluctant but he had no option. given the circumstances. scholarships or grants. Odutola was one of the victims.philanthropic individuals. A common thread runs through all the messages above. there was a mass transfer of teachers by the Ministry. A.S.S. One source of regret is the fact that this celebrative mood would soon disappear. This was how A. and reflect on the present. It is the air of -happiness. of smug satisfaction and achievement. and wish the school great success in the years to come. Odutola's predicament. exerting excessive control over all schools. reproduced here for their historical value. companies. In 1972. A.S. Odutola as a hardworking man. A. I congratulate you all on this occasion of Adeola Odutola College Silver Jubilee. Awe. everyone associated with Odutola college felt the urge to look back on the past. Odutola remained Principal. The Ministry asked him to proceed to Awe High School. Adebowale's children.
under-cutting students. At the forefront however was the National Union of Teachers which was prodding the government to chase out the proprietors.O. There was much controversy over the issue between government and proprietors who felt that government was being unfair. The NUT implored government to protect the populace and teachers many of whom were aggrieved. Odunowo (September 1975 – December 1976). using favouritism to determine standards. one by one. The tenure of these two immediate successors was crucial: it coincided with the period when government’s insistence on the total control of education was most virulent. O. The Federal Government felt that the NUT had good reasons. and later Rev. .August 1975). Hence. privately owned schools were taken over. an elderly and fatherly figure. all over the country. and wielding such absolute powers which promoted mismanagement of schools. The NUT was so determined that it further expressed the view that schools should never again be handed over to proprietors. and the misappropriation of funds. The NUT’s grouse was that too many proprietors were already abusing the privilege of running schools where proprietors were victimishing teachers.
After the take-over of Adeola Odutola College by the Western State Government, a compensation panel visits the proprietor
It was an especially troublesome period. Many proprietors, despite the fact that they were paid compensation by government, felt robbed. They promptly showed their true character. There were cases of proprietors who cordoned off large portions of school land, some made away with school facilities – desks, windows and school buses were not spared, mattresses and beds in the dormitories also disappeared over night. Some went to court to challenge government action. One particular proprietor, in Ile-Ife, recruited carpenters and went to the school premises. In broad daylight, even while students were still in the classrooms, he proceeded to pull off the roof of the buildings. The students, piqued by this extra-ordinary form of Proprietor reactions, trooped out en masse. They were ready to fight. The Proprietor and his carpenter had to flee! In 1975, it was the turn of Adetola Odutola college. Chief Odutola’s reaction was a reference-point for other Proprietors. Every-where, he was praised for his magnanimity and patriotism. What happened was that Odutola put up no resistance. He willingly handed over the keys of the school, together with the site plan, to the authorities. He pledged continued support to the school, and urged that government should maintain the high standard for which the college had come to be known; should his assistance be required, at any time, he said, government should not hesitate to contact him. Whereas government was paying other proprietors compensation, Odutola refused to take a penny. He gave out the school free. His only request was that the name of the college should never be changed. At the time, the school was valued at N16 million. The public was impressed. Daily Sketch, the Ibadan based newspaper in its 17th December, 1975 edition, wrote a memorable editorial:
Chief Odutola’s Magnanimity The announcement by Chief T. A. Odutola that he had no intention to claim any compensation whatsoever from the Western State Government over the take-over of his school – the Adeola Odutola College, Ijebu-Ode – is a classical manifestation of the sterling qualities inherent in him. It goes further to show that in a country where mundane acquisitions tend to override the philantrophic passion of many a businessman, Chief Odutola’s exemplary declaration is striking enough to tilt the balance in a way that should make other businessmen remove the mote in their own eyes and see more clearly the true essence of man’s existence here on earth. As the saying goes: “By their fruits, ye shall know them”. The SKETCH congratulates the Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebu-Ode for this rare magnanimity. The background of the school reveals that Chief Odutola has devoted a considerable part of his life and money to ensure its steady growth since he founded it in 1945. With dedication and unrelenting scheming, the college was turned to a comprehensive school in 1963 on its newly acquired 105 acres with a student population of over 1,300 out of which 500 were girls. This figure must have gone up tremendously within the past 12 years. The legacy which Chief Odutola is bequeathing to Nigeria through the school is already immortalising his name while he's still alive. And as the Western State Government steps into the proprietorship shoes transferred to it by Chief Odutola, our education authority have much to do to maintain and improve upon the discipline, orderliness and expansion programmes formulated in the school by its founder. The decision by the proprietor not to take compensation should serve as an eye-opener to those proprietors, who on hearing of the intention of the State Governments to take over their schools, went
When Odutola later had a stroke. The effect was that the school continued to benefit from his generosity. This he did to the tune of N7. It was after the take-over. The annual Founder's Day was celebrated until his death with his support and active participation. since 1975. it was easy for the school to call upon him to assist in rehabilitating a collapsing roof in the science laboratory. yet there would be areas where they can readily grant concessions to make the work of the compensation panel lighter. There may be those who may be in a position to surrender their schools free of charge to the State Government. During such trips. A. for example. that he helped to install street lights throughout the compound and pave the major roads in the school. In 1990. He himself used to visit the school every Sunday. O. The present Principal. he continued to support the college. for example. he would ask questions. he was still driven around the town until a year ago. visited Chief Odutola regularly to brief him on the school’s progress. we would like to suggest that Chief Odutola deserves the greatest honour which the state and Nigeria as a whole could bestow on a worthy citizen.000. It is worth suggesting also that no attempt should be made either now or in the future to change the name of the school from that of its founder and first proprietor. . It is a measure of the kind of man Chief Odutola was and a confirmation of his motives that. Successive Principals found in him a willing and helpful listener to the school’s problems. Sangosanya. The lesson discernible in Chief Odutola's action is that industrialists and school proprietors should place more premium on helping the less-fortunate people and young children in the country rather than accumulate wealth and property indiscriminately without regard for the suffering or the welfare of others.on a rampage to destroy their school property. On our part. The Sketch believes that the exemplary philantrophy of Chief Odutola is worth emulating by school proprietors who believe more in money than in name.
He had a prepared site plan. With government takeover. Teachers’ salaries were no longer paid on time. He promptly wrote a letter to the Ministry. It was Chief Odutola himself. indicating that the land on which the school stands belonged to him. He himself later contributed to the erection of the fence. a substantial portion of the land could not be reclaimed. The plan that had been prepared by Odutola was dated 1951. Although a fence was finally erected. The school still excelled in sports. scores of persons came to the school premises to protest that they were been robbed of their land. In Adeola hall. but now. On another occasion. Teachers were also forced to begin to look for other creative ways of generating funds. was killed under mysterious circumstances. a driver. he had placed the photograph of the Kakanfo of the Porogun community who had helped him acquire the land. all the PTA did was to pay school fees. till today. the PTA is frequently called upon to recruit and pay for additional teachers. grants became irregular. however. a man came to the school with a site plan dated 1957.The government take-over created many problems. defining the boundaries of the school. who noticed that land-grabbers were seizing parts of the school land. an event which developed into a bizarre story. . one of the workers. the years ahead would lead to a virtual erosion of standards. As the fence was been erected. He could not stand it. not least of which was encroachment upon school land by all sorts of persons claiming ownership to portions of the school premises. In the past. but things were no longer the same. indiscipline among students became rampant. and received assurance that the land would be fenced. facilities became inadequate. It was. The burden for almost everything had to shifted to the PTA. not only school land that was lost. One day. in 1979. as photographs in the Adeola Hall attest. the maintenance of existing structures could not even be carried out.
In his Principal’s Report on the occasion. Instead of 72 teachers. He spoke.E. he expressed concern about the sudden transfer of teachers. provision of dishes.200 students. under Chief Odutola. the college has to depend on the generosity of the old students. determination and industry. As the Principal noted: . resuscitation of the street lights. As at the time of this work. He said: There were cases when students squandered their school fees and claim that the fees had been stolen. T. for example. witnessed complaints galore compared to the Silver Jubilee Celebrations earlier described. thus forcing on the poor parents double expenses. with government take-over found that it was faced with a crisis. Government also did not appear to be living up to its responsibility. It is sad to note that some parents would come and want to pull trouble with teacher X or teacher Y for disciplining their children. The Founder’s Day has also continued appropriately to reflect the new dispensation.A school that used to have a full complement of teachers. Often. tables and chairs for staff. at length. Such parents encourage indiscipline the more in the children. would have done by itself without going about cap in hand. and the rehabilitation of the roads. the National Association spent about N40. the Ministry had sent only 52. teachers on the staff”. replacement of broken window panes. Parents and guardians used to give their children or wards some home truths about life. This is something the school. The school had grown in population. Oba Ogunfuye. the importance of obedience.000 on the furnishing and renovation of the Principal’s quarter. The Principal at the time was Rev. In 1990. in 1979. truthfulness. those he described as “experienced hands” and the “veteran N. when the Principal is not harassing the PTA for assistance.C. there were 2. also about discipline presenting in the process a sorry picture. respect for law and order. The 34th Founder’s Day.
The HSC students had to engage the services of a private Chemistry teacher for some time on their own. with an explanation that would have been unthinkable. Some HSC departments had to rely solely on Youth Corpers. If the Principal's report was mild in parts. in a school that was once toasted as the best in IjebuOde and its environs! Whatever maybe the transformations that Odutola College have undergone. Science teachers allowance. January and February 1979. The Head Boy had lamented the fall in academic standards. The disruption that has characterised government in the country in the past two decades has made itself felt even more poignantly in the education sector. July and August 1979. Rent subsidy. it is to be understood that the same fate is shared virtually by all the schools under government control.. a few years earlier: One of the identified reasons for this low academic performance is the arbitrary transfer of teaching staff. In fact. leave bonus. was perhaps more revealing. and grants in lieu of the N10. has achieved the opposite. Taiwo Dixon. Other grants still expected include Housemasters' and Mistresses' allowance. Science and Business Studies departments. . science equipment grants. that of the Head Boy.00 tuition fee per student for this third term. And it is truly an irony that the take-over of schools which was meant to maintain standards. Boarding fees have not been subsidised by government grants apart from the salary grants in respect of the kitchen staff..We are yet to receive the salary grant for November and December 1978. June. suffered from this unwholesome development. The English.. Arts. Since the beginning of this session. and a few other grants. All this.
indeed. It is. Timothy eschewing gain Founded our noble school This a lesson convincing All Alumni To live that others the Brilliant light might see To carry the flame To all posterity Chorus: Adeola Odutola College That nurtures us. our Alma Mater. Odutola's imprint remains eternal in the annals of the school's history. Fount desire to learn Who drinking of thee Shall henceforth thirst no more Chorus: Adeola Odutola College That nurtures us. 2. our Alma Mater. reminds them of their indebtedness to Timothy Adeola Odutola: The College Song 1. 3. Deep love we feel for thee Adeola Odutola College The greatness of the Founder's Heart stands for aye. which they sing in unison. our Alma Mater. the college song. We must pass on her name Have it in rising fame Dogged in our pursuit of What is highest We know we shall succeed If only we strive We must always do The right for right’s sake Chorus: Adeola Odutola College That nurtures us.However. no accident that when students of the school gather at any time. . in any forum.
Ibadan.S. the application had not been referred to him. the expatriates had problems educating their children. There are about 29 of such schools in Ijebu-Ode. This was not the case. Olunloyo was reportedly shocked. There was the Adeola Odutola Private Elementary School which had been founded in 1968. but Adeola Odutola Elementary school is the largest with a student population of about 1. and at the time the only private elementary school was Sanni Luba Nursery/Primary school along Atan/Erunwa road. Odutola. Chief Odutola’s involvement in the direct running of an educational institution was over. then Principal of Odutola College. with the take-over of Adeola Odutola College.S. A. then Commissioner of Education in Western region and. He immediately sent for the officer who had signed the rejection letter and reportedly asked him: "Do you know that the same man who established Adeola Odutola College is the one to establish the elementary school?" That settled the matter. when the school was established. was too far away from Odutola's College. The Elementary School is today housed in Owojona Hall. was surprisingly negative. The Ministry's longwaited reply. A.It is easy to fall under the impression that. was asked to travel to lbadan to take up the matter with Omololu Olunloyo. at last. it was the second of its type in the whole of Ijebu-Ode. when. it came. The idea of establishing a nursery/primary school occurred to Chief Odutola out of a need to cater for the children of the expatriate teachers working in Adeola Odutola College. incidentally.300. This was not taken over by government since only secondary schools were affected. named after Chief Adeola’s grandmother. Hence. Odutola's classmate at Government College. In 1968. Obviously. Chief Odutola responded to their need by applying for permission to start a private elementary school. the only private primary school. Sanni Luba. The first. But Odutola would not take no for an answer. It turned out that the .
reflected Odutola's commitment to education. in 1968. Members of the board include M. Before his death. on the occasion. in 1993. in setting up a Board of Governors for the school. Odedeyi (Secretary). until his death. he spent much time donating to other educational institutions. he was willing to assist. In fact. In 1989. Chief Adesanya. remarked. who was present at the signing of the trust deed at Onibudo House in Ijebu-Ode. Sekoni and Mrs. Since 1975. Chief Odutola had lofty hopes for the nursery school. in no time. one of the most notable philanthropists in the field of education. As with the college. He wanted it to be the largest and the best in Ijebu-Ode. that the endowment. Olusoga. Adesola Adeyemi. he achieved that ambition.children of that particular officer were also attending a private nursery school. Adeola Odutola private Nursery/Primary school admitted its first set of students. especially at the tertiary level. Taiwo. What began as a school for the children of expatriates is today a preparatory school for thousands of children. the Principal of Adeola Odutola College also doubled as the Headmaster for the nursery school. Mrs. which sent regular reports to Chief Odutola who. It was run under the same administration as the college. he was in the process of completing two new buildings which he had designed as a permanent site for the elementary school. or assisting the college. like other contributions. Mr. He had succeeded however. Adedeji as Chairman. Where education was concerned.O. This was the case until the government take-over of 1975. So. and not an "Awolowo school ".O. the nursery school has had its own separate administration. and to his belief in the need to extend the . He became. When Chief Odutola was not running this school. he endowed a N500. His passion for education was clearly self-consuming. was its main financier.000 Professorial chair in business administration at the university of Lagos. as public schools were then called. Dr. Professor C.
frontiers of learning. From the University of Ibadan. succinctly: When the Prime Minister. Other universities also benefited from this conviction. these three Universities consider Odutola their great benefactor. as Chancellor of Nigeria's Premier University confers the award on Chief Odutola today November 17. He was hence appointed a distinguished alumnus of the University of Lagos. at a time when Odutola College was beginning to earn a reputation for itself. throughout. he would be doing the Ijebus and Western Nigerians in particular a rare honour. Not surprisingly. the formal opening ceremony of which was performed by one of his daughters. was particularly dear to Adeola Odutola coming. It is no accident that. he smiled broadly and said: . The award from the University of Ibadan. in the Daily Times (May 25. 1968). Odutola donated a biological lecture theatre to Ogun State University at a cost of N I million and a law library to the university of lbadan. he received an Honorary LL. For Chief Odutola is one of those rare gems Western Nigeria has been fortunate to donate to the Federation of Nigeria. as it did. Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. In an interview with Emmanuel Hart. he considered his contributions to education as the aspect of his life for which he would wish to be most remembered. 1965) summarised the significance of the occasion. Ogun State University awarded him an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws. They helped to strengthen Odutola's resolve. Such statements and recognition served their purpose. Professor Oyinade Olurin. in 1965.D for his great contribution to economic development in Nigeria. A commentary in the Morning Post (November 17.
till the last moment. and beneficiaries of his investments in education called at Onibudo House.My greatest satisfaction in life was the establishment of educational institutions. But. they regard me as their father. Odutola was at peace with his conscience. I regard all the students as my children and whenever I meet them. His happiest moments were those occasion when old students of Odutola College. . What more satisfaction does a man want in life? For twenty-seven years Odutola remained faithful to this declaration. They moments which those who had initially opposed his foray into education were not privileged to see. Such moments found him in high spirits.
a video mart: Christian Video mart. Odutola was the landlord to the tenants. For over a decade. the heavenly presences break out into yet another song: Alleluia! Alleluia!! Alleluia!!! Below the firmament. singing their ways into the bowels of Heaven. OgbeniOja of Iejbu-Ode. twenty one years ago. Yaba. 1974). solid with age. who would remember this day. Each day that the members converged and worshipped in the premises. Again. is an imposing building.. with their outstretched wings flapping triumphantly. It is a dream they can not forget. during a visit to . on a homeward journey. and speak of the signs of heaven… At 386 Herbert Macaulay Street. carrying Saint Timothy. a name that is boldly carried on the building for the world to see. a journalist with The Punch called Ibrahim Sule wrote an account titled “Chief T. Lagos. It is also the home of Chief Adeola Odutola. upon the unknowing men and women below. yet so well maintained. Singing with the angels. the firmament stretched its fingers in exaltation and from this uprising of spirits. It is the home of a church: Church of God in Christ Pentecostal Assembly Inc. oh. The dream of Saint Timothy in the vineyard…. a massive piece of Brazilian architecture. a few metres from a bus stop. and a primary school: Pentecostal Assebly School. they are signing!. the symbolism of how God is worshipped in a house built by the Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebu-Ode is palpable enough. and with a felt but unseen celestial signal. In it. he reported how.Chapter Five Attitude to Religion The angels are singing. the business tycoon with many faces” (November 17. marked with shouts of Alleluia! The clouds clapped too. A. Odutola. and the celestial presences. rain begins to fall. men with gifts of prescience behold the picture in their dreams.
He considered the fear of God the beginning of wisdom. and provided as much comfort as would be ideal for their upbringing. of showing appreciation for God’s blessings was by helping the less privileged. This was why his generosity was not limited to the Anglican Communion (his denomination). This fascinated Odutola. a Holy Communion service was held in Onibudo House. He always spoke of the Grace of God as the foundation of his various exploits. many people who thought they understood Odutola never really knew how much of a Christian he was. however. he was invariably praising God. Their father brought them up to appreciate the Christian way of life. he had met members of the Aladura Church and those of Christ Apostolic Church who were there to have a meeting with Chief Odutola. Again. every fortnight. By giving to others. the worship of the Lord was a virtue to which the children were. as a matter of course. however. was not religion but a conviction that God has a hand in all things. therefore.Onibudo House. till he died. Odutola was not just a Christian. Adeola hall. An essential way. He catered for his children. some members of the original family are still Moslems. But at no time did he create the impression that a wealthy background was an excuse for irresponsibility. Old and . in his reckoning. as proprietor of Adeola Odutola College. this was a continuous exercise. Thus. that Odutola’s father was a Moslem. Also. built in form of a T to represent Timothy was especially dedicated for religious worship. Odutola abhorred arrogance of any sort. It will be recalled. This was truly the basis of his philanthropy. exposed. a Christian. Odutola stressed religious upbringing. Odutotal’s mother was. of course. He never looked back. In the Odutola home. he used the Bible as much as he wielded the stick. The attraction. Yet. For him. on a Wednesday. At the centre of this training was humility.
Odutola was made Asiwaju (Leader) of Ijebu Christians by the Anglican Communion. On Sundays. for example. he worshipped at the Cathedral Church of Our Saviour at Ijasi. He not only endeavoured to do good to his fellow beings. he also did not allow his business commitments to stand in the way of his faith. a picture of humility. He then selected a place near her grave for the building of the church. For many years. These are only two instances of a rich record of service to the church. he became easily a major supporter of the Church. Work soon began several years later. on its own. its beginnings and its growth. an impressive structure. occupying a large expanse of land. Odutola himself lived by personal example. When his mother died in 1969. . he was always to be to be seen in the church. the construction of which Chief Odutola also supported financially. Ijebu-Ode.present students would easily confirm how a stay in Odutola College was equally an exposure to godly conduct. inside the Adeola Odutola College premises. as a testament to his faith and leadership: Adeola Odutola (Anglican Church). The church’s records are replete with evidence of Odutola’s contributions. Odutola gave out the land where the cocoa store used to stand to the Catholic Church for building a church. was his personal donation. In yet another demonstration of generosity. In recognition of his philanthropy. across the road from Owojona hall. Because he had the means. is. All said. a major chapter in Odutola’s life. Timothy’s Catholic Church. Odutola would be most remembered for the church that he built. The story of the Odutola Church. The mighty pulpit in the church. he had burled her in the school premises. It is the site of St.
in 1993. Odutola knew that only the best would be enough. and the reception hall. The church was fenced. Jadesimi. He was a devout Christian. Adebisi Bateye. Odutola was pleased that god made it all possible. He was even more concerned about Odutola church. When the church was eventually completed. I. All the other sections. He wanted to build the church and provide its accessories in accordance with Anglican liturgy. Trees were planted to add beauty. for the Pastor’s use as vicarage and office. ad the church is approached. these three men of God delivered goodwill messages. travelled to Europe to ensure that the best accessories were procured. inside the compound and the vast parking spaces were paved. G. Odutola himself was no stranger to the church. and the most modern environment. . A. He was quick to name among his close friends at least. the chancel. manager of Olu-Iwa College. To the left. Odutola. his classmate at Iejbu-Ode Grammar School. He wanted it. He spared no resources to provide Odutola Church with perhaps the largest premises in the Ijebu Diocese. and Bishop S. By taking on the building of a church. with the exception of the reception hall. his daughter. To be sure that everything was a it should be. to be an impressive structure. Bishop I. all accessories were in place. three men who had become distinguished in the church. It will be recalled that when Adeola Odutola College marked its silver jubilee. is a modern bungalow. it was a beauty to behold. Meanwhile. Odutola’s mother’s grave was now inside the church. were already fully built. Mrs. the vicarage. as usual.Chief Odutola’s attractiveness to detail had been remarked upon. These were Bishop S. There were four main sections: the church building. the road leading to the church. Inside the church. O. Kale. The foundation stone for the reception hall would be laid much later.
On Saturday, June 27, 1987, the church was dedicated and formally handed over to the Anglican Communion. The dedication was performed by the Archbishop of the Province of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Timothy Olufosoye. He was assisted by the first Anglican Diocesan Bishop of Ijebu, the Rt. Rev. I.B.O. Akintemi, as well as other clergymen. Chief Odutola and members of his family were present. At the time, Odutola was 85. He had already been forced into retirement by stroke. As he grew older, withdrawn from public activities, the church which he had conceived as a place of worship for all denominations would grow in the Lord’s vineyard. To date, the church is administered by the Anglican Church of Nigeria. The first service in the church was conducted on 2nd July 1987 by Ven. E. Ayo Odukoya. There were 322 worshippers in attendance. The collection was N401.60. Less than three weeks later, the church would be assigned its first residential pastor in the person of Rev. Michael Olusina Fape. When the Pastor conducted his inaugural service on July 19, 1987, his sermon was based on Isaiah 6:8. The attendance was 99; consisting of 11 men, 18 women, 47 boys and 23 girls. The collection N84.65. Adeola Odutola (Anglican) Church soon turned out to be remarkable. The Anglican Church in Nigeria is largely a family and community based church, with affiliations, and administrative structures initiated by the community. A particular Anglican Church in a community would most probably have served that community for generations. Families could call up several generations that have been associated with the church. Invariably, age is an important consideration. There would be a Baba Ijo (Father of the Church), Mama Ijo (Mother of the Church), several societies, and a council of elders to assist the clergy. Odutola church is, however, a young church with a recent history and a congregation comprising mostly youths.
It has had only five resident vicars to date: Rev. M.O. Fape, Rev. (Dr.) now Ven. (Dr.) Bayo Obijole, Rev. S. Wale Ajagunna, Rev. Canon. J.O. Igbari (now Ven Archdeacon) and the present Vicar, Rev. A. K. Fasanmoye who assumed duties only on January 1, 1995. The church has a well patronised Sunday School. It has no burial register. The members are mostly young people who are elitist and radical. These are not persons attending their father’s church. They do not necessarily live in the neighbourhood, as many patrons of the conventional Anglican churches do. They are scattered all over Ijebu-Ode. Because of their usually high level of education, they are eloquent and critical, a fact which poses special challenges for the vicar. This is one church where tradition is not yet cast in stone. Hence, the vicar is faced with the responsibility of having to carry his congregation along. An indication of the youthfulness of the congregation is also seen in the fact that the church has no Baba Ijo (Father of the Church) or Mama Ijo (Mother of the Church) as in Yoruba tradition. What is likely to be encountered is either a Baba Ewe or an Iya Ewe who is specially appointed during the annual Harvest Thanksgiving ceremony. Even the parish council is young in outlook. The church was granted Parish status on March 8, 1991 by the Diocesan Board of Ijebu Diocese. The first Parish Council comprised the resident Vicar as Chairman, Wilson Odunmuwagun (Peoples’ Warden), Williams Olukayode (Pastor’s Warden), Femi Banjo, Kolewole Loy, Bayo Begun, Bode Sotonade, Chris Etietsola (Secretary, now an “ordinand” at Immanuel College, ibadan), Ignatius Ogbakani, Chief J. O. Osikoya, Mrs. Funmilayo Odutola, mrs. G. O. Okulaja, Mrs. A. O. Adebambo.
The youthfulness of the congregation has, however, not meant a failure in obligations. The church has its full complement of activities. Attendance, every Sunday, is about 600, at December 1992, there were about 280 registered members. The church has also been actively involved in evangelical activities. Night vigils are held on a regular basis, the first of which was conducted on January 28, 1989 by Rev. M. O. Fape with about 135 people in attendance. The church also has a seminar/outreach committee. It was instituted in January 1992 by Rev. S. Wale Ajagunna to organize programmes for the improvement of the congregation’s spiritual growth. There is also an evangelical group, instituted in October 1990. Between 4th and 7th October 1990; this group held its first open air revival. The church also publishes tracts; to date, there have been four of these: He loves and he cares for you, Crossing the Red sea in your life, Your time is your life, Fear Not. Every December 24th, the Church organizes Carol services; visits are paid to the homes of members. Home Bible Class Meetings were also instituted. In November 1992, the Home Bible Teachers were given certificates in recognition of their work. They are G. O. Okulaja, Yemi Okulaja, Mrs. A.A. Adebanjo, Mrs. Bosede Odumade, Mrs. Kemi Odukoya, Mrs. R. Bola Ajagunna, Kolawole Loy, Williams Olukayode and Mrs. A. O. Ogundare. As early as 1988, the church encouraged the establishment of societies to strengthen congregation, and in conformity with Anglican liturgy. This has been a continuous exercise. So far, societies in the church include Ifelodun, Band of Love, Christian Morning Star, Christian Youth League, Anglican Youth Fellowship, Women’s Guild, Ambassadors of Christ, Guild of Stewards, Choral Group, Girls Guild, and the Youth Christian Association.
Every June 16. Odutola got to know and promptly gave the church a five-ton Bedford bus. four canopies. Every year.The Church made frequent contacts with Chief Odutola and his family. on a Wednesday. Every fortnight. A. The Odutola’s family continues to worship at the church. attended by Chief Odutola’s wives. when the church felt the need for a church bus. an endowment fund for the church. a Church anniversary is held in July. it proposed to launch a N0. His instruction was that the interest on the deposit should be used to maintain the church and propagate the gospel. while Chief Odutola was alive. G. In 1994. A year later. In 1989.000 for general renovation. the church. with a fixed deposit in a bank. a “Love Feast Fellowship” was held to mark the occasion. conducted communion service at 7. Chief Odutola again gave the church N250. the Odutola family also worships in the church to celebrate Chief Odutola’s birthday. the founder took up the reconstruction and tarring of the link road between the main road and the church. in 1990. No appeal fund was. wife of Bishop I. It usually entails lectures and a revival and a special service. raised.5 million Bus Appeal Fund. to facilitate its evangelical programme. .45a. Jadesimi. He established at the same time. therefore. six executive tables and six dozen plastic chairs for subsidized rental to church members who may need them from time to time. usually a family affair. Whenever the church was in need. It was a regular feature. The family is one of the households which participate in the Household Harvest.m in Chief Odutola’s sitting room. Jadesimi. all the children in the family and Mrs. The church ahs had cause to withdraw from this account to purchase new choir robes. Odutola was willing to assist. the first of which was celebrated in 1992.
The Odutolas who attend the church. 1992) and the 12th Anniversary of Christ Morning Star of Nigeria (November 22. Rev. A. Ijebu Diocese Evangelists Seminar (February 13 – 15 1992). a favourite venue for many programmes in the diocese. every Sunday. In 1993. There are even no special seats for anyone at all. the church’s future is secure. for example. the angels continue to sing. have no special seats. The National Council of Anglican Youth Fellowship Women’s Forum (May 1-3.Many would easily assume that members of the Odutola family are given a preferential treatment whenever they attend the church. Many years after. the Choral Group of the church waxed an album Jesu Olugbala. 1992). some of which include the first ever IjebuOde District Churches Council meeting (December 11. This is not the case. It has been fully integrated into the Anglican Communion. It will remain one of the major institutions bequeathed to posterity by a businessman inspired by the fear of God. The church continues to grow. the Rt. O. 1992). S. Mother’s Union Annual Conference. Olowoyo. a diocesan service conducted in the church as part of activities marking the celebration of the third Jubilee of re-planting Christianity in Nigeria (January 6. the congregation is treated as equal before God. Even without Chief Odutola. the dedication and launching of which was performed by the Diocesan Bishop of Ijebu. . It is. 1991).
Odutola wanted to keep an eye . Now. trapped by the infirmity of age. Even in old age. he visited all his companies and Adeola Odutola College premises. he insisted on being driven round Ijebu-Ode. The Odutola empire had been built through direct personal supervision. not necessarily in order of importance. newspaper men seeking interviews. these were values which Odutola continued to cherish. For many years. still looked around. government officials seeking. of an age.. Everyday. What a glorious winter it was. that Odutola remained hardworking. till the very end. sun had stood in the sky.. the patriarch would sleep. whom everyone referred to affectionately as Papa. He had built himself up holding certain values as sacred. trust. Soon. Summer had been truly bright. Corporate institutions seeking patronage. As an old man.And the heavens will shower forth to herald the close of a life.. Since 1981.. at least. he had been affected by the stroke that would mark his gradual withdrawal from active service. grandchildren. industry and generosity.. great grandchildren. He visited persons and exchanged pleasantries. Adeola Odutola spent his last days in partial retirement. standing still on nearly all occasions. children. once a week. it was a mark of the kind of man he was. It was an old habit that had refused to die. it was winter. counsel. visitors trooped in and out. The patriarch. so richly blessed. of a season. It is no longer a lonely world.. cleanliness. But still. and bid farewell to summer. winter and all that. and saw familiar faces from the past. Godliness. it would be time to return home. These include. Kabiyesi! What a life.Chapter Six Homecall After summer comes winter. biographers. 7hey would rise and in one voice pay obeisance before the dead. SOOI?.. 7he living would bow their heads. fewer faces from the other age truly but the new replaces the old. During such trips.
Every Christmas. or with old students associations of Adeola Odutola College. he enveloped money and sent packages of biscuits. a telephone operator.on all things. As old as he was. Every first Thursday of the month. of course. and benefactor of the church. a washerman. and gave directions as necessary. Yet. the Odutola siblings. at such an old age. on a monthly basis. three doctors. he instructed that seven cows should be slaughtered for all . The attended to all his needs. He could not. But age.1. Even they were continuously surprised at their employer’s presence of mind. for ever is. he kept a busy schedule. Not even for one moment was he forgotten. In his service were a number of assistants: two nurses. a progressive curve. but his generosity knew no bounds. Still. he remained active. products of Odutola Foods. He acknowledged every invitation. Every other Wednesday. he held meetings with his personal staff. a personal secretary. He could no longer go to the farm as he used to as a septuagenarian. attend in person. the patriarch was confined to Onibudo House. he still received invitation cards to wedding ceremonies and birthdays. reported at Onibudo House to spend a day with their father. When Odutola was no meeting with the church or with his children. 1995. or representatives of associations from the local community. together with their children and grandchildren. He remained committed to an orderly life-style. a bank contract person. to a long list of people. he sent gifts to friends and acquaintances. in what became a grand family re-union. He also could no longer across the country and overseas. Odutola was a source of delight. He still woke up early and slept late. and a house househelp. On January . At an age when many old men would have become a nuisance to everyone around them. Every year. He received and read reports from various quarters. With time. the Vicar of Adeola Odutola (Anglican) Church came visiting and held a communion service with the founder. the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians.
June 28. 1992).chiefs in the districts and elsewhere. For the elementary school. He also spent much time consolidating plans for the transition of his business empire to a new phase. In 1994. the politician cum journalist. His birthday was celebrated nationwide. although many of them appeared not to be thriving. due mainly to his absence. M. they were nevertheless viable. after its founder. 1992). June 14. Odutola Stores. He knew that. Odutola also kept his commitment to the schools and the church that he built. Odutola Food Industries.. 1992. wrote a tribute: "Odutola at 90" (Sunday Times. and Adeola Farm Estate. He had involve two of his sons. he built a new set of classrooms. Ajuluchukwu. In 1992. The Guardian published "Adeola Odutola: The Titan at 90". 1992 edition: . and laid the foundation for the building of the reception hall. Kapital Advertising Ltd. Oladipo Odutola and Olufunmilayo Odutola. 7he Daily Times wrote in its June 19th. Odutola Tyre and Rubber Company (in Ibadan. He wanted the various companies to be professionally run. He gave the church money for general maintenance. He gave assistance to the College whenever he was approached. as Public Limited Companies. did a spotlight feature on him in The Daily Times (June 16. at 90. 7he Sunday Times went a step further: it published both a tribute and a rare interview with the 90-year old . in the running of his businesses since he himself could not pay personal attention to the vast empire as he would have wanted. goes down memory lane". six of the companies were converted to public liability companies: Odutola Tyresoles Company Limited. when he turned 90. June 27. however.C. Ikeja.celebrant: "Odutola. He was determined to re-activate them. He was. and Kano). these would be managed by outsiders. The thinking was that. concerned about management.K. 1992) titled "The Ogbeni Oja is 90". and "Odutola Man of Honours" (Sunday Times. it was as if he had not gone into retirement.
and little exportation of same to the United Kingdom and the United States. Of late. however. Chief Adeola Odutola. Lagos and Ogun with about N500. and an honorary Doctor of law degree by the University of Lagos. And Continental Breweries Ltd. His early start in industry. the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in 1982. That was why he founded the Secondary Commercial College and the Secondary Grammar School (Olu-Iwa College) in 1945. Chief Odutola realized quite early that investment in education can never be measured in terms of naira and Kobo. Ijebu-Ode. it is indeed a great phenomenon to reach that ripe. He later began the idea of a broad-based education by establishing the Adeola Odutola Comprehensive High School. the steady and conscientious growth and the eventual attainment of the status of one of the first to go into industrialization call for eulogy. In his diverse endeavours Odutola has relied on two assets: honesty and hardwork. old age. These created a lot of employment opportunities for Nigerians. coupled with a little mining and timber trade. Chief Odutola has also been widely recognized for his philanthropic efforts.000 each for the development of education. educationist and philanthropist attained the age of 90 on June 16.Adeola Odutola at 90 The Ogbeni-Oja of liebu-Ode. His outstanding qualities have been acknowledged at home where he has been conferred with the honour of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 1966. Chief Odutola was able to sustain the business-like culture started by his parents and improve upon it by building a conglomerate: Odutola Tyresoles Company Limited. He started from the small business of palm produce. Odutola Food Industries Ltd. Odutola Tyre and Rubber Company Limited. In Chief Odutola's case. Odutola Nigeria Industries Limited. it is more than longevity that Nigerians and his family are celebrating. In a continent where life expectancy is still less than 50 years. a foremost industrialist. . he endowed the Universities of Ibadan.. cocoa purchasing.
Britain honoured him with the Order of the British Empire (OBE).In 1948. Nigeria can certainly made (sic) do with more of such men of calibre. These are values significant enough to earn the Ogbeni-Oja the status of eminence. Chief Odutola is still an exampler in modesty and humility. Chief Odutola’s children and dignitaries join him to out 90th birthday cake . Despite this success.
In his earlier days. . And he maintained cordial relations with the Press. visitors were attended to by prior appointment only and at specified periods. he would not approve of anyone keeping him waiting. There was hardly a day that he did not have a crowd waiting to see him. December 5. as a news maker.m. S. Yet.This recognition by the Nigerian Press continued till the very end. early in his career. This writer was reminded on more than one occasion. Odutola: 92 and still Calling the Shots” (June 25. That he was loved by the press was not in doubt. Those who arrived two minutes late had to sneak in to join in the prayer session and the singing of the College song. And even as late as December 1994. A. 1994). January 13.15 p. A.m. Chief Odutola was ready to attend to them.entertainment that they should be offered. and had sought advice on what. The Guardian published yet another tribute: “T. His achievements and personality had marked him out. Chief Odutola still granted audience to newspaper men in what was perhaps his last published interview: “This is not the Nigeria of Our Dream – Adeola Odutola” (The News. On one particular occasion. Chief Odutola had made prior inquiries about the size of the delegation. The old students were celebrating their 25th anniversary. he had made punctuality his watchword. Odutola. 1995. they arrived around 4:00 p. with strict instructions to arrive on time. 1965-69 set.m. his guests were old students of Odutola College. 1994). Before the old students visited him. Led by their former Principal. everyday. and they had booked an appointment to see their proprietor. But perhaps the more remarkable feature of the last days was how. They were given 4. When Chief Odutola turned 92 in 1994. on the appointed day. By 4:15 exactly. he held court at his Onibudo Residence between 4 and 6 p. and even in retirement. Chief Odutola hated lateness of any sort. not to fail to turn up on time.
At a time when he was still busy receiving visitors. reproduced as follows. But not Odutola.At his 90th birthday in 1992. he is flanked on the left by Former Ogun State Governor. Governor Kolapo Ishola of Oyo State It was such attentiveness to details that sustained him for long. found time to write a rejoinder to a newspaper piece. and intervening in public life. many of his age-mates who were still lucky to be alive would have long given up the struggle. Segun Osoba and right. at the age of 89. he had even in June 1991. In what amounted to a remarkable refusal to quit the scene. for its historical importance: .
(Sgd. Ogbeni-Oja of ljebu-Ode.) T. Oladapo Fafowora in the Sunday Times of 26th May 1991. then the CBN should be empowered fully to deal with those abuses.De-regulating CBN I refer to a press interview by the Director-General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). in which he advised the monetary authorities to further strengthen the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) so as to enable it perform its functions more effectively and efficiently. Adeola Odutola. . Dr. and believe his position is one which should be endorsed by all responsible businessmen. Fafowora's views on this matter. full penalties including fines and closures should be imposed on the errant banks. I wish to state that I share and fully support Dr. If there are abuses and malpractices in the banking sector. Where necessary. As one of the founders and first President of MAN. To suspend the issuance of new banking licences on account of the malpractices of some banks would in the circumstances lead to monopolies and undermine the Policy of deregulation which the Federal Government has adopted with the full support of the business community. It would affect the banking sector or the domestic economy itself as it would not promote the competition much needed in the banking sector.
no mountain was considered too high. as an exceptional being. He was quick to attribute his success to the abundant Grace of God and infinite mercy of the Almighty. In his last published newspaper interviews.politics. Life was. and no human being was thought undeserving of help and friendship. This turned out to be an invaluable asset: it kept him permanently in the front row. even in his personal circumstances. for him. He was willing. to promote merit. hence. a lot of fun. He was also a wise investor. He preached hardwork and perseverance as the only guarantee of success. 1991. he was distressed about how horribly the times have changed. he was one of those few men with the exact instincts of scientific inquiry. but in no way did that become a handicap. particularly. He recruited his staff from all parts of the country. but merit and loyalty. He also learnt to enjoy life. he had only a little education. he was. speaks for itself. He had no time for sluggards not even if they were of his own blood. Odutola lived till the last moment. Those who appeared serious he encouraged. He touched many lives. in a short while. . truly. He built on his modest beginnings and became. at all times. By today's standards. in addition. one of the most remarkable men of his time. he dispensed humour with relative ease. education and the economy. He was continuously amused by how the younger generation tended to take success for granted. Many would remember him. he transformed many persons.The letter published on June 2nd. He rewarded not on the basis of ethnicity. This was in keeping with his personal philosophy: there was no task too difficult to be accomplished. a life of service. a nationalist. He had participated in the key legislative events leading to the independence of the Nigerian nation but. -in the three main areas in which he had served and distinguished himself.
5. 8. in business circles and everywhere that Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola was dead. four wives: Madam Segiloia Odutola. He had only travelled abroad on a business trip. at about 4:30 a. Adedapo Odutola Prof. Oladipo Odutola Mrs. Odutola survived the rumour by a record 17 years. he was 93 years old. He chose to go in style. Every morning. Odutola was survived by his brother. 7. Odutola. quietly in his sleep without any complications. 6. Odutola had summoned the family to Morning Prayer with a bell.In 1978. I am hale and hearty. 1995. Yorubas have an abiding superstition about such deaths by rumour. He had lived a contented and remarkable life. the curiosity of the household was confirmed by the reality of the death of their patriarch. In fact. Ms. 4. Soon. When he died. April 13. I returned from a tour of Europe only last Saturday". That particular morning. Alhaji Jimoh A. no one heard the bell. and. 3. 2. to announce that he was still alive: "I am not dead. Madam Bernice Adetoun Odutola.m. Adebisi Bateye Mr.) Oyinade Olurin Chief (Mrs. Folasade Sofola Mrs. soon after. the rumour had gone round the nation.) Bisola Okupe Mrs. He returned. (Mrs. 9. And 26 children: 1. Olabimpe Osinaike . Ola ide Odutola Mr. Ademola Odutola Mr. Madam Adunola Odutola and Madam Modupe Adewunmi Odutola.
Aderinsola Onalaja Miss. Pastor Olufunmilayo Odutola 11. Adesola Adeyemi Chief (Mrs. Aderemi Odutola Miss. 24. 25. 18. 12. Folorunso Adeuja Mrs. Bolanle Odutola Master Adekoyejo Odutola . 21. 15. Adegbola Odutola Miss. 19. 20. 22. Oyeyinka Odutola Mr. (Miss) Abisoye Odutola Mr. Mrs. 13. Tokunbo Odutola Dr. Olufemi Odutola Mr. Oladele Odutola Miss. 14. 16. Adejoke Fadina Mr. Aderonke Odutola Mrs.10. 23. Adeboye Odutola Mr. 26. Adetutu Odutola Mr. 17.
preparations for his burial began. he succeeded. care. Shodeinde. . In this. to them. The Funeral Arrangements which were detailed. At the time he died. He was. and resources. his concern had been that the children should be able to stand on their own. and died while he was alive. and by virtually every institution with which Timothy Adeola Odutola had been associated. A. a friend and a confident.To each of these children Odutola had given generously of his time. carried a significant footnote. Mrs. The world will remember Odutola as a fine soul who combined genius with longevity. a concession to Chief Odutola’s personal style: NO NIGHT PARTY PLEASE: Thus. Although he wielded the big stick nearly all the time. and one of the brightest and the best. Obituary notices were published in the papers by his brother. He was Ijebu-Ode’s most important human-resource gift to the Nigerian nation in the 20th century. an age ended. Only one child. in part. many of his children were themselves patriarchs and matriarchs of their own families. a father. Alhaji Jimoh Odutola. All over the country.
His life was also full of drama. they were ever so well though-out and elegantly composed. They followed every bit of the Odutola saga. the Nigeria press paid its own tribute to a man who had become a direct link with the public consciousness.Chapter Seven What The Press Said Odutola. And newspapers love drama. in several reports. as myth and legend. without additional commentary. His public speeches were always good copies. a journalist’s delight. A few of the reports are reproduced in this chapter. was throughout his life and career. mostly complimentary. and. They have been selected merely to represent the relationship between the press and one of the greatest newsmakers of the 20th century in modern Nigeria: .
Chief Odutola has risen to be the leading manufacturing entrepreneur in the country today. He quickly moved to mining. 6ft. He started humbly with produce buying and exporting mostly kolanuts and palm kernel. wakes up at 4 a. plus. Odutola: The Business Tycoon With Many Faces by Ibrahim Sule Punch. 17 November 1974 Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola. Tall. the Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebu-Ode and the Asiwaju of the Ijebu Christians has an adequate nose for professionalism and a good sense of integrity. Chief Odutola. handsome. His has been an enviable career full of drive. well furnished and imposing building only 90 minutes drive from Lagos. economic and social history of the country cannot be completed without a chapter on this man of many faces. A. Later he made his mark on timber and in fact founded the now famous and prosperous Omo Sawmills before setting up a tyre remoulding business. the Chief was born 73 years ago in Ijebu-Ode.m) and commutes between Lagos.m. The real . the industrial. hard work and steadfastness. fortune and up-rightness. Ogbeni-Oja (as his friends fondly call him) has the insight and capability to move into new areas of profitability at the right times. who looks 40. This site also houses his bicycle tyre-manufacturing factory. daily (he goes to bed at 10 p. well-built and soft spoken with a pair of glasses to correct myopia. devotion. His vast rubber plantations (some people put it at 5 miles plus an impressive cattle ranch followed the setting up of the timber business). Ijebu-Ode and Ibadan at least twice a week. His office at Ijebu-Ode is on the first floor of a modest. Indeed. Through initiative. which employs some 600 workers.Chief T.
5m project) at Ijebu-Ode. Human beings the Chief believes are not machines indeed his own business approach is unique in many respects. His belief is that a business is a viable unit only if it can continue to be focused into the future. The last time I visited him he had just returned from Europe where he held discussions with a foreign tyre producing company on the possibility of a partnership. That is. For 20 years. Recently.task of management in the effective business is that of redirecting or re-focusing activities towards what are the right economic realities for today and for tomorrow. In a country plagued with record waxing in praise of “Those who have made it” the Ogbeni-Oja is perhaps one of the few business magnates who have never allowed any record to be waxed in their names. About a year ago. he recruited 4 top Nigerian executives through the Nigerian Institute of Management (N. he was a legislator in the Western House of Parliamentary democracy. Chief Odutola has other faces. he continues at the same time. MBO returns to the subordinate. In fact his chain of companies has no Public Relations Department. His dynamic qualities got him into places . is doing for the management community what Magna Carta did for the world. another an ex-NTC Economist is currently the Deputy General Manager at the Odutola Nigerian Industries (a N1. while a third. the right and the opportunity to behave and be treated as a human being. at all levels. While his Nigerianisation policy progresses. One an ex-ICI Production Management is now the Manager of his Kano factory.I. Chief Odutola is publicity-shy. to seek technical co-operation with foreign companies and individuals. MBO – by the way. a former legal adviser to Flour Mills Apapa holds the post of Secretary/Legal Adviser to the group.M) into his company. he introduced one of the latest tools management by objectives (MBO) into his organization.
he pressed for a reduction in the excise duty payable on locally manufactured tyres because of the high import duty being paid on raw materials needed for locally manufactured tyres. the Chairman of the Lagos Stock Exchange. Yet. collected and buoyant looking young old family man whose Sunday is not even free. business-like and intelligent way. Immediately after the civil war. rubber plantation. Yet. He is a patron of many social clubs and organizations in Nigeria. the current President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the Proprietor of the Adeola Odutola Comprehensive High School with a population of over 1. he is a man of strong conviction. also his capacity for facts and figures as well as his quick ability for recognizing faces. produce. a German-trained rubber technologist is currently the Works Manager at Ijebu0Ode.m. The last appointment I had with him was for 2 p. but waiting for him for a meeting were members of the Aladura Church. the Christ Apostolic Faith and two other economic development organizations in Ijebu-land.and posts. insurance and tyre production. The real great wonders about him not only revolve around his accessibility. on a Sunday. Chief Odutola is respected in government quarters for his wise advise on business and he is a strong believer in an export orientation trade. One of his sons. but.800 students – no doubt one of the largest post primary institutions in the country. Ijebu-Ode. . He is a former director of the Central Bank. Behind all these is a cool. other sons and daughters are well spread out like daddy into poultry. He had just returned from an Anglican Church service. His castle at ljebu-Ode is always packed full. he found time to attend to all of us in a brisk.
500 people were out of job. he closed his Ijebu-Ode factory and 1. . he is already in his office going through essential mails or holding a Board meeting. In the words of my father. everyone saw reason.m. In no time. who understand much better and see much more clearly and talk much. not imaginatively. No one seemed to take an immediate action As a consequence. “Early to bed results in early to rise”. And. “I have known too many people who are not terribly intelligent. a habit”. That is a successful director talking. you can never tell a successful man that he is making a mistake. If Chief Odutola has made any. Hence. they are surely over-powered by his myriads of successes to him and Nigeria. but who somehow get things done slowly and perhaps. more clearly get nothing done. By 8 a.At that time the tyre business was dull and unprofitable. Yet too many able people. how does Chief Odutola think businessmen can get results. Over the years observes the Chief. It is a practice. I have observed that effectiveness is neither a talent nor an ability. but they get there. and the philanthropist – capitalist opened the gates of his factory again.
. the President’s message was read to the congregation by the chief press secretary to the President. Sunday Times. Adetiloye has showered encomiums on Chief Odutola for his dedication. Readings during the occasion were taken from Job 28:20-28.00am. respectively. that saw him through the long but rough road of life. industry. the Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebu-Ode. witnessed the cream of the society. 1992. All roads led to Ijebu-Ode yesterday. President Babangida has described the birthday as monumental. where an open-air Holy Communion Service was held in commemoration of the 90th birthday anniversary of Chief Adeola Odutola. who officiated during the ceremony.Ijebu-Ode Goes Gay For Odutola at 90 By Sunday Olagunju. who had travelled from all walks of life to pay their respect to a great industrialist and philanthropist. Chief Duro Onabule. had earlier been praised by the head of the Anglican Church of Nigeria Archbishop Abiodun Adetiloye. finesse and nicety of purpose. Thereafter. particularly his role as a nationalist during the intervening colonial period. 21 June. Romans 12:1-11 and John 15:1-11. Chief Odutola. The Holy Communion service held at the Onibudo House residence of Chief Odutola at 11. especially judging the wide and varied contributions of Chief Odutola to the development of the nation. who also is the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians. Assistant Editor.
Among dignitaries that graced the occasion were the governors of Ogun. Ajuluchuku. but for such efforts. Also present were Otunba Funsho Ajayi. The Republic newspapers. Mr. humane and nice man. “We later appreciated such treatments. especially business-wise is too big for any of his children to wear. On the possibility of any of the children possessing the great zeal. Others were Chief Duro Onabule. particularly when we started seeing the effects in later life. whose presence in the town has brought a lot of goodwill and recognition. Mucheal Omolayole. the managing director of Equity security Limited. Chief Segun Osoba. Adeyemi said all the children owed him a debt of gratitude because he did not allow his addluence to spoil them. “I sometimes asked my mother whether he was my true father because of the harsh way we were brought up”. industry and business acumen of their father. Ambassador B. Mr. Adefope. According to them. Mrs. especially in childhood. the story of educational development in the former Ijebu Province could have been different. Mrs. Adeyemi. and Oyo. Onyema Ugochukwu. O. Mr. Chief M. they were full of praises of his pioneering efforts in the establishment of the Adeola Odutola Grammar School.” Some citizens of Ijebu-Ode described Chief Odutola as a frank. Chief Femi Ajayi.C. publisher. Executive Director (manpower and planning) Daily Times. Particularly. Chief Kolapo Ishola. Chief Chris Okubanjo.Describing her father as a strict disciplinarian. Mrs. Chief Oluwole Omole of Steel Iron Industries. O.” She added. Adeyemi said it might not be possible. management consultant and former chairman of Levers Brothers. and Mallam Farouk U. Executive Director (Administration) Daily Times. Leads Merchant bank. Olashore Chairman. Ambassador M. Prince Lekan Fadina. A. “Our father’s shoes. Chairman of the Leventis Group.K. Chief press secretary to the president. Chief Ade John. . Mohammed. Adeyemi said. OmoOba Tunde Sode managing director of Cecilade insurance brokers.
Also. in the early years of independence. With your great achievements in this area. The letter also read in part: “As a nationalist. 21 June. . President Babangida said the birthday celebration was monumental in many aspects. contemporary Nigerian history must acknowledge your immense contribution to the political and industrial development of the country. you were part of our new experiment in democracy when you served as a senator in the First Republic.IBB Greets Odutola at 90 Sunday Times.” Indeed. Equally remarkable is the fact that you distinguished yourself as an educationalist by funding several post-primary institutions. with fellow compatriots. you were one of the members of the old Legislative Council who. you play your part in laying the foundation for our country’s independence. considering Chief Odutola’s various contributions to the industrial and educational development of the country. 1992 “PRESIDENT Ibrahim Babangida has sent a congratulatory message to the Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebuland and the first Chairman of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria. you displayed your nationalist fervour by embarking on business ventures all over the country. you can be rightly called the “Grandfather of Nigerian Industry. Chief Adeola Odutola on the occasion of his 90th birthday. Nigeria will always remember your pioneering role in this capacity especially in respect of the manner in which you blazed the trail of industrial development in the country. As an industrialist. It was in recognition of your role in Nigeria’s industrial development that you were elected the first President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.
Q. 'the grand old man of Ijebu-Ode shares his reminiscence s. industrialist and a philanthropist of no mean dimension.oil. what is your assessment of the Nigerian economy. will be 90. to have a feel of what it is to be able to live to 90 years. Chief Adeola Odutola. Here in an interview with the Sunday Times. and what precisely has kept him going. His specialty was palm produce. and manufacturing. to mention a few. In a way one can therefore. especially the manufacturing sector? The Nigerian economy has grown tremendously over the years. They are doing very well and I am .Tribute: Odutola At 90 Goes Down Memory Lane By Sunday Olagunju and Hakeem Bello. We have Nigerians in many facets of our economic life . June 16. 1992 On Tuesday. Ijebu-Ode. There are a lot-of people in business and this is good for the economy. banking. A foremost educationist. Sunday Times. June 14. the Ogbeni-Oja of IjebuOde. say that business runs in the family. At 90 and having been involved in manufacturing and commerce for several decades. Chief Adeola Odutola has every reason to be thankful to God for living to such enviable and revered age. especially what it was in yesteryears. Please read on: Q SUNDAY TIMES: How precisely did you get involved in business and what has been the motivating factor? It was not a mere coincidence that I came into business. The Sunday Times was at Odutola's Onibudo House residence. My father was one of the first set of businessmen in Ijebuland. even at 90.
. The members must ensure that MAN is a relevant body set up for a purpose and efforts must be geared toward ensuring the growth of our manufacturing sector. However. MAN was set up to be a forum for manufacturers to put their views to government. Most banks are not interested in long-term investments which manufacturing sector depends upon and unless we do something in this regard our vision of an industrial society may not be realised.You were once quoted as saying that the Manufacturers' Association of Nigeria and the. Chambers Of Commerce nowadays have become Political rather than being involved in the nitty-gritty of business and technological development of the country.sure they can do better. cannot be attributed to the Ploy of foreigners to keep the country's economy perpetually in bondage. The circumstances of the early days are not the same as those of today. In fact. the exchange rate has taken a different turn. As one of the founders and first president of the Manufacturers' Association of Nigeria. Q. The cost of doing business has gone up. what role was MAN playing during its early days but which the present MAN has failed to play? The early days of MAN witnessed few members who are bound together with common objective of ensuring the growth of the manufacturing base of the Nigerian economy. Q. today people talk of millions. industrial harmony and job creation.. The manufacturing sector suffers from high cost of doing business as it makes manufacturing sector unprofitable. The value of naira has depreciated a lot and the interest rate has gone up to as high as 35 per cent. What can you attribute the fall of the naira to? And how best can the value of the naira be revised to a realistic level? . the purchasing power has gone down. you once said. Today there are many companies with different needs and aspirations. The fall of the naira.
The fall of naira is due to many factors. We must develop our technological base. We spend more on importation of goods than we earn from exporting goods. Most people like white collar job and this has resulted in less out-put agricultural products such as cocoa. We must encourage more export-oriented businesses. We must ensure that we teach our young ones the fundamentals of industrial development. we import even our food and basic needs' We must encourage more use of our local raw materials. What is your vision of a well-educated person? There has been complaints about the fall in the standard of education. We must have a clearly defined export-oriented policy that will make it possible for our businessmen to see the world as their market. We must learn to cut down on things that are not necessary. a number of eminent Nigerians have passed through the school. I believe that investment in education cannot be measured . Is it true that standard of education has fallen? If yes. The manufacturers will be able to improve on them and on the long run lower the prices. One of your most notable contributions to the Nigerian society has been in the field of education as one of the earliest founders of a college. We must patronize made-in-Nigeria goods and the only way to improve the output from our industries is to patronize them. what can you attribute this to? It must be recalled that at the time Adeola Odutola College was founded. We have not encouraged farming and rural development. there was only one secondary school in the whole of Ijebu Province. Today. palm products etc. Q. We have a high taste for things that we don't manufacture and in most cases we tend to live beyond our means.
All these have changed in recent years.in naira and kobo. you were reported as calling for the breaking of government monopoly of public utilities. Q: As early as 1977. would you say the climate is favourable enough to longterm industrial investors? . We can turn this round again if we give teachers greater incentive as was done few days ago in respect of university dons.vision of a well-educated person is that of a man who is able to use his education to benefit the society. My. paying taxes and developing the society through wealth creation.road. The resultant decay in discipline has brought about the present fall in standards.and the businessmen should be able to use their initiative and entrepreneurial skill for building the appropriate businesses for employment creation. Q: Looking at the operational modalities of the financial institutions in the country today as well as the cost of obtaining funds. Now is the time to have a closer look at conditions in the post-primary institutions as well. strive to make the society a better place. He 1-nust give to the society more than he gets from it. Even parents in the face of the new revolution in working habits (necessitating the absence from home by both parents) have paid less and less attention in monitoring the progress in any of their wards at school. How do you now feel since your advise seems to have been headed by the government through the present privatization and commercialization policy? I think it is good that the government has embarked on the privatization exercise which I have no doubt is good for the country. industrial estates etc . He must therefore. He must see himself as a lucky person who by his education and discipline is in a privileged group. water. be honest and in all things. The government's role should be to provide infrastructure .
we must see that electricity. There are tremendous opportunities for young and aspiring entrepreneurs.minimising the time of getting approvals. . granting attractive incentives and selling the good things about our country. telephones work and less bureaucracy . Q: What will you attribute your long life to? The abundant grace of God and infinite mercy of the Almighty. We must make investors happy.The present environment needs to be re-visited. What is your advice to young aspiring entrepreneurs? They must be hardworking and honest. We must appreciate that people are competing for the same investment and as such we must be very competitive by creating conducive atmosphere. What steps can be taken to encourage genuine manufacturers and uplift the production capacity of the country? By providing more facilities. Q. The sky is the limit. Q. Q: How will you describe the state of your business empire today? My business is not in bad shape.
Chief Odutola's pre-eminence in business could have had its genesis and fundamentals right from his public service. meaning they are intertwined. yet this was not to be. his interest in politics as epitomized by the various positions he held within the polity of the period. Chief Odutola was already neck deep in big-time businesses. exporting those products to USA and Europe. he was a member of the Local Government Council representing Ijebu Province in the . 1992 Born on June 16. A man of many parts. he set up five flourishing businesses upon which his success in life and as an industrialist was based. At age 30.Odutola: Man of Honours By Sunday Olaogun and Hakeem Bello Sunday Times. For example between 1922 and 1993. He completed his secondary education at Ijebu-Ode Grammar School in 1920 and by 1932. could have fired Odutola's later day interest in politics. Sanni Odutola Seyindemi and Mrs. Simultaneously. he set up his own business. These are Odutola Tyresoles Company Limited. 1902. June 14. It is often said that business and politics are one side of the same coin.Profile . both traders one easily sees that Chief Odutola's ingenuity in businesses in later years has precedence. he was also engaged in gold mining and timber business. 12 years later. His brief spell in the Tax and judicial Departments as then constituted during the colonial period. at Ijebu-Ode to Mr. Within a period of 30 years. he served in the Tax and judicial Departments of the Ijebu Native Administration. Between 1945 and 1947. No doubt. trading in palm products and cocoa. Odutola Nigerian Industries Limited Odutola Food Industries Limited and Continental Breweries Limited. Sabinah Otubajo Odutola. could have been enough to cause divergence and drift from his business callings.
the Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebu-Ode. He has also served as a director of the Central Bank and the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB). A life that is well spent needs no belabouring and so. Perhaps.Legislative Council. whose life epitomizes the best that humankind could give. he has also endowed the universities of lbadan. For example. Chief Odutola also shares his professional and business skills by getting involved and participating in professional organisations. both nationally and internationally. he was honoured with the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1948. as well as a past chairman of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. it is with the life and times of Chief Adeola Odutola. Many Happy returns. elected member of the Western House of Assembly (1956-59). he established the Secondary Commercial College and the Secondary Grammar School (Olu lwa College). Back home. . Thus. Upper House (1960-64) and a member of the Constituent Assembly(1978). it is little wonder that Chief Odutola's life and times remain decked with many honours. He also represented Ijebu Province in the Western House of Assembly (1947-50).000 each for the development of education. Chief Odutola's foremost contributions to the growth and development of Nigeria was in the field of education. Given the very impressive and exemplary life of Chief Odutola. In 1945. he was conferred with the honour of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 1966 and Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in 1982. On the international plane. He has also received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws of the University of lbadan. Because of his immense interest in education. Lagos and Ogun State with about N500. member of the Senate. he was the founder and first president of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. a man of his sort deserves whatever accolades and honours that the society is ready to bestow on its citizen.
Ogun State has called on Nigerians to contribute honestly and faithfully towards the success and progress of the country. who had expressed concern over his health which he said was now improving and assured them that he would not relent in his efforts to make the college one of the best in the country. He said that no contribution was too small to make and advised that “Whatever anybody has power to contribute for the country. 19 June 1990 Chief Odutola. who is the Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebu-Ode and the Asiwaju of Ijebu-Ode Christians.Work For Nation’s Progress: Odutola Tells Nigerians Business Times. let him or her do it for the benefit of the country and the fellow citizens. advised the students to be good citizens and let the welfare. over the weekend. He said that he was always very happy and delighted about the progress and achievements of some of the old students of the college and thanked them for their assistance towards the development and progress of the school at all times. when he received members of the old students of his college who had paid the traditional yearly homage at his Onibudo residence during the celebration of his 88th birthday and 45th anniversary of the college at Ijebu-Ode. Chief Odutola. success and progress of their country and the college be paramount in their minds at all times. the Proprietor of Adeola Odutola College in IjebuOde.” Chief Odutola made the call. He thanked the students and all others. .
” .He charged them: “Equally. each and every one of you should not relent in your efforts to see to it that you render any possible assistance towards the development and progress of your cherished college at anytime.
the deputy registrar (information) Mrs. Taiwo. Chief Adeola Odutola at the University of Lagos has been described as yet another example of the great love and dedication to sound education. Professor Oyin Olurin. witnessed Professor Alao’s signature of the document. In his speech. 1989 The endowment of N500. Professor Nurudeen Alao expressed deep gratitude to the donor. Omotoso. Professor Taiwo noted that the endowment like other contributions made by Chief Odutola reflected his conviction about the need to assist educational institutions in advancing the frontiers of learning. the vice chancellor of the University of Lagos. A. the university registrar.O. . 21 Sept. Modupe Adeogun Professor G. made the remarks at the ceremony marking the signing of trust deed for the chair held at the Onibudo resident of Chief Odutola in Ijebu-Ode on Tuesday.Odutola Signs N. Chief Odutola later signed the trust deed.000 professorial chair in business administration made by the Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebu-Ode.G. A renowned educationist Professor C.5M Trust Deed Sketch. of the university Professor A. Present at the brief but impressive ceremony were the deputy vice chancellor. A. while Dr. A. Adeogun. O. which was witnessed by one of his daughters.
In a keynote address to the Nigerian Society of Engineers during the opening of a two-day National Seminar on Industrialization Policy. U. has called for a study of the engineering implications of the Fourth National Development Plan. Chief T. Chief Odutola emphasized. Adeola. Chief Odutola said this was necessary so that it could be matched with the engineering resources that existed now. Chief Odutola opined that there was a way that technology could be introduced. there had been a dichotomy between agricultural development and industrial developments. He said it would also help to determine the technological gap that existed between the country’s plan objectives.Development Plan By Joe Odede National Concord. Chief Odutola contended that in the past national Development Plans. “Both seemed to move in parallel lines that do not meet whereas both ought to have been so interwoven that industrialization’s first fruits . but also the positive areas in which we have to direct our training efforts for future development”. turns technology into an object of mystification. Eleagu.O. rather than lead to a national approach to production. In the address read on his behalf by Executive Director of the Association Dr. 15 July 1980 A NIGERIAN Industrialist and President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigerian. plan target and available technical competence. which. “This gap will describe not only the weak points in the plan.
70 out of every 100 Nigerians were said to be engaged in producing food whereas in advanced industrial countries.000 inhabitants. Such an industrial development would take up the manpower released by modernizing agriculture. and provide a solid technical base for. the figure was in the region of 16 farmers to 1. He observed that at present.would increase production of agriculture”. . He said that agricultural expansion would not go on unless there was industrial development. Chief Odutola pointed out. Chief Odutola told the engineers. “This is where industrialization should begin and is precisely what we have left undone in Nigeria”. the equipment and services essential to modernize agriculture.
The president should not run more than one term of once. the Airways and NEPA could be run efficiently by the private sector. On Sharia Court of Appeal. he said. there would be efficiency in the public services. Chief Odutola. 7 Dec. Chief Odutola gave his blessings to the executive Presidency. 1977 "An industrialist Chief Adeola Odutola yesterday advocated breaking government monopoly of public utilities. the Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebu-Ode said once there was competition. Chief Odutola said that Nigerian leaders had always travelled extensively to the developed countries and seen what operated there but to his dismay. mentioned countries where such a practice is obtained. Chief Odutola called for religious tolerance and caution. such as the Posts and Telecommunications. A nominated member. there had been nothing to show that they had gained anything. Let the judicature provide judges versed in Islamic Law in the Federal Court of Appeal and post them to dispense justice where appeals from Sharia court arise. who was contributing to the debate on the constitution yesterday.Odutola Warns The Nation By Taiwo Okutubo Daily Times. He said this . He said no attempt should be made to create disunity through the protection of any religion by law. And if there was any public utility that could not be run efficiently by government functionaries. but warmed against putting too many powers in his hands. Most of the public services. the private sector should be allowed to run it side by side with the government. He submitted that the country's economic policy should be open and participatory.
would avoid a dual legal system for the country. Chief Odutola also spoke on oil and warned the nation that we could be in trouble should the wells dry up. Chief Odutola said it was sad that official support had not been encouraging. He said what was annoying was that these companies and industries could not ask for damages because the utilities had been unduly protected by law. the nation earned almost all her foreign exchange on export produce. He said many industrialists were already in serious difficulties because of incessant power failures which had been damaging their machines and making business unprofitable. He said Nigeria was an agricultural country and in the past. Chief Odutola said it was by providence that the nation became lucky and struck oil and other minerals which now earned her foreign exchange. The basic requirements before anybody can think of industrialization in any country are uninterrupted electric power and regular flow of water. Chief Odutola said although the country claimed it would supply electric power to some neighbouring countries. All the infrastructures needed for serious industrialization of the country were hardly available. the supply at home was less than satisfactory. we shall find ourselves in a difficult situation. "But the time is bound to come when the wells from which we produce this oil will be exhausted and unless we make good of the money earned from oil now to develop this country and provide for the basic needs of the people. ." He suggested the setting up of industries to ward off such a situation.
they would be much more careful in their duties. On education.He argued that if people who were responsible for the supply of electric for power for both industrial and domestic use were made liable for any unjustifiable misdeeds. The idea of sending children to their states of origin was bad and could defeat the very aim of uniting the country. . Chief Odutola said that every child should be able to go to school of his or her choice.
He said that the lack of teaching staff and facilities in classes has seriously weakened the out-put of the students. the Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebu-Ode has blamed the poor results in schools on inadequate provision of teaching personnel. Chief Odutola who was speaking at the 32nd Founder’s Day Anniversary of Adeola Odutola said he did not altogether share the view that the causes of the present low standard in schools was entirely that of the students. 22 June 1977 Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola. He pointed out that since the Boards were created. Citing his school as an example. . especially the finalists.Odutola Xrays Causes of Low Standard In Schools By Dapo Aderinokun Punch. “the college never suffered any lack of adequate teaching force”. He appealed to the Federal Military Government to ensure that suitable and steady teaching staff were made available for students. the teaching staff of the college had always been short. Chief Odutola said that before the Schools’ State Boards were created.
1976 INFLATION in the country is likely to persist as a nagging problem for some time to come so predicted the president of the Manufacturers Association of Nigerian (MAN) Chief Adeola Odutola yesterday. Chief Odutola who was addressing the opening of the association’s fifth annual general meeting in Lagos said the inflationary trends could continue for so long a time because of poor harvests in Nigeria and other parts of the world. In the address the President also predicted that in view of the recent demands made on the association’s members by their employees especially in regard to enhanced fringe benefits the costs of labour is likely to increase. . 27 Feb. Chief Odutola expressed the belied that a policy based on the coercion of the private sector would not benefit the country. it can only succeed in killing “the goose that lays the golden eggs” he added.Inflation For Years Ahead Daily Express. Said the chief: Although we have made the association’s views known to the government through our budget representations and through the Anti-inflation Task Force a lot of mis-understanding still persist in government circles with regard to the nature of inflation now raging in Nigeria.
A. He moved into industry. Back to Ijebu-Ode the same year. on his own account. the first question I asked was naturally: "How did you begin? Begin seems a very apt word in any discussion of Chief Odutola's life because. But to begin where it all began. he resigned his appointment to start produce buying. in his lifetime. The business expanded so fast that he was soon selli4g produce direct to foreign firms like U. to his Lagos residence at Ajasa Street and having heard all the tributes paid to the chief by members of the council. It was while there that he started business on part time. etc. 23 Dec.C. Chief Odutola. but it was also the first modern factory owned by a Nigerian. But when the marketing boards were established and most of Nigeria's agricultural export produce scheduled. In 1932. and even exporting his goods to overseas markets. was one of the first to realise that produce buying business had little furture for private enterprise. 1975 "We had just come from a luncheon party honouring Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola on his retirement as the president of the Council of the Lagos Stock Exchange.. he has pioneered so many things. he took a job in the native administration. establishing a tyre-retreading factory at lbadan and later at Kano and Onitsha. we will have to return to Ijebu-Ode of 1902 where he was born. His was not only the first tyre retreading business in Nigeria. but his next step made him unique indeed. After his education at the Ijebu-Ode Grammar School. Perhaps he was not the only one who realised that. Chief Odutola came to Lagos in 1921 and worked briefly as a clerk in the Nigerian Government service. . John Holt. which was also his father's line.Personality of the Week: The Symbol of A Rare Breed Business 77mes.
and today manufactures motor vehicle and bicycle tyres.. Chief Odutola's retirement as president of the Lagos Stock Exchange. Not surprisingly.. says. whose indigenous membership is gradually increasingly. Ijebu-Ode. Odutola." But Chief Odutola is not only an industrialist.the crucial years of the Indigenisation Decree. only if we have the support of the Government' "It's true that the country has money now. In taking leave of the council. He is also a farmer and a school proprietor. almost right from its beginning. asking only that the government maintain the standards already existing in the school. to establish the tyre retreading factory can be described as the beginning of Nigerian participation in industrial production. Chief Odutola says: "Time has come when younger people should be brought in to serve the exchange" and to Nigerian businessmen he advises them to be straightforward and honest. that they should be buying and selling at the ruling prices."And about the latter the high standards which the Adeola Odutola Comprehensive School.A. Chief Odutola is the president of the Manufacturers' Association of Nigerian. And now we return to where we started. 'The future is bright. And today Chief T. Chief Odutola has been a member of Exchange since 1962. oil will finish while industry will not. .The business has grown of course. and chairman of the council from 1972 . has maintained since its foundation in 1943 are eloquent testimony. Handing over the school to the Western State Government recently. Talking about the farmer. He has been honorary counsellor of the Exchange since 1965. but in the longer run. he refused compensation.A. But that decision long ago. as President of M. Odutola remains the symbol of that almost rare breed of Nigerian businessmen who engage in production as distinct from distribution and commerce. he says: "I have always had the urge to do farming myself. and on whom the future of this economy on the long run may depend.N.
."At times you may lose." Chief Odutola who when I asked his age said: "Not as old as you" (the writer is 34) is not retiring from business yet. but the good name and the respect will be there. and things may be difficult. nor from his other public commitments even though he is actually 73.
featured laying of wreath at the Obanta monument.” . 17 Nov. cleaning of Ijebuode. He implored women to spend their money on the education of their children. Chief T. Chief Odutola.Odutola Advocates Women’s Active Role In The Society New Nigerian. The celebration which lasted three days. who was speaking at Ijebu-ode during the celebration of the International Women’s Year in Ijebu Division. ahs appealed to all women in the state to use forum of the International Women’s Organisation to take active part in the social. Odutola. a novelty football match and dancing round the town. educational economic development of the state. stressed the importance of women in the society. rather than waste such money on social ceremonies. He commended the efforts of the organizers of the celebration in Ijebu Division. A. Chief Odutola further urged them to give their children sound home training alongside with classroom education. 1975 “The Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebu-Ode.
Adeola Odutola. Chief T. Chief T. Adeola Odutola. who is unavoidably absent at this opening ceremony. The first slogan "together we can make it" intends to show that the campaign will succeed only through the marriage of the .000 Annual Award For Research Purposes Daily 77mes. we wanted to make the general public more aware of the factors affecting manufacturers in Nigeria.000 for five years beginning from this year. This exhibition. Secondly. The two slogans of the campaign summarise the pre-requisite of the success of the campaign and also stress the campaign's ultimate goal. My Association's Made-in-Nigeria Campaign was launched with three main objectives in view : Firstly we wished to show the public many goods made in Nigeria. secretary of the association while delivering his opening address at the Made-in-Nigeria Exhibition on behalf of the president of the association. The following is the text of the speech: Honourable Commissioners. 12 March 1974 The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria intends to encourage research aimed at improving our local products through an annual award of N2.N2. distinguished ladies and gentlemen. Jegede. I speak on behalf of the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and is the culmination of the efforts of my association at promoting the patronage of products manufactured in Nigeria. consumers and Government functionaries. This was disclosed by Mr. and thirdly we wished to foster closer co-operation between manufacturers. the opening of which we are here to witness. is the joint effort bf the Daily Times of Nigeria Ltd.
Only thus can we enhance the greatness of Nigeria as an industrial nation. in the ultimate. We of the Manufacturers Association of . That first stage cost my Association N22. Since the Made-in-Nigeria campaign and exhibition are aimed at ensuring Nigeria's industrial greatness. and ♦ The backing of Government through fair Industrial laws and adequate incentives to manufacturers. The first stage of the campaign took the form of a newspaper supplement and of illustrated literature directed at leaders of thought and opinions.following factors: ♦ The faith of the manufacturers who have risked their capital and know-how to set up industries in Nigeria. to take pride in products made by our fellow Nigerians so that. ♦ The pride of the Nigerian workers in making first-class products.000. and pricing command the patronage of foreign consumers.000 for five years beginning from 1974. our products may by their quality. Since high quality is essential to the acceptance of our products by the consumer. We consider this exhibition as the second and most important stage displaying as it will. whatever our positions. Only thus can the workers themselves ensure their continued employment. my association intends to encourage research aimed at improving our local products through an Annual Award of N2. some of the actual products manufactured here in Nigeria. The second slogan "made-in-Nigeria and proud of it" is urging us. my association through this medium is appealing to the Trade Unions to educate their members on the importance of quality and patronage of the products made by them. ♦ The patriotism of the Nigerian consumer in ensuring adequate domestic demand for goods made in his home country.
in the course of viewing the products displayed at the exhibition. feel satisfied with the progress so far made by Nigerian Manufacturers. Honourable Commissioner and distinguished guests.Nigeria also hope that our government will between this exhibition and the 1976 international Trade Fair continue their efforts to promote industrial growth and use their information media to back up the success achieved by the private sector in the campaign for patronage products made in Nigeria. . I welcome you on behalf of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and hope that you will.
1960. For it is the general belief in this country that after 50. . Little wonder that 1954 can rightly be described as his golden year for it was in that year that he was installed the Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebu-Ode (a post which places him as the Prime Minister of Ijebu-Ode). Not only was he actually engaged in the struggle for Nigeria's independence but he also played a leading role throughout the teething period of nationhood.Brain Behind It All By Emmanuel Hart Daily 17mes. It is at this age that most men take things easy. It can rightly be said of Chief Odutola that he is one of the few surviving Nigerians who served both in the old Legislative Council and the House of Representatives (1952-4) the Assembly which set the pace for Nigeria's attainment of Independence on October 1. the energy of the ordinary run of life is on the decline. a man who was able to establish two secondary institutions. can rest assured that he has made worth-while contributions towards the progress of his fatherland but with men of exceptional foresight and zeal like Chief Odutola. Chief Odutola now belongs to the class of elder statesmen. At 66 he is still bustling with energy and planning ahead. But it's not so with Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola. most men think of retirement. Under normal circumstances. 25 May 1968 At the age of 60. the Ogbeni-Oja of IlebuOde and chairman of Odutola Group of Companies.
"During my several visits abroad. By all standards Chief Odutola can be regarded as a wealthy man. When I asked him why he had to undertake the trouble of setting up this ultra modern factory. in the main. but Chief Odutola went about his normal business in a cool atmosphere. at the same time the idea of establishing the present industry took shape in his mind. He could easily have given me a date but he called in his secretary who searched the records and gave me the exact date. Permanent Secretary. They were. "I had the opportunity of seeing developed countries. Oladipo Bateye. his answer as characteristic of him was: Our motive should be to leave the world a better place than we found it.OOO factory at his home town. But it is not financial motive that led him to establish the. I visited him a day after the announcement of the tragic death. The country's development must not be left with the governments alone. individual Nigerians must be prepared to contribute their quota. Western State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. Here was a heavy blow which was enough to demoralise ordinary men. which owning to the above sad incident. 52-years-old. Mr. . through motor accident of his son-in-law." he said. efforts of individuals. had to be postponed till today. especially to Europe. I am convinced that for this country to be developed. He was literally at every spot in the premises putting finishing touches for the official opening of his new factory on April 6. We ought to strive-to put back something before we take the final bow.Four years later he established his rubber compounding industry under the name of Odutola Tyre and Rubber Company in Ibadan. 5OO. I asked him when his tyre and rubber company was set up. A small incident will serve to illustrate why and how Chief Odutola got to the top.
I regard all the students as my children and wherever I meet them. which of your various endeavours would you say has given you the greatest joy and satisfaction . While they their neighbours slept. establishment of secondary institutions or setting up of industries? Chief Odutola smiled broadly and replied: My greatest satisfaction in life is the establishment of educational institutions. That he is embodiment of success is not surprising. his industry. Sir.politics. Were toiling onwards in the night. His successes should be a challenge to the new generation of Nigerians. The words of Long fellow aptly apply to Chief Odutola: The heights by great men reached and kept. they regard me as their father. . What more satisfaction does a man want in life? It's difficult to meet Chief Odutola and not be inspired by the man s dedication. sincerity and the will to succeed. Were not attained by sudden flight.Looking back.
He toiled and worked for them. President-General of the Adeola Old Student Associadon Daily 27mes. were toiling onwards in the night". 25 May 1968 It is often said that "The height that great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight. engineers.He Toiled On By Bayo Kuku. He is a benefactor to many sons and daughters of Ijebu who have from time to time stood in dire need to increase their wealth of education and so in this instance. whole. whose present achievements in all walks of life did' not come to him suddenly.A. to mention but a few. It is needless to say that he is one of the most illustrious sons of ljebuland in particular and of Nigeria as a. but they. the second largest high school in the whole of the Federation. while their neighbours slept. perhaps. now called Adeola Odutola College Ijebu-Ode. . This famous quotation can well be applied to Chief T. Odutola. he became the proprietor and sole founder of Olu-lwa College. the Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebuland. It is needless to emphasize the ideals and motives behind the founding of this great institution. Suffice it to say that Adeola Odutola College is the child of the big heart of a philanthropist and this philantrophist is Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola.Others Slept . Among the students who went through the cog or mill of this institution are one first-class Oba in the Western State and scores of lawyers. chartered accountants. The college is the first voluntary agency comprehensive high school in Western State and it is. majors in the army. doctors.
The newly founded Odutola Nigerian Industries Limited is also one of the Odutola Group of Companies. on this august occasion of the opening of his first factory in Ijebu-Ode. . and read by ages yet unborn. and benefactor. He is a director of many companies. no doubt. indeed. one will not be able to write nearly enough about the many good things he has done to help his country and his fellowman. He was also one of the founders of Lagos Chamber of Commerce. in the Western House of Assembly. provide employment opportunities to all Nigerians and have in no small measure helped Nigeria particularly in the now all-important balance of trade and payment. the name of Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola would be given a conspicuous place. When the history of this great nation comes to be written. industrialist. in which he has always been well accustomed. These companies. Salutation and three hearty cheers to Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola. a great many more. and ended up as a Senator in the Federal Upper House. but a statesman. he decided to go back into the industrial arena. But when the art of government became turbulent and unscrupulous. prominent among these being the Odutola Tyresoles Company Limited. He represented his own area for many years in the Legislative Council. If given three pages in this newspaper to write about the OgbeniOja of Ijebu-Ode. they would have told only a small part of the story because Chief Odutola is all these things and. the Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebu-Ode. And if he is named a philanthropist. statesman. educationist. which Organisation served so eloquently as the mouth piece of commercial interests across the length and breadth of our Federation and in the great world beyond.Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola is not a politician in any context of the word. in so much as we do not have to import tyres.
Chief Odutola is the eldest son of late Daddy Sanni Odutola Seyindemi and Madam Sabinah Otubajo Odutola. 17 Nov. he would be doing the Ijebus and Western Nigerians in particular a rare honour. When the Prime Minister. such as cocoa. Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. he was one of the early students under the principal-ship of the late. He had his early education at the St.D. IjebuOde up to 1917 and the Ijebu-Ode Grammar School Ijebu-Ode. degree in Law for his great contribution to Economic Development in Nigeria.dealing in export produce.Chief Odutola Honoured Morning Post. . Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti. 1965 One of the distinguished Nigerians being honoured today (November 17) by the University of lbadan is Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola. Rev. Saviour's Primary School. He is to be conferred with the honorary LL. Born on June 16. At Ijebu-Ode Grammar School. For Chief Odutola is one of those rare gems Western Nigeria has been fortunate to donate to the Federation of Nigeria. His father was a trader . 1902 at Ijebu-Ode. He was not an exporter himself but as a middle-man buying from farmers and selling to expatriate exporters. rubber and palm produce. as Chancellor of Nigeria's premier University confers-the award on Chief Odutola today November 17. well-known Nigerian educator. the Ogbeni-Oja of Ijebu-Ode. 19181920.
A young educated man with a background strong enough to hold his own in a developing community facing a life of business with zest and at other times playing a significant role in the local politics and administration. He served the Ijebu NA during these eleven years from 19211932.His early career began with his first appointment under the Nigerian Government as a Clerk.he returned to Ijebu-Ode and joined the Judicial Department of the Ijebu Native Administration as a Clerk. (Court. During these eleven years he served as Gourt Scribe in almost every District of Ijebu Province. Young Odutola told his European boss then that his mother warned him not to take up any employment outside Lagos. He worked for about eight months in Lagos including a very short service in the Audit Department. Odutola's business life from here is patterned on both the American and the old European way. The two have gone together for many world leaders leading to business tycoons and political lords. . Scribe as it was generally known in those days). This was not without a purpose. in the Treasury Department in Lagos in 1921. He left the service then after refusing a transfer (even with promotion prospects to Second Class Clerk) to Minna in Northern Nigeria. Mr. Mr. The same year-by September 21 . A purpose to use a background of liberal education and discipline in Native Authority administration to explore virgin land of the world of modern business. Odutola backed by 11 years experience in administration decided to go into business.
A General Election followed in 1956. At the same period. Mr. he was elected to the Senate (Nigeria's Upper House). Germany and the United States of America. From 1956 to 1959. Early in 1960 (after the 1959 Federal Elections). But his up and coming wealth came from business. He asked intriguing yet vital questions. started to play a role of leadership in the local politics and administration of Ijebu-Ode and Ijebu Province as a whole. Dual membership of legislatures was abolished. This was the beginning of the role of leadership that was to allocate to him a more significant role both of integrity and eminence on the national platform in later years. . he had been nominated a member of the Advisory Council of the Ijebu Native Authority. His contributions to debates showed a deep sense of public service. Chief Odutola contested on the platform of the Action Group and won a landslide victory in Ijebu Central Constituency into the House of Assembly in lbadan. Odutola while making good progress in the new business world. He bought them from farmers and sold locally and abroad. Chief Odutola served in the Western House of Assembly as an elected member. He used his education and wealth to serve a critical community. he ventured into gold mining. His exports went to the United Kingdom. He later became a member of the Ijebu Divisional Council. But as produce magnate he held his own against some of the biggest expatriate firms by a wide margin. In 1935. And at the close to this period. He started business with export produce dealing in export of cocoa. and palm produce.The next 13 years saw Mr. Odutola in this double role.
Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello and the Action Group Leader. Chief Odutola was highly honoured both under the Colonial regime and after independence. He never failed to impress on the Governments of Nigerian to always leave those avenues where Nigeria's indigenous capital and labour can contribute their quota open and free from interference from foreign acquisitive entrepreneurs.So it turned out that Chief Senator Odutola became one of the few Nigerians who ever sat continuously in Nigeria's highest Legislative House under the 1922 Constitution to the time of the Independence Constitution. And among those who first served with him in the Legislative Council was the President. Nnamdi Azikwe. . He had among his colleagues the present Prime Minister. Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Chief Odutola's industrial enterprises stem from a firm belief that given the opportunity Nigerians can legitimately rise to the position where they can provide capital and technical know-how and take active parts in vital sectors of the country's economic development. He served as Senator till 1964 December. when he retired into his business which has both expanded and brought into display the modern development in large-scale industries. Chief Obafemi Awolowo. and later in the House of Representative were in the Northern Premier. Dr.
Adeola Odutola. I do not wish to seize upon this as an occasion or opportunity for demanding general tax reduction. we have before us what I can describe as a mild budget. It may be of interest to this House to know that people abroad. because we are shutting out the only sources from which the country’s wealth can be increased.Appendix A The Second Member For The Western Provinces (The Hon. I refer to the Companies Income Tax of 9s in the to which Your Excellency has made special reference in your Budget Address and which was not left untouched by the Honourable Financial Secretary in his address as well. We need all the outside capital that we can attract to Nigeria for development of the country. anxious to invest their capital in this country. This is like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. in the United Kingdom and only six pence less in this country. . but I can see no hope of our succeeding to do so under the present condition. (OBE): on The Appropriation Bills 7th March 1950 Your Excellency. and we feel heartened in reading the Honourable Financial Secretary’s Memorandum on the Estimates of the healthy state of our finances. and also in hearing from him in his Budget Address that the economic and financial state of the country is good. T.6d. It seems to me absurd that income tax on company’s profit should be 9s. but the item I have chosen to speak on today is one that calls for careful consideration. avoid coming here because of the present excessive rate of company tax.
but I know that in general our people have little as yet to spare for savings so that. I suggest. this is one of the things that Your Excellency had in mind when you made the following statements in your lucid address last Thursday. whether from such sources as the Colonial Development Corporation. I shall leave it to tile Finance Secretary to explain our present loan position and prospects. I look forward to the time when Nigerians. It is already starting. which is stultifying. this country. and we must therefore ensure that conditions exist which will. All economic development requires capital. it is owned publicly or privately. cannot achieve the national income that it requires merely by utilising its own resources. I am not an economist and I touch on the subject with diffidence. which is admirable. I have been greatly encouraged by tile.Everything that can be done. always remembering that we get our direct return (I need not remind Honourable Members that company tax at present is nine shillings in the pound) as well as the indirect benefits in the form of increased employment and economic activity. must come. IN any case. and the negation of progress. new sense of selfconfidence and responsible thinking in the country in regard to this question of outside capital. I shall quote from your own words: As regards capital. will sit side by side with their European colleagues on tile Boards of Directors controlling such enterprises. whether. There is already . Best of all would be joint participation by Nigerian and overseas capital in the financing of industrial concerns throughout the country. in this matter make a clear distinction between self-reliance. in common with most countries in the world. the courses of raising capital locally are very limited. I believe. and all capital. We need the capital equipment which other countries can supply. from savings. apart from the operations of the Marketing Boards. by virtue of their business ability. should be done to encourage and attract capital into the country if much needed development is to proceed: and one way of this is to reduce the company's income tax to a more reasonable level and. We must. I think. attract a flow of capital. and attempted self sufficiency. or from private enterprise. in the last resort. I believe.
I can assure this House that there are a large number of small African business men anxious to form companies. there is nil virtue. but are scared away from doing so by the present high rate of Company's Profit Income Tax. perhaps we may be able to find some satisfactory solution. Coming to the subject of development. I remain corrected. In high taxation. but are kept back at present by this tax. There are many people anxious to form small limited liability companies in this country and to take share in development. I am pressing very strongly that something should be done in this matter without delay.ample evidence that a class of-Nigerian business men in emerging which will increasingly be capable of making a genuine contribution to the industrial and commercial life of the country. I should like to deal with the existing restriction on the importation of American trucks into this country. and especially when. but I understand that the Nigerian Companies Income Tax Rate is the highest in the whole of colonial territories. I am prepared to meet the Financial Secretary for further discussion on this matter. in this country it is derived from one or two sources only. What I say regarding attracting outside capital applies to local enterprise as well. I do not think that this country can be accused of failing to cooperate with the United Kingdom Government at any time in . I suggest that relief should be given either by substantial reduction of the present or by introduction of a sliding scale whereby newly established companies could be afforded a breathing space while they are consolidating their business. It would seem therefore that we who stand in the greatest need of outside capital are those who are actually pursuing a policy which would tend to scare capital away from the country. Sir. Think of the large contribution which such people can make to our revenue if my suggestions are considered. we are told by the Honourable Financial Secretary.
if there was a job or work to be done. especially the sixteen mile stretch between Lagos and Ikorodu which after about five years still remains uncompleted. Ijebu-Ode-Benin roads. I know of many who have been completely ruined because the vehicles they are forced to buy earn hardly anything for them before they go to pieces. then the condition of our roads must be improved considerably beyond existing standards.prosecution of any measures for solving the dollar crisis. While on this subject. "Why should Government compel us to buy British lorries when they know very well these vehicles are not suitable for our roads?" These are things that help to swell the cry for self-government blindly. in the main. I cannot think of any more disgraceful example of official complacency than has been shown in the progress of construction work on these roads. In my opinion. and American trucks are the only reliable kind of vehicles which can be successfully employed for transportation work on the type of roads that we have in this country at present. These commodities are. We must evacuate our cocoa. Road transport plays a vital part in the economy of the country. palm kernels and other products from the interior to the coast. dollar earners. I should like to make reference to the Lagoslkorodu. Our Government appears to have learnt nothing from the last war. This sort of thing gets people embittered and I have been asked several times. they just got down to it and saw it through. The British make of trucks. it is a most unscientific approach to try to save dollars by limiting the very means by which a large amount of dollars could be earned. If we are to use British make of trucks with any degree of success. people did not fold their hands and talk about difficulties. as far as experience goes. The story of many Africans engaged in transport business and who have been compelled by present circumstances to operate their services with British trucks is a very depressing one. In the wary years. are simply unable to stand up to them. We hear the usual story about certain engineering difficulties. I wish all .
Work has progressed with reasonable satisfaction. I have heard reports from various sources that one of the chief causes of delay in the execution of many important schemes in the development has been the slowness in delivery of materials by the Crown Agents for the colonies. In fact. This may be so. nevertheless. would recapture some of that war-time spirit. It would appear that officials attach greater importance to this than the Ijebu-Ode-Benin section. been the result of much criticism in the past. the staff engaged on this section deserve some tribute especially when it is considered that they had not been having the benefit of the equipment and tools which appear to have been so generously supplied for operation in the Lagos-lkorodu section of the road. is being done by the staff in Ijebu-Ode. One can speak with less heat about that section of the road between Ijebu-Ode and Benin. But it may be said. . It is to my knowledge that while work is held up because Government Departments have to wait sometimes for years.those engaged in all departments of development. I have advocated on more than one occasion both in this House and I remember at the Colonial Conference in London over a year ago that if the machinery of the Crown Agents Office is too antiquated to deal with the needs of this rapid moving age. It is badly needed. however. If this is the idea then the sooner it is corrected the better. This is a story we are tired of hearing. then let us scrap it and place our business in the hands of some other organisations which can serve us better. perhaps. that this has. especially in our present stage. the construction of which. especially that portion of it. to get their indents executed. the latter section of the road is of some economic value to the country than the former. private enterprise seems to have experienced no difficulty in securing a flow Of Supply of the very materials which the Crown Agents are unable to obtain.
and reading through the half-yearly report on the general progress of development and welfare schemes. This. is always like the Nigerian Government which is prepared only to consider the claims of those who are in a position to employ force or threat of force to secure their legitimate dues. electrical and mechanical engineering sections of our development. In a service whose conditions are far from favourable the African holders suffer even greater disabilities. I understand that the Public Works Department is not only finding it extremely difficult to recruit engineers but that even most of those who are now in the service are looking for an opportunity to give up this appointment for something better elsewhere. the same thing applies to road. of course. I understand that the Medical Service has behind it a kind of Trade Union.There is also the cry of dearth of engineers. But what do you expect if you choose to treat engineers as if they are inferior to members of the other professions such as Medicine and Law. I understand that today there are less than five Africans holding the position of engineers in the Government service. hence the better conditions which they enjoy. and. when other departments were offering a Starting salary of L400 per annum to men newly qualified. while there are scores of African Medical Officers and perhaps the same in the Legal and Judicial Department. Take for instance. Even now when some of the earlier prejudices against the profession are disappearing. The reason is the more generous conditions provided for members of these . one is astounded to hear of a case where there was reluctance to apply the Harragin conditions to an African recently graduated in engineering on entering Government service until the man threatened to resign. I noticed that there are more vacant posts of engineers for various fields than those already filled. I believe. there are only six water engineers reported to be available for work while there are twenty-five vacant posts. of course. I can recall about fourteen years ago the case of a qualified African Engineer who when he sought appointment in Government was offered the ridiculous salary of 128 per annum.
is an agricultural country. In our Estimation of Expenditure. and I do not think anyone in this House will oppose any sum which may be earmarked for Agricultural Department to carry out its duties to the country provided the people of the country have an 'y assurance that they will have fair return from the department for their money. a figure which shows a net increase of . In a Province in the Region which I represent. for instance. I agree that very elaborate experimental works are being done by the department in its Headquarters in lbadan. Nigerian. It is up to the Government to do something to correct the position. quite apart from other provisions made under Colonial Development and Welfare Act.EIO.professions in the Government service. the department so readily referred to as Public Works Department is the only one that carries no super-scale posts. We may set out with all the enthusiasm we can command but the development of this country cannot be achieved without the service of engineers.200 to be spent during the years 1950-51 by our Department of Agriculture. the Provincial Engineer's post which. provision has also been made for an amount of E108. but how many farmers in this country have the time to go to experimental schools? I think that what we need today is practical demonstration. is the equivalent to that of a Resident in the Administrative service or Senior Medical Officer in the Medical. The duties of a District Engineer or Provincial Engineer are known to be very onerous and it is no surprise when one learns that an ever increasing number of engineers are taking advantage of the facility for retiring at forty-five years of age. and those who do know very little of what kind of work the department does. we have always been told. As pointed out by the Regional Deputy Director of Public Works in the Western House of Assembly recently. more than 90 per cent of the people of that area hardly have any idea of the existence of Agricultural Department in the country. is not a super-scale post. I believe. .501 over what was made available for the Department last year.
The people of that area whose main industry from time immemorial was trade have for some time developed the desire to farm in keeping with the great need of the country. I refer to . how many times an Agricultural Officer has visited farmers in Ijebu Province during the last ten years. It is a joke. I would like to bring to the notice of this House a very bad practice going on in the Western Provinces of the country. such schemes for the improvement of the daily lives of the people like water supply and electricity could not be carried out more rapidly. which need to be applied in the whole field of development in Nigeria. We spend large sums annually in building hospitals and providing other health services. will be made available by the people of this country provided the Department shows some sign of willingness to help them. Your Excellency. Sir. and yet omit to provide the first essential of healthy existence. only rather tragic joke. will result into a great trouble. One can say.We want Agricultural Officers to visit our farmers as much as possible. I have more serious complaints against the department which I hope to discuss with the Director when we meet in the Select Committee. if not checked in time. I know. Agricultural Department should be able to contribute very largely to improving the condition of our local food supply which is the main concern of the people of this country today. Our policy in these matters must be revised. I am sure. and to advise them of what to do to increase productivity. and whatever capital is required. Water supply certainly should be top priority. good water. to treat a patient in hospital and send him back to his village where he has to drink germ-ridden water only to develop worse diseases than the one for which he has been treated. We must recognise the principles of first things first. they have no encouragement from our Agricultural Department. within a twinkle of an eye. it is a pity indeed that in a country like this. but unfortunately. or count on his fingers. which. We have the land and we have the men.
palm kernels and other export produce from the interior to the port. of course. The Syrian came into this country without any money. I attended a meeting arranged by Sir Alan Burns and others at the instance of the Colonial Office. for instance. the object of which was to enquire into the sources of racial ill-feeling and to find ways of promoting . When I was in the United Kingdom in 1948 for the African Conference. The facts are that this subsidy is not helping those whom it is intended to help nor fulfilling the purpose for which it was intended. Rates have been reduced to such a figure that the whole Government subsidy on differential goes to the European Licenced Buying Agents instead of being passed on to the transporters as should be the case. What I wish to point out is that hardly a single African motor transport operator is today sharing in the carrying of cocoa. The African will not sit by and watch his resources being taken away from him by the Syrian with the aid of the British firms. palm kernels and other export produce from the interior to the port. Two evils result. the second is that Government is paying the tax-payers money for nothing. I do hope Government will look into this matter without delay. the British who put their. We want to see the country developed and we want to see the fruits of such development shared by those who have title to it.capital and energy into the process and the African who contributes his share by his labour and his land. one is the elimination of the Africa. He has been ousted from the field by the big Syrian transport firms. It is creating a great deal of bad feeling against not only the big Syrian firms but the European firms who suffer the greatest loss from looting. with the help of the European firms he soon amasses great wealth which he takes away from the country into which he puts back very little of what he had accumulated. The more serious. These Syrians have been undercutting rates to a point which rendered competition by the African impossible.the existing arrangements of Government subsidy paid on the transport of cocoa. is the former. namely.
better understanding. large sums are spent in building such things as hospitals and schools. but there will be a need for funds for the maintenance of these services and unless the country can produce more wealth by increased productivity. one Honourable Member of the House who was then new and not yet used to Government's way of treating the views of the unofficial members was compelled by his young experience of the work of the Council to make the following statements. in 1948. After all. Large sums of money are voted in the estimates for the transport of members to the meeting place and for paying their attendance allowances. not even the planting of the coconut tree. What is happening to day is that we are spending our money before we have earned it. he certainly is not going to encourage his student son or daughter in the United Kingdom to develop friendliest feeling towards those whose brothers are working against his interest in his own country. He said: Year after year budget sessions are held. During the Budget Session of this House. We all know that the consequences of such policy will lead to National Bankruptcy. It is now over a year since I became a member of this House. To deprive the African of his livelihood is certainly not the best way of creating better feeling. we shall soon reach a stage where we find ourselves unable to bear the burden. . I am asking through this House that immediate steps be taken to enquire into this complaint. Another point I wish to emphasise is the need for a bold drive in the development of productive lines as opposed to the development of purely social services. At present. if a father in Nigeria is deliberately deprived of the means by which he could make a decent livelihood in preference to a Syrian or any other foreigner. I can't still see what efforts have been made by the Government to carry out any of the demands or suggestions made during the last year's Budget Session.
but it should be remembered also that we have all sworn that we should serve our country faithfully and conscientiously. There are several comments I would like to make on specific items on the Estimates of Expenditure. they are the accredited representatives of the people and their people would expect much from them. After all. Let us speak the truth even if it is bitter. . I support the Appropriation Bill. but these I reserve until the Committee stage. and if we come as Honourable Members to talk and talk and talk which bears no fruitful results. I do not say that Government is not doing its best to help the people of this country.It is true that government way of doing things is very slow. but what I do say is that more weight should be given as far as possible to the point raised by the Honourable Members of this House during their speeches. then we shall be looked upon by our people as cheaters who are sent over here to make money at the expense of the poor rate and tax-payers. and I commend its efforts. Please let us face facts. I hope this criticism will be seriously considered by the Government. Your Excellency.
I consider the occasion significant not only because I am the President of your hosts' Association. members of the Made-in Nigeria Campaign Committee. Calvert. 25th May. There is no doubt that the extent and type of commitment will vary depending on the individual and the Organisation he represents. 1973 At Federal Palace Hotel. . that there must be coordination of efforts and a greater dedication on the parts of the various bodies concerned.Appendix B Address By The President of The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Chief Adeola Odutola At The Launching of The Phase Two of The Made-in-Nigeria Campaign On Friday. but more importantly because the need for increased patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products is a cause to which every Nigerian should be fully committed. Lagos Chairman Mr. however. Mr. It is essential. while the Federal and State Ministries of Industries are primarily concerned with the implementation of the government and manufacturers as well as other bodies to which I will refer later must never lose sight of their responsibilities for the advancement of manufacturing activities within the country's economy. It gives me great pleasure to be here with you this afternoon to launch the second phase of the Made-in-Nigeria Campaign. Commissioner and distinguished guests. to ensure increased industrial activities in the country in the interest of the people of Nigeria. Thus.
Not only does the manufacturer face difficulty in mobilising capital. Ile inadequacies of the infrastructure is a common knowledge and the reliance of the manufacturers on the limited facilities has been fully appreciated by no less an important personality than the Commanderin-Chief. The average man in this country I believe now appreciates to a much greater extent the factors affecting manufacturers in Nigeria. I hope add that the first phase has been successfully completed. to show the public the many examples of high quality products made in the country and of which they would be justifiably proud: secondly. increased activities on the construction of motorable roads. as clearly evidenced by the high priority accorded infrastructure in his last budget speech. Head of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria. allocation of funds for improved water supply. Lastly.The Manufacturers Association -of Nigeria embarked on this campaign which has now reached its second phase for three major reasons: First. he is also involved in a continuous search for suitable employees. government and otherwise who are concerned with the advancement of industry in Nigeria. the establishment of the industrial and Commercial bank . to make the general public more aware of factors affecting manufacturers in Nigeria. I see around me a rededication on the part of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) to improve supplies to consumers. General Gowon. to foster closer cooperation between manufacturers and all bodies. I may. These objectives are well summarised in the themes of the campaign which are: Made in Nigeria and Proud of It and Together We Can Make It The first phase of th6 campaign has been concluded.
this brochure which provides in a pictorial form of the many products made in Nigeria and of which we should be proud. In the next five days and fortnightly for several weeks. The brochure does not claim to be exhaustive as may be immediately obvious to a critical consumer Mention for instance. many Nigerians have avidly sought after foreign things in various shapes and forms. The made-in-Nigeria Campaign has now entered its second phase. These and other activities will no doubt improve the circumstances under which manufacturers operate in Nigeria to the benefit of all parties. Many reasons have been given for this characteristic which. For too long. the beautiful carpets made in Nigeria or Nigerian cocoa butter and. common though it is in other countries. It gives me great satisfaction to present to this select audience here and indeed the entire people of Nigeria. the football boots with which the Green Eagles won the Gold Medal in the last AllAfrican Games. This brochure which is being circulated this afternoon will subsequently go to every part of the federation conveying to the people of this country a few of the high quality products made by Nigerian manufacturers. is not made of the high quality cement that went into the construction of many structures like the Eko bridge. of course. the wide range of branded foods many of which have won international awards for quality in various parts of the world. loose coloured insert will be carried by Newspapers in various parts of the country. The message will reach many Nigerians and I sincerely hope it will give them greater pride in many things produced in Nigeria. has reached frustrating proportions in Nigeria.and the commencement of informative seminars by the Nigerian Enterprises Promotions Board. The self-denigrating attitudes of some Nigerians which have affected many locally manufactured products also pervade many other aspects of our national life. .
as manufacturers.Whilst the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has embarked on this campaign to remove as much as possible. The Nigerian Standards Organisation establishes and will award the certificate marks . Those. some of these misconceptions. Distinguished guests. which have not reached the mark. each person present today represents an Organisation to which the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria on behalf of industry is indebted in varying degrees. the Consumers Protection Council and Research institutions. The Investment Centres continues to attract. are proud of many of our products. we hope. It is my hope that our message of "Made-in-Nigeria and proud of it" will mark the reorientation of all Nigerians. We. The institutions least heard of and to which I wish to focus attention this afternoon are the various bodies involved in industrial research. it is hoped the Federal and State governments and other appropriate bodies will seek other ways and means of drastically reducing the general tendency among those who still continue to underestimate the Nigerian capacity. just as the banks increasingly improve on their level of assistance to industrialists.marks of guaranteed quality. In their various roles these and other bodies perform valuable services for the manufacturing sector. including a higher degree of self-respect in our people. will continue to receive every assistance from institutions such as the Nigerian Standards Organisation. industrial investments. manufacturers cannot claim to be the sole architect of the high quality goods made in Nigeria. Various institutions have continued to play most useful roles in the affairs of manufacturers. as you all are no doubt aware. Apart from the fact that all of us as consumers foster industrial development through our patronage. Too often research projects have been started without adequate consultation with local industrialists and on some occasions the . with many successes.
will serve to stimulate closer cooperation between research institutions in Nigeria and manufacturers. . and to emphasize the significant contribution these institutions could make with the right support from government and incentives to manufacturers. The patronage of Nigerian products deserves your full commitment and it is with the greatest pleasure that I present you all with this Made-in-Nigeria brochure which marks the next phase of the Madein-Nigeria Campaign. in due course. with the Nigerian Standards Organisation and the Industrial Research Council of Nigeria. I take this occasion which also coincides with the second anniversary of the establishment of the Association. I hope the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria may continue to rely on you and the institutions you represent to give every assistance to manufacturers and to offer constructive comments on manufacturing matters as and when the need may arise. In order to forge a closer link with Research Institutions throughout the country. a total amount of N 10. The details of this award have still to be worked out by the Association in conjunction. to announce that the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has decided to make an Award of N2. we hope. It is my hope. and that of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria that this award though modest. it will. instigate more positive incentives from the government to research institutions. I also hope that. Thus.000 each year for the next five years to any institution in the country adjudged to have produced the most quality of any locally manufactured product.government has sought to increase the utilization of local raw materials without providing sufficient incentives to both the manufacturers and research institutions.000 will be awarded in the next five years for industrial research findings of direct relevance to manufacturing activities in the country. Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen.
the Price Control Board and now Udoji. shortages of manufacturing materials. and to those manufacturers who are squeezed between international cost inflation. efforts should be directed towards export promotion to ensure that our industries benefit from the current negotiations on trade liberalisation in Europe. Odutola March 1975 The situation in Nigeria today is paradoxical. But to those who witness the seeming disregard of businessmen by some public officers who consider non-oil revenues as of no consequence. this indeed is the best of times. To those who have lived through the uncertainties of civil war and are now privileged to witness an era of buoyant Government revenues. this period would look like the worst of times. . We of this Association therefore consider that the National Economic Development plan period we shall be entering next April should be employed first to broaden the base of industry by increasing in our manufactures the input of local materials. This period looks like the "best of times" and the worst of times" to borrow a line from Charles Dickens. Secondly. West Africa.Appendix C "We Never Had It So Bad" Being an Extract From An Address Delivered at The Fouith Annual Conference of the Manufacturers' Association of Nigetia By Chief -T. and the rest of the world. A.
and imparting modern technology into our economy. . The net result is that the cotton textile industry has not recovered from the destructive effect of that sudden change in policy. the protectionist policy was reinforced and productive capacities in the sheltered industries were expanded to make Nigeria self-sufficient in some consumer products. After independence in early sixties. more efforts should be directed in the plan period towards greater investment in agriculture and agro-allied industries. replacing imported consumer goods with local manufactures. Not only has it been impossible for many textile mills to repay the loans raised for their expansion but profit has been wiped out in many mills. personnel and capital to an unexplored industrial territory like Nigeria of the early sixties. we embarked on industrialisation with a view to diversifying our economy and improving our terms of trade. the incentives given to industries should be broadened rather than diminished. creating employment for our educated youth. This naturally led to the protection of our infant industries which needed time to grow while necessary skills were being imparted to Nigerians.Thirdly. foreign exchange became scarce. Fourthly. Without that policy it would have been impossible to attract foreign skill. As soon as the civil war ended. the protection given to local industry was lifted and backward integration of the textile industry in particular turned sour. however. Importation of foreign cotton textiles was liberalised generally. It is on that last suggestion that I shall now speak even at the risk of appearing critical of the support hitherto given to industry. With the intervention of the civil war.
posts and telecommunications. The case for protection of local industry is further buttressed by the inadequacy of infrastructural services like water.The protection of local industry would appear to have been followed also in the breach in regard to the local manufacture of pharmaceutical drugs and printed matters.Organisation of private fire services on estates. Whereas drugs are imported duty free and printed matters allowed in at low rates of duty the materials for the manufacture of generic drugs and printed matter are imported at higher rates of duty. Others are employment of messengers for postal work within and between towns. and port facilities. the policy of protecting infant industries must be consistently followed for several years before success can be registered. I have mentioned only two of several instances where the protection of local industry is not being implemented. the physical facilities on industrial estates. My Association wishes it to be understood that.establishment of high-capacity generating plants and . Loss of goods and essential parts at ports. . . The inadequacy of these services has led to local manufacturers incurring additional costs in the form of: construction of private water works and boreholes. It must be also noted that the policy also implies a sacrifice by consumers.and payment of freight surcharges for long delays at ports. as happened in many industrialised countries in the recent past. Not only must they put up with slightly higher cost of local manufactures but they must endure lower quality until the skills of local labour can be raised. . electricity.
The additional costs arising from those basic services not only offset the value of incentives and reliefs given to local industry but result in increased prices of local manufactures which are thus rendered uncompetitive with the goods of foreign countries with better infrastructural services and export subsidy schemes. pharmaceutical. We submit that until the infrastructural services are made adequate hopefully during the 1975-80 plan period. Rather. . printing trade and metal fabrication to which adequate protection has hitherto not been given. we would suggest that immediate steps be taken to protect other local industries like boat building. it would be unwise to withdraw the protection given to our local industries.
and also with the increasing shortage of essential commodities.Appendix D Investment Constraints in Nigeria An Address By Chief Adeola Odutola President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria At the Annual General Meeting of MAN 23 February 1978 The present administration has introduced a sense of purpose into the industrial and commercial life of the country and my Association appreciates the effort that has so far been made in this direction. . However. the nation’s economic situation continues to demand the attention of the association. The business community of this country of which the Association is regarded as a prominent member is a vital contributor to the nation’s economic growth and it is therefore necessary that the Association should be accorded fair encouragement commensurate with its contribution. The Government'’ fiscal and monetary measures appear to be working in the face of galloping inflation but with Government'’ current high expenditure on projects envisaged under the Third National Development Plan. and the harvest of the efforts under “Operation Feed the Nation” still to be gathered in. there appears to be a need for a review of the nation’s anti-inflation package.
it is generally believed that an efficient telephone service will reduce the number of vehicles Plying our roads. Many member-companies that have gone to the expense of installing telex machines are unable to use them because Post and Telecommunications Department lacks both the man-power and the spare parts to maintain the service. . In the midst Of scarcity Of many commodities that consumers need in the ordinary course Of living.We therefore desire that Government will direct the Ministry of Finance and the authorities of the Central Bank to review the mechanics of our foreign exchange. it is sad to observe that most of our member-companies operate under-capacity because Of fluctuation in voltage and lack Of reliable supply of electrical Power and water. We solicit Government assistance in providing initial incentive and support to industries in form of infrastructural facilities. The telephones are unserviceable and Only last recently there was a report in the paper that 1. and yet they are made to pay rent. the water level in the reservoir at Kainji darn is too low this year for generators to work normally and that the present Power crisis will be with us for another six months.500 telephones in some parts of Lagos State are Out of order. Traffic congestion which had eased for some time is building up again. Workers forced to be idle during working hours because of lack of Power are paid for work not done. The productive elements are not only under-utilised but expensive to maintain. Recently we were told that because of drought. While there are some manufacturers whose telephones have been out Of use for more than five months.
This declaration. Adeleye. . It is my view and that of my Association that the most workable and constructive system for our economy is the mixed one in which some services in demand by the public are supplied by the private sector and other services which cannot be efficiently supplied by the private sector are given by the public sector. These measures were designed primarily to make local manufactured goods more Price competitive. Dr. You will recall that almost a year ago the Head of State. To this end protective tariffs were levied on some commodities and concessions were granted to some manufacturing sectors. The Private Sector in the interest of the economy of this country should no longer be barred from competing in these fields. when he asserted on this platform last Year that the authorities were aware Of the problems associated with industrialisation in this country and that Government was determined to minimise some of these problems so as to stimulate industrial output.While we appreciate the difficulties facing the authorities in control of our public utilities. but Should also be divested of the monopoly of operation they enjoy. Post and Telecommunications Department and the Nigeria Airways should not only be allowed to operate on a commercial basis. was subsequently articulated by the Federal Commissioner for Industries. we take this opportunity to re-iterate that National Electric Power Authority. declared this fiscal year now coming to an end as that of developing Agriculture and Industry as distinct from the previous fiscal year which was for infrastructural development. Lieutenant General Olusegun Obasanjo.
The discriminatory treatment meted to foreign investors who have to file in additional documents for the release of foreign exchange to enable them to repatriate dividends. Perhaps the following examples of some of the factors promoting uncertainty will help clarify this point: (i) Delays in obtaining agreement in principle for "pioneer" and "approved" status when forming a company. and water. The resultant effect of these limiting factors is to lower the overall expected returns on investment and consequently the flow of investment is hindered. (ii) (iii) . and the variable and inadequate supplies of such basic services as electricity. The lags involved in reaching decisions regarding the release of foreign exchange for the installment payment for capital and cost of machinery despite the prior agreement in principle when initial payments are made. The most powerful check on investment is the climate of uncertainty generated in the institutional lags experienced in implementing the commercial and trade regulations spelt out in some of our Decrees.But whilst these changes are welcome and have nationally desirable Objectives it is important to note that by themselves they are insufficient to stimulate investment which as you know is the purveyor of technology into our economy and a factor we cannot do without if we wish to Promote industrialisation.
Give the Pioneering industries 5 to 7 years to take off. with the result that our average production costs have risen to heights that erode the very price advantages which are claimed to have been conferred on us through the protective tariffs and concessions. Hence. These alternative provisions are not only expensive but also second-best solutions. is only 161/2percent. In our effort to stabilise our production schedules against a background of fluctuating supply of electricity and water we have resorted to the provision of stand-by generators and bore-holes. It is therefore desirable that more effort should be made to minimise the areas of uncertainty affecting our operations some of which I would like to mention: (i) Terminate frustration generally experienced by prospective investors in this country some of whom often give up altogether after making fruitless journeys from ministry to ministry when seeking to establish business by establishing now the Business Advisory Commission that would take over all the services necessary for the quick processing of applications by manufacturers and act as "clearing house" as announced in the Head of State's Budget Speech one year ago. (ii) (iii) Reduce to the barest minimum Import Duty on Raw Materials to be used by manufacturers. . we are forced to operate below our normal capacity levels.(iv) The rate of dividend permissible on profit which as of now.
water roads. unit transportation costs so that more manufacturers would be prepared to move towards delivered price concepts. It is also desired that accelerated depreciation allowances be granted on capital spent on manufacturers’ transport costs. leather and rubber goods that are now plentiful and of undoubted quality are not subjected to unfair competition from rival and heavily subsidised products from abroad. (v) Positive action from the authorities that would ensure that "Made in Nigeria" products such as wire products. Failing to do so would not only limit our productive capacity base but also the size of our market. It is our view that the Price Control Board should take into account. Now that the manufacturing capability in the country is increasing rapidly. cables. post and telecommunications. (vi) Develop pari-passu with demand electricity. textiles. it is our desire that the manufacturer should be encouraged to take a more active interest in the distribution of his products but under present regulations it is not attractive for him to do so because his lorry is not permitted to ply back to it base with return load. scaling down of Excise Duty on locally manufactured goods as against the imported articles which are often subsidised by the governments of the producing countries. where applicable. . nails. splints for safety-matches.(iv) Systematic. toothbrush.
.This arrangement should bring closer co-operation between manufacturers and Price Control Board and also beneficial to curbing inflation in distribution costs. we call on government to look into the matter of industrial decentralisation. which government can readily encourage by providing the necessary infrastructural support and granting some measure of relief to new industries sited outside urban centres. In conclusion.
Let us look back for a while and reflect soberly on our achievements and setbacks. Let us evaluate realistically our successes in forging a praiseworthy. Like Janus in mythology. Let us as industrial agents of our people hold the scales in our hands and note conscientiously whether we can record a favourable balance towards a sound national economic growth with out Gross National product recording an annual growth of 3 per cent or 4 per cent as anticipated or contrarily record on our scales a regrettable decline in percentages in our Gross National product to the detriment of our nation and of our consumers. Plans for economic developments are being implemented . and to the advantage of our national industrial policy. Manufacturers Association of Nigeria March 1979 As we complete the annual cycle. we find ourselves landed on the eighth milestone of our Association’s existence.Appendix E We Need Incentive From Government Chief Adeola Odutola President. we have one face looking back reflectively and another face looking forward not with temerity but with courage and determination. on our anticipated economic goals and our actual accruals. We have all tangible evidence that the infrastructure for economic growth has been further strengthened since our last annual general meeting. profitable and sound economic link between the producer and consumer.
More warehousing facilities where necessary. c. at our general meeting the need for improvement to essential services was stressed – these were electricity. Can we in retrospect affirm that sufficient has been done to make adequate provision of the essential posts of an infrastructure that will sustain the street and strain of sound economic growth? Last year. Do we today experience marked improvements? We are pleased to observe that the multi-storeyed building for the Nigerian External Telecommunications Limited has been commissioned let us therefore expect a multiple performance per excellence from our telecoms services. Then there is the overall National Industrial Policy which seems to be .and efforts are being made to stimulate and expand the economy. Inadequate sanitation and waste disposal services. Water supply. water and posts/telecommunications services. All of which were described as woefully inadequate for the efficient performance of the manufacturing sector. There are other ancillary services and problem areas worth stressing because they are vital to economic development. a few of which I should like to mention: a. Bad condition of roads in many industrial estates. Inadequacy of industrial plots. b. e. d.
Inadequate protection from competition. the present policy of corporation taxation and income tax and also the existing import restrictions. the present rigid control of prices. We have been told that it is government’s avowed policy to promote self-sufficiency and to inculcate self-reliance. on the contrary the situation might deteriorate.calling for some overhauling. Insufficient food production with its resultant increase in import bills on food items. Our diagnoses reveal the following: A threatened recession in the manufacturing sector of the economy brought about the existing attitude to dividend and bonus issues. The unfortunate situation of the manufacturers not getting approved users status – some being withdrawn without reasons. otherwise no remedy will be effected. No seemingly effective law and order to provide enough protection of life and property in some of the major cities and towns in the country which is a very grave discouragement to world-be investors. Unsteadiness in government’s policy which tends to create a feeling of uncertainty among manufacturers and investors. Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has pledged itself to render whole-hearted support to the Federal Military Government in its desire to promote the economic development of the nation and the . but these objectives are only attainable if the right injections are administered into the system. These are worthy objectives which demand mobilisation of capital.
Our recommendation is that projects with long gestation periods should be given comparable tax free periods. . For example. and malt-extract. glucose. agriculture and manufacturing. Raw materials for production of confectioneries currently over-taxed could be given some fiscal respite by lowering import duties on sugar. We recommend more viable price controls which should be introduced after due discussion of production costs with manufacturers. We would however like to make the following recommendations in respect of some of the main areas we have enumerated earlier on calling for improvements. while investors also deserve some consideration. Every effort has to be made to bring this under control. One of the major incentives which is always expected by industrialists from government is protection against importation of products which are locally produced and associated with this is the problem of smuggling. Duties on industrial chemical should be reviewed with the possibility of setting a maximum ceiling of 5 percent ad valoren. It is worth noting that the growth rate in confectionery is not encouraging because real income has not increased for the past three years. In the matter of dividend and bonus issues.people through a positive contribution to the Gross National Product. Manufacturers need the incentive to expand thereby absorbing more labour and reducing unemployment. we do submit that a payout ratio of less than 46 percent gross and 25 percent net does no provide sufficient inducement for new investment but that differential rates of corporate taxes and dividends payments be used as further means of allocating capital into the more favourable areas of the economy.
let us all join hands together in this crusade and with one great pull. which is a growing. and many other big projects in the pipeline. Economic growth would be really meaningful if it results in raising the standard of living of the average man and not widen the gap between the haves and have nots. With that. Honourable Commissioner. we face the future with high hopes based on the established rapport between the public sectors and my Association together with other private sectors. as a nation. But that future of our dream will continue to be an illusion if agriculture and industry are not given their rightful places in our development planning and budgeting and if. we have reasons to look to the future with hopes that there is a greater tomorrow for the nation. Nigeria is on the verge of great industrial expansion more so with the establishment of a giant Iron and Steel Industry. the general malaise of indiscipline is not up-rooted from our socioeconomic life. to make our nation what we all want it to be. to the benefit of our common people. self-reliant disciplined nation.Honoured guests. Our Association expects an established policy or regular dialogue with the government based on mutual trust. to continued to the advantage of manufactures and consumers and more important. .
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