When he submitted his governorship nomination form at the headquarters of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja on Wednesday, Babajide Sanwo-Olu said people don’t know certain things about him.
Truthfully, many didn’t hear of him until reports emerged that he is running against Akinwunmi Ambode, incumbent governor of Lagos state. He is believed to have the backing of Mandate Movement, a group fiercely loyal to Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the APC.
Here are some things you probably don’t know about Sanwo-Olu.
Like Ambode, Sanwo-Olu is a graduate of the University of Lagos. He holds a B.Sc in surveying and an MBA from the university. He is also an alumnus of the Kennedy School of Government, USA; the London Business School as well as the Lagos Business School (LBS).
Born into a Christian family from Lagos Island, he is currently the managing director of Lagos state property Development Company (LSPDC). Ambode appointed him into the position in May 2016.
NOT A GREEN HORN IN POLITICS
Regarded as a public sector expert in policy formation, Sanwo-Olu was appointed special adviser on corporate matters to Femi Pedro, former deputy governor of Lagos, in 2003.
According to his profile, he was responsible for creating an environment that fosters private sector participation. He also formulated policies and programmes to improve the relationship between government and organised private sector (OPS).
“In conjunction with other agencies of government, Sanwo-Olu was able to initiate, identify, promote and structure new projects and programmes in areas like the environment, transportation, commerce, finance and infrastructure,” read his profile.
He was later appointed acting commissioner, economic planning and budget. In 2007, he became the commissioner for commerce and industry until the end of that administration.
Under Fashola’s administration between 2007 and 2015, Sanwo-Olu was appointed commissioner for establishments, training and pensions.
A PRIVATE SECTOR EXPERT
Before he joined politics, the APC governorship aspirant had a banking career. Between 1994 and 1997, he served as a treasurer at former Lead Merchant Bank Plc. He later moved to the United Bank for Africa as head, foreign money market and deputy general manager, divisional head, at First Inland Bank, Plc (now First City Monument Bank).
He also served as chairman for a number of organisations, including Baywatch Group Limited– a multifaceted company with interests in construction, property development and human capital development; First Class Group Limited, a cooling, power and maintenance solutions provider, among others.
While addressing reporters at APC headquarters on Wednesday, Sanwo-Olu had said he has the experience in the public and private sectors working in his interest in the bid to govern Lagos.
“The pedigree from the private sector and from the public sector, I think it is appropriate for me now when people of Not-too-young are with us to put this aspiration in place,” he said.
“I am in the wide range of experience as I have a dream to obviously contribute a lot more as a Lagosian and son of the soil, I will just be able to let our people get to where they know that governance is all about people, it is about what we expect, it is about what will go back to them, improve the cause of life, course of security and there are lot of other things we are going to be rolling out.”
Sanwo-Olu is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) and fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Training and Development (NITAD).
He has won several awards, which include the symbol of excellence award from the Civic Enlightenment Association of Nigeria, a gold mentor award from the National Association of Nigeria Nurses & Midwives (NANNM), a platinum award from the Lagos State Public Service Club and the 2009 best in human capital development award from the Industrial Training Fund (ITF).
He is married and the marriage is blessed with children.