Collaboration between Nigeria and Finland, vast and promising: Gbenga Daniel

…..As he hosts dinner in honor of Dr K.K Akinroye


Senator Gbenga Daniel, the Chairman of the Senate committee on the Nigerian Navy, senator representing Ogun West and President of the Nigerian-Finnish Association, has said that the evolving collaboration between Nigeria and Finland will yield vast benefits for the advancement of the nation’s tech, energy and healthcare sectors.

He made this remark on Saturday at a reception he hosted in honour of Dr. Akinroye who was recently bestowed the prestigious award of Knight First Class of the Order of the Lion of Finland by the Finnish government.

At the well attended event in Abuja, Sen. Daniel, who is also a former governor of Ogun State, thanked the Finnish government for finding a Nigerian worthy of the prestigious award, noting that it is a significant gesture in cementing fruitful partnership between Nigeria and the European nation.

Sen.Gbenga Daniel expressing how elated he was said “Nigeria and Finland share a commitment to innovation, economic development, and sustainable growth, and there are numerous opportunities for us to collaborate and learn from each other.

Daniel, whose engineering firm Kresta Laurel has been the sole distributor of Finland-based Kone elevators in Nigeria, maintained that “Finland’s expertise in technology and innovation aligns well with Nigeria’s ambition to develop a thriving tech industry.” He noted that by fostering collaboration in the fields of information technology, digital innovation, and entrepreneurship, the two countries can promote the exchange of knowledge and skills, ultimately driving economic growth and creating opportunities for our citizens.

“Furthermore, the renewable energy sector offers significant potential for cooperation. Nigeria, with its abundant solar and wind resources, stands to benefit from Finland’s leadership in sustainable energy solutions and green technology. By partnering to develop renewable energy projects and sharing expertise in energy efficiency, we can make substantial progress in addressing climate change and promoting environmental sustainability.

“Moreover, the healthcare sector presents an important opportunity for collaboration. Finland’s advanced healthcare system and expertise in medical research can be leveraged to support Nigeria’s efforts to improve public health, healthcare infrastructure, and medical training. By working together, we can enhance access to quality healthcare and contribute to the well-being of our populations.

“In conclusion, the potential for collaboration between Nigeria and Finland is vast and promising. By leveraging our respective strengths and expertise, we can create meaningful partnerships that drive progress and prosperity for both our nations. I am confident that by working together, we can achieve great things and build a brighter future for our citizens.

Speaking at the gathering, the Finnish ambassador to Nigeria, LEENA PYLVÄNÄINEN thanked the host, His Excellency Senator Otunba Gbenga Daniel, for bringing them together in honor of Dr K.K Akinroye, stressing that the award bestowed on Dr. Akinroye was a demonstration of her country’s recognition of excellence and an abiding belief in partnering with Nigerians and the Nigerian government in areas of mutual benefits.

She said “For me, it is a special joy to recognise once more the contribution of Dr Kingsley Akinroye to promoting the Finnish – Nigerian partnership.

“For his work as Honorary Consul of Finland in Lagos, the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, in 2020 conferred to Dr Akinroye the decoration of Knight First Class of the Order of the Lion of Finland, an honor that can be granted to foreign nationals on the grounds of “meritorious conduct for the good of Finland”. In this case an honour very well deserved indeed.

“Dear Dr Akinroye, once more: For your contribution to promoting business, academic, scientific and civil society ties between our countries, for your work in assisting Finns in need and in supporting the work of the Embassy in countless ways – thank you.

“It’s a great pleasure also to meet members of the Nigeria – Finnish Association, and our broader group of friends, brought together tonight by the President of the Association, our host HE Senator Otunba benga Daniel.

Also present was the Minister of foreign affairs represented by his head of protocol, Safiu Olukayode OLANIYAN who Described Dr Akinroye as the man of the moment, being recognized by a country like Finland, the minister of foreign affairs also congratulated him for making Nigeria proud.

Commenting on the award, Dr Akinroye said: “I got to know Finland through health. Finland is a country that has done the most experiment on heart disease.

Akinroye who stated that the award signifies integrity, transparency and hard work said: “There is nothing impossible where you have sincerity, integrity and transparency.

“Award like this rewards your dedication, belief and that investment can come in so many ways.

“The award was given to me because of a few things that I have been able to contribute in the last 30 years that I have been associating with Finland, to bring Nigeria and especially Finland together.”

Among the dignitaries who attended the reception were the Former, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, the Traditional ruler of Apomu, HRH Oba Kayode Adenekan Afolabi, the chairman of Imo Council of Elders And Traditional ruler of Obinugwu, HRH Eze Cletus Ikechukwu Ilomuanya, member representing Ayedaade/Isokan/Irewole Federal Constituency, Hon. Lanre Olomololaye and many others