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Personality Interview: Meet Amb. Ramata Agberemi Dabo, Founder of Baby Blue Angels Foundation

OduduwaNews: Can we meet you?

Mrs. Ramata: I’m Ramata Agberemi Dabo, the founder of Baby Blue Angels Foundation.
Oduduwa News: How did your childhood look like?
Mrs. Ramata: I was born in Ibadan and had my Nursery and Primary Education in Ibadan; I attended Methodist Grammar School, Bodija, Ibadan where I obtained my Senior School Certificate SSCE before proceeding to Paris in France where I had my first degree in Criminology. Thereafter, I moved to United States of America, where I am currently pursuing a law degree.

My childhood was fantastic, living with parents who motivated and moulded me along humanitarian line. While growing up, I was trained by compassionate parents who contributed a lot in helping the needy and the society at large. So, there was a day I told myself that whenever I grow up, I would follow the footpaths of my parents and shall take up the challenge of helping the less privileged in our society and I wish my children too would pick it from wherever I stop.
So, the experience was fantastic, my parents taught me to be passionate about the growth and the development of my society.

OduduwaNews: Can we have an insight into BBA?

Mrs. Ramata: BBA is just an acronym that goes by the words: Baby Blue Angels Foundation. It’s a foundation established a year back and the Foundation is primarily meant to contribute to the development of our society. If we all say we are not going to contribute our quota, the society will be deteriorating to what we don’t expect reason why we should take up the challenge. Overthere, in the United States of America, it’s the people that initiate development from their respective homes before politicians take it up. So, I brought this type of innovation back home, because I want to build a society where the less privileged, the needy, elderly will be catered for without necessarily waiting for politicians or government. Though, the important role of the government can’t be overlooked but individuals still have a major role to play. This is what I have been doing right from my childhood, not that the BBA Foundation is the first humanitarian call I will be answering. It has been part of me while I was growing up because of the belief of my parents, that giving to the needy, elderly and society at large has a great reward. Though, it has been challenging, I have been running the foundation on personal purse and I have not regretted because I believe that contributing to humanity has it way of rewarding one back.
In addition, part of my dream is to work with the Nigerian Police not necessarily in terms of providing finance, but making sure that we have a better policing, where there will be a synergy between the police and the people.

OduduwaNews: What motivated you to found BBA?
Mrs. Ramata: Making difference in the larger society is the major motive for founding BBA, and since the establishment, we have done a lot of humanitarian services by assisting the less privileged as well as people with disability among others. Recently, we went to Methodist Grammar School and we donated projector and other school materials to the disabled.

OduduwaNews: What is your perspective on the prevalence of poverty in Africa?

Mrs. Ramata: I’m baffled that poverty is predominant in Africa. Anytime I go out and see people on the streets begging for alms, I’m always sad; it’s bad to the extent that most people in Africa can no longer feed themselves once in a day not to talk of 3-squared meal.
Though, poverty can’t be totally eradicated, but it can be managed to a lowest level, where people that are considered to be poor will be able to feed themselves.
Poverty in Africa can be linked to a bad system, lack of foresight by political leaders and their inability to think outside the box as to what is obtainable overthere. It’s sad that at this 21st century, Africa is still battling with high rate of extreme poverty.
We have been trying in our capacity to assist those who are working but finding it difficult to expand their scope of operation, we have assisted several artisans by empowering them more in their chosen professions. We don’t have to be waiting for government before we take up the challenge. If we come together as a team, we will make a difference, and the country will be better for all of us to live.

OduduwaNews: After the event of June 12, 1993, is Nigeria fair to her citizens?
Mrs. Ramata: How will I say Nigeria is fair to her citizens when things are not going properly, people cannot afford 3-squared meal per day, people are hungry and suffering. Though, I believe the effort of our past heroes can’t be forgotten, but when you talk about being fair, a country will be fair in terms of what it gives to its citizens like developmental projects, good standard of living, adequate security etc. So, Nigeria from inception has not been fair to its citizens.
I’m of the opinion that everyone needs to come together and take part in the development of the country.

OduduwaNews: How can Nigeria overcome its challenges?
Mrs. Ramata: It requires holistic approach; all of us must come together and ensure that we tackle it collectively. Though, it’s a systemic problem, but we can’t shy away from the fact that as individuals, we need attitudinal change. Those in power are not demons, they come from our family, the change must start from our respective homes and our mindset must change for the development of the nation.

OduduwaNews: There’s a grant for NGOs by United Nations, does BBA have access to this grant?
Mrs. Ramata: No, we have not been able to have access to it. Though, it’s not as if people have not been calling me for support, but I don’t want a situation in which the Foundation will be relying on individuals or some people. So, I have been taking care of all the expenses from my personal purse. I want to get to a point where this humanitarian work will be able to speak for itself and to the point where I will be self-fulfilled even before we are requested by the UN to submit an application.

OduduwaNews: What’s the vision of BBA?
Mrs. Ramata: Our vision is to make a difference and to ensure that the society is safe for all of us to live, and that I want a situation where BBA will be able to assist more people.

OduduwaNews: Can we have insight into some of the humanitarian services you have rendered?
Mrs. Ramata: I will not be fair if I start mentioning because we have done a lot, even some that I could not recollect at the moment. If I start mentioning now, we will use all our time for it. For instance, we have donated to the less privileged, helped the needy and people with disabilities as well as the students and youths.
Also, we have been giving monetary assistance to those who desire to start their businesses but do not have startup capital to set up their businesses and we also train them to be self reliant.
There was a day BCOS management called me, hello BBA, there’s a disabled person who has passion for school and BCOS does not have capacity to assist such person, and we ventured into action immediately to come to the aide of the guy. As we speak, the guy is pursuing his education.
Also, we intend to widen our scope by covering the whole country. My goal is to reach the point where BBA will be totally fulfilled by contributing meaningfully to the lives of people.

OduduwaNews: How do you cope with living in United States and having an NGO in Nigeria?
Mrs. Ramata: My NGO is registered both in US and Nigeria, and I have a team working with us in Nigeria. I want to use this medium to thank all our team members, they have been doing great. If not because of them, BBA wouldn’t have gone this far.
Nigeria is my home, I come here everytime. Sometimes, I spend up to six months in Nigeria before going back. Though, I work overthere and I have been able to manage both.

OduduwaNews: Do you have interest in Politics?
Mrs. Ramata: I believe everybody is a politician, the only difference is that the way we practice it. In our respective homes, we practice it; it’s not until when you hold an elective post before showing interest or participating in politics. In as much as you’re contributing meaningfully to the society, you’re practicing politics.
Meanwhile, if opportunity comes to contest elective post, so far it will not take my NGO activities away I would embrace it. Participating in the larger politics in order to do more for the society is not a bad thing if it will not involve dragging my name to the mud.

NGO can only do little, we all have huge role to play in government in as much it’s not a do or die affairs.
OduduwaNews: Your words of advice to the youths?
Mrs. Ramata: I will advice the youths not to relent; they should be committed to the dream of making Nigeria a great and better country. I am glad that the founder of OduduwaNews is a youth and I am saying it emphatically that the entire team is doing well. I love your diction, the contents and expression. Overthere in US, I always admire reading contents from your news media. Do keep it up and I promise to continue partnering with you.

At this juncture, I must be sincere with you that I feel the pain of Nigerian youths, particularly, struggling in an environment that’s not favourable to their growth. Despite this, I believe they can still make a difference, the future belongs to them. They should ensure that they do everything within their power to ensure that the country is totally rescued from the current state of underdevelopment.

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Personality Interview: Meet the C.E.O/Founder of Tobest Agricultural Products Limited.

In May edition of OduduwaNews personality Interview, our correspondent had a chat with the C.E.O/Founder of Tobest Agricultural Products Limited.

Mr Tobi was a one time President of Faculty of Science, Obafemi Awolowo University. He spoke on what Unionism/Leadership should represent, the expectation from student leaders and many more.

As a background player in Politics, Mr Oluwatobi gave an assessment of Engr. Makinde’s administration.

Enjoy reading.

OduduwaNews: Can I meet you sir?
Mr Oluwatobi: My name is Oluwatobi Matthew Ogunlere, the Founder/CEO of Tobest Agricultural Products Limited.
OduduwaNews: As a one time President of the Faculty of Science of the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, what was Unionism experience like?
Mr Oluwatobi: It was an opportunity to me. Leadership is not a birth right but a privilege to serve. So, when I was given the opportunity, I tried my best.
OduduwaNews: Is Students’ Unionism achieving its purpose?
Mr Oluwatobi: Well, for now, I can’t say. The body is meant for a better welfare of Great Ife students. It’s high time, students stopped aiming at political position as an opportunity to embezzle or abuse power.
OduduwaNews: Coincidentally, the current holder of the Position you held some years back was accused of embezzlement, is leadership all about the money and fame that come with it?
Absolutely No! Leadership is not about embezzlement of fund or fame.
OduduwaNews: What should student leaders represent?

Mr Oluwatobi: According to Arnold H. Glasow, “One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency”
Also, John Maxwell said, “a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
As a leader, there must be a vacuum you’ve observed. This would trigger you on how to fill it up by providing solutions to solve such problems.
You don’t just wake up that I want to become this, I want to vie for this post or that. No! There must have been some things you’ve observed in the system that you want to correct or improve.
Then when you get there, make sure you don’t disappoint the people who trusted you with their votes. You have to deliver.
OduduwaNews: From Unionism to being an Agric Entrepreneur, how was the transition, what was the motivation?

Mr Oluwatobi: To me, it’s easy because both unionism and entrepreneurship deal with people and good management. If you can manage people and their resources well, then you are good to go. Unionism and entrepreneurship deal with goals and visions that must be achieved.
My motivation is about creating and adding values to people’s life. In Unionism, you solve problems, but no profit. But in entrepreneurship, you solve people’s problems, you get profit. So, if you can balance both together, public funds won’t be entering your eyes anyhow.

OduduwaNews: How is the experience like and what advice will you give for a youth who’s consider going into agriculture?
Not easy, but the motivation to create value and impact lives with good legacy will keep pushing you not to relent.
Agribusiness not a quick get rich scheme. You have to be consistent and focused. Some farm businesses are capital intensive, while some are not. In all, if you have interest in it, start from somewhere.
I started from being a distributor for Amugold and Mr. Cook when I was in part 2. I also combined garri, eggs etc with it.
OduduwaNews: You’re gradually becoming a politician, democracy in Nigeria, are we where we are supposed to be?

Mr Oluwatobi: “Are we where we are supposed to be” as a question is ambiguous. In some states, they will say they are progressing .. while in Nigeria as a country, we still have a long journey ahead.
It’s high time we started voting based on credible personalities; it’s high time our leaders took it as a responsibility that they owe the masses GOOD GOVERNANCE, it’s high time the citizens made use of public amenities well and judiciously. For instance, I was perturbed when I heard that some unscrupulous element cutting the tracks of the railways. That’s bad!
We all have our quota to contribute, as we are clamouring for better leadership and better Nigeria, we must also be good Citizens of Nigeria.

OduduwaNews: Oyo State is your home after Ekiti, how can you assess the achievements of Gov. Seyi Makinde in 2 years?
Mr Oluwatobi: 90%. I want to use this opportunity to tell all Oyo Indigenes that you are blessed to have GSM as a Governor at the right time and moment 👌🏼

OduduwaNews: What should we be expecting from you in the nearest future, are you contemplating contesting for elective position?
Mr Oluwatobi: Expect more of creation of values, impacting people’s lives and obviously job opportunities from our brand .
Life is in stages, for now I’m focusing on Tobest Agricultural Products Limited. If any opportunity shows up to serve, I will honourably accept it to serve the people.
OduduwaNews: What advice do you have for Gov. Makinde?
Mr Oluwatobi: I want to use this opportunity to implore him to keep being the people’s governor.

OduduwaNews: Any word for the youths?
Mr Oluwatobi: No matter how loud the social media noise could be, never look down on yourself but keep focusing and never relent.
OduduwaNews: Thanks for your time sir.
It’s most appreciated.

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