Babatunde Raji Fashola CON SAN (Yoruba: Bàbátúndé Rájí Fáṣọlá (Listen); born 28 June 1963) is a Nigerian lawyer and politician who served as the federal minister of Works and Housing of Nigeria from 2019 to 2023. He previously served as the minister of Power, Works and Housing from 2015 to 2019. He also served two terms as governor of Lagos State from 29 May 2007 to 29 May 2015.[2][3]

Babatunde Fashola
Fashola delivering a speech in June 2010
Minister of Works and Housing
In office
21 August 2019 – 29 May 2023
PresidentMuhammadu Buhari
Minister of StateAbubakar Aliyu
Mu'azu Sambo
Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub
Preceded byHimself (as Minister of Power, Works and Housing)
Succeeded byDave Umahi (as Minister of Works)
Ahmed Musa Dangiwa (as Minister of Housing)
Minister of Power, Works and Housing
In office
11 November 2015 – 28 May 2019
PresidentMuhammadu Buhari
Minister of StateMustapha Baba Shehuri
Suleiman Hassan Zarma
Preceded byOsita Nebo (as Minister of Power)
Mike Onolememen (as Minister of Works)
Akon Eyakenyi (as Minister of Housing)
Succeeded bySaleh Mamman (as Minister of Power)
Himself (as Minister of Works and Housing)
13th Governor of Lagos State
In office
29 May 2007 – 29 May 2015
DeputySarah Adebisi Sosan
Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire
Preceded byBola Tinubu
Succeeded byAkinwunmi Ambode
Personal details
Babatunde Raji Fashola

(1963-06-28) 28 June 1963 (age 60)[1]
Lagos, Nigeria
Political partyAll Progressives Congress (2013–present)
Other political
Action Congress of Nigeria (before 2013)
SpouseAbimbola Fashola
  • Politician
  • lawyer

Early life edit

Fashola was born on 28 June 1963,[4] in Lagos at Island Maternity Hospital into the family of Ademola Fashola, a former journalist with the Daily Times of Nigeria, and Olufunke Agunbiade, a nurse. He has 12 siblings.[5]

Legal career edit

Supreme Court edit

He was called to the Nigerian Bar as a solicitor and advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in November 1988[6] after completing the professional training programme at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos which he undertook between 1987 and 1988.[7]

Honours edit

Fashola, a Notary Public of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, has received awards and certificates of merit including the Distinguished Alumnus Award conferred on him by the University of Benin Alumni Association.[7] He is also a recipient of Lagos State public service club Platinum Award for outstanding contribution towards development. As well as Alliance for Democracy " Igbogbo Bayeku Local Government Award" in recognition of activities towards the success of the party.

Babatunde Fashola is also a Patron of the Law Students Association of the University of Benin and he is the second law graduate from the University of Benin and the first member of the Nigerian Law School graduating class of 1988 to be conferred with the professional rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.[8] Fashola is also the First ever Chief of Staff to be so honoured. Babatunde Fashola is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, the International Bar Association and an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.

In October 2022, a Nigerian national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) was conferred on him by President Muhammadu Buhari.[9]

Arbitration edit

In 2008, Fashola was inducted as a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators (NICArb).

Controversies and Corruption Allegations edit

In August 2023, Fashola ordered the arrest of a man named, Chike Ibezim, older brother of  Nnamdi Ibezim, publisher of Reportera, a news platform that sparked rumours that he (Fashola) was caught drafting a judgement in favour of his party in Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election being challenged in court. Although Chike, the man Fashola ordered to be arrested, was not the one that committed the alleged act, but his brother, he was arrested and held in detention by the Nigerian Police for 26 days as against the country’s required 24 hours detention limit before being charged to court. Chike’s continuous detention has led to widespread concerns.[10]

On September 9, 2023 the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Works which Babatunde Fashola headed as minister was accused of inflating a road contract from N9.8 billion ($13m) to N54.3 billion ($73m). The road contract in question was the construction and rehabilitation of the 41-kilometre Ijebu-Igbo-Ita-Ibadan Road which had been halted for over five years after its award of contract.[11]

Political appointments edit

Fashola was Chief of Staff to his predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Fashola, had during his tenure as Chief of Staff, also dubbed as the Honourable Commissioner to the Governor's office. Babatunde Fashola was the first person to hold both offices simultaneously.[12]

Babatunde Fashola also served in Lagos state in various capacities, including:

  • Secretary of the Lands Sub-Committee of the Transitional Work Groups- 1999.
  • Member of the panel of Enquiry into allocation of houses on the Mobolaji Johnson Housing Scheme at Lekki.- 2000.
  • Member of the State Tenders Board- 2002– 2006.
  • Member of the Lagos State Executive Council-2002-2006.
  • Member of the State Security Council-2002-2006
  • Member of the State Treasury Board-2002-2006
  • Chairman Ad-Hoc Committee on the Review of Asset distribution among Local Government.
  • Minister of Power, Works and Housing 2015-2019[13]
  • Minister of Works and Housing 2019 to date[14]

Governor of Lagos state edit

Babatunde Fashola

Fashola was the chief of staff to his predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.[citation needed]

As the candidate of the Action Congress party, now transformed to the All Progressives Congress party, Fashola succeeded Tinubu as governor of Lagos State on 14 April 2007. Fashola was re-elected on 26 April 2011.[15]

Lagos infrastructural regeneration edit

Fashola focused on the rehabilitation of Lagos' infrastructures. These infrastructures had been neglected for years after Abuja was declared the new capital of Nigeria in 1991. The modernisation of Lagos, which Tinubu had begun, accelerated under Fashola's governorship. Both the private and public sectors were involved in the realisation of the project.[16]

Bus Rapid Transit edit

Fashola introduced air-conditioned city buses, the BRT buses, for which dedicated lanes were constructed.[17][18]

Suburban railway edit

The "Blue Line" of the suburban railway at the National Theatre.

Fashola initiated the construction of the Lagos Light Rail, the commuter rail of Lagos, the first two lines of which are scheduled for completion in the last quarter of 2022 (as at January 2022).[19]

Highways edit

On assuming office, Fashola embarked on a major overhaul of the city's main highways. At the same time, major reconstruction works took place almost everywhere in Lagos. The result was that the Lagos metropolis took on a new look in the first four years of his tenure. Most of the major roads were redesigned and painted. New roads were opened up with flyover bridges. Ultra-modern footbridges were built to replace the old, dilapidated bridges.[20]

Education edit

The Fashola government has paid great attention to education. This includes the reinstatement and establishment of well-equipped new classrooms, distribution of free textbooks, provision of well-equipped workrooms and libraries, provision of buses for teachers and students to facilitate transportation, reinstatement of uniformed voluntary administrators in public schools in the state, introduction of a salary scale for teachers in public schools in the state, development of the Adopt a School Initiative and others. The schools that have been repaired include: Ikotun Senior High School, Alimosho Girls High School, Agege Okemagba Junior High School, Mojoda Amuwo Senior Grammar School and Tomia Community Secondary School, Alagbado.[20]

Rural transformation edit

The Fashola government has also made great strides in rural areas, with over 110 rural development projects completed under the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Structure. At the end of 2009, 104 communities were metered for the provision of a modified Type A water system from the Intervention Fund. Some other achievements in the rural sector include: Construction of modern abattoirs in Ologe, Oko-Oba and Lairage. Construction of access roads to link villages at places like Imude road, Shibiri-Etegbin road, Ajangbandi-Illogbo road, Agboroko-Igbo road, Elerin road and Ariyo-Muyo-Tedi Oshun road and so on. The state government has completed 165 rural electrification projects under its rural interference programme.[20]

Reclamation of land edit

Eko Atlantic skyline

Fashola embarked on land reclamation without which urban planning would not be possible under the prevailing conditions. This includes Banana Island and Eko Atlantic City, both of which have been filled. Eko Atlantic City is expected to house millions of Lagosians in the future and, unlike the rest of the city, is equipped with sewers, its own electricity supply and other features of a modern city.[21][22][23][24][25][26]

City beautification edit

Statue of Ayodele Awojobi

In October 2009, Babatunde Fashola inaugurated a garden in honour of the late Professor Ayodele Awojobi at Onike Roundabout, Yaba, Lagos, in the middle of which a statue of the famous academic was placed.[27]

Fashola, as governor, collaborated with artists like Oladejo Victor Akinlonu to enhance and beautify Lagos. Oladejo's works such as the Eyo Masquerade and the bust of Sir Alexander Molade Okoya Thomas were commissioned by the governor.[28]

Public security edit

On the road to security, the Fashola government not only transformed most of the hideouts and places that previously served as bases for fraudsters and armed robbers into visually appealing environments. It also established the Lagos State Security Trust Fund to effectively and sustainably fund the security needs of the state.[20]

In June 2007, Babatunde Fashola appointed former Inspector General of Police Musiliu Smith head of the Lagos State Security council, a body charged with taking a holistic look at the anatomy of crime in the state.[29]

Haiti earthquake fund-raising edit

As soon as Haiti was struck by a magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, Babatunde Fashola launched an appeal to raise up to one million US dollars. The funds raised were used to assist the victims of the Haiti quake. As this was in place, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, said Nigerians should be prepared in events of natural disasters.[30]

Water safety edit

In May 2014, Fashola announced the compulsory use of life jackets on Lagos waterways.[31] In a 2012 accident, ten children from Ijora Awori, Lagos State, drowned while they were being ferried to school, because they were not wearing life jackets.[32]

Controversial eateries tax edit

A controversial proposal to charge consumption tax on eateries had been enforced. The matter was taken to court, but the ruling was announced in the government’s favor.[33]

Waste investigation edit

In late January 2010, the Lagos State House of Assembly launched an investigation into possible waste of taxpayers' money by Fashola, mainly in connection with the ongoing Eko Atlantic City project. The allegations range from importation of palm trees from Niger for horticulture projects to improper use of contract money involving one of the Lagos State contractors. The group conducting the investigation was known as True Face of Lagos.[34] The final reports were to be submitted on 15 February 2010. During his tenure, True Face of Lagos was later disbanded. Attempts were made to restart the investigation through a petition, but they were repeatedly rejected by the courts.[35][36][37][38][39][40]

The fight against Ebola edit

Babatunde Raji Fashola's greatest achievement as governor came at the end of his second term in September 2014, when Nigeria was officially declared free of Ebola. Three months earlier, Ebola had first spread in the country when Patrick Sawyer, the infected US-Liberian citizen and ECOWAS official, brought in the virus through Lagos airport.[41]

He personally took control of tracking down and isolating about 1,000 people who were feared to have been infected since Patrick Sawyer's arrival. The Lagos governor cut short a pilgrimage to Mecca, flew home and then set up an Ebola Emergency Operations Centre to take on the daunting task of monitoring all those who might be infected. A team of 2,000 officials was trained for the task and ended up knocking on 26,000 doors. At one point, the governor was briefed by disease control experts up to ten times a day. He made a point of visiting the country's Ebola treatment centre to impress on the Nigerian public that they should not panic unnecessarily.[20]

Ministerial position edit

Fashola was appointed Minister of Power, Works and Housing by President Muhammadu Buhari on 11 November 2015; he was appointed Minister of Works and Housing on 21 August 2019.[42]

Completion of the "Second Niger Bridge" edit

The Second Niger Bridge at Onitsha, which had been the subject of political debate since the 1980s and was seen as a byword for stagnation, was pushed forward under Fashola and is nearing completion (as of January 2022).[43]

Completion of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway edit

The renovation of the former "pothole test track" from the metropolis of Lagos to Nigeria's third largest city, Ibadan, will also be completed in 2022.[44]

Further edit

Fashola counts among other achievements of his ministry in 2021

  • The completed motorway between Lagos and Oworonshoki,
  • the repair of the Lagos Third Mainland Bridge, and
  • the completion of the motorway between the capital, Abuja, and Nigeria's second largest city, Kano.[45]

Eight hundred road contracts had been signed, he said. Currently, 13,000 km of roads are being rehabilitated and 37 bridges are being built.[46]

In the process, he says its budget has been slashed from 260 billion naira in 2015 (€1.17 billion at the time) to 234 billion naira in 2021 (€491 million). According to Fashola, "We are now doing a lot more with less resources."[45]

Evaluation edit

Across party lines, Fashola is valued for his expertise.[47][48]

Personal life edit

Fashola is married to Abimbola Fashola. They have two children.[49]

Miscellaneous edit

The railway station in the Agege area of Lagos is named after Babatunde Fashola.[50]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "HIS EXCELLENCY, BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA (SAN), GOVERNOR OF Lagos STATE, NIGERIA". Commonwealth Business Council. Archived from the original on 22 July 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
  2. ^ "His Excellency Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN". Lagos State Government. Archived from the original on 10 December 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  3. ^ "FG, agencies to construct 1,800km road at N621b". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 22 December 2021. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  4. ^ John M. O. Ekundayo (2013). Out of Africa: Fashola: Reinventing Servant Leadership to Engender Nigeria's Transformation. AuthorHouse. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-481-7904-06.
  5. ^ "Babatunde Fashola biography, net worth, age, family, contact & picture". Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Ministerial nominee, Babatunde Raji Fashola's CV". Vanguard News. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  7. ^ a b Ajumobi, Kemi (5 July 2015). "Babatunde Raji Fashola, the irrefutably astounding transformational leader". Businessday NG. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  8. ^ Lagos State Government. "Babatunde Raji Fashola (2007 – 2015)".
  9. ^ "FULL LIST: 2022 National Honours Award Recipients The Nation Newspaper". 9 October 2022. Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  10. ^ "'He's in lawful custody' — police confirm arrest of publisher's brother after petition by Fashola". TheCable. 3 September 2023. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  11. ^ "How Ministry Of Works Under Babatunde Fashola Inflated Road Project From N9billion To N54billion After Dragging It For Five Years – Contractor Reveals | Sahara Reporters". Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  12. ^ "Fashola breaks silence on rumours that he will be Tinubu's Chief of Staff - P.M. News". Retrieved 11 June 2023.
  13. ^ "Profile of Babatunde Raji Fashola". Vanguard News. 21 August 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Fashola loses Power ministry, retains Works and Housing". 21 August 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  15. ^ "Profile of Babatunde Raji Fashola". Vanguard News. 21 August 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  16. ^ "BusinessDay News". Businessday NG. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  17. ^ "How Lagos Was Transformed, By Fashola". Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  18. ^ "Fashola Unveils 126 Brand New BRT Lite Buses For Lagos Roads". Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  19. ^ "Gov. Fashola inspects ongoing construction of Light Rail Mass Transit (Blue Line) at Iganmu | Encomium Magazine". Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  20. ^ a b c d e Buari, Jasmine (7 November 2014). "What Fashola Did To Make Lagos Better?". - Nigeria news. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  21. ^ "The History of The Great Wall of Lagos - Eko Atlantic". Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  22. ^ Eko Akete Mega City Archived 13 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ About us Archived 1 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Eko Akete Mega City Archived 13 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Nwachukwu, Iheanyi (25 January 2010). "Lagos state government and the mega city project". Business Day. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  25. ^ Elumoye, Deji (26 September 2007). "Eko Atlantic City Underway". Thisday (via AllAfrica Global Media. Retrieved 4 February 2008.
  26. ^ "INSIDE AFRICA Transcript: Rebuilding Lagos; Zimbabwe Situation". CNN International. 21 February 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2010.
  27. ^ "25 Years After, Fashola Honours Engineering Genius, Ayodele Awojobi". Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  28. ^ "Lagos: From Johnson to Sanwo-Olu – The Nation Newspaper". Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  29. ^ "Fighting armed robbery in Lagos". Daily Sun. 1 August 2007. Archived from the original on 29 February 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2009.
  30. ^ Olasunkanmi Akoni, and Gbenga Akanmu (19 January 2010). "Lagos donates $1 million to Haiti quake victims". Vanguard Media. Archived from the original on 21 January 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
  31. ^ Ekene-Okoro, Miriam. "Fashola orders compulsory use of life jackets". The Nation. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  32. ^ Olufowobi, Sesan (15 February 2012). "How 10 pupils, women drowned during Lagos violent storm". The Punch. Archived from the original on 13 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  33. ^ "Babatunde Raji Fashola Biography and Detailed Profile". Politicians Data. 25 May 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  34. ^ "Lagos Assembly investigates Fashola". 2 February 2010. Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  35. ^ "THISDAY ONLINE / Nigeria news / African views on global news". 23 May 2010. Archived from the original on 23 May 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  36. ^ Durojaiye, Femi (29 January 2010). "Assembly Sets Up C'ttee to Investigate Fashola". ThisDay Newspaper. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2010.
  37. ^ Olaleye, Olawale (31 January 2010). "Tinubu, Fashola Crisis Boils Over". ThisDay Newspaper. Archived from the original on 3 February 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
  38. ^ Ablogun, Segun (29 January 2010). "Lagos Assembly investigates Fashola". NEXT. Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2010.
  39. ^ Femi Durojaiye, Gboyega Akinsanmi (31 March 2010). "Fashola: Petitioners Reopen Fight at Lagos Assembly". ThisDay Newspaper. Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  40. ^ Iriekpen, Davidson (12 May 2010). "Again, Court Stops Lagos Assembly from Probing Fashola". ThisDay Newspaper. Archived from the original on 23 May 2010. Retrieved 17 May 2010.
  41. ^ "This Too Shall Blow Away - THISDAYLIVE". Retrieved 11 June 2023.
  42. ^ "Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing: Interview". Oxford Business Group. 5 December 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  43. ^ "Fashola: 2nd Niger bridge will be completed in 2022". TheCable. 20 June 2021. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  44. ^ "Lagos/Ibadan expressway for completion in 2022, says Fashola". The Nation Newspaper. 3 November 2021. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  45. ^ a b "800 road contracts awarded under Buhari's administration, says Fashola". TheCable. 15 July 2021. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  46. ^ "'We are Working on Over 13,000km of Roads'". THISDAYLIVE. 8 February 2021. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  47. ^ Legend (7 October 2020). "Babatunde Fashola Biography (Early Life, Career, Politics)". NaijaBiography. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  48. ^ "Fashola at 58: Fulfilling Passion with Panache". THISDAYLIVE. 27 June 2021. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  49. ^ "Why Abimbola and I decided to stop at two children Fashola". 21 February 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  50. ^ "Agege Train Station. Babatunde Fashola Train Station in the city Lagos". Retrieved 18 January 2022.