ABRIDGED PROFILE OF:HIS EXCELLENCY OTUNBA (ENGR.) GBENGA DANIEL, FNIMechE, FNSE, FAEng.
His Excellency, Otunba (Engr.) Gbenga Daniel, FNSE, FAEng. is an Engineer, a Technocrat and a staunch Nationalist. He joined an Engineering firm; H.F. Schroeder (W.A.) Limited in his early years an rose to the level of the Deputy Managing Director thus becoming the first African to occupy such position. He left Schroeder and founded Kresta Laurel Limited (KLL) an Electro-mechanical Engineering company that specializes in elevators, overhead travelling cranes and hoists. He is also the Founder of Conference Hotels (CH) a first class brand in the hospitality industry and he is on the board of several companies.
Otunba Daniel attended Baptist Boys High School (BBHS) and later proceeded first to the School of Basic Studies at The Polytechnic Ibadan for his Advanced Level and thereafter got admitted into the School of Engineering, University of Lagos and graduated with flying colours as an Engineer. He holds the Master of Business Administration degree (MBA).
He was declared Mastermind of the Year 1975 in an NTA Quiz programme as a 19 year old under-graduate at the University of Lagos and the best Student in Mechanical Engineering in 1979.
He was a two-term Executive Governor of Ogun State from 2003-2007 and 2007-2011. His campaign in 2003 was a revolution in the state as he visited all the 236 wards in the State and met with every stakeholder. He was applauded for redefining campaign for any political office holder in Nigeria.
According to several testimonies on records, his administration remain a reference point in the history of the Gateway State as he left his footprints in the annals of the nooks and crannies of the State some of which are:
- The dualization of the Sagamu-Abeokuta expressway
- Rehabilitation and construction of many roads across the State
- Construction of stadia in the three senatorial districts of the state one of which was the Gateway International Stadium Ijebu-Ode that played host to the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup which was held in Nigeria.
- International Markets at Sagamu, Ilaro and Owode-Yewa.
Otunba Gbenga Daniel prioritized education during his administration with some of the following giant strides:
- Founded the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) which is the first in Nigeria; second in Africa and eighth in the world.
- Established four different Polytechnics and some other institutions;
- Gateway ICT Polytechnic, Isara-Remo;
- Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic, Ijebu-Igbo,
- ICT, Itori
- Institute of Technology, Igbesa
- Gateway Industrial and Petrochemical Industry (GIPI) Oni, Ogun Waterside.
- Employed thousands of Teachers and Civil Servants.
- He built the NYSC permanent orientation camp in Sagamu which was adjudged as the best in Nigeria.
- Implemented the multi-campus system of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) and moved the Univeristy to her present permanent site at Ago-Iwoye.
Otunba Gbenga Daniel initiated the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model that attracted several businesses into the State as evidenced in the array of companies springing-up at the Sagamu Interchange area of the State including but not limited to; Nestle Plc, Emzor Pharmaceutical Plc, Coleman Wires and Cables, Honeywell Mills, Cway Nigeria, Nigeria Breweries, Apple and Pear etc.
His infrastructural ideas also gave birth to:
- The Agro-Cargo Airport at Ilisan-Remo.
- Initiated and obtained licenses to operate three Free Trade Zones;
- Ogun/Guangdong Free Trade Zone at Igbesa;
- The Olokola Free Trade Zone at Ogun Waterside and
- The Kajola Free Trade Zone at Ifo.
He also created many State Agencies including the;
- Ogun State Employment Generation Program (OGEGEP),
- Ogun State Road Maintenance Agency (OGROMA),
- Ogun State Rural Medical Program (OGRUMED)
- Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Agency (TRACE) just to mention a few.
The above few accomplishments during his administration earned him the prestigious ‘Best Governor of the Year’ award for 3 consecutive period in; 2003, 2004 and 2005.
After the end of his second tenure as Ogun State Governor in 2011 and having taken a long break from active politics, he joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019. With his impressive track records during the eight years of his administration, he was wooed by many party Leaders in Ogun East to set his eyes towards the upper chamber of the National Assembly and ahead of the 2023 elections. He subsequently went on consultations with the high and low members across the party lines.
He obtained the senatorial form of the party and in May 2022, he clinched the ticket for Ogun East. His campaign took him to all the 103 wards across the nine Local Government Areas of the senatorial district during which his empowerment initiatives, through the Gateway Front Foundation (GFF), was deployed and touched many lives.
On Saturday 25th February, 2023 Otunba Gbenga Daniel contested the senatorial elections and won overwhelmingly.
As a Philanthropist of repute, Otunba Gbenga Daniel established the Gateway Front Foundation (GFF), a nonprofit organization with the focus to empower the lower and middle-class residents of Ogun State. The foundation gave scholarships to indigenes of Ogun state studying in various tertiary institutions in Nigeria and also donated library Equipments to public schools with over 250 indigent Students being supported with various scholarships at various stages as well as empowerment packages. The foundation also embarked on free eye surgery and medical treatment for the masses.
Otunba Gbenga Daniel received the following International Honours:
- Honorary Georgia Citizen, Secretary of State, State of Georgia, USA.
- Certificate of Recognition, City of Detroit, State of Michigan, USA.
- Distinguished Visitor to Miami Dade County.
He also holds the following honorary doctorate degrees:
- Doctor of Development Administration (DDA, Honoris Causa)
- Doctor of Agriculture (D.Sc. Agric. (Honoris Causa)
- Doctor of Science, Engineering.
- Doctor of Public Administration (Honoris Causa).
In 1989, The National Concord Newspapers listed Otunba Gbenga Daniel as one of the 100 most fascinating businessmen in Nigeria.
Otunba Daniel is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (FNSE), a Fellow of the Academy of Engineering (FAEng) and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors (FIoD).
He is the President of Nigerian-Finnish Business Council, established to foster business relationship between Nigerian companies and their counterparts in Finland with the goal of encouraging trade and investment.
Otunba Daniel is one of the most decorated eminent Nigerians with Chieftaincy Titles across the length and breadth of Nigeria. The major ones being:
- The Fesojoye of Ile-Ife (the youngest Yorubaman to be so honoured with an Ife title in 1989 at the age of 32).
- Otunba Obalofin of Ijebuland
- Arole of Remoland
- The Olu-Nla of Egbaland
- The Oga-Nla of Yewaland
- Okosisi of Obinugwu, Imo State among others.
An accomplished Businessman with the rare traits for recording success, Otunba Daniel is a holder of the Zik Leadership Award among other high-class awards bestowed on him by several top-rated Institutions and Organizations.
A God fearing-Man, Otunba Gbenga Daniel is the Asiwaju of Remo Christians, succeeding the Late Sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo as the last holder of the title.
His Excellency, Otunba Gbenga Daniel is happily married to Her Excellency, Yeye Olufunke Daniel and blessed with many Children.