By Alphonsus Effi
Hon. Yommy Ogungbe is the Managing Director of Prinocc Limited, a construction company specialized in building link bridges. In this interview with MMS Plus newspaper, he explains his journey into the business, narrating the highpoints and challenging moments. Excerpts:
Can we meet you Sir?
My names are Ambassador (Hon) Prince Yommy Ogungbe.
How long have you been in this business of building bridges in the maritime logistics sector?
I have been in this business from cradle. My late father was the first individual to start this business of logistics by ferrying people from on axis to another in the Alayabiagba market to the Apapa Axis, where he then colonial masters resided called “European Quarters” here most of the blacks or Nigerians that work for them live at Ajegunle, where they would need to cross the creek/river to Apapa (European Quarters) to work. Thus, my late father started by carrying them on his back to the other end of the river, before he constructed or carve a boat which he used in ferrying them across.
During this period my elder brothers were observing and working with him. When I eventually grew-up, after the demise of my father, my elder brothers left the business, and in other to continue, I decided to revolutionize the trade. Thus, I introduced the foot-bridge method as logistics, to enable me secure a faster and safer way for people crossing the canal from Ajegunle to Apapa axis, and later the same foot-bridge link at Ago to Ijesha Badagry Express road axis. This idea led me to the present construction of my first link motorized bridge construction linking Aso rock Avenue link bridge, Isolo to Buckuor/Isheri, Ijegun, Idimu L.G.A. though this project is still under construction and will be completed by God’s grace in September, 2019. God’s willing it will also be commissioned this year with the necessary pomp and pageantry.
So far, in this link-bridge construction business, what have been your challenges?
Well, with God everything is possible. I’m a man of faith and I believe in the dogma “mission and vision”. Whatever God has destined to happen shall surely happen. I have always had challenges in this business from people, especially selfish and vision-less people. But, I always believe in “due process”. I always involve the Federal Government first in whatever Link-bridge construction am involved in.
The first link-bridge at Alayabiagba – Market Ajegunle to Apapa, I got approval from the National Inland Waterways (NIWA), who are owners of the right of waters even though my father owns two acres of land in that vicinity called Ogungbe market (the canal axis to Apapa), while 7 Acres of land of the market belongs to Alayabiagba, because the whole land mass at Boundary market is 9 Acres. All necessary documents of the land including the C of O, is with me. That was why when some hooligans, influenced by some politicians were creating trouble, I took them to court, because am a believer of due process”, a bonafide NIWA Link-Bridge exponent. That explains why they cannot upturn me- I have my approvals from the federal government. Thank God, the amiable peace-loving Ajeromi. L.G.A Council- Chairman, Alhaji Fatai Ayoola intervened in the matter, and the issue has been resolved amicably..
Presently, I have got the approval for the link-bridge here at Aso-Rock Avenue, Isolo-Lower/Bachelor. I got the approval from NIWA, the land-owners’ family (locals), the local government and necessary stakeholders thus, my construction efforts are going on smoothly. The various police departments in the vicinity are involved in providing 24 hours security for this link-bridge for vehicles and people. While the construction is on-going, we have created an office for the police department in the structure to operate from comfortably. The necessary enablements for them to execute their jobs efficiently has been already provided. So, when this project is commissioned around September, this year 2019, It would be a major succor to motorists and pedestrians in the Isolo axis.
With your philanthropic or humanitarian activities, people may feel you have political ambition sir? Do you intend to venture into politics?
Well, politics for me is a natural phenomenon. My late father participated in politics. In fact, he was an ally of the late political giant of Lagos state, Lateef Jakande. So, you could say I inherited my political traits from my father. though, I later stepped down for another candidate due to an advice from party stalwarts on language banner.
Anyhow, am still nurturing this aspect of my life because of my love in serving humanity. If am to contest for any political position, it would be in the sector of Law making, because am an advocate of the rule of Law, which naturally systemizes any nation to the fore-front.