Plans are in full gear for the Ondo State Government to convene a summit of its diaspora community in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and other places across the world. The diaspora summit, which is billed to hold virtually on Saturday, December 2, 2023 for those in North and South America and Saturday, December 9, 2023 for those in Europe and other parts of the world, is an offshoot of the Develop Ondo conference which took place in Akure earlier this year.
The aim of the summit is to make Ondo indigenes across the globe aware of investment opportunities in the state, thus fostering an avenue for mutual growth and sustained development. The event will be hosted by Prince Boye Ologbese, the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Diaspora Relations in Ondo State, while Governor Rotimi Akeredolu will be the Chief Host, delivering the keynote address. The event will be anchored by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Citizenship and Leadership, Ms. Rinsola Abiola, whose office is also providing technical assistance on the planning of the diaspora summit.
The event boasts a lineup of notable government officials at the federal and state levels, and highly respected private sector players and traditional rulers.
The Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, who is one of the biggest real estate investors in Ondo State, is billed to speak on the opportunities available in the real estate sector. Also to speak at the event are Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the widely celebrated Minister of Interior who, until his appointment, was a member of the House of Representatives from Ondo State, and Ayodele Olawande, the Minister of State for Youth Development and youngest member of the Federal Executive Council.
The Coordinating Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, is also expected to speak on the health sector, a crucial sector which many Ondo diasporans work in.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Director-General of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, is to speak on the importance of sustained diaspora engagement and Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), will speak on investment opportunities available in the tech sector and how Nigerians living abroad can harness these opportunities.
Development partners such as the UNDP will also be represented at the summit and Dr. Seye Oyeleye, Director General of the DAWN Commission, will feature as a panelist.
Officials of the Ondo State government built to participate in the summit include the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa, the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral resources, Engr. Razaq Obe, the Commissioner for Information, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, the Director General of the Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (ONDIPA), Gbenga Badejo, the Ondo State Commissioner for Infrastructure, Lands and Housing, Engr. Raimi Aminu, and the Head of Business Development at ONDIPA, Femi Akarakiri.
Others include Dr. Banji Awolowo Ajaka, the Commissioner for Health, Professor Adedayo Faduyile OON, Special Adviser on Health, Dr. Ajibayo Adeyeye, Special Adviser on Political, Legislative and Strategy, Olumbe Akinkugbe, Chairman of the State Information Technology Development Agency and Peace Odili, Special Assistant to the Governor on Innovation and Partnerships.
Private sector players billed to feature as panelists at the summit include Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, leading Nigerian tech entrepreneur and Founding Partner at Future Africa, Folajomi Adegbulugbe, Director of Business at RBD Limited, Joel Ogunsola, Founder of Prunedge, and Prince Adebiyi Ayeni, who serves in the management team of leading real estate company, Jide Taiwo & Co.
Also featuring are key members of the Ondo diaspora community such as Kehinde Olateju, CEO of Business Analytic Consulting, Dr. Akinloye Olorungbemi, DPT, CEO of Optima Physical Therapy, and Dr. Oluremi Adewale, Founder and CEO of Women Focus Canada.
The summit is being organized by the Ondo State Government with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the European Union through the Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) Phase II programme led by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Economy, and supported by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs).