Over two decades earlier, the current Governor of Edo State was simply Godwin Obaseki – a young investment banker at the forefront of his profession in Nigeria. At that time, he issued the Tolaram Group its first Commercial Paper, which allowed the company access to the finances required to develop and promote what is now arguably the biggest food brand in West Africa- Indomie. Godwin Obaseki would go on to achieve many firsts in his illustrious career as an Investment Banker before his call to public service.
Today, His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki, returns to the Tolaram Group’s head office in Singapore to discuss agro investment in oil palm and cassava plantations to feed the firm’s sprawling processing plants. The discussion births a new kind of private-public sector relationship that is essential for proper development. This kind of relationship is based on trust and respect- one borne from the credibility of the leadership. This is the kind of credibility the leadership of Godwin Obaseki brings to Edo State and indeed Nigeria.
But this unique relationship does not end there; the first lady- Mrs Betsy Obaseki, in her role at the Bank of Industry, has a successful relationship with the Tolaram Group as well. She oversaw the financing of the development of two of the company’s leading brands- Multipro and Pure flour as Head of the Agribusiness Division at the time. She was also at the helm of the Oil Palm Refinery project financing at the Lekki Free Trade Zone before being promoted to head the strategy arm of the Bank.
Today, His Excellency Godwin Obaseki, Her Excellency Betsy Obaseki in the company of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Edo State, Kadiri Bashiru, and Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Emmanuel Usoh are in Singapore discussing and developing transactions with the Tolaram Group in a bid to attract over $50m worth of investments and creation of at least 50,000 jobs in Edo State.