The last two years of Awolowo as Premier of Western Region was concentrated on efforts to write his name in the book of Legends.
He incorporated Western hotels which invested in Premier and Lafia hotels in Ibadan and Lagos Airport hotel respectively.
He set up Western Nigeria Development Corporation to finance mega corporations. This was established in 1958.
It encouraged plantation development with six agricultural plantations covering 20,517 acres in collaboration, with Cooperative societies, eleven additional plantations covering 8,468 acres with crops ranging from Cocoa , rubber, oil palm, citrus, cashew and coffee had been put in place all over the region . WNDC, a clearing house for multitude of companies, established for the rapid industrial development and revolution of the region.
Among them were, WAPCO at Ewekoro for cement, with enough capacity to serve the whole country.
Nigerite Ltd, producing asbestos and roofing sheets, National Bank, Wema bank, Nigerian General Insurance, Great Nigeria Insurance, Gravil Enthoven and coy, Vegetables Oil Ltd, Cocoa processing industry Ogba Ikeja, Odua textile Ltd, Wrought Iron Ltd, Union beverages Ltd, Sungas company , Wemabod estates, Owner of Western House tallest building, then on broad street, and other estates, Western livestocks , Fisheries services Ltd, Caxton Press, Epe plywood, Asakar paints, Nigeria Crafts and bags Ltd, Nipol plastics in Ibadan, Phoenix motors, opened up of biggest industrial layouts in Ibadan, Oluyole and Lagos Oba Akran axis and Ilupeju in Mushin axis with over 120 factories for mass production of different needs & gave birth to Nigeria Textile mills, West Africa breweries, Dunlop tyres, Crittal hope Aluminum, Tower Aluminum, Solely Boneh, Nidogas, Nigeria wire and cables in Ilupeju. Odua investment was the largest conglomerates in Nigeria as at 2004 with worth over N10 trillion.
He paid the Western Nigeria Civil servants the highest salaries far above Federal government.
So much jobs were created by vast industrialisation drives.
All these were achieved without Oil revenue 1951-1959 . He also touched the road construction with bitumen & laid road network covering over 2000 kilometers throughout the region.
Cocoa House, the tallest building in West Africa for decades, Liberty Stadium, the most modern in the entire African, first Radio & Television in Africa, many General hospitals and dispensaries in rural area.
Free education at primary school level.
His effort in Cooperative society development gave birth to establishment of Cooperative bank in 1953 and Cooperative college.
The eight years most of this present Governors spend, was the same with Pa Awolowo, covering what comprises 8 states nowdays, yet he achieved so much. Most of our present day Governors could not mention one world class company, corporate institution or industry set up to create jobs for teaming youths being turned out year in year by our ivory towers.
Today leaders should at least emulate our late sage foot steps instead of all the temporary empowerment programs (motor cycle, Keke napep, pepper grinding machine, casava grinding machine, deep freezer, fridge , clipper etc ) being used to cajole the electorates @ the turn of election every four years.
A time will come in this nation that people aspiring sale dinner position must show a well laid out plan before the electorate.
The cash and carry politics will fail as it's the practise in developed nation.
Let us always look forward to lasting legacies.