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Gbeleyi in BPE, Edun in finance — Lagos ex-appointees in Tinubu’s government

Political appointments in Nigeria are sometimes trailed by controversies, especially when certain patterns are deduced.

Questions about compensation or competence of the appointees also often arise.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari was accused of being religiously and ethnically lopsided in his appointment.

For President Bola Tinubu who suceeded him, the common accusation, though still tender, is that he favours people of Yoruba descent.

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The former governor of Lagos, it appears, has a knack for appointing people who had served the state, especially those who worked with him as far back as the return of democracy in 1999.

Here are some recent presidential appointees who served in Lagos government in the past.

OLATUNJI BELLO — FORMER ENVIRONMENT COMMISSIONER NOW IN FCCPC

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On June 24, Olatunji Bello was appointed as the chief executive officer of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).

Bello is a lawyer, administrator, and journalist. He studied law and  holds a master’s degree in international law and diplomacy from the University of Lagos and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2002.

He was the former secretary to the Lagos state government.

He had his first public service stint under Tinubu when he became managing director, Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency, in 2010.

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In 2011, he was appointed as  commissioner for environment under the administration of Babatunde Fashola and served in that capacity till May 2015 when he was appointed as secretary to the Lagos state government by Akinwunmi Ambode.

DAYO MOBEREOLA — FORMER TRANSPORTATION COMMISSIONER NOW IN NIMASA

Tinubu appointed Dayo Mobereola as director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in March.

Mobereola was the commissioner for transportation in Lagos from 2015 to 2016. Before his appointment, he was the managing director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) from 2002 to 2015.

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He holds a Ph.D and an M.Sc in transport economics from the University of Wales, United Kingdom.

Before joining public service, Mibereola was the deputy managing director and project development director at AFM Consulting Plc, London.

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He was also a senior economist at British Petroleum Shipping Limited; and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Transport, both in England and in Nigeria.

AYODEJI ARIYO — FORMER FINANCE COMMISSIONER NOW IN BPE

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Tinubu appointed Ayodeji Ariyo Gbeleyi as the director-general of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in June.

In January 2022, ex-President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Gbeleyi as the board chairman of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN),

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Gbeleyi served as commissioner of finance in Lagos from 2013 to 2015 under Fashola with concurrent responsibility for the oversight of the office of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP).

He is a fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN).

Gbeleyi is also an alumnus of executive programmes of London Business School, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Lagos Business School.

JIDE IDRIS — FORMER HEALTH COMMISSIONER NOW IN NCDC

Jide Idris was a three-term commissioner for health in Lagos.

He served as health commissioner under the governments of Tinubu, Fashola and Ambode.

Idris also served as a permanent secretary in the Lagos state ministry of health.

In February, Tinubu appointed him as the director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC).

Idris succeeded Ifedayo Adetifa who headed the NCDC since September 2021.

He graduated from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL), before obtaining his master of public health (MPH) degree at the Yale University, US.

Idris is a member of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

DELE ALAKE — FORMER INFORMATION COMMISSIONER NOW IN SOLID MINERALS

Dele Alake was Tinubu’s commissioner for information and strategy from 1999 to 2007, after serving as his special adviser in the same capacity.

In June 2023, Tinubu appointed Alake as his special adviser on special duties, communications and strategy, and later as minister for solid minerals development in August.

Alake was born in October 1956 and holds a bachelor of science degree in political science and a master’s in mass communications from the University of Lagos.

WALE EDUN — FORMER FINANCE COMMISSIONER, NOW FINANCE MINISTER

Adebayo Olawale Edun served as the Lagos state commissioner for finance for two terms from 1999 to 2007 during Tinubu’s tenure.

He was appointed minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy in August 2023 after serving as Tinubu’s special adviser on monetary policies.

Edun completed his bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of London and his masters in economics from the University of Sussex, England.

He is a former chair of ChapelHillDenham Group, and an executive director of Lagos merchant bank, Investment Banking & Trust Company Limited, now Stanbic IBTC.
He is also the founder and chair of Lagos Boxing Hall of Fame.

HAKEEM MURI-OKUNOLA — FORMER LAGOS HEAD OF SERVICE, NOW TINUBU’S PRIVATE SECRETARY 

Muri-Okunola is another figure who was in active service of the Lagos state government, though not in the capacity of a commissioner.

In September 2023, he resigned as the Lagos state head of service after five years to take up appointment as Tinubu’s principal private secretary.

Muri-Okunola was appointed personal assistant to Tinubu between 2003 and 2005. After serving as his personal assistant, Tinubu appointed him executive secretary of the land use and allocation committee.

He became permanent secretary in 2011 — about 10 years after joining the civil service — and was posted to the Lands Bureau in the Governor’s Office.

YEMI CARDOSO — FORMER COMMISSIONER FOR BUDGET, NOW CBN GOVERNOR

He was a banker, stockbroker and consultant. He was appointed as the chairman of the board of Citibank Nigeria. He was also a member of the Cities Alliance’s Africa Think Tank Group.

Yemi Cardoso was appointed commissioner for economic planning and budget in Lagos in 1999 when Tinubu became governor of the state.

In September 2023, Tinubu appointed him as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

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