Joseph Olorunjuwon Agbenla is the immediate past Surveyor General, Permanent Secretary. He made a laudable feat while in office by transforming the office of the Surveyor General. ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke with him on life after retirement, his achievement and his induction to the hall of fame at the Nigeria Construction Industry Hall of Fame.
How is life after retirement?
We give God the glory, life has been splendid. We face each day as it comes. We have been given grace to spend each day as it comes, we thank God for that gift.
Were you actually expecting it?
No, if you have seen what I started in the office, Our transformation agenda, you wouldn’t think such will come at this time but we thank God for everything.
The transformation agenda was topmost in my heart when I was there as Surveyor Permanent Secretary. I wanted the actualization of GIS. We started when Gov. Fashola was in office. I wanted the GIS to be projected the way it should be. With this new governor, my expectation was to complete the work we have started.
What next now?
Right now, I am trying to see what I will do, though, I am spending each day as the Lord gives me the grace. I am a chartered surveyor. Being a surveyor, I am looking for how well I can practice my profession. I am still looking for how I can be of help to the less privilege in the society.
When I was in office, all my allowances were used to pay some staffers. I thank God that I was able to keep my promise of getting them employed. Most of them were employed before I left office. I believe I still have more to do for them.
It is quite unfortunate that you were not allowed to complete the good job you started while in officer, what do you think will happen?
I have laid the foundation. I believe the Office of the Surveyor General should continue with the good work. The vision was mine, I started it with every sense of duty, so if the new person sees the vision, he may go ahead with it. If the person does not see it as a vision, he may not implement whatever is on ground.
If I am given the privilege to advise him, I will want him to continue because, the vision is for the emancipation of the office. The office was on its own, we were not under the governor’s office or any other office before I left. I thank God I was able to do that while I was there.
What were the things you wish to have achieved while you were there?
The GIS, I made plans to rebuild structures, I wanted the GIS to be fully integrated with the Land Ministry and Treasury Department. So that getting the population of Lagos State, Planning the Infrastructure of the state, education policies for the state, there will be data that has all the needed information.
It will be readily available for any government agency that needs it. Those were the things I would love to achieved.
As a chattered surveyor, do you think Lagos state is ready for the mega city project?
What is the population of a mega city? We have it already, in terms of planning. All the infrastructural development has already been planned by ex Governor Raji Fashola. It is my belief that Governor Ambode will continue. If he should continue, it is a done deal. The citizens are looking for a good administration by the state government.
Most civil servants leave office and venture into politics, are you thinking of such?
Like the Bible says, I will look up to the hills, from where cometh my help, my help is from the Lord who makes heaven and earth. It is what God tells me to do that I will do. I will put all my trust in God, I believe He will lead me aright.
How does it feel to be inducted to the Hall of Fame today?
It feels exciting. I am grateful to God. I thank him for all I could achieve while in office. People saw that I had done my best and it is well appreciated to the glory of God.
What is your take on the state of the nation and Lagos state?
We thank God for what the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is doing. He is trying to redirect us. He wants Nigerians to know that it is good to be honest. He has taken the fight against corruption to the appropriate quarters.
With these, Nigerians will learn that it is good to be honest, dedicated and committed.