Abeokuta, Oct. 6, 2023: Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday called for more investments in the manufacturing sector to tackle unemployment, poverty and boost the economy.
Obasanjo made this call in Abeokuta while speaking at the unveiling of the Luxe Regal Brand of Royal Chairs produced by Olatunde Prestige Limited, located at Akinale along the Lagos-Abeokuta road.
“The importance of the manufacturing sector in developing the economy and empowering the teeming youths cannot be overemphasised.
“When people are gainfully employed and have food on their table, they can then contribute to the development of the nation.
“Only then will crime no longer be attractive to them,” the former president, represented by his wife, Mrs Bola Obasanjo, said.
Obasanjo lauded Pastor Babatunde Ebidero, Chief Executive Officer of Olatunde Prestige Limited, for his ingenuity and for daring all odds to go into manufacturing of durable and beautifully-made chairs .
He noted that the gesture had created jobs for thousands of people and added value to the country’s economy.
Earlier, a traditional ruler, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, lauded Ebidero for investing in a venture that would help to create wealth and take the young ones off the streets.
Gbadebo, represented by the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Oba (Prof) Saka Matemilola, explained that manufacturing remained the way to go to revive the country’s economy.
“We all know that government cannot do it alone, enough of blaming the government. Like Pastor Ebidero, let us think of what we can do to make a positive difference in the society.
“We should all think of what we can do to support the government in creating jobs and thereby reducing poverty and crimes in our society,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Gboyega Akosile, the Chief Press Secretary to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwoolu, hailed Ebidero’s resourcefulness and daring courage in treading where many were quite afraid.
Akosile said that the government should find a way to further encourage people like Ebidero by helping to create jobs in the country.
On his part, Ebidero said: “Previously, I was into importing of chairs but the urge to create jobs for the youths made me embrace manufacturing of chairs in 2015.
“I would always see these youths milling around and constituting security threats,” he said.
Ebidero said that aside creating jobs and helping to reduce pressure on the demands for forex, the company had also trained over 1,000 youths.
He said that some of the youths were also into production of chairs across the country, and adding value to the country’s economy.