By NBF News

Members, veterans and leaders of the National Union of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE) have commended the foresight of Comrade Lateef Oyelekan-led administration embarking on capital projects that will lift the union. Speaking at the site inspection of the latest project, a three- storey guest house at Ojodu, a suburb in Lagos, embarked upon by the union, the third of such, within two years, the former president of the union, and labour veteran, Pa Steve Osidipe, said the union has done well within the short period that Oyelekan has been at the helm of affairs.

'This is the kind of a leader that I am proud of, Oyelekan did not let me down because the first year of his assumption, he completed the multi purpose halls.  Since I laid the foundation of that multi-purpose halls in 1984, no other person ever added any new block to it. But the moment Oyelekan came on board within the first year, he completed the building.

' Within two years of his reign, he completed another project and now, in the third year of his reign, he has started the Labour Guest House that will generate more jobs and add more money for the union.

Comrade Osidipe who is also the President of the Labour Veterans Union noted that Oyelekan was not the type of leaders that eats with both hands or siphon the money put in their trust.

My prayer for him is that God will continue to strengthen him and give him more boldness to do the task of establishing the union as one of the best in the country.

'What Oyelekan did was just a confirmation of what the late Moshood Abiola Kashimawo (MKO), said when he laid the multi purpose halls foundation in 1983 'continuation and completion of projects started by another person is like when the tree you planted is being watered into maturity by another person, this is the fruit of unity,' he maintained

The labour leader stated that Oyelekan's leadership is the type desired not only in the food union but in Nigeria as a whole, stressing that he was proud that the project he left behind was not allowed to waste.

Comrade Tony Anyas, one of the vice presidents of the union, also said, Oyelekan's style of leadership was commendable as he has good interpersonal relationship with all the executives of the union.

'We have had many people, but we have few that have very good leadership qualities, Oyelekan is one of those with such leadership qualities. He is selfless, he did not eat with both hands, and rather he is interested in moving the union forward.

'All these buildings and investments are in line with our vision,' He said. The vice president however, said that the achievement recorded has not been without sacrifice on the part of the executives. 'Though it is taking us some pains because we have to contribute our quotas towards these projects, we are however grateful because Oyelekan is using the money well. 'Oyelekan regime is result-oriented. He did not only completed that multi purpose halls, but he named one hall after our former President, Comrade Osidipe,' he said.

The National Treasurer, Comrade Ahmed Yahaya, likewise added that the executives were proud to be part of the Oyelekan's team as he has put NUFBTE in the forefront of the unions in the country through its investments which no longer made them servitude to employers. 'We highly applauded the good leadership role being played by Oyelekan, he is doing us proud, we have to task ourselves, we have to stretch our pockets to achieve these projects because of the poor condition of our sector', he said.

The General Secretary Comrade Busari Bamidele, attributed the success recorded to the glory of the Lord.

'This guest house under construction is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes. This is a sure testimony that with faith in God, nothing is impossible, that whenever you involved God, something that would have taken you 10 years can take just one year. Through this, we are justifying our stay in office.'

Comrade Oyelekan in his response said his driving force has been his resolve and determination to make positive change everywhere he goes. 'I want to say big thank you to all members of the union, the National Action Committee (NAC), the members of National Executive Council (NEC) of the union, state executive and others for their support which propelled me to start and complete the two projects in the past, without them I wouldn't have been able to do them alone.

And as the construction of the guest house is at advanced stage, we are going to use it for our 2012 delegate conference.' He said. According to him, the projects were part of fulfilling his electioneering promises, 'I promised that, if voted in, I will lift up the union to higher pedestal, so, these projects are part of the fulfillment because it would remove the union from depending on check-off dues and also would create more jobs.

'As you can see, the multi purpose halls and the Ventures have started yielding fruits, because we have affordable products being sold at companies' prices as we are getting them directly from the manufacturers.

The President said the guest house which the foundation was laid in May 2010 is a three storey building with 45 rooms, swimming pool, elevator, conference hall, laundry, restaurant and parking space.  

 'So far the ground floor has been completed and the pace at which we are going, we will complete it before the year runs out, because we will love to hold our delegate conference there next year', he said.