Rumours are flying around that 51 year old Akinwunmi Dolapo Ambode might be the likely successor of Fashola as governor of Lagos State.
Insiders squealed that among the top contenders jostling for the exalted position, Bola Ahmed Tinubu might likely anoint him above others.
According to rumour mongers, the fact that Tinubu preferred a fresh hand who is not a well known politician and a Christian might make him the man to beat as APC’s Lagos governorship candidate.
According to a top aide who pleaded anonymity, it was alleged that during the inner caucus meeting few days ago, Tinubu hinted his aides that his anointed choice will be a fresh leg who is not a politician and that he preferred a Christian. We gathered that he said he needed an elite, who has the energy and intellectual property to move Lagos to the next level. According to our source, amongst the candidates presented to him, Ambode may be the candidate to beat. We reliably gathered that his position as a key minister in Pastor Adeboye led Redeemed Christian Church of God might greatly influenced his choice. And he will soon be unveiled as the party’s choice.
“Yes I can tell you authoritatively that Ambode has been chosen as the anointed candidate by Asiwaju Tinubu. His choice was based on the fact that Oga preferred someone who is fresh and not a well known political officer. He said just as he used Fashola as a joker so has he decided to use Ambode. Also he decided to pick a Christian to quench the rumour that Muslims are the favourites by APC. Aside that, he needed someone who will handle the finances of Lagos well and take it to the next level.”
THE MAN, AKINWUNMI AMBODE
Akin Ambode, was the former Accountant General/Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance in Lagos, until his voluntary retirement in 2012, after 27 years in service. He was probably the first civil servant to resign from such a plum position when he still had many years to go in the service.
The impression was that Asiwaju Tinubu told him to do so because he was preparing him for greater responsibility.
When he left the service, he went to Harvard Kennedy School, of Government, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, where we learnt he studied one or two things about governance in his preparation for the greater responsibility.
Luckily for him, while abroad studying, his wife of 18 years gave birth to a set of twins, a boy and a girl for the first time in their marriage.
With the clamour for a Christian governor in the state, he has been parading himself as Tinubu’s choice as the next governor in waiting.
Are all these aspirants actually anointed by Tinubu, the godfather of Lagos politics or they are just capitalizing on their closeness to him? Ambode is from Epe in Lagos. He designed the strategy to shore up the revenue of the state when Obasanjo seized Lagos LG funds as accountant general of the state.
- Born June 14, 1963 at Epe General Hospital, Epe, Lagos State.
- Had his primary school at St. Jude’s Primary School, Ebute Meta, Lagos. Passed the National Common Entrance in Primary 5 and gained admission into Federal Government College, Warri.
- Recorded the second best result in the entire West Africa in the Higher School Certificate Examinations in 1981.
- Graduated with honours in Accounting from the University of Lagos at 21.
- Started his public service career at Lagos State Waste Disposal Board (now LAWMA) as Accountant Grade II in November 1985.
- At 24, qualified as a Chartered Accountant and completed his Masters degree programme in Accounting from University of Lagos, specializing in Financial Management.
- Appointed acting Auditor-General for Local Government in 2000 and became the youngest ever Auditor-General for Local Government in Lagos State.
- Was appointed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance in January 2005 and in February, 2006, was given the additional responsibility of Accountant-General of Lagos State.
- Was the youngest Permanent Secretary in service and only the second person to hold both positions of Permanent Secretary and Accountant-General at the same time.
- Under his watch, the state treasury office revolutionized the way Lagos State finances were raised, budgeted, managed and planned resulting in the state’s budget performing at an average of 85 percent annually.
- He ensured payment of civil service staff salaries before the end of the month, payment of running cost by 1st week of each month and introduced end of the year package and special/specific welfare for staff.
- He launched the e-payment platform for the monthly staff salaries
- He renovated the state treasury office, created a conducive working environment, introduced a corporate dress code and provided laptops for all directors.
- Introduced prompt payment of gratuity and pension arrears of the State Universal Basic Education Board and local government pensioners.
- He co-organised the first ever National Tax Retreat in association with the Joint Tax Board/Federal Inland Revenue Service in 2005.
- Chaired the Technical Committee that produced the Lagos State Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (SEEDS) document.
- Led the audit teams as the Auditor-General in the office of Auditor-General for Local Government to clear and publish the arrears of statutory audits of 1995 to 2004 within 12months.
- A scholar, accountant, administrator, an astute leader with strong emotional intelligence, he is an alumnus of Wharton Business School and has attended courses at Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, England; the Institute of Management Development, Lausanne, Switzerland; INSEAD, Singapore and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
- He retired voluntarily from public service in August, 2012; the first ever recorded voluntary retirement by a Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Public Service.
- He established Brandsmiths Consulting Limited in 2012 and the company is today consulting for federal, state and local governments on the transition to the new International Public Service Accounting System and other financial advisory services.
A stickler for high performance, he does not make decisions based on race, gender or religion.