Governor Gbenga Daniel was born in Ibadan, Oyo State on April 6, 1956 into the family of the Most Reverend Adebola Daniel of Makun, Sagamu and late Madam Olaitan Daniel of Omu-Ijebu. Otunba Daniel’s leadership traits manifested early while he was at the Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, which he attended from 1969 – 1973. He represented the school in debates and quiz competitions – a factor which made him exceptionally popular among his contemporaries and stimulated his inclination towards intellectual pursuits.
After high school, he proceeded first to the School of Basic Studies at The Polytechnic Ibadan for his A levels and thereafter to the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Lagos, where he won several laurels and become acquainted with the legendary Professor Ayodele Awojobi.
It was also whilst still an undergraduate that he was initiated into the Committee of Friends of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, indeed, as the youngest member of that select Committee that later metamorphosed into the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). During his National Service year at the School of Engineering of the Lagos State Polytechnic, he supervised the construction of the Engineering complex and also conducted the semester examinations for the School of Engineering, without any whiff of leakage or scandal.
The feat was described by an appreciative management as “quite remarkable in an environment where examination fraud is quite rampant”
He was to proceed to earn a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Lagos and subsequently attended Lagos Business School for an executive programme.
Otunba Justus Olugbenga Daniel joined the then multinational company, H.F.SCHROEDER West Africa Limited, in 1983 as a young Engineer, moving from the lecture theatre of Lagos State Polytechnic, where he taught in the school of Engineering. He secured many lift contracts for his employers.
Otunba Justus Olugbenga Daniel established Kresta Laurel in 1990, believing in the ability of Nigerian engineers to hold their own in the horizontal and vertical moving engineering industry in the country.
On assumption of office as Governor of Ogun State, the first priority in the mind of Otunba Gbenga Daniel was how to transform Ogun state from a Civil Service state to an industrial economy.
He anchored his development objectives on a number of key blueprints with which he drove his government.
He launched his manifesto, entitled “Contract with Ogun People”, the 16-page manifesto touched on all aspects of development and what the new government under Governor Daniel wanted to achieve.
In terms of people-oriented programmes, Governor Daniel restored hope, rehabilitated infrastructure, re-engineered institutions and firmly put in place an agenda of modernization in Ogun State.
Today, Ogun state has become the investment destination of choice not only in Nigeria but also on the West Coast of Africa. Under Otunba Gbenga Daniel’s administration, the nation’s Gateway State became a shining example of good governance and development.
The administration of Otunba Gbenga Daniel raised the bar in sports development and administration during its term in office. Four international stadia were constructed across the major zones of Ogun state with one (Ijebu-Ode) chosen to host the FIFA Under-17 Championship in October, 2009. The Games Village, which is an additional facility at the Ijebu-Ode Stadium, gives it a unique edge over all other competing cities in Nigeria.