Pastor (Dr) Ademola Oluwafolawemimo Odunaiya May 21, 1939 – June 28, 2023

Pastor (Dr) Ademola Oluwafolawemimo Odunaiya May 21, 1939 – June 28, 2023
July 28, 2023 Wemy
In Uncategorized

In October 1978, Pastor (Dr) Ademola Oluwafolawemimo Odunaiya together with his late wife, Dr (Mrs) Aderonke Eniola Adebimpe Odunaiya (Nee Soremekun) of blessed memory established Wemy Industries Limited. It is the first indigenous company in Nigeria to manufacture disposable baby diapers and later on, local production of ladies’ sanitary pads was added to its production line operating under the umbrella brand name Dr Brown’s. The onerous objective and intent of this great industrial concern was to eliminate the problem of mothers who hitherto unhygienically had to cut their wrappers into pieces to absorb defecation and urine of their babies as well as ladies who used just any absorbent materials during their menstrual flow. With the emergence of Wemy Industries Ltd, exposure of children and ladies to health hazards was drastically reduced and mother were relieved from the rigors of constantly washing nappies. Today, the company has over 21 SKUs in its production process.


This great industrialist, founder, former MD/CEO and current Chairman of Wemy Industries Ltd, passed away aged 84 years old, at his home in Mambilla Estate, Osborne Foreshore, Ikoyi, Lagos surrounded by his family on Wednesday, 28 June 2023. Many years before his demise however, he had successfully handed over the helmsmanship of the day-to-day running of the business to his sons – Paul and Oba – who are both pillars in the company acting as the Managing Director/CEO and Executive Director respectively.


Having been born on 21 May 1939 in Yaba, Lagos into the Oba-Nle-Aro family dynasty, he had his primary and post-primary education in Nigeria before proceeding to England to study Commerce and Economics at the University of Liverpool. He graduated in 1964 and trained with the prestigious Chartered Accountant firm of Coopers & Lybrand, qualifying as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in June 1971. He returned to Nigeria to assume the MD/CEO role of the family business Oba-Nle-Aro Group of Companies which dealt in the importation and sale of building materials. During his tenure, the fortunes of the company grew till he left in 1981. At the assumption of his headship and under his watch, the company grew from selling and added manufacturing – Industrial and Farm Equipment Company (IFECO) a company involved in the production of wheelbarrows, head pans, shovels and spades.


In addition to Wemy Industries Ltd, he had been Chairman of Daltrade Nigeria Ltd – a Nigerian-Polish businessmen manufacturing outfit and suppliers of high-quality building materials, decorations, etc. In Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (M.A.N), Pastor (Dr) Odunaiya served as the sectoral Chairman of Association of Local Manufacturers of Sanitary Towels and Baby Diapers – an association comprising over 20 local manufacturing companies nationwide since 2002 and he successfully piloted the group’s activities. Aside from manufacturing, he ventured into the financial sector of the Nigerian economy; he was a co-founder and foundation Director of Access Bank Plc where he served as a non-executive Director for 14 years and was the Vice Chairman of the bank from 1997 to 2003 when he voluntarily retired. As a result of his leadership qualities, he was made the Chairman of the Governing Council of his alma mater, Mayflower Grammar School, Ikenne from 1984 – 1989.


The memory of this great industrial icon will forever remain evergreen in our minds as the pioneer manufacturer of disposable baby diapers in Africa. His stride in the manufacturing sector cannot be forgotten so easily. He was also a boardroom guru par excellence.

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