Babatunde Raji Fashola, fondly known in Lagos as BRF, has arisen to the position of Primus inter pares – the first among his equals, after bagging 3 massive and critical portfolios in the new cabinet.
Though he was expected to be a cornerstone in President Buhari’s cabinet, the 3 portfolios assigned to him showed that his clout was greatly underestimated.
In a rare occurrence, Buhari appointed BRF as the Minister of Power, Minister of Works, and Minister of Housing.
The three portfolios assigned to BRF are no child’s play. They are exactly where the mass of Nigerians need to see the most transformation and progress.
His appointment into those 3 positions come at a time when Nigeria and Nigerians:
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- Need more and cheaper housing;
- Need more and better road infrastructure
- Need to consolidate and expand the progress made in electricity and power
From Buhari’s actions, it is clear that Fashola is the “Chosen One” and the poster boy for APC’s thematic “Change” mantra.
For Buhari, trust, loyalty and honesty is big factor, and he has seen some of those in Fashola.
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Also by this action, Buhari is entrusting Fashola to carry on the mandate of change into the streets of Nigeria; to transform the country in the same way he helped transformed Lagos, the commercial capital.
Lagos state has stood out among all the other states in the Federation. Asides Abuja, it is the state with the most infrastructure, thanks to some of the contributions made by Fashola.
His time as governor saw serious attention paid to Lagos’ massive infrastructure needs.
Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) was born on June 28, 1963 in Lagos. He obtained his First School Leaving Certificate from the Sunny Fields Primary School, Adelabu Surulere, Lagos, after which he proceeded to Birch Freeman High School, Surulere, Lagos and later Igbobi College, Yaba from where he acquired the West African School Certificate [WASC]. He, thereafter, went to the University of Benin, Benin City and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws [LLB Hons] degree in 1987. He was called to the Nigeria Bar in November 1988 after undertaking the statutory training for Barristers and Solicitors.
- Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) is the recipient of the 2009 Yitzhak Rabin Centre for African Development Governor of the Decade for Peace Award and the recipient of the 2010 Award of Excellence in Leadership of the Martin Luther King Jnr. Foundation.
- He is the recipient of the 2009 Good Governance Award from the United Kingdom-based African Business Magazine. Here in Nigeria, he is:
- The Guardian Man of The Year for 2009
- The Vanguard Man of The Year 2009
- The Sun newspapers’ Man of The Year for 2009.
- Daily Champion Man of the Year for 2010.
- The 2010 Award winner of the City People Magazine Best Governor of the Year and
- Best Southwest Governor of the Year 2010
Career before public service
In the course of his distinguished legal career at Sofunde, Osakwe, Ogundipe and Belgore; and the law firm of K.O.Tinubu & Company, Babatunde Raji Fashola successfully pleaded many cases at High Courts, various divisions of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He was elevated to the class of Nigerian Elite Lawyers in August 2004 when he was conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria [SAN], a leadership position of the Nigerian Bar and the nation’s highest legal distinction and honour for lawyers.
Career in Public service
He was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, after which he was appointed to the office as Chief of Staff by the former Governor of Lagos State Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who he later succeeded in office as Governor.
As Chief of Staff from August 2002 to November 2006, he served as Member of the State Tenders Board; Member of the State Executive Council, Member of the State Treasury Board, and Member of the State Security Council amongst several other Ad-Hoc Committees/Panels. With the experiences he garnered he resigned voluntarily to contest for the Office of Governor of Lagos State under the platform of Action Congress [AC] Party now Action Congress of Nigeria.
Hobbies and Leisure
Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola is an ardent sportsman who loves playing and watching football. He also enjoys swimming, billiards, snooker, lawn tennis and squash. He belongs to a number of social clubs, notably Eko Club, Island Club, Ikoyi Club, Lagos Lawn Tennis Club and Eagle Club, Surulere. He is a Patron at Lagos Island Club; Yoruba Tennis Club, Ikeja Golf Club, City Club and the Lagos Country Club by virtue of his position as Governor of Lagos State.
In his new position as minister, Fashola will be overseeing a broad gamut of parastatals and agencies, through which he will expend he numerous skills and administrative talent.
Fashola will supervise:
The Energy Commission of Nigeria
Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission
Rural Electrification Agency
Federal Housing Authority (FHA)
Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN)
Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA)
The Power Generation companies
Power Distribution companies
Transmission Company of Nigeria
All federal highways, Bridges
Fashola will equally be saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that urban development touches the common Nigerian by coming up with policies that will be people friendly and economically viable.
He is expected to ensure that on-going federal road projects nationwide are completed within record time, and new roads and bridges are opened.
He will also ensure that parastatals like FERMA are up on their toes, working and maintaining the roads regularly.